El Castillo is an arpeggiating reverb that takes pitch-bent reverb to an entirely new level. It uses a unique combination of 3 circuit blocks (reverb, pitch-shift, and delay) to create a highly experimental, ambient reverb.
REVERB – The reverb block is the heart of the pedal. It uses the same high quality reverb brick found in some of my other reverb pedals. It has two controls: “Level” and “Regen.” The “Level” control increases the amount of wet signal, without effecting the dry signal. The “Regen” control controls the amount of signal fed through the feedback loop. Turning up the “Regen” knob will increase the decay and also the number or arpeggiations.
PITCH-SHIFT – The pitch-shift block is located in the feedback loop of the reverb. Adding a pitch-shift to the feedback signal creates a “stair step” effect. Each time the signal travels through the feedback loop, it will shift the pitch of the wet signal up or down. The pitch shifting section is controlled by the “Quantize” mode switch and the “Pitch Knob” (small, middle knob). More info below about the mode switch.
DELAY – The delay block is also located inside the feedback loop. It is a simple, single repeat delay that can range from 0-800ms. This feature causes the signal to delay going through the pitch-shift block. With the delay time set at minimum, the stair stepping effect happens very quickly. As you increase the delay time, the pitch intervals are stretched out and it creates a very gradual pitch arpeggiation. The delay length is determined by the “Stretch” knob.
MODES - El Castillo has 2 modes of operation: Un-Quantized and Quantized. The toggle switch selects the mode and determines the function of the “Pitch” knob.
---In the “Un-Quantized” mode (toggle to the left), the pitch knob has a free-range and can select any pitch interval between -1 octave and +1 octave. At 12 o’clock, there is zero pitch-shift.
---In the “Quantized” mode (toggle to the right), the pitch-shift is locked to -1 octave and +1 Octave. Turning the pitch knob crossfades between the two octave shifts to allow both to be heard at once or separately. Turning the knob fully to the left provides only octave down intervals. Turning the knob to the right provides only octave up intervals (traditional shimmer). At 12 o’clock, there is a 50/50 blend of octave up and octave down intervals.
Level Knob - Controls the volume of the reverb.
Regen Knob - Controls the amount of feedback/decay the reverb has.
Stairstep Knob - Controls the pitch of the feedback loop.
Stretch Knob - Sets the amount of delay in the feedback loop.
Quantize Switch (To the Left) - Unquantized Pitch Shifting
Quantize Switch (To the Right) - Quantized Pitch Shifting
Current Draw: 113 mA
Dimensions: 4.7” x 3.7”
Powering: 9V DC - Negative Center - 2.1mm Barrel