Strymon Nixie 2 - Editor software for Strymon pedals

laxu

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Screenshot 2023-11-10 at 22.01.12.png


So without any fanfare, Strymon has released a beta version of Nixie 2, their successor for the Nixie computer editor software.

You can find it here: https://www.strymon.net/support/nixie-2/

At the time of writing it only supports a few pedals:

Eventually, all of our pedals with USB or MIDI capabilities will be supported, but as of Nixie v2.00, the following pedals are supported:

USB connection
– cloudburst
– Iridium

MIDI connection
– BigSky
– TimeLine
– Mobius


I tried hooking up my Strymon Iridium just to try the software. Notes of the experience:
  • Making presets works mostly well enough.
    • You can drag presets from the pedal to the library so you can swap presets.
    • It does seem to be able to save named presets on the pedal itself so that's convenient.
    • It shows the currently selected amp model as a small icon next to the preset name. Nice little touch though it could use a tooltip explanation.
    • It has a few oddities like being only able to rename presets from the side bar but not from the top bar that shows the current preset name.
    • You can add the same preset multiple times into the library, which is probably a bug.
  • Having the controls duplicated at the bottom and also shown on the pedal is a bit weird.
    • I think the bottom section is mainly designed for expression pedal setup, with easy way to set the heel up/down position settings you want. Should greatly simplify expression pedal setup.
  • Setting up global parameters like MIDI channel, whether amp/cab sim is on etc is easy.
  • Change history is a nice feature!
    • It shows things like "Drive 196 -> 137" and even shows a red arrow if the value is lower and green arrow if it's higher.
    • It operates on "latest change for control applies until you make a change to another control". So "Drive 196 -> 137 -> 165" is shown as "Drive 196 -> 165", but if you change "Middle 150 -> 180", then change Drive, a separate Drive change is recorded. This is how it should work!
    • You can double click a spot in the history list to clear your changes up to that point.
    • You can step through the history one by one with the undo/redo buttons. These buttons should be placed on the other side though, closer to the history list.
  • Showing values as a 0-255 scale is weird, same as the plugins.
  • If I turn knobs on the pedal, the tracking to update the app is about the same as tracking the values on my Luminite Graviton M1. It's not perfectly smooth and could benefit from interpolation between values, but generally good enough. I guess there might be some interval on how often the Strymon sends MIDI value output to avoid overwhelming the processor.
    • Adjusting the controls in the app is smooth.
  • Cab slot selection cannot show cab slot names, which is a shame since you can give a name for each slot in Strymon Impulse Manager. Maybe a missing feature for now.
  • It can list the current pedal firmware and if an update is available. Clicking update seems to launch the separate Strymon Updater app.
  • Changing impulse response files is not possible, it requires the separate Strymon Impulse Manager app. Maybe in the future the two are combined.
  • I did manage to already get the Iridium to crash by trying to write multiple presets on it. After taking out the power cable, then plugging it back in it worked again (hadn't saved the presets) and after that seemed to work just fine so might have been a one time fluke.

I guess this is not coming out anytime soon, next summer would be my guess.

Adding the rest of the V2 series pedals should not be a huge ordeal since Strymon has already managed to support one of them. Just needs all the graphics, toggle switch positions, various pedal specific views (like you can see Amp&Cab at the bottom) etc. A good amount of work but the hard part is done.

To me the crucial things that this app should do are:
  1. Support editing multiple pedals at once. I have a bunch of them so being able to configure all of them without shenanigans should be possible so you don't have to keep swapping cables.
  2. Ability to configure USB-capable pedals over MIDI as well. For example by connecting via USB to the Strymon Conduit and then adjusting each pedal connected to the Conduit via TRS or 5-pin DIN cables.
I hope this stuff works when it is properly released. I will test it out again when it supports other pedals I own.

This could be a very useful software for me because managing presets on multiple Strymons is a bit of a chore since you don't have good visibility into each preset's settings without wiggling knobs first.

This has the start of a solid editor software that is easy to use. I just want to see how it works with multiple pedals.
 
The FAQ section actually says:

You can connect two or more Strymon pedals to Nixie simultaneously and select each pedal individually to edit & manage their presets.

So what I'm wanting should work, but I can't test it out as I don't have any of the old big boxes.

But for this to work seamlessly, it really needs to support MIDI with these new pedals or else you need to pile a USB hub under your board.

USB -> Strymon Conduit -> MIDI would be an acceptable compromise as the Conduit works as a USB host in this situation.
 
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With my BigSky.

- Light reflections on the knobs are not very smooth. They glitch around all over the shop. Just cosmetic, but a bit grubby.
- The lower panel makes sense when you've got hidden parameters.
- Not being able to click the individual LED's around the type knob is an oversight. You have to rotate the knob, which is a bit poop. You do have the effect type in the bottom half though.
- Browsing and saving presets is easy.
- There is no way to 'preview' expression pedal movement, without actually plugging in an expression pedal. I'm sure they could sort that out by having a virtual one that only works when you don't have an EXP pedal plugged in??
- Setting up the expression pedal ranges works well.
- Resizing the GUI is quite nice.
 
@laxu They added a Tweed model to the Iridium?
The Round aka Fender model doubles as a tweed if you crank the mids.

It's the weirdest model on the Iridium actually. Even though Strymon says the Round model is modeled after a Fender Deluxe Reverb Normal channel, it's actually somehow a hybrid between all Blackface Fenders.

- The bottom end does not get woofy and distorted like a Deluxe does when you crank the Drive knob. It stays cleaner more like a Super Reverb or Twin Reverb.
- IR choice will heavily drive it towards different Fender models. Want it to be more like a Super Reverb? Use a 4x10 Jensen cab sim. Want it to be more like a Twin? Use a 2x12 Jensen cab.
- Turning the mids down to about 10 o'clock makes it sound like the Deluxe Reverb Vibrato channel.
- Cranking the mids makes it sound more like a tweed amp.

Even though it is not "authentic", I actually like it much better this way. It makes that model much more flexible and versatile.

I need to record some clips vs Fractal models at some point.
 
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