Red Panda Bitmap Bit Map Bitcrusher Pedal – 2018 Edition
When I first heard about bitcrusher pedals, I knew I had to get my hands on one. If you’ve been researching bitcrushers, you’ve probably noticed that there are countless options on the market. This Red Panda Bitmap review will help you make your decision. Keep reading for more on the Bitmap’s features.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Red Panda Bitmap
Bitcrushers create a very unique sound, so make sure this is the right of the pedal for your music before you make a purchase. Since this device will create such a grainy sound, the Bitmap will probably be a good fit for you if you want to experiment with electronic, metal, rock, or punk genres.
If you want a more traditional sound, check out the “Alternatives” section in this review. If you’re new to delay pedals, check out this infographic.
Things to consider:
- The effect you’re looking for
- Your experience with pedals
- Your budget (this is a higher end pedal)
The Bitmap Pedal
The Bitmap is a bitcrusher pedal. This means your device will take your audio signal and cut it up into smaller grains to distort your sound. If I could describe the effect, I would use the words “static” and “fuzzy”.
Currently, the EarthQuake Bit Commander is the leading bitcrusher on the market, but I would say the Bitmap is just as high-quality. If you’re interested in creating video game type sounds, these extreme settings on this pedal may be ideal for you to experiment with.
- Very unique sound
- Relatively easy to use
- Blend control to maintain bass
- Less diverse features than other pedals
- Less tone control in extreme settings
- No MIDI control
The Red Panda Bitmap pedal will reduce your bit depth from 24 bits down to 1 bit, with the lowest setting creating the grainiest sound quality. One of my favourite features of this product is the blend control that will allow you to maintain the integrity of your bass line.
Some effect pedals can muffle the bass tones to the point that you can’t even hear them, so it’s definitely a plus that you won’t experience this issue with the Bitmap. You can read more here.
The three knobs at the top of the Bitmap pedal will allow you to experiment with different bitcrushing effects. Beneath these three settings, you’ll have a “Level” knob which will control your output volume.
Like I already mentioned, the lowest settings will create the grainiest sound qualities. If you want to experiment with more subtle effects, try playing around with the Level knob to hear different intensities.
You can also use an expression pedal to further play with the Bitmap’s effects, so the possibilities are almost endless. If you’re new to pedals, you might want to take a look at this article before you read the Features section below.
Let’s take a look at the different features in more detail.
This is the knob you can use to create a dry or a wet sound depending on your preferences. When the Mix knob is turned up all the way, you’ll hear a fully wet sound.
If you’re new to effect pedal lingo, a dry sound refers to audio with no effects, and a wet sound refers to a sound with a lot of effects. If you find the effect setting to be too overwhelming for you, simply change the Mix knob to produce more of a dry effect.
However, keep in mind that this is a very intense pedal, and if you’re looking to tone things down, you may want to try the Context Red Panda effect pedal in the “Alternatives” section.
This is probably the most important setting on your device and will control the amount of bit reduction you hear. If you’re looking to create sounds that mimic the video game style, use the extreme crush settings for 8-bit reduction.
You’ll notice the effects of your Bitmap become really apparent as early as when you turn your Crush/Rate knob down to 9 o’clock.
If you don’t want a pedal with this much grainy intensity, try checking out some of the other options listed below. In order to remove some of the jarring sound qualities, try switching your Hi/Lo switch to further affect your rate of decay.
The Frequency knob on your Bitcrusher is a great feature that will allow you to add hints of harmony to the notes your playing. If you’re looking to create a more textured sound with your pedal, then this will be a great setting for you to experiment with.
By turning the Frequency knob down, then you’ll lose your melody, and it will be replaced by more random pitches. This will give you a really robotic effect and is a good setting for you if the melody isn’t integral to what you are playing.
If you want to start with a clean sound, try turning your Crush knob down low, and your Frequency knob all the way up. This is the setting that will give you the closest tone to what your instrument naturally sounds like.
From here, you can experiment with adding more effect incrementally to create a really wet sound. This demo will demonstrate how great the Bitmap will sound when used to create electronic music
Nothing demonstrates the features of the Bitmap better than an audio demonstration, so if you’d like to hear more of this pedal’s effects check out these samples on Soundcloud:
I’ve read countless reviews on the internet, and owners of the Red Panda Bitmap seem to be really happy with their purchase. In fact, some reviewers have said they feel this is the best bitcrusher pedal on the market and does well in performance settings. Here’s what other musicians are saying:
This pedal is one of the best delay pedal in the Red Panda Pedal Series. You can take a look at our post for this brand here.
If you’re interested in a Red Panda effect pedal but want a more traditional sound, then you should consider the Context pedal. The Context has more traditional reverb settings, like Room, Hall, Cathedral, Gated, Plate, and Delay.
This pedal may be for you if you want many delays and mixing features. This device also has a “Favorite” setting to save your preferred settings for quick access.
This pedal is great if you want a small and affordable pedal with a warm sound. This device more user-friendly than the Bitmap, so it may be a good for beginners.
Image Credits: Amazon.com
The Red Panda Bitmap is great if you want to experiment with different crush effects. With so many products out there, it can be hard to find a bitcrusher pedal that meets the company’s claims. Hopefully, this review will help you make your decision.