SAVE 15% ON OUR ANVIL COMPRESSOR PEDAL. USE THE CODE: HAMMER15

076 | Strymon Mobius: A Closer Look at this Modulation Effect Pedal | Transcript

Transcript

Back to Episode Homepage

Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 76 of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have another Strymon pedal, this is the Strymon Mobius. If you love the world of modulation, then you should enjoy this conversation. We'll see you on the other side.

Hey everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you're having an amazing one. Well, today we are pumped because we're going to be talking about the Strymon Mobius. This thing has been around for quite some time. I guess, not a lot of time compared to some other pedals that exist out there, but it has been around for about nine years and has definitely created its own fan base of admirers and lovers and adores of this pedal.

So we're definitely excited to be talking about it today. And yeah, I'm surprised it's taken 76 episodes to get here, but here we are. We're talking about the Strymon Mobius.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, the Mobius is one of those ones that I actually had on my board for a long time. I kind of used it as my catchall for modulation and stuff like that. So I really like this pedal. There's days where I wish I still had it, but yeah, excited to be talking about this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I like it as well. I actually was running the Boss MD-500 for quite some time, and I've got the Timeline and I have the Big Sky, so I figured, might as well just keep everything the same. So about, maybe, I think it was actually the summer of 2020 is when I actually pulled the trigger on the Mobius. And so it's, yeah, definitely been a delight to have and replaced my MD-500. And we'll get into this in a little bit, but there's definitely some pros and cons between it and the MD-500, as well as some of the other ones. I know Eric, you run the GFI Synesthesia on yours for modulation. So every one of these pedals, these big box options, again, they have their pros and cons, but yeah, we're excited to kind of share our thoughts on this specific pedal today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And like you said, all these big boxes, they all have some sort of trade-off, and it's just kind of figuring out which one is going to fit everything that you need it to do. And is going to like fit your workflow just in how you like to make presets, find sounds, do things like that.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. Yeah. It really just depends on your own subjective preference on, again, the kind of tone that you're trying to create. And each one brings something unique to the table as far as strengths, but then they also come with their set of weaknesses, which again, we'll unpack here in just a minute.

So a real quick history about this pedal, it was developed, actually released December of 2012. So as we mentioned, it's been around for quite some time. It is your typical big box modulation type pedal. So with a pedal like this, specifically with this one, you're going to get 12 different mod effects, ranging from everything from chorus to flanger to rotary to filter to trem to all the different things. I think, probably, the thing though that separates this pedal, maybe, from some of the other big box modulation options, they've got the unique mode of destroyer, which is kind of cool, in its own way. But yeah, everything else is kind of the same again, chorus, flanger, rotary, et cetera.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, my favorite thing about the Mobius, in particular, is, like you were saying, the variety that it offers. Because you do have that destroyer setting, you have an autoswell, you have different types of tremolo, a formant type thing, a filter. And it's like, if you were to put all of these on your board individually, your board would be massive. And it probably wouldn't... you wouldn't be able to take it very many places. But being able to have all these different options just in this one box, and they all are very good quality sounding. Yeah, overall the Mobius, in my opinion, has been the easiest big box, multi-effect for me to use. I don't know about you, but that's been my experience with this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Agreed. As I mentioned earlier, I was running the MD-500 for quite some time and it was fairly easy to use. But, yeah, then when I got this, it was like, I don't know, I just found it to be, yeah, just really simple and user-friendly. And I actually have a backtrack on that, because for anybody that has been following our podcast religiously, I've always been a big advocate of the Boss stuff. In fact, my story is I bought the Strymon stuff first, didn't like it, got the Boss stuff, thought I was going to stay with Boss, and now I'm back into the world of Strymon.

So after going between both worlds, I'm going to kind of backtrack on some of my comments from maybe 20 or 30 episodes ago, and say, I feel like the streaming stuff is way easier to use and the Mobius being a testament of that. I would agree with your statement there, Eric, it's just been easy to get everything in and I've got my own settings for mimicking some of my favorite pedals of all time. And yeah, it's nice to have that all in one place.

