Bio: We're a small group of engineers, musicians, designers, nerds, and music lovers that want to create gear that is fun to play and inspires you to create great music. We love what we do.

More about our team:

All of us are here and ready to answer your questions. Ask any of us anything!

Enter to win a Mobius here > > Hurry you only have 24 hours to enter!


EDIT: WHEW! That was fun. Well I think we've answered as many questions as we can for now. Thanks so much for joining us, it was a ton of fun. If you have any additional questions for us, please feel free to email us at [email protected]! Also, the contest has ended, and a winner will be announced soon. Thanks! :)

Comments: 323 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

EHX_Engineering58 karma

What are, like, your secrets? I'm asking for a friend.

strymonengineering70 karma

  • We can neither confirm nor deny ties to Russian organized crime
  • We are Batman
  • Strawberry Kit Kats solve everything
  • The bodies are buried in the Nevada desert
  • Dumbledore dies

chodaranger34 karma

Hey guys. A few questions:

1) Just wondering how much trouble I caused with my Parallax stunt (pics here, here, and here)? Hopefully you're not still getting emails! Also... how close I was to your next offering? In the ballpark or nowhere near? :)

2) Would you ever consider working on amp modeler, to take on the Axe or Kemper? Seems like it'd be a hit!

3) Can I work for you? :)

strymonengineering24 karma

  1. Haha! That was an excellent product mockup you created. Didn't cause us any trouble, but it definitely seemed to fool some on TGP!
  2. Yes we are certainly not opposed to it. With everything that we design we always want to try to bring something new to the table. So if we did decide to go this route we'd want to be sure that we offer something that no one else can.
  3. No openings at the moment, but if we need some renderings I think we know who to call!

Ethan (marketing nerd)

lebigmerm31 karma

Can you make a pedal that will make the other guitarist turn down his amp?

strymonengineering83 karma

Yes, we'll call it "Das Boot" and it will come with a steel toe. We're working on a pedal that will make your drummer stop playing when you're trying to talk. That will be called "STFU"

Mattedor3028 karma

Will there ever be a Strymon Overdrive/Distortion/Fuzz pedal? I can only imagine what you guys would be capable of putting in a stompbox!

strymonengineering22 karma

Yes we'd definitely like to head in this direction! We have lots of ideas and prototypes, but nothing final at this point. Like everything that we do, we always want to try to bring something unique to the table.

Ethan (marketing nerd)

thebigkevdogg19 karma

This question is for Pete. I'm a musician (big fan with 4 of your masterpieces) and geophysicist. Am I correct that your (and everyone else's) DSP algorithms represent the "empirical" approach, where you are trying to recreate something by modeling the results of a physical process, but not modeling the physics themselves? The alternative would be the simulation approach, where for the example of a leslie effect, you would compute the wave equation in a virtual environment with a moving source, velocity contrasts for reflections, etc. Obviously the latter is incredibly computationally demanding, especially for real time high frequency applications, but I'm wondering if you see a future down the road that could incorporate this approach. Do you think that empirical modeling will always be able to beat simulation ignoring computational demands?

I'm interested because I do numerical modeling in my day job, and wrote a leslie simulator finite difference code for a class which actually worked decently well. Doesn't sound as good as the lex and has some problems with high frequencies (and is very slow), but it was a fun project that got me wondering about the long term future of digital audio. You can check out my paper here (I got permission from Rick to use some of your figures...thanks!) and an animation of a leslie simulation here.

Keep up the great work guys!

strymonengineering30 karma

Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but our algorithms combine both empirical and and simulation approaches. For example, our dBucket technology actually solves a host of equations to determine the capacitor charge on each stage of a BBD chip, and our Reflections Reverb algorithm calculates room reflections for a given source location in a varying room size and shape. But we take the approach that product design contains equal amounts of art and science, so we always use our ears and add some of our own interpretation to the end result. For lots of interesting and educational material on the state of simulation techniques, check out for hours of fun.

Pete (dsp engineer / sound designer)

strymonengineering12 karma

PS... Great work on the the paper!

jaspercapri18 karma

how did the name strymon come about?

strymonengineering29 karma

So you've got to look back several thousand years before the advent of effects pedals! In Greek mythology, Strymon was a river god, who had a son with Euterpe, one of the nine goddesses of music, song, and dance. The name really resonated with us, and we were fond of the mythical connection to music and creativity.

Ethan (marketing geek)

blakefischer17 karma

Obviously your pedals are designed for guitarist, but what's the most unique use you've seen for any of your pedals outside of the normal guitar setup?

strymonengineering15 karma

We have seen quite a few people hook up their violins including David Gerald Sutton, Jennifer Rimm w/Run River North, and Lizzie Ball. Every different kind of keyboard and synth you can think of, check out Peter Dyer, and there are many more on YouTube. Also a lot of cool modular implementations—check out Alessandro Cortini w/Nine Inch Nails, Sleepwalk on Vine, and taqoshell on Instagram. We also have seen a Saxophone, Harp and Vocals used. We love to see all the diversity.

