It’s no secret that Rainger FX has some out-there ideas when it comes to guitar pedals. Its Dr Freakenstein Chop Fuzz, for example, looks like it was cobbled together from a disassembled Hammer Horror set, and includes a pressure-sensitive pad to modulate its sound. However, Rainger FX’s latest pedal, The Minibar, sports a slightly more minimalist look – contrasting its unique operation.
First previewed at NAMM 2020, the pedal unsurprisingly caught the attention of, well, everyone. While the Minibar is ostensibly an overdrive, it’s hard to describe exactly what sort of sound you can expect from it – as that entirely depends on what liquid is poured into the watertight container on the face of the pedal. Inside this there are two contacts, which make your liquid of choice part of the circuitry. A ‘liquid analyser’ determines the resulting tone.
Other than the container, there’s only a footswitch and a volume knob to govern the unit’s operation. So to tweak your drive settings, you might want to clear an evening and get experimenting with different test subjects. While it still might need a fair amount of trial and error, the basic principle is that gain is tied to carbonation and salt content. The pedal also shines light through the liquid, and its opacity will determine the treble and bass – a darker tone coming from a darker liquid.
To give you some idea of what’s going on inside, there’s also a green LED that changes intensity to indicate what the liquid analyser is seeing.
Rainger FX explains the operation further, saying: “there are certain chemical properties that decide how well a fluid electrically conducts the guitar signal, and this in turn governs the amount – and to some degree the quality – of the overdrive. Anything from a light grit to chunky intensity or ragged burn.”
The Minibar lists for $159 / £136. More information at raingerfx.com.