Valcoder, Catalinbread, Tremolo Pedal

Valcoder Tremolo Pedal


The Valco company of Chicago made amplifiers under their own name in addition to building amps for other companies such as Supro®, National, and Gretsch, to name a few. Most of these were lower powered amps with a great sounding natural tube breakup and many models also featured a unique sounding tube driven tremolo. It had a hypnotic throb and was also capable of hard, choppy tremolo. Combined with the breakup overdriven characteristics of the amplifier, it created a percussive, rhythmic pulse that is very inspiring to play. The Catalinbread Valcoder was designed to recreate the tube tremolo as well as the amplifier breakup of these vintage amplifiers in a pedal. Separate input and output controls allow you to get anything from a clean tremolo sound all the way up to a gritty tube like breakup driving the tremolo circuit.

  • Input

    Input gain control. Increasing this control will boost your signal and add harmonic complexity. You can drive the Tremolo into a gritty breakup when crancked, or use it as a gritty harmonic booster with the Depth control turned off.

  • Output

    This controls the overall output of the Valcoder. Setting the input control to minimum and turning the output knob will give you a cleaner tremolo sound that will match your clean signal in volume. Also, it can be used to attenuate the volume boost of the input. Used in conjunction, the Input and Output controls can help with the percieved volume drop of a tremolo effect.

  • Depth

    Controls the intensity of the Tremolo. Dial down to zero to use the Valcoder completely as a boost. 

  • Speed

    Controls the Rate of the Tremolo. The speed range was tuned with the classic Valvo amp style tremolo in mind. Goes from a moderately slow speed to a fast chop. Faster speed settings benefit from turning down the depth control as this will soften the chop. Or go crazy and crank both for full on machine-gun chatter.