Angela (community / social media)

cozzpuch12 karma

Hi, I love your pedals! Unfortunately I don't have the budget for them, and I know many of my fellow players don't either. Do you plan on releasing a line of pedals at a more affordable price?

strymonengineering15 karma

Glad to hear you love our pedals. :) We know that there are some out there that would like to see lower cost pedals from us, and this is something that we have discussed and investigated. If we were to head down this path, we would make it a point to continue to utilize high quality components and processes, while still building everything here in the US.


souperman0812 karma

With the Line 6 M series and Eventide releasing the H9 recently, have you guys considered doing a multifx to cover a few different bases in one unit?

strymonengineering12 karma

That is something that we have investigated and discussed. If we did decide to go this route we'd want to be sure that we offer something that no one else can. We'd want to ensure it is incredibly easy to use and has insane processing power. So we don't have anything to announce, but we are looking into the possibilities here.


BFelix3111 karma

Have you considered making a software plug-in version of your hardware for DAW use? Perhaps partnering with the folks at Universal Audio?

strymonengineering14 karma

We'd love to work with UA. They make some great stuff, we really admire what they're doing. We would definitely consider it, and we do know that some of our customers would love to see us make plug-ins.

Ethan (marketing nerd)

itsshaw10 karma

What are your favorite non-Strymon pedals on your pedalboard(s)? How do they compliment your Strymon pedals?

strymonengineering12 karma

We thought a bunch of us could answer this one: Hugo > Walrus Audio Voyager | Pete > Xotic Effects BB Preamp | Michael > Crybaby Wah | John > Damage Control Womanizer :) | And then two not pedal answers: Gregg > Echoplex | Ethan > Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro

strymonengineering10 karma

And last but not least, Dave > Sarno Earth Drive Distortion and Q-Tron+

dbalatero10 karma

Can you do more synth -> Strymon videos like the ones you did with Peter Dyer?

strymonengineering9 karma

Absolutely. We're definitely planning to do more synth videos in the future. Peter Dyer is a great player and we'll have him back in here as well. :)

Ethan (marketing)

Murch238 karma

What's the process for designing and building a pedal? I'm working on starting up my own pedal company, and am curious to see what the process is for you guys.

Also really looking forward to that Mobius giveaway. If I had money, I'd be buying everything you guys make, but sadly I don't.

strymonengineering11 karma

Our process today is different today than it was at the beginning. At this point we have a technology base to start from. It took us a long time to create the building blocks that allow us to put together new products together today. I think the process is always something like:

  1. Imagine
  2. Design
  3. Build
  4. Test
  5. Rinse
  6. Repeat

Our only advice is to test everything before starting on the next iteration. It's tempting to find the first problem and go back to the beginning but you need to learn as much as possible from every build cycle and fix all the problems in the next revision.

Gregg (analog engineer)

nyul-6 karma

Recently there has been quite a rage about analog gear (most notably the analog synthesizers). A lot of people seem to prefer gear with full analog paths over digital gear because analog sounds better than the 'cold' digital devices etc.

What do you think of this? Do you believe full analog circuits sound better? Or is it just a case of smart marketing? Some of your pedals wouldn't be possible without using digital parts, is analog gear in a sense limiting itself?

How do you envision the future, will devices stay (partly) analog or will digital processing take over?


strymonengineering2 karma

The power of DSP will continue to grow and to create new possibilities, but tube amps haven't gone away and neither will devices that are fully analog. What sounds 'better' is always a matter subjectivity—beauty is in the ear of the beholder. But 'digital' as a descriptor for sound has no meaning, unless you're talking about 8-bit conversion or low sample rates, neither of which are issues in any modern digital system. In today's sound-related lingo, it seems like 'digital' means 'preserving the input bandwidth' and 'analog' means 'some high end roll-off', and the causes for either may have nothing to do with any digital process. In any case, it's a great time to be a musician with so many options and tools available.


strymonengineering5 karma

There are some interesting interactions between a guitar pickup and the input stage of a tube amp that can't be emulated in DSP wihout knowledge of the pickup's output impedance. But an analog synthesizer is a different beast.

I don't think there is any inherent reason that a digital synthesizer should be inferior to the analog counterpart. But that doesn't mean that designers of digital synthesizers have been able to capture all the nuance of the analog circuits. Consider CGI in movies, some of the early uses were clearly inferior to miniatures or other "analog" techniques but as computing power increases and designers' skill increases the gap continues to close. It's hard to imagine that we won't soon reach a point where the two are indistinguishable.


dbalatero6 karma

Are there any open source tools that you use to assist in your pedal design/verification process?

strymonengineering7 karma

We use a lot of open source software in the company, including Open Office, Ubuntu desktops, Debian and CentOS servers. But most/all of our engineering software is Windows only.