So on that note, I guess this is probably a good branching off point is, as I just mentioned, I use this pedal to do a whole lot of things, and like you said, it occupies the minimal real estate for something that would, probably, take up like an entire row of your board, if you want to have a phaser pedal or a flanger pedal or a chorus pedal, et cetera. So I guess, if I had to give sort of my headline statement, like I love this pedal, you can get amazing sounds from it, but my one frustration, and I guess it really goes, not only for this pedal, but really any big box pedal, is it only gets you about 80 to 90% there. Sometimes, in some cases, maybe even 95% there, but you're never going to quite be completely satisfied with trying to mimic, maybe, a pedal that you love.

So I'll use like a classic example. I love the Phase 90. Who doesn't love the Phase 90 by MXR. But when trying to dial in the settings on this to get it to sound like a Phase 90, I'd say in that case, I could get it about 85% there. And I could just never quite match that Phase 90, and that goes for anything. So whether you're trying to match the chorus sound of a Boss CE-1 or CE-2, or get a Leslie Rotary sound or I know David Gilmour loved the Electric Mistress, which is, that's a great tone. You're never going to get 100% there, and I guess that's always, probably, my biggest frustration with any one of these big boxes.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and I mean, I think the same thing. It's the same thing as when you're running like a amp simulator. So like the Iridium or the Helix, or even the Axe-FX, the best ones out there, at the end of the day, it's going to get extremely close, but it's not the same thing. And I think that's... I mean, but that's also part of the advantage with something like the Mobius because you do... So for example, on that phaser, you may not be able to get it to sound exactly like a Phase 90, but a Phase 90 also only has one knob. So it's like you have more control over the parameters and things like that, which can be a good thing, if you do the work ahead of time of your gig or when you're playing or whatever, to make the presets that are going to fit what you want to do.

And it also helps you to just branch out and maybe try some things that you wouldn't, because you didn't have control over those parameters before. So I do agree that you can't get all the way there, but you can... In my opinion, I enjoyed having that over having... So for example, I ran a Tap-A-Whirl for my trem and did Julia for my chorus before I had this. And then I kind of took both of those off, put this on there, and I liked having it just because I could have my chorus sound that was going to sound pretty much as good as the Julia, I mean, indistinguishable to the listener, at least. And then my trem, I had a lot more control over my trem, but still did miss the Tap-A- Whirl. But then, I also gained all of these other effects, so I was able to create presets for those and integrate those into my playing, into writing parts, and things like that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I guess, what you brought up there, I mean, that's always ultimately, the big debate. So if you jump on any forum, if you scour through YouTube comments, whatever it may be, it's always the big question. It's like, do you spend the money and get something like a Mobius and replace five or six pedals or three pedals or four pedals on your board? Or do you stick with the analog versions and have just that slight bit extra of, I guess, purity? Which at the end of the day, generally, you're probably only going to hear it, up there performing.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, well, and-

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I guess that's a-

Eric Wilson:
... I think another thing that I've noticed with these bigger box pedals is the more features that are added into them, the harder they are to use. So for example, like the Mobius is pretty straightforward, as far as like these big boxes go. Now I've never owned the MD-500, but I remember when I had to demo it for the podcast, and I had yours, I found it kind of hard to like dig through the menus and do that kind of thing. But then I got the Synesthesia and because you can run two effects in parallel or in series or however you want it route it, that thing's impossible to figure out without the software. So it's one of those where it's like, there definitely is trade-offs with it, but I feel like when you're looking at them, the more features it offers, may not be a better thing depending on how you're going to use it, if you need them or not.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's kind of like the conversation we had right before we pressed record here is, I've run pedals... We're talking about Strymon here, so I have a Strymon Timeline, and I'm always torn between whether I should keep the Timeline on my board or replace it with my Line 6 DL4, which is just so much more simplistic and ease of use. And yeah, I guess it's the never ending battle that us as a guitarist have to face every single day. So, you either go the complex route and spend majority of your time tweaking and adjusting rather than practicing or keep it simple and use your time actually playing. So-

Eric Wilson:
Well, and I think that-

Scott Schwertly:
... I guess it-

Eric Wilson:
... brings up another good point, because it's like eventually... I went through the thing, the phase where I just kept like buying different pedals, buying and selling stuff, buying and selling stuff, buying and selling stuff, and you never actually learn your pedals. And so, like you said, all your time is spent programming, trying to find sounds, trying to figure it out, and then, by the time you figure it out, then you sell it. And so it's like, a big change for me has just been, just keeping the same stuff, and it's allowed me to really just dig into each one of the pedals, find what I really like, and just live with it.

