Raster: What's in a Name?

We started working on the original Raster early in 2013. In those days, the working name for the Raster was the “shadow”. This came from a lyric in the song “Night Drive” by Model 500, and referenced the “single pitch shift” concept - you had a delayed and pitch shifted shadow of what you played, following you around.

After hearing the interstellar sounds in this early version, a friend then suggested the name “Deflector.” This was partly inspired by the deflector shields in Star Wars, but also the way the echoes change direction and bounce around. This reference further called to mind the deflector in a cathode ray tube (CRT - old TV), which uses a magnetic field to deflect a beam of electrons. We carried this concept into designing the original graphic, which pictured a ball deflected off the orange ‘wall’ on the side of the pedal. As it turned out, the blue shape immediately made us think of a Death Star (evidently we think of Star Wars a lot), but also the raster scan of a CRT.

The name “Raster” complemented our previous pedal release, the “Bitmap”—in graphics, the term raster describes a grid of pixels representing an image (a bitmap is an array of bits storing the color and intensity of each pixel representing an image). The two terms are used interchangeably, since the distinction only matters inside a laser printer or tube-based TV. Since the Raster is a digital delay, we felt that the digital graphics theme fit the concept of what this pedal does, and so it stuck.