Gregg (analog engineer)

poprhythm6 karma

Thanks for creating these awesome devices - I got a Timeline for a all-my-relatives-chip-in-Christmas-present last year and it has opened new creative possibilities for my music. I love using an expression pedal to adjust whatever parameters on the fly, and the very capable midi-control, and the preset library software, and the looper, and all the small details that make it a truly great musical tool.

So my question - for the big-box pedals (Timeline, Mobius, Big Sky), could you tell us of any difficult choices when designing/selecting the 12 different effect machines?

strymonengineering8 karma

Thanks for being our customer! Very glad to hear that it has inspired your creativity. For TimeLine and BigSky, the challenge was to define twelve different algorithms that were unique and interesting without being derivative of each other. It's expected to have types like 'Analog', 'Digital', Tape', and 'Reverse', but e.g. our Trem Delay, Filter Delay, Ice Delay and Lo-Fi delay algorithms were born out of the desire to push the creative envelope. These are great delay types for those looking to explore new sonic territories and are unique to TimeLine. Similarly for BigSky, Hall, Plate, Room and Spring are expected, but Cloud, Bloom, Chorale, Shimmer and Magneto are for the more adventurous. They were also a lot of fun to develop and learn from. For Mobius, there were many more 'standard' mod effects to fill the dial, but the Quadrature was a great algorithm platform to take ring-mod style effects to another level.

Pete (dsp engineer / sound designer)

jaspercapri6 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

I also wanted to add that I enjoy the playing in the demo videos. Too many videos of pedals feature nothing but bluesy riffs. Which are cool, but different is nice too. We don't all play that stuff.


strymonengineering9 karma

Having actually discussed this at length in the past, our answer is one 1 horse-sized duck.

Angela asks why fight them? Can't we all just be friends?

Josueatthebb6 karma

Have you ever considered making an fx module for vocals? (TC Helicon fashion) I bet you guys can set up the bar higher. ALSO, thank you for the BigSky reverb, it's probably the most musical-inspiring pedal I've ever played through. It will be the next thing I'll buy for my rig.

strymonengineering9 karma

Pedals designed specifically for vocalists is actually something that we haven't really talked about much. We'd be interested in doing more research in this area to see what singers are looking for. I actually use our pedals for vocals all the time. An XLR to 1/4" adapter is really all you'll need if you wanted to give it a shot. In my live rig I use TimeLine on my vocals, and in the studio I use BigSky as an insert on vocal tracks.

Ethan (marketing noisemaker)

thebizzle5 karma

Love the products guys, glad to see such a huge turnout for the AMA too. My only question is "What is the best 3rd party Midi controller in your guys opinions?" I am looking at a disaster area DMC4 to control my timeline, mobius and pitchfactor.

strymonengineering8 karma

Disaster Area Designs makes great controllers specifically for our pedals and they have a great team to help you out with what you are trying to do with them. There are also great controllers from Voodoo Labs (Ground Control), RJM (Mastermind), and many others.

Hugo (Customer Support)

anotherbadusername5 karma

Hey Strymon folks!

First off, I love the design of the pre and post mode on the Mobius so it can be in two different places in an effects chain at once. I've always had a hard time deciding where to put flangers and phasers, particularly when it comes to before or after distortion, so props there. Anyways, a bit of a technical question: your pedals run between 300-400 mA while Eventide has theirs rated at 1200 mA. How do you manage to have such a low current compared to your competitors at Eventide?

Also, I'm an Electrical Engineering student. Do any of you have a degree in that field (or have any advice for prospective students)? Much obliged!

strymonengineering7 karma

It was actually a real challenge to get the current to that level. The short answer is to use switching power supplies wherever possible. Linear regulators are much easier to design with but are, by nature, inefficient. We do use linear regulators in several places, for example, the power for the CODEC is provided by a linear regulator to get the best noise performance. The DSP core and SDRAM are powered from switchers as they draw large currents and are not sensitive to noise. Keeping the digital and analog systems isolated is the other big engineering challenge that we faced.

Yes, the engineers here have EE degrees. Advice for prospective students: you've got to understand the fundamentals! :)

Gregg (analog engineer)

strymonengineering3 karma

And thank you for the kind words about the pre/post mode on Mobius. Glad to hear you enjoy that feature. :)

gavinashun4 karma

Hi - I'm a Mobius and Blue Sky owner - great pedals!

