Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

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Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Iheartreverb » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:25 am

Hi All,

So I've been on the fence about buying a Red Panda Particle for a while and nearly pushed the button today- still might.
Inspired by Alan Sparhawk (from Low) particularly on this as I love how he has fitted it into his playing on decades worth of songs live to add a bit of movement to a minimal band setup, simply I'm in the same boat, the only guitar player and getting bored of what my current board gives me.

My concern is that the very specific sounds in these pedals are going to be so common place and recognisable that it is in no way interesting- a bit like shimmer reverb was a few years ago (although it was never my thing). In fact this has already has happed, I was listening to the radio the other day and could pick it out on a song instantly even thought it was only on there for about 10 seconds.

Obviously theres precursors to the Red panda like a Catlinbread CSIDMAN and more boutique offerings like the Cutting Room Floor (although I would like presets) as well as more modern loop based options like the Blooper and Mood pedals.

Can anyone offer thoughts, advice on these pedals or the sound as a whole.
I have to get off the fence...

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:08 pm

I usually try to team effects up and find pairs to get interesting sounds. Fuzz or delay can sound fine on it’s own, and sometimes it’s better that way, but the glitches and but crushes and multiple octave effects I usually try to mix in something else to keep it interesting.

Not that these are good examples, but try a really choppy Tremolo after that shimmer reverb, or play a glitch effect with an eBow or wah-wah.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by stevejamsecono » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:36 pm

I think if the songs and parts are great it can transcend the sounds, in a way. There's certainly era-specific sounds that can get eyerolly when paired with bad material, but then there's also stuff that's exactly of its time that's just THAT good so you'll ignore supey goopy 80s chorus or weird dry drum sounds or too much reverb or whatever because the song just transcends.

Right now it's interesting because I think the proliferation of small affordable pedalboards has made effects a way bigger part of guitar playing than they ever were before and its starting to influence what's written rather than being added on top to give it a flavor. YMMV if you think it's any good or not.
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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:25 am

i know what you mean by the shimmer reverb thing. i kinda got sick of everyone using them. i've not heard too much granular reverb but maybe it will mean red panda prices will drop soon (i can only hope)

i think like any new sound, people just jump on the bandwagon and then jump off when they get bored of it. i mean look what happened with gated reverb in the 80's.
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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by burpgun » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:22 am

I own a Particle and it's a tricky pedal, pretty niche for my purposes, but a nice flavor to have. I do think there's an "unstable" sort of sound to get from the the thing, you hear it on Sparhawk's playing. More broadly, granular synthesis does seem to be the new frontier in pedals right now. I have a EHX Super Ego and while the sound is very different, it's similar tech. I suppose this stuff will all fall out of vogue at some point when the next wave comes, assuming folks haven't given up on guitars. But it may come back. Analog synths and chorus pedals have all faded away and come back. I put my old Boss chorus and flanger back on the board after having them in a box for literally 30 years.

The only sound effect I can't wait to see die is autotune as an effect on vocals. God do I hate it. It's wrecked rap music, it dehumanizes everything it touches, and not in a good way. That's what I want to see annihilated.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:05 pm

I can never seem to do anything intentional/musical with weirder effects, so I Iimit myself to the basics.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Mechanical Birds » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:32 am

The only stuff I’ve ever heard that I can immediately think of would be like Tera Melos or maybe old Minus The Bear or something. Sadly, I’m not hip on lots of new music anymore and that’s something I need to change like today, but I’m kinda drawing a blank on being able to hear a count to five on a Beyoncé song or something.

I’m kind of dissatisfied with the guitar industry top to bottom, but effects especially leave a lot to be desired. Like 15 years ago pedals were looked at as a crutch or some other nonsensical garbage, but now they’re as much a part of people’s rigs as the guitar themselves. That hasn’t exactly been accompanied by a wave of innovation. For every Particle or Count to Five or Rainbow Machine there are 50 tube screamer variants coming out a month. So I dunno, for me, I’ll excuse a sort of ‘newer’ effect appearing a lot because we’re all fucking starving for something new/interesting/different/challenging to use and are overwhelmingly not having those needs being met.

That’s not to say people aren’t doing cool stuff, because they are, and often that’s involved using existing tech and tweaking it until it becomes its own new thing. I just wish we saw more of it, as opposed to the planned obsoletion you see in a company like Boss or something. I saw the most insane and amazing pedal probably of my life on this very forum and it was something by Timbo that was a delay and reverb and fuzz and phaser and pitch shifter (if not specifically, it could pretty much get you there for all those sounds) with 3 switches and cool knob functions and stuff. That’s what I’d like to see more of, or someone making the Devi Ever Console thing a reality because it was a fucking awesome idea and I think every day how bad it sucks that I’ll never get to actually try one

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by mbene085 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:04 am

burpgun wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:22 am
The only sound effect I can't wait to see die is autotune as an effect on vocals. God do I hate it. It's wrecked rap music, it dehumanizes everything it touches, and not in a good way. That's what I want to see annihilated.
Honestly, its popular usage should have peaked ND died with Cher. For a high-profile musician to use something cutting-edge in a musical way in her 4th decade of topping charts was totally and completely reasonable. For it to become "the" sound plastered all over the place for another two decades has been excruciating.

