REFLECT (NUMBER OF REPEATS; FROM ONE REPEAT TO SELF OSCILLATION):
Imagine a staircase of sound. REFLECT determines the number of steps in this staircase, representing the number of repeats of your signal. As you turn the knob clockwise, the number of repeats increases, creating a cascading effect. At its maximum, it can lead to self-oscillation, where the repeats build infinitely until interrupted.
LUCIDITY (WET/DRY MIX): This knob controls the balance between the wet (effected) and dry (original) signals. When turned clockwise, it emphasizes the wet signal, creating a more pronounced echo effect. Turning it counterclockwise emphasizes the dry signal, allowing more of your original, unaffected sound to come through. It embodies the concept of balance, akin to the Yin and Yang philosophy, where the two elements (wet and dry) harmonize in a symbiotic relationship.
RADIANCE (REPEATS FILTER): RADIANCE acts as a filter for the repeated signals. When turned clockwise, it sharpens the repeats, making them clear and distinct. This setting is akin to focusing a camera lens, bringing the echoes into sharp relief. Turning it counterclockwise softens the repeats, adding a touch of ethereal quality to the sound. It controls the clarity or opacity of the echoed sound, allowing you to create a dark, moody atmosphere or a bright, shimmering ambiance.
MOOD (DETERMINES DIRECTION AND VELOCITY OF THE PITCH SHIFT OF THE REPEATS): MOOD controls the pitch modulation of the repeats. It determines whether the pitch shifts ascend (rise) or descend (fall) and the speed at which these shifts occur. Turning MOOD clockwise might create a soaring, uplifting effect, while turning it counterclockwise might produce a spiraling, descending effect. It embodies the chaotic yet tranquil nature of sound modulation.
EXPANSE (DELAY TIME): EXPANSE controls the time delay between the original sound and its echoed repeats. By adjusting this knob, you can vary the delay time, allowing you to create short, rapid echoes or long, spacious delays. It represents the concept of focus, determining whether the sound echoes inward, staying close to the original, or expands outward, reaching a faraway horizon.
PRESENCE TRIMPOT: There is a trimpot (accessible by removing the bottom plate) that allows you to fine-tune the amount of presence or high treble frequencies that the pedal produces. It is factory set to provide the best tone in most circumstances.
SL/SB MODE SWITCH: Two distinct voicings: "Super Lead" and "Super Bass" are switchable via an internal slider switch. The mode switch can be accessed by removing the four screws of the bottom plate. It is located up at the top left corner of the pedal.
You can power your Bicycle Delay using any high-quality power supply specifically designed for effects pedals. The required output should be a negative tip DC ranging from 9 to 18 volts. Please note that the Bicycle Delay does not operate on batteries. If you desire increased volume, headroom, and a sharper percussive attack, consider using an 18-volt power supply. Alternatively, a 9-volt power supply will yield a slightly softer sound that saturates more readily.
"Bicycle Delay was something like an 'Albert Hoffman moment' (to quote good friend and guitarist Neal Casal). I sat down with no plan of where I was going, but allowed myself the freedom to be open to wherever the journey took me, and document the experience.
Really a strange path to travel when it involves something as cerebral as programming software. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe that’s a pure form of creativity, to use the boundaries of programming as a medium for art? The result was a pedal as autobiographical as any I have been involved in.
The more time I spent with the Bicycle Delay the more it unfolded its complexities to me. The harder I thought about what it was doing, the more difficult it was to put my finger on it. The more that I surrendered to what it was showing me, the more it set me free to be musically creative. In much the same way it took a computer to visualize a Mandelbrot Set, it took the Bicycle Delay for me to find the organic beauty in disharmony.
The way this pedal behaves is also metaphoric to how I’ve been looking at life. Approach it from a negative perspective, go ahead, make it spiral downward. There is beauty in it, like there is enjoyment in picking at a scab. It’ll take you to darker musical places fitting for the vampires at night. It all depends on your mood. Bring it up, it wants to take off. Happiness in a madhouse. The most difficult and interesting stuff begins to happen when you keep it balanced. Edges of notes brighten radiantly to prominence, like the flora and fauna do when I walk Clemma in the early morning sun."