My question is if you guys plan to ever develop a multi-effects pedal, combining some (all?) of your effects. I don't know that I'll ever have a board big enough to have a Mobius + Timeline + Big Sky ... but if all those were available together I would shell out quite a bit for that!


strymonengineering2 karma

Hey there, glad you're enjoying your Mobius and blueSky! We have spend some time looking into the idea of putting together some sort of multi-effect pedal. We don't have anything to announce at this point, but we would definitely be willing to consider something like this. We don't generally talk about products that might be in development, but we do always listen to customer suggestions. Thanks!!

magikroom4 karma


I have a BigSky and Timeline and have them set up as sends/returns from my mixer. I only have 4 mono sends and was wondering what is the best way to set them up. Is it ok to output to mono for the BigSky/Timeline and return it on a stereo channel or is it best to use 2 sends for left/right input on the bigSky/Timeline?

reason i ask, is that i'm after the Mobius next and want to use it with the mixer as well (set pre-fader).

Anyway, your stuff sounds incredible!

strymonengineering6 karma

It's perfectly fine to use the BigSky and TimeLine in your mixer with the mono sends connected to the Left INPUT and OUTPUT of each pedal. You just won't have a stereo spread of the delays for the Dual delay set to Parallel and the Pattern delay when used with stereo output. This should allow room to add the Mobius to your mixer's sends as well.

Hugo (Customer Support)

yeahLCD4 karma


strymonengineering7 karma


Michael (content creator)

ElRob4 karma

Hello Strymon team!

I've got a Mobius and I like it a lot. Now I'm building a full-blown Lemur control surface for it, which I want to support the saved presets library along with their names. If I understand correctly, this information is only accessible via Sysex messages. However I was surprised to see that MIDI Sysex commands for Mobius are not specified in the manual; honestly, the whole 'MIDI specification' part of manual seems to be a bit incomplete.

My question is, do you plan to release the detailed MIDI specifications of your pedals to the public? And if not, why so? Thank you!

strymonengineering8 karma

Hi there, glad to hear that you're liking your Mobius! Thanks for being our customer. The MIDI information in our user manual is definitely more geared toward common uses such as setting up MIDI foot controllers, etc. We can point you in the right direction though. The details regarding our preset format can be found in the source code posted on our Github page: We also setup a Google Group for fielding developer questions:!forum/strymon-dev We're looking forward to helping you out. :)

John B. (code communicator)

rodentdp4 karma

How do you feel about Zoom emulating some of your effects?

strymonengineering3 karma

Well they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we'd totally welcome it if it were to happen. :)

YourFavBarPunk3 karma

Any chance for a gain box in the footsteps of the Möbius, Timeline and Big Sky, with all manners of TS, Muffs, Tube Drivers Fuzz Faces, Rat's and such?

strymonengineering2 karma

This is something that we certainly could consider, if we found that our customers would really like to see it from us! :)

ByeByeEmpire3 karma

Hi! I absolutely love my El Cap and my Flint!

Here is my question:

How do you know when a pedal is "done" or "complete"? Your pedals have a ton of features, but they still seem elegantly simple. How do you know if you've added too much, or not enough?

Thanks, and I can't wait to see what you guys come up with next!

strymonengineering4 karma

First Pete has to declare that this is the greatest sounding effect ever in the history of the universe after which he will declare that what you heard before was unimaginably awful and he now has the greatest sounding effect ever in the history of the universe.

After about three or four of these cycles, it's ready.

The features come from lots of testing and putting in a taking out stuff until it "feels right".

Gregg (analog engineer)

jaspercapri3 karma

If you could only play one strymon pedal for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

strymonengineering3 karma

  • Gregg > TimeLine
  • John > Mobius
  • Hugo > El Capistan
  • Pete > TimeLine
  • Michael > El Capistan
  • Dave > Brigadier
  • Ethan > TimeLine

RJB55843 karma

  1. What chip(s) was/were the dBucket algo based on, and how did you decide on that? With the costs and counterfeiting of MN3005, were the numbers based on averages of multiple chips, or a single chip that had all the right factors?

  2. In your opinion(s), is it better to faithfully recreate a classic sound or design, or improve the design through new tech?

strymonengineering6 karma

  1. We didn't single out a specific individual chip, but implemented, arithmetically, the transistor-capacitor circuitry that these chips use (check out the circuit diagram at bottom of the 2nd page of the MN3005 data sheet). We assigned variable parameters to the transistor and capacitor non-linearities and leakage to allow for chip performance ranging from 'perfect' to 'grungy'.

  2. Both have their place. I think it's great to allow for a range of experiences that the user can control to his/her taste. A good example is the bucket loss control on our dBucket delays. You can dial in for fuzzy familiarity, or clean it up beyond the possibilities of the physical BBD chips.

