The Catalinbread Pareidolia is an interesting little pedal that takes a lot of inspiration from the old 'vibrato' circuits in Fender 'brownface' tube amps. The 'vibrato' effect is not quite tremolo, not quite vibrato and not quite like anything else that was around before or since. Because it doesn't really have a name Catalinbread have settled on Harmonic Mesmerizer to describe this complex yet subtle effect.
What Exactly Is It?
Well we are not entirely sure what it is in terms of a textbook definition. The original name for it was Vibrato but this has a bit more of a tremolo effect with it as well... it is hard to know exactly what this effect really is apart from beautiful. The Pareidolia works as an amazing effect going into the front or the effects loop of any clean amplifier to give you some sick 60's swirl.
How It Works
You have three key controls with this pedal that make it such a versatile pedal. You have your standard volume control which just controls how strong your signal is when leaving the pedal, a mix control which will take you from 100% dry to 100% wet and an oscillator speed control. Using the mix and speed controls together you can get everything from a subtle rotating speaker effect to vibrato and vibe effects as well.
Here's what Catalinbread say about the Pareidolia
The Catalinbread Pareidolia Harmonic Mesmerizer is based on the vibrato found in early 60's Brownface Fender amplifiers… The big ones like the Twin, Pro and Concert amps featured this unique, yet complex vibrato circuit. These days folks get hung up on Fender's use of the word Vibrato (frequency modulation) when most Fender amps were actually tremolo (amplitude modulation). But most folks are not actually familiar with THIS particular design. If they were they would realize that the Vibrato in these amps were actually more than Tremolo. I am not sure exactly what the effect should be called. Vibrato- Tremolo- Modulated dual filter- Phasor- Leo called it "vibrato" which isn't technically correct, but certainly closer and more complex than any of the Fender tremolo circuits that followed. It is an amazing sound!! Truly the "sinewave" Brownface tremolo sound.