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Strymon NightSky

Reverb Pedal By Simon Small
Published April 2021

Strymon NightSky

With patch‑morphing and a built‑in step sequencer, the NightSky is no ordinary reverb unit.

Strymon have dubbed their new NightSky the ‘Reverberant Synthesis Machine’ and it’s easy to both see and hear why. With three distinct reverb processing cores, real‑time processing of pitch, harmonics, shimmer, modulation, overdrive, a synth‑like resonance filter and a sequencer, this is a pedal that’s packed full of features. Mercifully, then, operating the most commonly used functions doesn’t involve any menu diving. In fact, almost every parameter can be tweaked from the top‑panel controls, which are a joy to operate and are spaced adequately for larger hands. That said, it’s well worth consulting the manual to discover the less obvious secondary functions. But even these, which are found on all Strymon’s pedals, are only a couple of button presses away.

Overview

The high build quality of the hardware is what we’ve come to expect of Strymon. It takes the form of a sturdy, dark blue, anodised aluminium chassis, sporting three multi‑use footswitches, 16 buttons and 10 knobs. Inside, the processing is unashamedly digital, with 24‑bit, 96kHz A‑D/D‑A conversion and high‑performance SHARC‑based DSP. The dry signal has a fully analogue path, though, so there’s true zero latency, and you have the option of using True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching) or the transparent‑sounding Analog Buffered Bypass.

On the rear panel, you’ll find generous connectivity. The NightSky has a switch for selecting between the high‑impedance instrument and line‑level input modes. Line mode adds 10dB of headroom, and it’s a great addition on a high‑quality digital pedal like this, as both keyboard players and mix engineers will find at least as much to love here as guitarists. The pair of low‑noise JFET preamp inputs (use the Left only for mono) and low‑impedance stereo outputs are on TS jacks. The analogue I/O are joined by an expression pedal jack input, which allows control of any knob’s function with a standard expression pedal, but you can also execute MIDI program changes and select presets. Maybe more interesting is the ability to bypass the Mod, Tone or Voice sections of the pedal using a Strymon MultiSwitch Plus controller. There are also five‑pin MIDI DIN In and Out connectors and a USB port, which is used both for MIDI control and for firmware updates. A centre‑negative power 9V DC inlet completes the I/O.

The NightSky provides MIDI support for program changes (up to 300 presets), CC messages to control the pedal’s knobs, switches, buttons and live‑edit functions, and clocking to sync the sequencer tempo with an external clock source.The NightSky provides MIDI support for program changes (up to 300 presets), CC messages to control the pedal’s knobs, switches, buttons and live‑edit functions, and clocking to sync the sequencer tempo with an external clock source.

Knob Twiddling

The control knobs are divided...

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Published April 2021