Imagine a world where all of your pedals work together so seamlessly that you can quickly and easily experiment with new combinations with the swipe of a finger – and without a big, heavy pedalboard to lug around.
Chaos Audio’s Stratus pedal offers just that. A multi-effect platform that can serve as a virtual pedalboard with an on/off footswitch and Volume knob, it’s otherwise unlike any other pedal. Powered by 9-volt adapter or USB, after downloading the Chaos app and going through setup, you’re ready to go as long as your mobile device is connected to the Stratus; and, big plus – the app interface is very intuitive.
Effects categories include overdrive, reverb, distortion, delay, modulation, fuzz, dynamics, and looper, all selected by clicking an image of the simulated pedal. Adjustments are then made via your device. The app allows daisy-chaining effects to create a virtual pedalboard and saving any configuration as a preset.
So how does it sound? Pretty good, actually! The overdrive and fuzz were especially cool running into a tube 1×12 combo. Some of the time-based effects were a bit thin and digital-sounding, but overall, playing with (and through) the Stratus is loads of fun, especially if you’re the type who likes to tinker with different pedal combinations.
This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.