StarLab comes as a 3U eurorack module without a case or a power supply. We recommend mounting StarLab in a eurorack case that has at least 28hp of space and using a power supply that can provide 210mA at +12V, 210mA at -12V, and 0mA at 5V.
We also recommend using a sound source that can feed synth level signals (minimum +4dBu and higher) into StarLab’s inputs to best experience the sounds and features of this module. We offer the AA.1 Attenuator/Amplifier module which can be used for amplifying guitar and other instrument level signals to work with StarLab, or attenuate the synth level signals from StarLab to be fed into your instrument/line level devices such as effect pedals, amplifiers, or audio interfaces.
StarLab is a stereo reverb with a wide range of hands-on control for experimental sound design. Features include real-time continuous control of reverb pitch/processing rate/core size, delay, harmonics, and a synth-like resonant filter with multiple modulation waveshapes. StarLab also features a Karplus-Strong mode providing a monophonic, delay-based string synthesizer which can be plucked or bowed like a stringed instrument.
StarLab is an effect module designed to receive synth level input signals. A standard guitar’s output is typically about 18dB too quiet to work well with StarLab and the input impedance does not match well with a guitar’s high output impedance.
Plugging a guitar into a boost pedal that can provide at least 18dB of clean, high-headroom gain will work to raise the input level and provide better impedance matching for StarLab’s inputs.
We also have our own module available called AA.1 to interface guitar level signals with StarLab and other Eurorack devices. It has at +18dB amplifier to boost your signal for Eurorack and an -18dB attenuator to lower your Eurorack signal down to instrument level for guitar setups.
The LEFT and RIGHT dry input signals remain discreetly stereo:
LEFT DRY INPUT signal passes on to the LEFT OUTPUT.
RIGHT DRY INPUT signal passes on to the RIGHT OUTPUT.
Delays and Reverb
The reverb and delay repeats are generated by summing the LEFT and RIGHT INPUT signals together into the delay processing and reverb structure. The processed effects are then sent to both outputs with a psycho acoustic process applied to create a stereo field.
The maximum delay time is 7.5 seconds and can be achieved by sending the TAP/TRIG CV a 3 second clock signal and setting DELAY/TUNE to maximum with a 5/2 multiplier.
FEEDBACK will apply regeneration to the delay, resulting in more repeats with longer delays, or more resonance with shorter delays. This works independent of the ECHO ON state and will apply to both delay and pre-delay signals.
FEEDBACK CV modifies the FEEDBACK level. The FEEDBACK knob acts as an offset.
CV Range: +/-5V
For a traditional pre-delay effect, keep ECHO ON bypassed and turn FEEDBACK to minimum. The DELAY/TUNE knob will set the pre-delay time.
For ‘delay only’ without any reverb effect at the WET output, set DECAY to minimum with DELAY ON enabled.
Noise performance was our primary focus when designing the input and output audio circuitry of StarLab. To achieve pristine noise performance, we decided to group the INs and OUTs next to each other to optimize the circuit layout and grounding.
StarLab is a mixed signal system where extremely sensitive audio circuits coexist with potentially noise-inducing digital circuits (SHARC DSP, MCU, memory, etc.). The analog audio signal paths of StarLab have a signal to noise ratio of over 120dB. In other words, intended signals are 1,000,000 times larger than background noise. To ensure this level of performance, we had to isolate the time-varying current demanded by the digital circuitry away from the audio signal grounds. Even small amounts of unintended current on signal grounds induce noise through a process called common impedance coupling.
We grouped the audio INs and OUTs so that there would only be a single grounding connection between the audio and digital circuitry. This star grounding scheme keeps noisy digital currents from the audio circuitry. Additionally, by grouping the audio INs and OUTs, we were able to keep audio layout tight, prevent ground loops, and minimize susceptibility to environmental noise. To maintain this star grounding scheme, we also use a flyback converter to generate our own local power supplies that are isolated from the Eurorack power supply ground (ribbon cable).
Though both NighSky and StarLab have similar feature sets, the two devices are still very different from each other.
The form factor is completely different between the two devices where NightSky is a three footswitch guitar pedal that comes with its own power supply, and StarLab is a 3U, 28hp Eurorack module that requires power from a Eurorack compatible power supply.
9V DC 300mA, center-negative polarity from a 2.1mm barrel connector
+12V rail: 210mA
-12V rail: 210mA
+5V rail: 0mA
Input Signal Level
As a guitar pedal, NightSky is designed to receive both instrument and line level signals up to +8dBu or about 5.5Vpp (volts peak-to-peak). StarLab is designed to work with hotter signal levels from a modular synth with a max input level of 20Vpp or about +19dBu.
Drive and Input Gain
NightSky has a DRIVE parameter with adjustable gain as a secondary function that can be placed in one of two locations in the signal chain. On StarLab, there is an adjustable INPUT GAIN parameter which can provide soft clipping drive as it is turned up on the face of the module which is placed just after the inputs and before the reverb and delay processing.
