Quick Hit: Malekko Charlie Foxtrot Review

This cross between a sampler/looper, a delay, and a pitch shifter is one of the most wonderfully bonkers new pedals in ages.

Clip 1 - Size Noon, Duration 2-00, Mode Up & Down, Preamp 1-30, Mix Noon, Threshold 9-00
Clip 2 - Size Min, Duration 9-00, Mode Stutter, Preamp Max, Mix 3-00, Threshold 9-00
Clip 3 - Size 9-00, Duration Noon, Mode Random, Preamp 1-00, Mix 1-00, Threshold Min
Clip 4 - Size 9-00, Duration 1-30, Mode Up, Preamp Noon, Mix Noon, Threshold Min

In this age of 24/7 overdrive-pedal unveilings, it’s rare to encounter a new pedal that’s altogether removed from the stompbox pack. Something of a cross between a sampler/looper, a delay, and a pitch shifter, Charlie Foxtrot almost defies categorization. Yet its beautifully bizarre sounds can also work peaceably with your go-to sonic palette.

Adapting to Charlie can be slow going despite the straightforward intent suggested by each knob—(sample) size, (sample) duration, pitch mode (stutter, up, down, up-and-down, or random), preamp level, mix, and trigger threshold. But that’s because the sounds are extremely unique and the knobs have such wide range. Once you grasp how the controls interact, Charlie avails textures ranging from subtly warped pitch hiccups haunting your riffs in the background to schizophrenic rants parroting bastardized versions of your licks in rambling 10-second loops. Even cooler, you can control all parameters except preamp and mix (in any combination) via expression pedal. Indeed, Charlie delivers the sort of delicious dementedness you can typically attain only through complicated digital gear, but in a functional format even numbskulls can grok.

Test gear: Eastwood Sidejack DLX Baritone, Jaguar HC50, Catalinbread Topanga, Subdecay Super Spring Theory

Ratings

Pros:
Refreshingly unique, warped-yet-organic-sounding possibilities. Versatile expression-pedal capabilities.

Cons:
Knob labels hard to read. Can be difficult to dial in sounds for specific contexts.

Street:
$189

Malekko Charlie Foxtrot
malekkoheavyindustry.com

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

There’s way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.

Beginner

Intermediate

  • Explain how chords are generated from scales.
  • Create unusual harmonies, chord progressions, bass lines, and melodies using the blues scale.
  • Demonstrate how music theory and musical intuition can coalesce to create unique sounds from traditional materials.
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Last updated on May 21, 2022

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