Cool delay pedals with interesting features are released almost on a daily basis, and the Rorschach Devices Apophenia, the debut, hand-built product by a new St. Louis-based company, is a rather unique digital circuit with a particular emphasis on the interaction between echo and filters, and a peculiar approach to trails.
The gray, concentric double knob in the center top (named TLS for trails) controls the number of repeats, with the top section dedicated to the regular repeats (pedal on) and the bottom one setting the trails repeat (i.e., the echo’s behavior when the device is turned off while there’s still sound in its memory). For example, you could set a short number of repeats while you play with the pedal on and then have a much longer number of repeats on your last note when you switch it off – or vice-versa.
The other peculiar feature of this pedal is the interaction between the Tone knob and the 3-way Filter toggle, which changes the voicing of the delay, creating three separate modes:
- The Center position gives you as regular tone knob, delivering a brighter or darker EQ.
- The Up position turns on a High-pass filter into the feedback path, making the delay signal brighter with sharp and thin repeats, something often used in ska and reggar. The TONE knob controls how quickly the signal gets bright.
- Conversely, the Down position activates a Low-pass filter into the feedback path, delivering increasingle darker repeats, letting the new notes you play come through more clearly, a style of delay popular among embient and psychedelic guitarists.
The other three knobs are your regular Time, Mix and Volume.
Another very cool feature about this pedal – and from what we understand, all future releases by this builder, is that it has an LED ring going around the base of it, emanating a beautiful lavender-purple glow!
Check out the first video of it, below.
Rorschach Devices – Apophenia Delay, Builder’s Notes
Our flagship experiment. With the ability to go from a tight, slap-back response to seemingly never-ending swirl of repeats, Apophenia possesses analog-like warmth and natural musicality while offering an exceptional amount of control over tonal and delay characteristics.
It’s unique, dual-concentric “TAILS” feature allows you to manipulate the delay behavior in ways you never thought possible. And it’s top-mounted filter switch lets you adjust the sharpness or dullness of the sweet, repeating madness in your mix.
The luminous photons of our signature Light Ring will bathe your board in the neon Rorschach glow while you’re immersed in potentially mind-altering sonic experiences.
Get ready to put your ears, your mind, your very soul to the test with the power of Apophenia.
Time – Controls delay time, maximum is 1 second, minimum is very short
Tails (Dual Pot) – Sets the amount of feedback in the signal path; making the sound repeat over and over again. The top knob is active when the pedal is clicked “on.” The bottom knob is active when the pedal is clicked “off,” giving you the option to let the repeats continue after a stint of playing (almost giving the pedal a mind of its own!)
Tone – Works in conjunction with filter switch to EQ high/low balance (see FILTER SWITCH description below)
Mix – Full counter-clockwise is pure guitar signal, full clockwise is pure delay signal
Volume – Adjusts the overall loudness level
Filter Switch – Selects filter to apply to the delay signal:
- Center: “Normal” position: The TONE KNOB works like a typical pedal/guitar tone knob. Turn it down to cut the highs out of the delay signal.
- Up: “High-pass” position: Inserts a high-pass filter into the feedback path. It makes the delay signal brighter as it continues to repeat, making the repeats sound very sharp and thin. The TONE knob controls how quickly the signal gets bright. (This effect is very prevalent in Ska and Reggae, but also works well in many different genres.)
- Down: “Low-pass” position: Inserts a low-pass filter into the feedback path, making the delay signal sound more muffled as it continues to repeat. The TONE knob controls how quickly the signal gets muffled. (A great option for when you want a “wall of sound/delay” behind your guitar, but still lets the individual notes come through.)
- Top-mount jacks take up less space on your pedalboard
- Tall, low-effort foot switch allows for smooth operation
- Buffered bypass doesn’t load down your signal
- Our FV-1 based circuit packs tons of digital power in a standard-sized footprint