Pete (sound designer / dsp engineer)

dbalatero3 karma

I read your DSP Decrypted blog post a while back:

When's the next installment coming out? I'm particularly interested in something like "here's a quick 30-90 minute practical thing you can create – just install these software tools and prototype on your computer" or something to that effect. If it's not that simple, then ignore me :)

strymonengineering3 karma

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog about DSP. I haven’t started the writeup yet because there are quite a few concepts to tackle, but I plan on posting another DSP-related blog very soon. Most likely, it will be a further exploration of the core concepts rather than really delving into the programming aspect of things, but, please, keep visiting our blog and sharing your feedback! We always appreciate it.

Michael (content creator)

KeytarVillain3 karma

I'm about to graduate with an electrical engineering degree, specializing in DSP; how do I get a job with you? I know you're not looking for anyone at the moment, but say I wanted to apply a couple years down the road - what sort of qualifications do you look for?

strymonengineering4 karma

We each have our specialties but a well rounded understanding of analog and digital circuits is important. Even if you want to be a pure DSP programmer, a good understanding of analog circuits is important. There is much to be learned by investigating analog circuits and understanding what elements of a design may contribute to certain sonic characteristics. And then the challenge is to effectively translate those elements into equations for the DSP.

Gregg (analog engineer)

tedmdelacruz3 karma

Greetings from the Philippines!

I just got my Strymon Timeline last week and I'm having a blast with it! Here's a quick photo of it I gotta say it's quite difficult to procure such gear in our country.


  1. How long did it take you to create the Timeline?

  2. Are there any interesting stories behind the process of creating it?

  3. What kind of sorcery did you use to create such a magical artifact?

strymonengineering10 karma

  1. TimeLine has its origins in the Damage Control TimeLine (big green dual tube unit) released in 2006. I'd say three more years of development after that, starting in 2008, with other projects going along in parallel. Good times!
  2. As implied above, the Strymon TimeLine wasn't a long-range product target, but sort of 'fell into place' after a collection of algorithm developments and discoveries such as the dBucket, variable clock, and dTape algorithms.
  3. It's a special process that requires a combination of barley and hops.

Pete (sound designer / dsp engineer)

jnraine3 karma

First off, thanks for making your MIDI implementation so solid. Absolutely best implementation I've come across for guitar pedals!

Now to the questions:

  1. Why are some MIDI messages ignored or delayed? Specifically, when I send a program change at the same moment as a looper control, the looper control is thrown away or occurs out of time. This happens even if the program change occurs on a MIDI channel that my Timeline is not listening on.

  2. Any chance you could add on/off for looper function via MIDI? For example, I can toggle reverse but I can't send a message that turns reverse on if it's off or leaves it on if it's already on.

  3. The Timeline looper is my fav looper on the market already. Any plans to add additional features, like loop multiply or adjustable start/end points in the loop?

  4. How are the presets loaded so fast on your pedals when compared to Eventide pedals?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

strymonengineering3 karma

We're glad that you enjoy our pedals! We strive to make our MIDI implementation as robust and accessible as possible. As for your questions:

1) There can be trade-offs in performance with MIDI, but we'll take a look at this to see if we can improve on this behavior.

2) As of firmware rev 1.43, there are absolute On/Off commands for both direction and speed. The commands are MIDI note On/Off messages which are referenced on page 24 of the TimeLine manual:

Please feel free to contact us directly at [email protected] if you need further help with this.

3) There are no plans for new features on the TimeLine looper at this time.

4) Preset load time was a key feature that we planned for from the beginning. Our single processor DSP architecture allows us to accelerate the calculations needed at preset load time.

insoul83 karma

First of all, fantastic work on all of your pedals! I have a couple and use them religiously! So, on to my question... is there any chance you guys might release a firmware update for the timeline which will allow for a chorus effect using the dbucket algorithm by decreasing the ms delay setting allowed?

strymonengineering5 karma

Thank you! At this point we don't have plans to make a firmware revision to the dBucket machine, but we do always keep track of customer suggestions, and do make updates on occasion. However, you can use the TimeLine Dual delay machine to create a chorus sound. We have an example in our Dual delay video, and there is an example in the TimeLine user manual. The Lo-Fi delay machine can also be used to create a chorus sound. Hope this helps :)


DtotheLove3 karma

Hey guys, I was wondering if you guys would possibly be interested in an intern for next summer. Would that be even a remote possibility?

strymonengineering2 karma

We're still a tiny company and have not had interns in the past, but it could be a possibility. Feel free to send your resume to [email protected]. :)

minegoesto113 karma

Do you guys plan on making any "wacky, outside the box" pedals similar to what Earthquaker Devices is doing? Or are you going to stick to the more "foundation" sounds?

