The Strymon Cloudburst Ambient Reverb is the first stompbox by the renowned Californian builder with an almost compact case.
Presented as a pedal “unlike anything you’ve ever heard or played before,” the Cloudburst is a reverb effect with a particular effect that goes beyond modulation, referred to as an “Ensemble engine.”
The reverb section of the pedal has controls for Decay and Pre-Delay and – as expected when the word “ambient” is thrown around – it can produce very long reverbs, which can be blended with the dry signal using the Mix knob.
A Tone knob allows to darken the effect’s sound for more cavernous effects or brighten it for sheen and ethereal tones.
While the reverb is a modified algorithm from the uber-popular BigSky, the 2-mode Ensemble is an entirely new concept that’s a little reductive to present as a simple chorus. Here’s how the builder describes it:
Cloudburst’s Ensemble effect works by continuously analyzing 48 different frequency bands as you play, generating upper harmonic partials of what it finds in each frequency band.
Rather than generating a static synthetic signal based solely on pitch detection, Ensemble is a dynamic and organic effect that generates harmonics based on your playing, varying its sonic character depending on where you pick, which pickup you use, and the volume envelope of what you play.
The result is a gorgeous string ensemble-like expansion of your reverberated signal that creates a unique and unforgettable playing and listening experience.
A 3-way toggle switch on the center top of the pedal lets you set the Ensemble to Off, Mezzo Piano or Forte, with the latter being a more intense effect, as implied by the name. The Mod knob increases the effect’s actual modulation.
Check out the videos, we added the Strymon Cloudburst to our article about the best reverb pedals with modulation.
Strymon Cloudburst Ambient Reverb, Builder’s Notes
We had some very lofty goals in mind with Cloudburst, and foremost on the list was creating the best-sounding single algorithm reverb we possibly could. We knew that we wanted to provide the spacious experiences from BigSky’s Cloud machine at higher decay settings, and we set about tailoring the short end of the decay range to generate a huge variety of natural and studio-quality smaller spaces as well.
In addition, we wanted to provide a whole new variety of sounds never before heard from a reverb pedal, which we accomplished in part with the addition of our new Ensemble effect. Ensemble’s design ensures a natural and artifact-free interaction between the reverb and your guitar signal, so with the switch in its mezzo piano (or “moderately soft”) position, it can subtly enhance the character of the reverberated signal, while it can yield huge string ensemble effects reminiscent of vintage polyphonic “string machine” synthesizers when set to forte.
Finally, we wanted to create something that was easier to use than any product we’d ever designed. As a result, there are no secondary or “hidden” functions on Cloudburst – it’s controlled by just a few knobs and a switch, exactly as they’re labeled, so you can dial up the perfect sound instantly with no fuss.
Into The Clouds…And Beyond
Sometimes a single pedal can be transformative, allowing your tone to bloom in a way that draws music out of you effortlessly and keeps you engaged for hours on end.
The simple look and feel of Cloudburst belies the power underneath the hood, because it produces some of the most gorgeous ambient reverb tones and soundscapes that you’ve ever heard out of a guitar reverb pedal – there’s literally nothing else quite like it.
Instant Ambient Bliss
Coupled with the powerful ambience processing is a brand-new Ensemble engine, capable of creating pads and soundscapes that follow your playing organically – so if you change pickups or play in a different place on the neck you get different results.
It’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard or played before, all wrapped in a smaller form factor that still manages to house full stereo I/O, TRS MIDI and USB-C connectors on the back panel. Prepare to be inspired!
Celestial String Section
Cloudburst’s Ensemble switch reveals a whole new world of captivating sounds never previously heard from a reverb pedal.
Use it subtly to add harmonically rich and otherworldly dimensions to your ambient reverb soundscapes, or use it liberally to hear a lush synthesized string section swell under your guitar playing.
Ensemble reacts to your entire guitar signal in an organic and musical way, delivering a richly responsive and uniquely inspiring playing experience.
From Small Rooms to Infinite Spaces
Cloudburst gives you multiple reverb experiences, with beautifully-tuned and natural small spaces at one end of the Decay knob and vast, expansive atmospheres at the other.
As you turn the Decay control numerous internal parameters are automatically adjusted, allowing this ambient reverb pedal to produce outstanding studio-quality spaces of any size at the turn of a single knob.
Compact With No Compromises
All of the premium components, sound quality and road-worthiness you expect from a Strymon reverb pedal are here in Cloudburst’s new compact format.
Featuring unbeatable ease of use and some of the finest reverb sounds we’ve ever created, Cloudburst could easily be the only reverb pedal you need on your pedalboard.