StrymonNightSky Time Warped Reverb Pedal
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Strymon NightSky Time Warped Reverb Pedal
Less of a traditional reverb pedal and more of a jumping-off point for opulent sculpting of ambient textures, the Strymon Night Sky provides a uniquely different perspective for a classic effect. Strymon refers to it as a "reverberant synthesis workstation," which is a perfectly fitting description based on some of the features found in the Night Sky. From its synthesizer-like filter and modulation sections to the onboard sequencer, Night Sky starts to seem more like a full-blown instrument than just an effects processor.
Before diving into the features, it's important to understand how the core of the Night Sky affords its unique functionality. Much like how the rate of echoes heard from a tape delay is dependent upon how fast the tape is physically moving, the Night Sky employs a similar concept for audio moving through the reverb buffer, determined by the Size/Pitch knob in the Decay section of the pedal. As one might guess from the name, this single parameter affects the perceived space of the reverb, and changing this parameter while audio is reverberating will allow for pitch transpositions. It's worth mentioning that this knob is fairly independent from the Length control, which effectively behaves as a feedback control for residual reflections. Of course, the dedicated Infinite footswitch allows for the reverb to be sustained indefinitely.
Night Sky offers three distinct reverb Textures, each utilizing this unique variable-rate tank architecture. Sparse utilizes a distinct number of delay taps, so while sustained audio inputs might sound like a solid reverb, shorter bursts or percussive inputs will reveal distinct echoes. Adjustments to Size/Pitch effectively set the delay time for these echoes. Dense is rather similar to a standard plate-type algorithm, but with all the advantages offered by the other parameters found in Night Sky, while Diffuse totally smears transients into a wash, excelling at swelling ambient waves.
The magic of Night Sky's "synthesis" becomes highly apparent through the parameters found in its other sections. In the Tone section, Night Sky offers both Low and High Cut filters. Low Cut works well as a high pass filter removing rumbling low frequencies from the reverb, but High Cut offers two distinct modes. In Regen mode, the filtering of high frequencies is applied within the reverb tank, for a continually darkening reverb effect with longer decay times, while Low Pass applies a resonant synthesizer-style filter to the output. While the Tone section carves frequencies out of the reverb, Voice enhances the reverb through shimmer, resonances, and overdrive. The Shimmer effect has its own level control, and can be applied on just the incoming audio for a single level of pitch shifting, or within the regenerating reverb tank for continuous transposition, with intervals ranging from one octave down to one octave above the. Glimmer utilizes banks of resonant filters to accentuate the harmonic spectrum of incoming signals. It can be totally bypassed, or tilted to enhance higher or lower frequencies. There's also a Drive effect that can be applied before or after the reverb, allowing for overdriven and dynamic reverb saturation.
With several powerful parameters, Night Sky provides two ways of creating movement in your reverbs from the pedal itself. The Mod section allows an LFO with five waveforms or an envelope follower to be applied to one of three destinations: the reverb's internal delay lines, the Size/Pitch control, and High Cut filter's cutoff position. Holding the Infinite switch will activate the onboard step sequencer, allowing for eight step sequences to control the Size/Pitch parameter. Through the use of the Quantize button, the steps may be freely tuned to any value, or constrained to chromatic half-steps or one of eight musical scales.
Night Sky doesn't stop there, offering full MIDI implementation via 5-pin and USB connections, expression pedal input, morphing between alternate stored knob values, and several secondary parameters for shaping the reverbs even further. With Night Sky, reverb is no longer just an effect, but another expressive component of your instrument with character and presence of its own.
- Reverb effect and instrument specializing in experimental textures
- Variable rate reverb core decouples pitch from decay time
- Three reverb textures: Sparse, Dense, Diffuse
- Size/Pitch control offers 2 and 1/2 octaves of range, freely tunable or can be quantized to musical scales
- Low Cut and High Cut filters
- Shimmer available for all reverb modes, and may be applied at the input stage or within the reverb for continuous pitch shifting
- Shimmer intervals range from one octave above to one octave below
- Glimmer applies resonant tone shaping to accentuate high or low frequencies
- Drive can be placed before or after the reverb
- LFO may be routed to reverb modulation, pitch, or filter
- Infinite sustain switch
- Eight step sequencer for controlled pitch modulations
- Independent level controls for Dry and Reverb signals
- Stereo audio input and output
- Expression pedal input
- Full MIDI implementation via 5-pin DIN and USB
- 16 presets accessible from the pedal itself, and up to 300 via MIDI
- Buffered or True Bypass modes
- Switch for instrument and line level signals
- Dimensions: 4.5" x 7" x 1.75" / 114 x 178 x 44 mm
- Power Specs: 9VDC center negative, 300mA minimum
In this video, Jacob gives a rundown of some of his favorite ways to use reverb pedals in feedback loops, and allowing the effect to become an instrument in itself. Touching on topics like no-input mixing, adding Eurorack modules to the mix, and strange convolution, this video aims to serve as a springboard for trying out reverbs of all kinds in ways you might not expect.
Specifically, we highlight these tricks with the Red Panda Context, the Strymon Night Sky, the Gamechanger Audio Light Pedal, and the Poly Effects Beebo, but we encourage you to try these patches with any and all reverbs you might have hanging around the studio. After all, this video is all about experimentation, and these ideas are meant to be explored, expanded upon, and inviting you to embark on new sonic journeys.