Also I'm a Big Sky owner, and as a previous Blue Sky owner, I was wondering how much of the Blue Sky circuit carried over to the Big Sky, because it seems like even the room and hall setting sound a bit different on the Big Sky (in a good way).

strymonengineering2 karma

This is always a possibility! Though even now we do offer some sounds for the sonically adventurous within TimeLine, Mobius, and BigSky. The Lo-Fi, Filter, and Ice machines in TimeLine, the Destroyer and Quadrature machines in Mobius, and the Chorale and Cloud machines within BigSky can all allow you to create some very unique and "wacky" sounds. :)

Regarding your BigSky vs blueSky question. We love blueSky reverbs but we're not ones to recycle existing sounds because it's easier. We could have easily ported over those tried and true algorithms, but instead decided to use BigSky as an opportunity to try out different methods of building reverb sounds. So yes, under the hood they are different.


flyingspaghettisauce3 karma

How come Angela is not in the group photo?

strymonengineering4 karma

Angela prefers to be behind the camera! Especially when she has her sweet 500mm lens and is taking photos of whales and birds.

ballinthrowaway3 karma

Hey guys!

We all know you love pedals, what are your favorite guitars?

Other than Strymon pedals, what are your go to pedals that you have to have on your board?

If you couldn't work for Strymon, which company would you apply for?

What's your personal favorite Strymon pedal? Can you send me a Big Sky Reverb to "test"? Hahah.

strymonengineering3 karma

Regarding your guitar question! Here's what we love:

  • Gregg > Flying V
  • Hugo > Fender Stratocasters!
  • Pete > My favorite is a blackguard Tele with a MJT lightweight nitro ash body and Fender Tex-Mex pickups - its sounds are bold and beautiful. Next is a Les Paul Jr from 2004 - nitro gloss finish, a real screamer
  • John > Fender P-bass or any old Rickenbacker 4001
  • Dave > Gibson ES-175 and my Tom Anderson Droptop
  • Michael > My old guitar teacher’s beat up, black Telecaster is my favorite guitar ever. I watched that guitar for years, and it taught me to play.
  • Ethan > My main guitar is a cheap '90s-era Mexican-built Fender Toronado. It was $200 used at Black Market Music in LA back in '99 and is still my favorite guitar.

PhaelehUK3 karma

Hey Guys, huge fan of my big sky, timeline and ola, so thanks for making such awesome kit!

Just wondering if there were any plans to make the parameter 1 and 2 controls mappable to the expression pedal at all in future updates? I would love it if this was possible!

strymonengineering3 karma

Thanks for being a Strymon customer! :)

You can actually control the parameters assigned to those knobs with an expression pedal on the BigSky and Mobius pedals. If you are having trouble with this, please write us at [email protected].

Hugo (Customer Support)

RamboGoesMeow3 karma

This question is for Ethan - Are you more of a Marketing Geek or a Marketing Nerd?

Great works guys, I love the sound of your pedals, and I hope to own one someday. fingers crossed for the contest

strymonengineering3 karma

Ha. This is a good question. I think it's likely that I'm more of a geek than a nerd. I don't think I'm smart enough to be a nerd. We don't have job titles here, so I need to come up with something good. Any ideas?

Glad to hear you're loving the sound of our gear. Good luck with the contest! :)

Ethan (marketing ____)

RamboGoesMeow2 karma

Sonic Marketing Specialist and/or Liaison to the Ear Drums.

Great answer BTW, I identify as geek more than a nerd for the same reason. Thanks for answering!

strymonengineering2 karma

Sweet, I like both of those!!

Ethan (sonic marketing specialist)

SineSquared3 karma

I'm a software engineer with limited hardware experience and I'm interested in creating my own digital effects (you know, for funsies). What type of microcontroller (or computing solution) would you recommend to get started?

strymonengineering2 karma

For digital effects you really need a DSP or digital signal processor rather than a microcontroller. Many ARM processors have DSP functions. Something like RaspberryPi would be a great platform to get started. Checkout

Dave (firmware engineer)

SenorDing_Dong2 karma

Do you have any plans to sell through any of the big name dealers like GC, Sweetwater, zZounds, etc. or just keep it boutique and sell through smaller shops?

strymonengineering5 karma

At this point, we're focusing our energy on selling direct to our customers and working with our great network of independent shops.


JuicySushi2 karma

Irrevocably proud owner of a BigSky, one paycheck away from a Timeline...

How fierce are the discussions to choose the pedal colors? I love the OB1's orange, BigSky's blue, and especially Brigadier's green. I can imagine Strymoneers sitting around a table, discussion slowly evolving into an all-out melee over what shade of blue best encapsulates reverb.

If you actually made a yellow or red pedal, what sounds would it do? (and I don't wanna hear Parallax :D)

strymonengineering2 karma

Thanks so much for being our customer! :) Fun question. So yes, all of our discussions about pedals (ideas, sounds, colors, features, etc) can get fierce! But in a good (and non-violent!) way. We're all super passionate about what we do here.

