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Close your eyes and picture a Strymon pedal. Chances are, you’re envisioning a double, perhaps triple-wide hunk of aluminum sporting two or three footswitches and an array of knobs, lights, and toggles covering its face. From their size and complexity, you can almost feel how much glorious sound is packed into Strymon’s pedals, but their latest release bucks that trend.
Based on the beloved “Cloud” algorithm from the best-selling BigSky reverend pedal, the new Cloudburst Ambient Reverb comes with a singular purpose: to wrap your tone in soft, flattering reverb. But don’t be fooled by its small size and single-switch format—with a unique Ensemble effect, full stereo compatibility, and plenty of options for expression pedal control and MIDI integration, Cloudburst just might “transform the way we think about” reverb, as Strymon hopes.
We recently teamed up with Emily Harris of Get Offset to create a demo video for the new Strymon Cloudburst pedal. Watch below, as she showcases Cloudburst’s lush tones and innovative new Ensemble feature.
As its name suggests, Cloudburst excels at producing pillowy-soft “clouds” of reverb that are never harsh or hollow-sounding. Using the latest ARM processor architecture, this little blue box can conjure up everything from huge, swelling, pad-like sounds to subtle but rich textures. Most of the controls should be familiar to anyone who’s used a reverb pedal or plugin before, making it extremely easy to shape the perfect reverb sound.
The Decay knob fine-tunes the tail length from one to 50 seconds, while Predelay adds a short delay before the reverb effect, which can be useful for rhythmic playing. The Tone control adjusts the high-frequency content of the reverb, and the Mod knob increases the modulation depth (in the first half of its range) and speed (in the second half). Notably, the Mix control is biased toward drier sounds, with a 50/50 mix occurring at about three o’clock on the knob.
What really sets Cloudburst apart from the pack is its Ensemble mode, which Strymon says opens up “a whole new world of captivating sounds never previously heard from a reverb pedal.” When engaged, Ensemble mode analyzes your input signal and generates a rich, harmonic pad with a string-like sound. A three-position switch toggles between three settings: mp (a subtle harmonic richness), forte (a lush, pronounced pad effect), or Off (no Ensemble).
The rear panel squeezes a ton of I/O flexibility into a tiny space. A routing switch sets the pedal in mono, mono-to-stereo, or full stereo modes, and the TRS In and Out jacks require only a single cable for stereo sound. A universal USB Type-C port allows you to connect the pedal to a computer to receive firmware updates and access Nixie, Strymon’s preset editing, storage, and organization software.
The expression pedal jack is compatible with a standard continuous-sweep expression pedal, Strymon’s MiniSwitch or MultiSwitch controllers, or a TRS MIDI connection. Five modes give you a range of control options including Default (offers continuous control of any knob function), Favorite (recalls one stored setting), Freeze (turns your reverb tail into a static pad), Infinite (similar to Freeze but responds to your playing), or MIDI mode (responds to MIDI-over-TRS).