The Minibar is a liquid analyser pedal, a truly revolutionary stompbox that uses the properties of a liquid to decide the sound of your guitar!
A journey into sound…
Rainger FX are inviting you to take part in an experiment in tone-shaping discovery…. This mini-pedal makes no sound at all until you pour liquid into it – any kind at all – and the various qualities of that liquid decide the amount – and to some degree the quality – of the distortion, and also the amount of treble and bass. What you use to do this is entirely up to you – any sort of mixture you can dream up!
The pedal is simplicity itself; it has a volume knob, and a small watertight container mounted in the top panel; unscrew the lid, get pouring – and analyse! Then, when you’ve got your own unique sound, screw the lid on tightly and you’re ready to go. (Finger tight is fine – but don’t get too forceful as some liquids can give a sticky-ness over time that makes the lid harder to undo) .
To start again with experimenting, just open the lid and wipe out the container with a paper towel. You’ll hear the guitar sound crumble away to nothing, but as the new liquid hits the container the resulting new sound appears.
Some technical stuff…
The conductivity of the guitar’s electrical signal passing through the fluid generally decides the amount of gain, and the opacity (how easily light passes through it) decides the amount of treble and bass. The Minibar often creates satisfying ‘band-pass’ tones – nicely uncompressed, and with plenty of satisfying harmonics and plectrum ‘cluck’.
Note; the pedal is sold with no liquid in it, and so will make no noise at all – until you do your bit! It’s up to you to go and experiment….
Powered by standard 9v PSU (centre earth), not supplied.
Lid colours may vary.
Anything at all – nothing can be damaged by trying something not so suitable. We’ve found that water-based liquids give similar levels of gain…
However here are some starting points;
De-ionised water (from a hardware store) has great distorted sound. Try adding a few drops of red wine or coffee to tone down the high-end and add bass. Jagermeister has a great dark drive to it. Coca cola has a nice mild overdrive with plenty of lower mids. Nail polish remover sounds good….
*How much liquid shall I pour in?
It’s not that fussy – as long as it’s enough to definitely cover the two screw contacts in the bottom (maybe about six drops?)
*What if I spill liquid onto the pedal – is it dangerous?
Not at all – wipe it off and carry on.
*Is the pedal true bypass?
*Can I add more bass while adding more treble as well?
No – the minibar produces a ‘band-pass’ sound – like a cocked wah but with far less ‘honk’
*I put olive oil into it and it makes no noise at all! What’s going on?!
Yes – weird, that! We don’t fully understand the chemistry going on here, but there are a few liquids that don’t get any kind of response…. Don’t know why – but olive oil seems to be one of them. Remember – this is an experiment!
*Can I increase the gain even more?
We’ve noticed that dissolving salt into the liquid (if it’s possible) enhances the gain. Also possibly bubbles? Or maybe sugar? (Maybe you can discover something else?)
*I’ve noticed that the sound varies a little bit if you shake the pedal…. Why is that?
It’s because as the fluid slops around it may be varying its contact with the metal screws…
*How do I clean out the liquid when changing it?
Just wipe it out with a paper towel or tissue (it only uses a tiny amount of liquid BTW – about six drops is fine!)
*How long can I leave the liquid in for?
I’m not sure! I’ve probably left it in for a month with no change. I guess after a while it may evaporate (though the container is airtight)