The army green Brigadier color choice was easy, it just seemed to make sense. BigSky was also a no-brainer, but some of the other pedals took a lot longer to settle on. We spent a lot of time playing with the color for TimeLine. We had an early white chassis prototype that was stolen as the paint was drying, right behind our shop! It was probably a good thing, none of us really liked the white for that pedal. Ultimately we all felt strongly about the gun-metal grey.

We're working on something new right now, and have tried over a dozen different finishes. It's looking like we're going to try a new finishing process that we haven't done yet.

Red and yellow have always felt like overdrive colors to me!


lluann2 karma

Can you please, please make a feature on a new firmware in which we can disable half speed and being able to loop 1 minute in the Timeline? Thanks a lot for your amazing products!

strymonengineering3 karma

Hi there! If you engage half-speed, you can then loop for 1 minute. We don't have plans to disable half-speed at this point. Thanks for being our customer! :)

Ethan (marketing nerd)

pileon2 karma

How about some type of arpeggiator pedal? Something that can take patterns, notes or textures and reassemble them in loops, either randomly or in preset rhythmic patterns (with the ability to adjust tempo via a BPM dial)

I'm thinking of the vintage ARP's and VSC 3's, complete with nobs for tweaking patterns and tones just like those early generators.

BOSS has their rather gimmicky Slicer, which takes a weak stab at this basic idea, but falls woefully short. Other than that, and apart from Delays and Looping devices which do something altogether different, there's nothing out there. Think "pattern and melody generator"...

strymonengineering2 karma

Hey there, thanks for the question and for the suggestion. We're not working on anything like this at the moment, but it could be very cool. We do listen to all customer feedback and take it into consideration. :)

mangopositive2 karma

What are the hurdles standing in the way of authentic sounding digital distortion / overdrive sounds and do you believe they’ll ever be surmounted? If not, how feasible would it be to stuff analog circuitry for several great sounding options into the Strymon big box and have them midi-controllable with presets, like a hybrid of sorts?

strymonengineering2 karma

There are interactions with the pickup and the input stage of the amp/pedal that are not able to be recreated in DSP. But once the signal is past the buffer stage, there are no theoretical limitations that would preclude "perfect" modeling. From a practical standpoint, improved processing power and new mathematical techniques are eliminating the traditional problem of aliasing artifacts.

Gregg (analog engineer)

neeaaalll2 karma

Hey guys! Big fan of all of your products, sadly I haven't even played through any of them. I was excited to see that your AMA was on my birthday, but I was even more excited about the contest! My question is, what is your favorite amp, and why is it the twin reverb?

strymonengineering3 karma

Happy birthday! Hope you are having a great day.

  • Gregg > Marshall Super Lead 100
  • Pete > '57 Fender Tweed Deluxe
  • Dave > JC-120 Jazz Chorus
  • Hugo > Marshall Super Lead 100
  • Michael > Roland Microcube!!!
  • John > Mark Bass 151P or a '68 B25B into an old 15" cab from a broken B15
  • Ethan > Silverface Fender Twin. Or an AC30.

the_bluest_monk2 karma

An online dealer told me that people from the DL4 team helped design the Timeline. Is this true? Also, I just bought a Timeline, I'm expecting it on Thursday!

strymonengineering3 karma

While some of us had worked for Line 6 in the past, none of us here worked on the DL4. Thanks for purchasing a TimeLine, hope you enjoy it :)

Ethan (marketing noisemaker)

JoelTheJammer2 karma

Are there any plans for really strange effects along the lines of lovetone flanger ? Or earthquaker rainbow machine? I can imagine y'all have the know how to create some of the wildest sounding pedals.

strymonengineering2 karma

We did answer this question above... Here's what we said:

This is always a possibility! Though even now we do offer some sounds for the sonically adventurous within TimeLine, Mobius, and BigSky. The Lo-Fi, Filter, and Ice machines in TimeLine, the Destroyer and Quadrature machines in Mobius, and the Chorale and Cloud machines within BigSky can all allow you to create some very unique and "wacky" sounds. :)

Ethan (marketing)


Love your products. Is it annoying to get shout out videos on social media of people using your products or does it truly help promotion?

strymonengineering8 karma

We love seeing videos, photos, songs using Strymon pedals. I personally see, hear, watch everyone that is tagged #strymon, or with our @ handle and I love it. It is amazing all the talent that is out there and all the variety of genres. And there is nothing better when we get the chance to then share those gems with everyone else.

Angela (community / social media)

VintageJag2 karma


strymonengineering4 karma

A couple people asked us that, please see above for our answers! :)

alexb2cool2 karma

Hey Strymon!

First off, huge fan of your work. If I were granted a wish from a stompbox genie, I couldn't ask for anything better than my El Capistan. It doesn't ever leave my board. Just lush sonic pleasure, in an only semi-sexual way.

