Let me say this: The Strymon BigSky is the best reverb pedal I’ve ever played. It is not just a stompbox pedal: it includes 12 reverb machines with studio quality, allowing you to generate whichever reverb sound that you could imagine.
Plug into BigSky and instantly lift your sound into the stratosphere
As I don’t have words to describe this pedal, I better paste what Strymon says about it.
Plug into BigSky and instantly lift your sound into the stratosphere.
The world below you fades into the distance, and you’re elevated into a glow of lush, glorious, radiant reverbs. To create a reverb experience as natural, beautiful, and immersive as BigSky required tremendous feats of sound engineering and artistic imagination.
Using the fundamentals of acoustical science as our beacon, we carefully studied and scientifically analyzed reverb technology from the past fifty years. We faithfully captured the essence of these classic sounds, and forged ahead to dream up our vision of reverbs from the future.
Features and controls
You will be really impressed with its sound. It includes 12 reverb modes.
Room and Hall recreate different sizes of reverberating environments, from a small studio up to the biggest cathedral;
Plate and Spring recreate real plate and spring tanks;
Swell brings in the reverb gradually behind the dry signal for subtle evolving textures, like having a volume pedal on the wet signal;
Bloom features a ‘bloom generating’ section that feeds into a traditional reverb ‘tank’, and adds a unique Feedback parameter that expands the possibilities exponentially;
Cloud obscures the distinction between reality and fantasy;
Chorale will make you sound like a vocal choir;
Shimmer uses two tunable voices add pitch-shifted tones to the reverberated signal, for resplendent, unearthly ambience;
Magneto machine sets up a multi-head echo with all heads on;
Nonlinear includes a variety of physics-defying reverb shapes, like three ‘backwards’ shapes (Swoosh, Reverse, and Ramp), or a Gate and more; and
Reflections, which is a psycho-acoustically accurate small-space reverb that allows you to move your amp anywhere in the room. The Reflections algorithm precisely calculates 250 reflections based on the source position within the chosen room shape. The psycho-acoustic modifiers adjust for human auditory perception to create unparalleled ambient-space realism to dry instrument or vocal tracks.
The Strymon BigSky is also hugely versatile concerning connectivity. It has right and left in/outs for true stereo, and expression pedal control. It also features MIDI in and out, and a Cab Filter speaker emulator, to connect the BigSky directly to the PA or recording console. It is powered via 9V negative power supply, drawing some 300mA.
It has 9 controls (type, value, decay, pre-delay, mix, tone, param 1, param 2 and mod) and 3 stomp switches (A, B, C). The switches allow you to activate/bypass each preset, navigate among different banks, and freeze or (infinite) sustain your reverb.
- Type control allows you selecting up to 12 reverb machines: Room, Hall, Plate, Spring, Swell, Bloom, Cloud, Chorale, Shimmer, Magneto, Nonlinear, Reflections.
- Value can be used to scroll through different presets, among other additional functionalities (i.e. set presets, assign parameters to the knobs, etc.)
- The decay knob changes the length of the reverb.
- The pre-delay sets the delay time until the reverb effect appears.
- By rolling the mix knob you’ll change from a 100% dry sound up to a 100% wet one.
- The tone control has an impact over the high frequency response of the reverb.
- Both Param 1 and Param 2 can be assigned to different parameters depending on the reverb machine you are using. It is a very useful feature when playing live.
- Mod adds a little modulation to the reverb. From just a little effect up to some more noticeable presence, modulation provides a nice warmness to your tone.
What can I say about how this pedal sounds?
There is nothing related to reverb that this guy can’t give you. You’ll get any type of “classic” reverb sound, plus many other sidereal interstellar-like tones. Not to say the great versatility that it offers with its parametrizable controls and switches.
Ok, the price is high, but if you want more than just another reverb pedal, the Strymon BigSky is the one you should pick. Needless to say that this pedal will give you its full potential at the studio, in full stereo.
Just check out all the videos of the below, and start saving some money… When you hear this pedal, you just start wanting one
Should you buy this pedal?
First, you must decide if the Strymon BigSky fits within your budget, because it’s not cheap. You can check the best price here.
You should buy this pedal if you are looking for the best reverb pedal of the market. You won’t use this pedal just for gigs or playing at home, but for the highest quality sound applications and studio recording. Any music you play will fit the possibilities that the BigSky can bring you. You can plug it to any instrument too, and even the voices will sound crystal clear with it.
You won’t think about buying this pedal if you are on a tight budget, or you are simply looking for a simple reverb pedal to add some texture to your sound. The possibilities are endless, and you have to be a little teckie, better if you do like playing with knobs…
Alternatives to the Strymon BigSky
There are only two devices out there (in stompbox format) that can be comparable to the Strymon BigSky.
One of them is the Eventide Space, very similar in features and versatility. It will allow you to store 100 presents too, so will be very handy when playing live too. The Eventide is in the same price range of the BigSky, so you will have a tough decision here.
Check out the video below to see the two of them face to face.
The other is the BigSky’s little brother, the Strymon blueSky. It doesn’t have that many reverb machines, nor can you control so many parameters. However, the two of them sound pretty similar with the reverb modes that the blueSky has. The price of the blueSky is also considerably lower, so check that option out if you love the BigSky but don’t want to spend that much.
Watch them both in this great comparison video by Shnobel.
If you want to have a lot of versatility regarding reverb modes and knobs to play with, you can check the Electro Harmonix Cathedral reverb too. Its price is way lower, and the sound quality is great too. Using the Cathedral in stereo could give you magnificent ambiences with it endless decay, so check that out too.
Check out the pros and cons that summarize the Strymon BigSky review:
- Great versatility. Up to 12 reverb types very parametrizable with the knobs. You can set two knobs to control the parameters you want
- The ambient reverbs (rooms and halls) are hugely realistic
- True stereo and the best sound quality
- You can store up to 300 presets
- Orbital sounds that you won’t get with any other pedal
- The only concern could be its high price, but it is a great value. You have to pay to own the best reverb pedal
My conclusion is that the Strymon BigSky is a great (the greatest) device, without any doubt the best reverb pedals that I’ve ever played. Apart from being realistic in the recreation of different reverberation ambiences and techniques, it features outerspace sidereal sounds, that will blow your mind in stereo.