Strymon’s “reverberant synthesis workstation” aka NightSky has landed and it’s a “sequencing” stereo reverb for discovering unknown sound atmos.
The teasers of the last few days but also the leaks from yesterday evening are true. With NightSky, Strymon presents a new reverb effect pedal with a lot of sound design possibilities. They describe it as a reverberant synthesis workstation and I agree with that.
The features remind us more of a synthesizer front panel than classic reverb.
Strymon NightSky Details
The NightSky core is based around three reverb types named textures which are located in the decay section and three additional modes to tweak them. It’s not the reverb for quick results but one for sound designers who love every particle in their sound. The Sparse mode is a granular-sounding reverb that spaces out the reflections. Dense is like a plate reverb with a fast response, and Diffuse creates slow-rising, atmospheric washes and wells perfect for ambient sounds. These events can be quantized in three ways: smooth, in half step, or in scale.
On the left side, you can find a mod aka modulation section with six different waveforms. Each of these can be applied to the different elements of your reverb sound: reverb core, pitch-shifter, and filter. There are also two self-explaining controls for the mod section: speed, and control. Below, it has a tone section with two modes (regen/lowpass) that offers a low cut & high cut to sculpt/EQ the reverb tone.
Shimmering & Glimmering
Another interesting sound sculpting section is NightSky’s voice section that is divided into a shimmer, glimmer & drive parts. Basically, the pedal uses for the major part the same shimmer algorithms as the BigSky or BlueSky reverbs but not entirely. New is that you can set the shimmer to 2nd, 4th, and 5th intervals, which can go up or down. Next to this, you have Glimmer that can be set to either high or low, improving upper or lower frequency harmonics. For additional thickness and character, you can add a drive that adds harmonic saturation to the effect. Either in the input or output stage of the NighSky pedal, pretty handy.
Already in the leak from yesterday evening, I reported about a possible built-in sequencer and sequence reverbs. The sequencer is true, but how it is used is different. It offers an eight-step sequencer that allows you to sequence different intervals, either manually or to a tap tempo via the first two switches. Very innovative in my opinion that no other reverb pedal offers.
The first switch has an additional morphing function that creates smooth transitions between two presets, allowing to travel from one sound dimension to the other without shaking from the reality. Number three is the infinite switch which is a hold function and freezes the signal indefinitely, perfect for deep sonic space adventures.
On the connection side, it has a MIDI in/out, mono/stereo ins/outs, and an expression pedal input. There’s also an instrument and line-level selector switch and a USB port for updates.
- Three selectable reverb types offer a wide variety of ambient textures
- MOD section with various waveforms to modulate the reverb or tone filters
- TONE section to sculpt the high and low EQ of the reverb
- VOICE section to enhance the aural spectrum of the reverb
- Adjustable SHIMMER for adding pitch shifting of up to +/- 1 octave to the reverb
- GLIMMER dynamically enhances high or low frequency harmonics for synth-like textures
- Pre or Post DRIVE to add saturated overdriven harmonics to the reverb
- Adjustable reverb core size to increase or decrease the space for reflections
- Independent REVERB and DRY level controls
- Step sequencer for programming rhythmic pitch variations of the reverb
- Access to 16 presets from the front panel and 300 presets via MIDI
In my opinion, Strymon has once again shown all other pedal manufacturers why they are the kings of effects. Not the same, innovative but very playable. With reverbs like BlackHole or ValhallaDSP Shimmer, you open up the sound sky, with the NightSky you open up the hidden parallel sound universes. The best thing to do is look at the demos, which sounds extraordinary to me and not simple at all.
Strymon Nightsky is available soon for $429 USD. In the beginning, longer waiting times are to be expected, as with the Volante pedal.
More information here: Strymon