Ah, tremolo. A friendly ghost of an effect. If you’re a fan of those rhythmic waves but are looking for something extra special, this one goes out to you.
Based in Philadelphia, the folks at Champion Leccy make pedals that take players on new tonal journeys. If you’re not familiar with the name, there is no better place to get acquainted than with The Skitter, Champion Leccy’s “reverbolo” pedal. The Skitter is a reverb and tremolo pedal that sets players out into wild new effect frontiers. If you think you’ve charted every corner of your tonal topographical map, you’ll have to take another look. The Skitter is an incredibly exciting device to dive into, and with many different effects to explore, we shiver with anticipation.
Far from Skittish
Featuring a combination of two cornerstone effects, reverb and tremolo, The Skitter deals out an effect experience that pushes limits and is immediately captivating. The Skitter is designed around an effect combination that carries its own unique tonal characteristics while remaining free and open for exploration. Champion Leccy structures The Skitter in a way that makes it both easy to start from scratch or dive headfirst into the deep end when crafting a tone. With an intuitive control scheme and responsive dials and switches, The Skitter’s setup is freeform and functional to make sure that the pedal is flexible for a wide array of musical trips – easy to switch on and get lost in.
A Modulated Matchmaker
The Skitter’s primary tonal character is luscious and spacious – a result of the pedal’s exceptional effect arrangement. Effect stacking is the name of the game with The Skitter as the pedal offers its two effects independently to be mixed and matched as you see fit.
The Skitter starts with its two Love dials. These knobs control the volume of the pedal’s two effects. The first Love dial controls the level of your dry signal from The Skitter, the second controls the level of the reverb effect from The Skitter. No slouch, the reverb effect by itself is enough to turn some heads as its awesome spacey voice cascades from The Skitter with a washed echo. A dedicated three-way Light switch acts to cut off some higher frequencies as it is switched down. Clicked up, the reverb is light and warm, clicked down, mellow and cool. With the reverb set at a comfortable place, the main attractions roll in. From here, the real fun starts.
Two switches left of the Love dials control two independent tremolo effects. The first tremolo acts through the pedal’s dry signal and is engaged by flipping the switch up, the second tremolo acts with the pedal’s reverb effect and is engaged in the same way. After engaging your tremolos one at a time or together, the Space and Time dials are added to the equation to control the depth and rate of your modulation – the further either control is pushed, the wilder the result.
With two independent tremolos, you’re off to the races. Click on one tremolo to rhythmically blink along to your splashes of reverb or click on both to dig some deep peaks and valleys. The Skitter’s mashup of reverb and tremolo can easily send you off into dreamy and washed waves of reverberated, modulated sweetness. The long reverb trails and rhythmic, textured fades of tremolo are perfect for ringing out those sustained, breathy chords that help you build your sonic soundscape. Combine The Skitter with a separate reverb, delay, or modulation, and all bets are off. This pedal is an atmospheric juggernaut in a pedalboard-friendly package.
The Long and Winding Road
Now you may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but where’s the showstopper? Luckily for you, the last two functions of The Skitter pack the biggest punch. First, The Skitter’s waveform shape selector dial introduces a large palette of waves to send your tremolo effect through. Your traditional square, triangle, and sine forms are all here for the trip in addition to two “random” settings. Among the eight waveform shapes of The Skitter, the two random waveform settings offer new functions. One random setting randomly affects the levels of the waveform (the depth of the waves) while the other affects the slopes of the waveform (the shape of the waves). With these two randomized functions, The Skitter shows part of its wild side while it evolves into a respectable noise machine while remaining easy to reel in to keep it cool and musical.
Finally, The Skitter’s Kilter switch introduces its most unique function. Since The Skitter can produce two tremolo effects at the same time, the dry signal tremolo and the reverb signal tremolo play in sync with one another. This doubling effect gives The Skitter its kick, but only when the Kilter switch is flipped up. When flipped down, The Skitter is set “off-kilter” and the synchronization of the two tremolos is disengaged. The reverb tremolo is swapped to mirror the dry signal tremolo, making for a new sequence of rhythms. When mirrored, the two tremolos fade, collide, and interact in interesting ways according to which waveform shape is selected. Some patterns and settings are more predictable than others, but that’s all part of the fun. The bits of noisy chaos that can come from mirroring random waveform settings are a must-see on this tonal journey’s agenda. With all these functions, this pedal is practically begging to be explored.
Champion Leccy The Skitter Final Thoughts
Highly interactive and expressive, The Skitter is a pedal that is equal parts sweetly musical and intriguingly experimental. It combines several different effect experiences into a single pedalboard-friendly device ready for any kind of action. Those looking for a reverb or tremolo that can be taken to the stage or to the studio are sure to find a sweet spot with The Skitter. With plenty of utility as a spaced-out workhorse, The Skitter provides a good deal of heavy lifting for your spacious deep dives into chillwave or shoegaze territory. If you’re looking for a feel-good, Zen effect pedal, then you’ve found it.
Reverb and tremolo, a match made in heaven.