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350 West Bowery Street
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Official website for EarthQuaker Devices. We build guitar effects by hand in the quaint landlocked city of Akron, Ohio.

Bit Commander Guitar Synthesizer

Blog Posts



Bit Commander Guitar Synthesizer

Aaron Rogers

Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.

Mega Man and Dr. Light.

Your guitar and the Bit Commander.

Some things are just meant to be together.

The Bit Commander is a monophonic analog synthesizer that packs four octaves of ripping square-wave voices plus a rich filter section into an enclosure smaller than the Game Boy you got for your birthday way back in ’92.

Dialing in the perfect sound is easier than Tetris, but the array of sounds is just as deep. The Bit Commander’s Base control takes your input signal - guitar, bass, keys, whatever - and shoots it through an 8-bit warp zone, so it comes out at the final boss level with a raunchy square wave fuzz that’ll fit right into your next chiptune symphony. From there, the three octave voices labeled Sub, Down, and Up power up your tone across three additional octaves, for a total of four, giving your sound more extra lives than any cheat code.

Sub takes your input down two octaves, unleashing a rumbling subharmonic thump tougher than the first level of Contra.

Down drops your instrument down one octave below the input, putting classic synth bass tones at your fingertips.

Up introduces a screamin’ transformer-based analog octave up, perfect for shreddin’ like the fretboard Rad Racer you are.

The Bit Commander’s Filter control adjusts the overall frequency cutoff from muted sub-bass rumble, to screamin’ lead sounds that cut through the mix like Ninja Gaiden.

Each and every Bit Commander is built with infinite lives by a harem of Game Genies in Akron, Ohio, USA.

The Bit Commander uses silent relay-based soft touch switching. Audio will not pass without power.

The Bit Commander is a monophonic analog guitar synthesizer with four octaves of vintage square wave synth tones. Its no-nonsense interface makes it easy to add or subtract octaves to create a wide variety of sounds without having to dial in envelopes or oscillators. Ripping sub-octave thump, pulsing octave down, a lightly squared base tone and a swelling transformer based octave up all join together to make a single guitar sound like an army of olde tyme synths.

Like all analog octave effects, there are some basic rules to follow that will get you the most enjoyment from your Bit Commander. Use the neck pickup and play single notes. The best tracking occurs from the 7th fret up on all the strings. Below the 7th will still track but there will be occasional glitches and stutters. The lower the note, the harder it is for the Bit Commander to register. The use of Bass and lower registers on keyboards will yield unexpected, sometimes pleasing, sometimes disgusting results. These are not mistakes or flaws, it is the nature of analog octaves.