Review: Strymon NightSky – Part 1

Strymon NightSkyStrymon calls the NightSky a time-warped reverberator which includes more functions than a usual reberb pedal. The new type of setting options is also innovative and is an invitation for experimentation.

This is the first part of a two-part review of the Strymon NightSky.
In the first part you will learn all about the construction and the extensive functions of the NightSky, while the second part will be dedicated to the sound of this extraordinary pedal.

Construction

The size of the enclosure of the NightSky is similar to the size of the Volante, but lacquered in a dark pale blue.
As usual for reverb pedals, the decay time can be controlled via the length pot, while the size/pitch pot defines the size of the virtual room. The quantize switch regulates the range of the size/pitch pot.
The texture switch allows to choose between three reverb algorithms (spare, dense, diffuse). Via the switches 1 to 8 you can select between an infinitely variable control range (smooth) and the division into half steps or rather intervals on a scale. In the mix section, the reverb sound can be mixed up with the pots for reverb and dry. And of course, you can also mute the clean signal as well.

Modulation, filter and shimmer

The tone section controls the sound of the reverb or rather of the whole signal. Selectable in the filter section via the switch for regen or lowpass. The two switches regulate low cut and high cut and besides a sophisticated adjustment of the signal, they also allow to create beautiful filter effects. Especially when they are controlled via the modulation.
In the mod section, which offers pots for speed and depth, you can choose between reverb, pitch and filter as target parameters of the modulation.
The shape pot enables to adjust the wave form of the modulation (like triangle, square, ramp, random, envelope).
Via the voice section, it is also possible to add a further interval to the modulated and filtered reverb to make it sound really spacey. Selectable are the relevant higher or lower octave, fifth, fourth or second. The intensity can be controlled via the shimmer pot and the shimmer switch allows to add this interval to the input or regen, means to the trails or the original signal.

Via switch you add glimmer to the higher or lower frequencies, or (by using the drive switch) some overdrive to the signal. While the option pre adds overdrive at the beginning of the signal chain, post adds the effect at the end of the chain.
The three switches turn the effect on, allow to choose one of the stored presets or make the trails of the reverb become endlessly by keeping the infinite-switch pressed.

Dip switches and jacks

To select between the presets and to control the step sequencer, you can use eight small dip switches above the switches. This is a really unique function and turns the NightSky into a totally new kind of effect. By using the three footswitches, you can start or stop the step sequencer, tap the speed or change the steps. Each step can be stored individually and thereby allow to program pitch effects as well as filter effects.

Stereo in- and outputs are allocated at the front and can be switched from instrument level to line level by a small switch.
Besides, you can find an input for an expression pedal, midi in an out to control the parameters and the presets, an USB input for updates and a 9V power supply input.

In the second part of this review, you will learn all about the sound of the outstanding Strymon NightSky.