We have another pedal from New Zealand’s Red Witch Pedals. The pedals are designed by Ben Fulton, founder and creator of Red Witch, and are all analog. Last time I reviewed the Zeus, which was a bass fuzz suboctave. Today I hold it’s brother, the Red Witch Factotum, a bass suboctave drive. It houses the same octaver as the Zeus but has an overdrive instead of the fuzz.
I remember from last time these pedals are shiny and light but built like a tank. They have two pedal sizes, a standard and a mini. This one’s standard, which is 12x9,5cm. Right’s the input, left the output (not labeled) and on the rear, there’s the power supply input, which is a normal 9V. On the bottom we have four big rubber feet and when we look inside, as could be expected from Red Witch, everything looks neat. There’s place for a 9V battery in between the electronics from the two switches.
The factotum has five knobs, one for the octaver and four for the overdrive. The octaver is standard one octave lower and you can only control how much of it you want in the mix. The overdrive has a mix knob (D mix), a tone control (D tone), a volume knob (D volume) and of course the gain (Drive). Each effect has its own switch, one labelled “Octave”, the other “Drive”. You have to give it a firm push and gives a loud “click” when pushed. That way you know you’ve activated (or deactivated) the chosen effect. I love Red Witch’s led indicating what effect has been chosen: blue for the octaver, red for the overdrive and purple when both are active.
Let’s start with the octaver. Since it’s the same analog octaver from the Zeus, I already know I have to carefully pick what riff to play. When playing multiple notes at the same time or playing “sloppy”, you’ll find it skipping because it can handle only one note at a time. When taking this into mind, it does a wonderful job!
When activating an overdrive, the first thing annoying me is sucking away the low end. None of that here! Wonderful! The drive sound is heavy and hard, nothing too extravagant, but that makes it very reliable. Suitable for a wide range of music, but especially heavy genres.
The combination of these two effects is what makes the Factotum a special one. They blend together very well and you can choose exactly how much suboctave and drive you want in the mix. And once again, when both pushed to their limits you get a synth-like sound. That’s what I love about these pedals!
Red Witch has another fine product here. It’s high quality and sounds nice. Make sure to accurately play a monophonic riff when activating the octave, otherwise you’ll find it skipping because of its analog circuits. A wonderful pedal, especially when both effects are running simultaneously. They aren’t cheap, but the combination makes it worth it.
- More info: Red Witch Factotum - Bass Suboctave Drive