Actually, all of its uses have been excruciating. It makes every song sound like yet another unbearable episode of Glee.

Back to the reverb. Nothing wrong with playing around with the flavour du jour, but it will definitely date things. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, as has been pointed out. The quality of music will always outlive the trends of production.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by cestlamort » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:59 am

"cool is eternal but always dated" - Fugazi (who didn't use effects, fwiw)
It'd be worth exploring the relationship between technology and sound in rock history. (Full disclosure: I've had the topic not accepted more than once at the Pop Conference here)

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:49 am

cestlamort wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:59 am
"cool is eternal but always dated" - Fugazi (who didn't use effects, fwiw)
It'd be worth exploring the relationship between technology and sound in rock history. (Full disclosure: I've had the topic not accepted more than once at the Pop Conference here)
Really? You’d think that Brian Eno alone would get that in? Even without his recent experiments with Artificial Intelligence generated music. I mean, Wendy Carlos? Have they never heard of Kraut rock, or Industrial? Did Trent Reznor punch record in vain? Okay, maybe those aren’t “Pop” but there are plenty of examples that are.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by burpgun » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:06 am

The music we make is always tied up in available technology, it's just that some view the cutting edge in 1955--an electric guitar plugged into a tube amp with spring reverb--as the platonic ideal of the instrument. I can think of plenty of folks who wrote good songs, even as they're way of getting there was completely tied up in their gear. The Edge and delay, Cocteau Twins and whatever the hell Guthrie was using, etc.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:48 am

I've started wondering whether pedals themselves are basically going to go away, besides maybe some standalone footswitches. A lot of that granular synth, phrase sampling, looping and tape effects that Red Panda does are available in modular form now. There's interfaces for pedals and expression controls of all kind, and you can even plug a guitar in to control oscillators. They have tube modules for fuzz and distortion, and numerous spring reverb units that use real tanks. The thing that's more interesting about the modules than effects pedals is that instead of looking for a delay with low pass filter or a ring mod that can use a footswitch, the modules let you reroute a filter you already have or route an expression pedal module's cv to control one of several LFO's you might already have. Pedals seem really limiting to me after looking at what else you can do to a guitar

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Paco » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:42 pm

I can agree with the idea of the whole matter taking a secondary place if the song actually works on it and with it. I admire people that use pedals as tools and as an end to something. Maybe that something is a little 2 second riff. Maybe it's a whole 14 minute jam. When the performer finds the balance and delivers that something, I think of the effects on it as natural. I can understand Fugazi's stand on cool, but when I hear their music I instantly think about the SG and Rickenbacker sound biting each other over the Park and Marshall stacks. And that is cool for me. To think and approach uncool as cool is an aesthetic choice, IMO.

That said, most of the modern guitar music I hear nowadays sounds generic, and I think pedals play a big part on it. You can hear the same POG octaves all over St. Vincent, the 1975, arctic monkeys and King Gizzard and the whatever rizzard among HUNDREDS of bands. Or the MXR carbon copy trailing off on every "psychedelic" record from 2010 to yesterday. The same happens to me with EQD gear (the Afterneath and the Rainbow Machine, for example, are instantly recognizable) and the Chase Bliss stuff. I have realized that I don't like my pedal rig to sound like a youtube ambient/shimmer/shoegaze video, because it is easy. And it sounds easy too, in a way. I get that this is exactly the point of these pedals! They make complex, deeper sounds available. But in some cases, they simplify them until they feel and work like casio shitty presets :'(

Stereolab toured last year and I got the chance to see them when they were in town. They're probably my favorite band, but I didn't enjoy the show that much. Tim, who is a guitar genius, was the only guitar player. Historically Stereolab almost always played with 2 guitars, and I noticed him struggling to get all these sounds in place quickly and easily with a massive pedalboard. Some modulations sounded a bit plastic and artificial, in a weird way. They weren't bad tho, everything flanged and phased as expected, but for me something sounded off. Someone over here posted Tim's recent pedalboard and I saw the chase bliss stuff and instantly recognized the sounds from the concert. To be fair tho, I'm sure no one but me noticed it. So maybe it is not as visible and important as a guitar player could perceive??

This is a nice debate :P

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Iheartreverb » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:22 am

Thanks Guys, some really interesting takes here. Some mentions of some of my favourite bands (Cacteau's/ Stereolab). I've always worked on the "its how YOU use it" idea and always wrote parts before I think about affecting then...mostly.

Anyway, just bought a Particle.

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Re: Is this Red Panda/ Granular thing going to get old?

Post by Whiny Minotaur » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:59 am

double post
Last edited by Whiny Minotaur on Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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