Hungry Robot Karman Line – Delay & Modulation Pedal
The Kármán Line is a modulating joystick delay and oscillation device that features a heavily filtered, lo-fi delay line with vinyl inspired pitch modulation.
The repeats on The Kármán Line are dark and overdriven.
The not-so-subtle grittiness provides the perfect tone for creating a deeply textured, lo-fi wall-of-sound.
The Kármán Line is for glitchy experimentalists, but can find its place in many musical settings.
The Kármán Line features vinyl-esque pitch modulation centered on an all analog, light-based LFO.
The modulation mimics the sound of slowing down a record player with your finger. The modulation can go from subtle to extreme, borderline obnoxious (in a good way) pitch bending.
- Mix: Controls volume of repeats of the delay in normal operating mode. Overridden in “Launch” mode.
- Rpt: Controls the number of repeats in normal operating mode. Overridden in “Launch and “Swell” modeO.
- Mix: Controls the volume of the oscillation in “Launch” mode. Not active unless right footswitch is on.Depth: Controls how deep and present the modulation is.
- Joystick (Up/Down): Controls delay time, oscillation pitch, and warping.
Joystick (Left/Right): Controls modulation rate/speed (SMALL RED LED SHOWS SPEED)
The most intriguing aspect of The Kármán Line is the implementation of a joystick. The Kármán Line employs a delay chip that creates an audible warp as you manipulate the delay time, controlled by the Y-Axis of the joystick. The X-Axis controls the rate of modulation.
The “Swell” footswitch (center) and “Launch” footswitch (right) provide two methods for bringing the circuit into ramping oscillation. Both footswitches work by overloading the circuit with out-of-control repeats (a.k.a. oscillation).
The “Swell” footswitch is a momentary switch that allows you to create a ramping volume swell at any time. It lets the repeats crash into each other, getting louder and louder with each repeat. When you let go, the repeats return to their normal setting.
The “Launch” footswitch is a latching switch that creates a below the mix oscillation that can be manipulated with the joystick for outer space noises. The joystick also acts as a pitch selector. With the “Launch” switch activated, the O.Mix knob overrides the Mix knob to allow you to dampen the volume of the oscillation.
Max delay time is just under 500ms in “GUITAR MODE” and 1000ms in “BASS MODE.” Mode is controlled by an internal dipswitch.
The Kármán Line shines in creating a thick textured wall-of-sound and experimental, glitchy tones.
The delay trail is extremely dark and gritty. The modulation is designed to emulate the de-tuning effect of slowing down a record player and then letting go. Some of the modulation presence is lost when the pedal is oscillating.
Experiment with pedal placement. Sometimes the best placement of The Kármán Line is actually early in the chain before delay, overdrive, and fuzz boxes. As you can shape the sound of the oscillation and use it as an instrument.
Use the “Swell” switch as a way to incorporate short, loud volume swells during a song. It is designed to reach max volume in approximately 4 beats to cater towards most modern time signatures. Use the “Launch” switch for below the mix droning sounds. “O.Mix” acts to limit the volume of the oscillation so you can play over top of it.
Make sure you read the “BEFORE YOU PLUG IN” guide and make sure you are using “Guitar Mode” to protect your guitar speakers. You can see the pedal’s manual online here. You can also learn a bit more about Hungry Robot here.
Requires 9VDC centre negative supply. Current Draw: 37 mA