Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Quick Hit: Red Panda Bitmap Review

Quick Hit: Red Panda Bitmap Review

Cool waveform selector. Expression-pedal control of sample rate.

Pricey. Wet-to-dry ratio can’t go beyond 50:50. Upper half of freq-knob range inaudible.

$239

Red Panda Bitmap
redpandalab.com

3
4
3.5
2.5


Pedestrian meets provocative in this flexibly glitchy box with expression-pedal control.


Touted as a vintage-voiced, “fractional” bit-rate reducer and sample-rate modulator, the oversized, single-stomp Bitmap features mix, crush/rate, freq(uency), and level knobs mated to two switches—a toggle for selecting bit-reduction or modulation, and a 3-position switch for choosing triangle, square, or random waveforms (the latter only in mod mode).

With all these controls, it’s no wonder the Bitmap avails a variety of strangeness—from corpulent digital fuzz to ’80s-ish synth sounds and glitching, blarging, and bleeping bizarreness of the sort you’d expect if you plugged your 6-string into the Wachowskis’ Matrix. Of particularly cool inclusion is the ability to control sample rate via expression pedal. The only significant limitation is that those inclined to mete out maximum weirdness with a 100-percent wet mix will find that the closest they can get is a roughly 50:50 ratio.

Test gear: Squier Jazzmaster w/ Duncan Antiquity IIs, Squier Tele Custom w/ Curtis Novaks, Jaguar HC50, Subdecay Super Spring Theory, Catalinbread Topanga

Clip 1: Mode - Mod, Waveforms - All, Mix - Max, Crush - Rate - Max, Freq - 11 O'clock, Level - 3 Oclock

Clip 2: Mode - Crush, Waveforms - All, Mix - Max, Crush - Rate - 10 O'clock, Freq - Noon, Level - 3 O'clock


George Benson’s Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnonwas recorded in 1989. The collaboration came about after Quincy Jones told the guitarist that Farnon was “the greatest arranger in all the world.”

Photo by Matt Furman

The jazz-guitar master and pop superstar opens up the archive to release 1989’s Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnon, and he promises more fresh collab tracks are on the way.

“Like everything in life, there’s always more to be discovered,”George Benson writes in the liner notes to his new archival release, Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnon. He’s talking about meeting Farnon—the arranger, conductor, and composer with credits alongside Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Vera Lynn, among many others, plus a host of soundtracks—after Quincy Jones told the guitarist he was “the greatest arranger in all the world.”

Read MoreShow less
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays

PG contributor Tom Butwin dives into the Rivolta Sferata, part of the exciting new Forma series. Designed by Dennis Fano and crafted in Korea, the Sferata stands out with its lightweight simaruba wood construction and set-neck design for incredible playability.

Read MoreShow less

The "Sandblasted" SE Series features a swamp ash top with a unique sandblasted finish in five color options.

Read MoreShow less

We’re unpacking Reid’s playing—from his early days in the NYC jazz underground through his work with Living Colour and into supergroup superstardom—and his longstanding gear-acquisition-syndrome.

Read MoreShow less