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Strymon Brig

Analogue Modelling Delay Pedal By Paul White
Published December 2023

Strymon Brig

Strymon’s Brig is a digital pedal that runs analogue ‘bucket brigade’ delay emulations, and offers three switchable delay voicings. It joins the ranks of Strymon’s new compact line of ARM‑processor‑powered pedals, all of which share the same physical format and include a Class‑A J‑FET preamp that makes them guitar‑friendly while also working perfectly well with keyboards.

The Brig, which is built in the USA, is housed in a metal case with a layout that places all the connectors on the top edge of the pedal to make the best use of pedalboard space. TRS jacks are used for the audio connections, allowing for mono or stereo operation (a rear‑panel switch selects the three possible mono/stereo options), and the pedal can be set to true or buffered bypass. Stereo operation requires a TRS adaptor or TRS to dual‑TS ‘Y’ cable. Power is via a 9V, centre‑negative barrel connector and a clean supply of 250mA minimum is required. No PSU is included.

Brig also includes a USB‑C port, used for both controlling the pedal using MIDI and handling firmware updates. When controlled via MIDI (either over USB or, with an adaptor cable, through the Exp jack), up to 300 presets can be stored and recalled. Brig is also compatible with Strymon’s MultiSwitch Plus using the TRS Ext/MIDI jack, which can be set to one of five modes: Expression Pedal, Favorite, Tap Tempo, Infinite, or MIDI. By default the Expression Pedal mode is selected. Strymon also have an editor named Nixie in development.

Strymon BrigBy way of controls there’s the familiar trinity of delay time, feedback and wet/dry mix, in addition to Mod (modulation) and Filter, the latter adjusting the tonality of the repeats. Holding down the Bypass footswitch puts the pedal into Tap Tempo mode, and once there you can also adjust the time knob with none of the weird pitch swirls you associate with bucket‑brigade delays. But if you want those old‑school dub‑style speed/pitch changes as the delays adjust to their new rate, you can simply set the time manually when not in Tap mode. An LED at the top of the case flashes red at the current tempo when the pedal is active, but if you press and hold the pedal to enter Tap mode, the LED flashes red and blue.

Real BBD chips are somewhat noisy in comparison with modern electronics, so on the old analogue delays companders and filtering were used to keep this noise to a minimum, and these added to the overall sonic character — this is all emulated here. The ‘3205’ switch position calls up the most murky‑sounding repeats (30 to 300 ms) that are reminiscent of some earlier pedals, while the ‘3005’ voice (100ms to 1s) is based on the sound of a dual MN3005 BBD chip (the same one that EHX used in their Memory Man), running at 15V for higher headroom, producing a cleaner and slightly brighter sound. This allows for longer delay times with repeats that are warm‑sounding and a little less dirty. Position three, Multi, emulates a pair of cross‑coupled delay lines with a ‘golden ratio’ timing (1.618, a number often found in nature), which creates a more complex pattern when feedback is applied. A secret superpower of Tap Tempo mode is that you can tap in delays of up to two seconds for any voice mode, and even when pushed to the edge of self‑oscillation by turning the feedback way up, the sound still manages to hang together until the very last minute.

In operation, that seemingly innocuous Filter knob actually changes function according to which voice is selected, so in addition to applying EQ, it can also bring in just a little of the appropriate flavour of noise for added authenticity. Mod brings in delay time modulation controlled by an LFO. As with the Cloudburst pedal that we reviewed in SOS April 2023, the modulation speed is fixed at slow for the first half of the knob’s travel, and as the knob is turned further clockwise the modulation depth increases. In the second half of the knob’s travels the LFO rate increases.

While the controls are few in number there’s a lot of sonic mileage to be had from this pedal.

If you’ve used a Strymon pedal before, it should come as no surprise that they’ve really nailed the analogue delay sound here, and while the controls are few in number there’s a lot of sonic mileage to be had from this pedal. You can get rockabilly slapback, long dreamy delays, pseudo reverbs, dub‑style repeats, Floydian soundscapes, gently modulating delays and lush chorus effects, all of which sound seriously top tier, with a warm and supremely musical character. Appearing at around the same time as the analogue Boss DM‑101, which I can confirm also sounds excellent, the Brig’s more compact format could well be the deciding factor as to which one ends up on your pedalboard.


£259 including VAT.

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