I was wondering what the early planning/development stages are like at Strymon? Do you guys go through a lot of prototypes and hands-on experimentation, or do you start focused on ideas and schematics before ever coming up with an idea you can hold in your hand?

I ask because every single thing I have tried with the brand Strymon on it not only has been top-notch quality out of the box, but you guys have a huge edge for me because it all seems so ingenious and creative. How do you guys come up with this stuff?

Also, how much experience did you have with secondary function pre-Capistan? Is that something you always dreamed of having in a pedal, or did the idea arise to specifically fit the function you wanted for the pedal?

Thanks guys, and I can't wait until I am out of University so I can continue to purchase and collect your products!

strymonengineering3 karma

Thanks for the kind words and for being our customer! Glad you are loving your El Capistan.

Regarding your planning/development question. The answer is both. We want to think through the design as much as possible before building a prototype but we do end up with multiple iterations before a design is ready for release. We are working on some rapid prototyping stuff, which includes 3D printing, that will allow us to iterate the layout before the first hardware is built.

Gregg (analog engineer)

83499322 karma

which pedal makes me play like Hendrix?

strymonengineering8 karma

TimeLine - Reverse Delay Machine. Mix Turned up 100% - Michael (content creator)

Also, I think you need to set your guitar on fire first. - Ethan (marketing nerd)

paperclip_dinosaurs2 karma

Whoever makes the detailed videos on your website featuring each of the settings and a good few minutes of playing with each setting. Thank you.

It's probably the main reason why I have a Big Sky sitting on my floor at home.

Do you pay much attention to what other companies are releasing? EHX for example seem to be pushing the organ simulation stuff quite hard lately.

strymonengineering2 karma

Thanks for the kudos! Glad you like what we're doing with our videos. :)

We don't generally do "market research" when putting together our pedal ideas. A lot of it comes down to what we think would be fun to play with, and what is fun for us to design and build. We do keep an eye out for cool pedals from other manufacturers, but mainly because we're gear nerds and like to try new things out!


MotelVoid1 karma


strymonengineering2 karma

Hey there, thanks for the question. Glad to hear you love your TimeLine. We could certainly consider some type of lo-fi pedal! We don't have plans at this point, but anything is possible in the future. I'm a big fan of lo-fi sounds myself, I find myself using the TimeLine lo-fi machine for everything from vocals to synths.


ImAnObOdY1 karma

Do you know any songs/guitarists that use any of your effect pedals?

strymonengineering7 karma

We appreciate everyone that uses our gear, from Ed O’Brien of Radiohead to the YouTube guys just getting started out with 10 views, making noise in their bedroom studios. There are a ton of artists and bands that we really admire that use our gear.

We can say that our pedals have been spotted on the boards of Jeff Beck, Andy Summers, John Mayer, Peter Frampton, Ed O’Brien w/Radiohead, Killian Gavin w/Boy & Bear, Matthew Hoopes w/Reliant K, Edd Gibson w/Friendly Fires, Billy Corgan, Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Rascal Flatts, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Foals, Joe Bonamassa, among others. Make sure to check our blog, because we feature some artists up there. Thanks!

Ethan (marketing)

JuicySushi3 karma

Sigur Ros uses Strymon too!

strymonengineering2 karma

We didn't know that! Thanks for sharing. :)

nobodycaresbears1 karma

What advice do you have, or what resources would you recommend, for someone like me who wants to build a pedal but is a total beginner?

strymonengineering3 karma

Read Craig Anderton's Electronic Projects for Musicians. It was first published in 1975 but is just as useful today as it was then.


ChuckEye1 karma

Really tempted by the Lex pedal, but bummed that it doesn't have a wet/dry mix. So much of David Gimour's sound was from running his signal to both a rotary speaker and regular guitar amps, and not letting the rotary effect overpower everything.

Any thoughts about making a Big Lex or something similar with more features (including a blend)?

strymonengineering3 karma

The problem is that there's a big difference between running two physical amps (one dry and one 'leslie'd') vs blending a dry signal with a leslie signal electronically and running the summed signal through one amp. The electronically summed signal will have interferences that don't happen with two physical amps. A simple example is to send the same signal to two amps, but one is out of phase with the other. It may sound funny and make you feel dizzy (it does to me anyway), but you will still certainly hear something. If you combine two out-of-phase signal electronically and send it to one amplifier - you will hear nothing at all! So we don't feel a blend control would lead to a satisfying experience in this case. You're actually better off with two separate amps and a Y-cable if you'd like to achieve this sound.


yeahLCD1 karma


strymonengineering2 karma

Here are a few that we dig:

  • Hugo > Walrus Audio Voyager
  • Pete > Xotic Effects BB Preamp
  • John > Damage Control Womanizer
  • Dave > Sarno Earth Drive
  • Ethan > Sarno Earth Drive / MXR '78 Badass Distortion