The Source Audio Artifakt Lo-Fi Elements is the new, long-awaited release by the Massachusetts-based brand that excelled at multi-algorithm time-based effects like the Nemesis or the Ventris.

While a lo-fi pedal represents a departure from the company’s usual offerings (known for their pristine audio quality), the engineers have maintained their approach by preserving the multi-mode functionality seen in their flagship releases, delivering what we consider to be the market’s first multi-algorithm lo-fi effects pedal.

A fully stereo pedal, the Artifakt offers 7 modes accessible directly via the pedal’s central rotary knob, and even more possibilities through the new reimagined version of the Neuro 3 software.

Let’s take a look at the main algorithms, including some pretty unique effects like the Radio and Ladder ones:

  • Radio introduces static frequency filtering and LFO-controlled noise generation to emulate half-busted vintage radios. A subtle ring modulator adds the whizzing and whirring of a distant, nearly out-of-range radio tower.
  • Tape emulates the character of vintage tape machine effects including tape saturation, flutter, pitch modulation, and slapback. The Tape engine also offers higher fidelity effects like chorus, doubling, and flanger.
  • “µVERB” consists of a primitive reverb effect using delay and diffusion, reminiscent of 8-bit gaming and Belton-Brick dark, spring-like reverb simulations.
  • Crush tackles digital lo-fi effects like Bit Crushing and Sample Rate Reduction, allowing a combination of both with optional chorus.
  • Ladder applies a sweeping filter effects akin to the Moog MF-101 using static, envelope-controlled, LFO-controlled, or expression pedal-swept filtering.
  • Vinyl simulates the artifacts of aging vinyl records with filtering techniques, skip noises, and customized LFO pitch vibrato.
  • The Glitch engine captures and replays parts of your signal at random rates and intervals, controlled by an envelope for glitch effects that activate when you stop playing.

Each of these modes can be edited via 5 knobs: 

  1. Destruct: always setting the amount of lo-fi grittiness, whether it being sample rate, tape degradation or radio static.
  2. Filter: controlling the EQ element of the algorithm, which varies depending on the mode
  3. Mix: a control that allows to reintroduce the clean signal under the wet one
  4. Vary: affects a different parameter depending on the selected mode
  5. MOD: Adjusts the rate, depth, and shape of one of the two onboard LFOs used per engine/preset.

Under the MOD knob there’s a 3-way switch that allows control of three different parameters (Rate, Depth and Shape) via a single control. A separate Bandwidth toggle allows for extra tweaking to the signal’s tone.

12 on-board presets accessible via the two footswitches, Midi compatibility via a 3.5mm TRS MIDI In & Thru, in-depth editing via the Neuro 3 app and Expression control round up the features of this truly impressive lo-fi machine.