Oh mercy! A new compact ambient reverb pedal from Strymon… oh no, this is going to be hard to resist. The Cloudburst is here and it's coming for our money. Can we resist?
Ambient reverb pedals operate that strange space for us; not essential in the least for our covers band set in the pub but so, so inspiring for noodling, creativity and just exploring. If you're a post-rock / progressive / shoegazer you might already be checking your credit card details.
At £279 / $279 it's not a budget option by any means but by Strymon reverb standards it's now its most affordable option after the BigSky and BlueSky reverbs. So what does it offer and can we live without it?
It's narrower than the BlueSky and shallower than a standard Boss pedal, so it's already talking its way onto your pedalboard with the form factor, but it's the same colour as the BlueSky. So is it a streamlined version?
There's two Ensemble mods that we'll get to. When the Ensemble switched off the Cloudburst is a lush reverb with pre-delay determining how fast the reverb effect kicks in on your signal. The Tone dials in shimmery goodness, ditto the Mod with modulated 'verb.
The Ensemble modes take you into deep ambient spaces – think of your guitar as the conduction unit for a rich harmonic synth pad. MP mode is medium for a more subtle paddle in this pool, Forte dives in. It's all pretty orchestral and could be great for recording layers.
Freeze and Infinite modes are other attractive features for those who want to sustain and jam over themselves.
Stereo in/out, expression pedal input and MIDI functionality are included too. The analogue dry path option in the specs is also worth your attention; a zero-latency dry signal that isn't converted to digital.
At around £100 cheaper than the V2 BigSky and with the slimmer form factor, this USA-built pedal could attract new players to Strymon. It seems quite accessible, while offering plenty to explore. Downsides? No onboard presets holds it back for live functionality for us. But those sounds… wow.