Control Voltage Inputs and External Control
StarLab features control voltage inputs for external control of 18 different parameters on the module and for recalling the selected Favorite preset. These inputs can also be used to trigger the Karplus-Strong string synthesizer. On NightSky, you can use external control such as an expression pedal for realtime control over any of the knob on the face of the pedal, a MultiSwitch Plus for preset control or to enable/disable different sections of the pedal, or via MIDI to recall presets and control any of the available parameters.
The reverbs on StarLab are based on the same concepts as those that were designed for NightSky, however, they are not the same algorithms.
On NightSky, pre-delay time is available as secondary function without any additional control of the pre-delay feedback. On StarLab, pre-delay is available as a top-level control with the DELAY/TUNE knob when ECHO ON is bypassed. When ECHO ON is engaged, it becomes a dedicated delay effect by bussing the delay output to the WET output mix. There is also a FEEDBACK control to set the amount of pre-delay or delay repeats.
Kaplus-Strong String Synthesizer
On StarLab, the DELAY/KARPLUS section can be set to operate in Karplus-Strong mode which provides a delay-based, monophonic string synthesizer which can be triggered and pitched via the on-board controls or with external control voltage. This feature is unique to StarLab and is not available on NightSky.
NightSky has a built-in eight step sequencer where each step can have an independent SIZE/PITCH parameter setting for creating rhythmical pitch patterns with the currently loaded reverb settings. This feature is unique to NightSky and is not available on StarLab. Instead of a built-in sequencer, StarLab allows for external sequencing through the SIZE/PITCH CV.
LFO and MOD Sections
The LFO section on StarLab is very similar to the MOD section on NightSky providing DEPTH, SHAPE, and SPEED controls to modulate 3 different targets. The difference here is that while you can modulate the delay lines within the reverb structure on NightSky, StarLab allows you to modulate the DELAY/TUNE control affecting the delay time or the pitch of the string in Karplus-Strong mode. Modulating the delay on StarLab also allows for classic modulation effects like chorus and flanger. In addition, StarLab has CV inputs for EXT LFO IN for using an external LFO to modulate with, and LFO CLK IN for quantizing the speed of the LFO to an external clock.
Strymon warranties its products and their varying components to be free from defects in material and workmanship for the following periods of time from the original date of purchase when purchased from an Authorized Strymon Dealer:
1 Year – BigSky, blueSky, Brigadier, Deco, DIG, El Capistan, Flint, Lex, Mobius, OB.1, Ola, Orbit, TimeLine
2 Years – AA.1, Magneto, StarLab
5 Years – Zuma, Zuma R300, Ojai, Ojai R30
1 Year – Factory power supplies for pedals
2 years – Conduit
1 Year – MiniSwitch, MultiSwitch Plus, original MultiSwitch, MIDI EXP Cables, DC Power Cables, EIAJ-05 Link Cables, 24V Power Adapter for Ojai/Ojai R30, Polarity Reversal Adapters, Voltage Doubler Adapters, Daisy-Chain Power Cables
If the product fails within the warranty period, Strymon will repair or, at our discretion, replace the product at no cost to the original purchaser.
This warranty covers defects in manufacturing discovered while using this product as recommended by Strymon. This warranty does not cover loss or theft, nor does the coverage extend to damage caused by misuse, abuse, unauthorized modification, improper storage, lightning, or natural disasters. Damage caused by any of the above circumstances may result in a non-warranty repair fee.
Products that were purchased from an unauthorized dealer are not covered under warranty. The warranty is non-transferrable and does not cover used or second-hand products.
Products purchased outside of your country (sales channel) have a warranty inside the country it was purchased ONLY and is not valid outside of the country it was purchased. Please contact your dealer for information on warranty and service outside of the USA and Canada.
Limits of Liability
In the case of malfunction, the purchaser’s sole recourse shall be repair or replacement, as described in the preceding paragraphs. Strymon will not be held liable to any party for damages that result from the failure of this product. Damages excluded include, but are not limited to, the following: lost profits, lost savings, damage to other equipment, and incidental or consequential damages arising from the use, or inability to use this product. In no event will Strymon be liable for more than the amount of the purchase price, not to exceed the current retail price of the product. Strymon disclaims any other warranties, express or implied. By using the product, the user accepts all terms herein.
How to Obtain Service Under this Warranty
For North American customers: Contact Strymon through our website at https://www.strymon.net/support for Return Authorization and information. Proof of original ownership may be required in the form of a purchase receipt.
For Customers Outside the USA and Canada: Contact the Strymon dealer from which the product was purchased from in order to arrange warranty repair service.
You can also contact Strymon directly at (805) 468-8788 or (800) 980-8160 for help finding your nearest authorized Strymon dealer.
Strymon products purchased from an authorized dealer are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. A purchase receipt from an authorized dealer is required with any request for warranty service.
Please note that any Strymon products that have been purchased from an unauthorized dealer are not eligible for coverage under the manufacturer’s warranty. If you are uncertain, please contact Strymon directly at (805) 468-8788 or (800) 980-8160 before your purchase.
***NOTE: Warranties for Strymon products are non-transferrable. Second-hand items, including sales from websites such as craigslist, Ebay, and Reverb are not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. ***
Your warranty is valid in the region of purchase. For example, if you buy your product in Japan, any service-related issues will need to be handled in Japan. Products purchased in the United States can only be repaired in the United States.