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Red Panda Particle 2

Granular Delay & Pitch-shift Pedal By Paul White
Published November 2022

Red Panda Particle 2

The Particle 2 brings powerful granular processing to your pedalboard.

Granular processing effectively slices an audio signal into small sections called ‘grains’, which are then rearranged, sometimes with pitch‑shifting or reverse playback, in real time. Many of us will have experimented with granular effects plug‑ins such as NI’s (recently discontinued) Absynth, Output’s Portal, Arturia’s Efx Fragments and Unfiltered Audio’s Silo, but granular processing in a pedal format remains comparatively rare. And while none of the current pedals offer the same variety of granular effects as the best plug‑ins, they’re still able to create a wide range of textural and glitchy effects that can be put to great use in a live context.

Red Panda’s Particle pedal brought granular delays to us in this format way back in 2011 — they really were ahead of the curve — and the Particle has remained popular, but the onward march of technology has now allowed the company to release the Particle 2. This new version boasts not only more processing power and a cleaner audio path, but also improved pitch‑shifting algorithms and a more compact, pedalboard‑friendly format, which sees the connections placed on the top edge of the pedal rather than on its sides.

Overview

In this second version of the Particle, the I/O have been moved to the rear panel, to facilitate more compact pedalboard layouts.In this second version of the Particle, the I/O have been moved to the rear panel, to facilitate more compact pedalboard layouts.The Particle 2 combines a granular delay with pitch‑shifting, and its TRS I/O jacks cater for mono or stereo signals operating at a maximum level of +8dBu. The input sensitivity can also be changed using a free browser editor. So while this is certainly a pedal that guitarists can enjoy, it’s also possible to use the pedal at line level or to integrate it into modular synth systems — and that’s great news, since granular processing can be put to work on just about any audio source, including synths, drums and even vocals, with musically interesting results. A 250mA 9V external power source is required — there’s no included PSU, and no internal battery option. The pedal can store four presets for rapid access, but when controlled via MIDI it can store/recall 127...

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