Eric Wilson:
So like my overdrive section hasn't changed in like two years I think, or something like that two or three years, I don't think I've changed it in. So it's just one of those where if you can find stuff that you can really learn and kind of hone in, it can really be helpful to actually practicing and focusing on playing better instead of just figuring out how to use the stuff you just bought.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I'm jealous. I feel like the overdrive section of my board changes every week, so, yeah, I need to practice that more, so just pick a pedal, stick with it. But anyway, don't want to get too far down that rabbit hole. Strymon Mobius, is it a great pedal? Absolutely. This is a great one to have as part of any board, pretty good. If you have the other Strymon pedals, then pull the trigger just to get this one and add to the mix. Yeah, and if you are looking to just diversify your modulation collection, this pedal will do it for you. Again, is it going to get you a 100% there? No, but will any pedal get you a 100% there? No. But it's probably one of the best ones you can get, if you're looking to, again, really get into the world of modulation and not have a ton of pedals to accomplish that goal.

So yeah, let's go ahead and actually give you guys a sample of what this thing is all about. Eric, what guitar are you going to go with today?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the Tele for this one. And actually, real quick, I'll just kind of go through all the modes it has, because I don't think we covered that, but it's got chorus, flanger, rotary, vibe, phaser, filter, formant, vintage trem, pattern trem, autoswell, destroyer, and quadrature. I think that's how you say that. I'm not entirely sure. But yeah, ton of stuff, ton of options. Ton of different things you can do with this, and yeah, we'll go ahead and get this plugged in, give you a sample of what it sounds like.

Scott Schwertly:
Sounds good. We'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right, that's Strymon Mobius, It's a great multi-effect kind of modulation box, and yeah, definitely check it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's a solid option, for sure. Huge fan, don't plan on getting rid of mine anytime soon. Yeah, definitely a good one. If you're looking to pick one up, a Strymon Mobius will typically set you back $449 brand new, you can find them used on Reverb and other places for a lot cheaper, obviously. I think I got mine used, which was considered like in excellent condition for maybe like 340, 350, I can't even remember. So you can definitely find them at a much more affordable price point. And the good thing is with any Strymon device, they hold their value. So even if you get one used or new, you should be able to make back a good portion of your money on it.

Yeah, and if you're curious who actually uses this pedal, if you're still kind of on the fence, like, should I buy one? Should I not buy one? I mean, this pedal has been seen on boards on folks like John Mayer, Jonny Buckland, even YouTubers like Paul Davids and Rhett Shull have used this pedal at some point. So there definitely is a very strong support system around it. It's an excellent buy, and yeah, we highly recommend it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. This is definitely one that I sometimes wish I wouldn't have taken off my board just with how easy it is to use, and just kind of gets your mind off of the pedals and just playing again.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah, for sure. Definitely a solid one, and it looks great too. I love that shiny blue/teal color, I guess. No, sorry. Yeah, definitely a solid choice. It's also great to look at as well. So yeah, if you don't have one, go get one. It's a great one guys.

All right, well there you have it guys. That is the Strymon Mobius. Join us next time, where we're going to go back into the world of boss and we're going to be talking about the Boss DS-2. This thing has been around for ages and for good reason. So we're excited to talk about that in the next one. Until then have a great day, have a great week, and we'll see you next time.

Close (esc)

Get Our Free eBook!

Do you love dirt as much as we do? Learn the rich history behind all the overdrive and distortion pedals you know and love. Download our free ebook, The History of Guitar Distortion.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now