Red Panda Raster 2

The ingenious folks at Red Panda released a new version of their flagship pitch-shifting delay Raster at Summer NAMM 2021 and it looks… intense!

Compared to the original, at first sight, we can see a slew of new knobs and toggle switches, while the press release highlights invisible new features like a stereo path and a more than doubled delay time (from 750ms to 1600ms).

Other new features include Modulation, Presets, Midi compatibility and a slightly smaller enclosure with top-mounted in and out.

Here are the videos of it!

Red Panda Raster 2, Builder’s Notes

The Red Panda Raster 2 is a digital delay pedal that delivers a wide range of sounds including harmonizing delays, micro pitch shifting, phase-shifted repeats, arpeggios, alien textures, chaotic self-oscillation, and continuously evolving soundscapes.   The original Raster was released in 2015.  Red Panda has updated it with longer delay time, modulation, presets, MIDI, and stereo, in a smaller enclosure that measures 3 inches wide with all jacks on top.

The Raster is a 1600 ms digital delay with a pitch and frequency shifter integrated into the feedback path.  Forward or reverse delay can be shifted once or have continuously shifted repeats.  Three delay ranges allow you to precisely dial in resonant feedback and instantly change delay time with rhythmic shifts.  The feedback control has infinite repeats at 3 o’clock and chaotic, textured feedback loops at higher levels.  Knob responses are carefully tuned for exploration of self-oscillation and feedback on the verge of blowing up.  A tone control sweeps from dark analog-style repeats to digital clarity and emphasizes the attack at higher settings.  The left and right delay times can be set as a ratio, so a single knob changes both in sync.  The two delay channels can be arranged in series, parallel or ping pong.

Three pitch and frequency shifting algorithms are integrated into the feedback loop.  Pitch shifting repeats up or down in semitone steps creates tempo-synced arpeggios and alien organ sounds.  The detune setting can dial in micro pitch shifts and chorused repeats.  The frequency shifter creates flanger-like textures and radical dissonant echoes.  The left and right channels can be shifted by the same amount, a ratio, or opposite directions.  At subtle settings, repeats evolve in a way that sounds natural, but different from analog delays.

The Raster’s modulation section has seven waveforms that can be assigned to delay time, pitch shift, or effect level (for tremolo).  There are two random waveforms for glitchy sliced delays or random pitch shift, wow and flutter, and broken tape deck effects.  Envelope and inverse envelope enable dynamic flanging and pitch bent delays.  Stereo controls adjust the modulation amount and phase between channels, for subtle shifts or swirling psychedelic washes.

Red Panda engineer Curt Malouin says,”While designing the Raster 2, I wanted to enable as many classic rack mount digital delay tricks as possible while keeping the fast and intuitive control that made the original Raster so fun to use.  Instead of multiple modes with generic knob names, all of the parameters are always available, so you can mix and match different effects and explore new sounds in between.”

The Raster 2 is performance friendly, with 6 knobs and 9 switches.  The original Raster was praised for its knob response and immediacy, and the Raster 2 maintains that simplicity while adding flexible modulation and extensive stereo functionality.  Alternate knob settings are related to the primary knob function, labeled, and off at the center position.  Both footswitches can be latching or momentary, for instant pitch jumps or quick blasts of echo.  The bypass switch can also mute the output in bypass while always listening, to catch, repeat, and manipulate what you just played.