After a few teasers and leaks this week, Strymon’s hotly-anticipated new reverb pedal has landed – NightSky. Strymon is adamant that this effect is unique and powerful, claiming “you haven’t heard a pedal like this before”. With a variable rate core, three reverb textures, a Shimmer effect and sequencer, among many more features, they might be right.
Touted as a ‘reverberant synthesis workstation’, NightSky is a product of Strymon’s efforrts to push the boundaries of what a traditional reverb can do, whilst simultaneously paying homage to beloved vintage reverbs. Many producers are flocking to the world of guitar pedals to create new, inspiring sounds, with chillwave producer Tycho recently telling us that the Strymon BigSky is one of his favourites.
NightSky’s three reverb textures include Sparse, Dense and Diffuse. Sparse mode generates reflections that “are far enough apart from each other to be audibly distinct”, the brand says. The Dense texture is a smooth immediate-response reverb that sounds similar to a plate reverb. Finally, the Diffuse texture is an atmospheric reverb that could be ideal for ambient, swell, drone and reversed-sounding textures, thanks to it deconstructing and spreading transients over time. These can be selected with a button in the Decay panel, with a length dial for adjusting the tail to your taste. The size and pitch can be adjusted here, too, with a knob and quantization options, making use of a variable rate process to manipulate the reverb core size.
The reverb can be modulated by a dedicated section with an LFO featuring six waveforms, with dials for altering depth and speed. This section can modulate the reverb core, pitch-shifter and filter. The Morph footswitch lets you transition between two different presets or individual settings, potentially being an invaluable tool for live performance. You can save up to 16 presets in the pedal, wth up to 300 presets accessible with an external controller.
Strymon NightSky’s Shimmer feature is inspired by the shimmer effects from the 80s, achieved with digital reverbs and pitch shifters. This feature is also found in Strymon’s BigSky and BlueSky reverbs, but NightSky goes a step further by including shimmers on 2nd, 4th and 5th intervals for interesting harmonic structures of the reverb. Glimmer will accentuate the upper or lower frequency harmonics with High and Low modes, while a Drive button saturates harmonics at the pre or post stage of processing.
The expansive pedal’s Infinite footswitch will freeze the tail of the input signal, creating a vast, dreamy reverb that you can layer new parts over. You can also repitch the frozen tail by intervals using the sequencer. The eight-step sequencer is capable of sequencing the size/pitch setting and can be tuned in half step increments or to notes in a scale. Alternatively, go off-the-grid and tune without pitch quantization.
Strymon’s NightSky is available for pre-order now at a price of $429 at strymon.net
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