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Pigtronix Cosmosis Review

Pigtronix Cosmosis pedal

A broad range of voices and a clever morph control unlock uncommon ambient reverb sounds that break the same-old-cathedral-verb mold.

Many unusual tonalities that defy affordable ambient reverb convention. High-quality controls. Morph control covers a lot of tones shifting without an expression pedal.

Setting up morph control can feel less than intuitive.


Pigtronix Cosmosis


Pigtronix boss Dave Koltai is an energetic guy—particularly when you get him chatting about music. He loves the musical potential of the guitar. And while he seems to have an affection for every kind of guitar expression, from the rootsiest to the most experimental, his heart often seems to be very invested in the latter camp. Pigtronix pedals have always hinted at that affection for out-there modes of guitar thought, and the new Cosmosis stereo reverb definitely exists, in part, to serve those urges. Billed as an ambient reverb, the Cosmosis spans big-picture reverb profiles and more modest ones. And while it doesn’t necessarily achieve anything revolutionary, it features many unique sounds and a cool, practical morph control, which enables users to shift between very divergent settings using a footswitch instead of a space-hogging expression pedal. Together with the many spacious voices on tap, it helps make Cosmosis a varied and versatile time-warping device.

More Cosmic Pig, Less Space Hog

On the surface, Cosmosis’ morph control might not seem like a big deal. But as I am often tasked with getting the most possible sounds from a pedalboard that shares a suitcase with two weeks’ worth of clean clothes, I can attest to the impracticality of expression pedals and the value of effects that do more without them. With its longitudinally oriented, rectangular layout, Cosmosis doesn’t exactly have the smallest footprint. But while you could argue that a similar set of functions would have fit in a vertically oriented box, users would have paid a penalty in functionality and practicality onstage. Cosmosis’ control layout is smartly spaced, logically laid out, and pretty easy to suss before you ever touch the manual. Tone, blend, and size controls are exactly what they seem, and they’re sturdy, smooth-turning things that are satisfying to the touch. The three small push buttons, which, perhaps, look a bit too much like the black screws holding the enclosure together at the pedal’s crown, enable switching between the pedal’s three primary voicings, four presets, and the parameters governed by the morph control.

Sorting out the functionality of the morph function takes a few minutes with the manual. Getting a feel for the switching sequences required to select and assign values can feel awkward, if only because the possible combinations are so many. While many pedals with the ability to move between settings via expression pedal can only assign that movement to a single effect, the Cosmosis' morph function allows any combination of parameters to be manipulated simultaneously. And the compound tone shifts you hear between the two extremes in many Cosmosis morph cycles can be exceptionally rich and nebulous.

Returning the Mystery to Space

The Cosmosis’ morph feature is made cooler for the varied voices the pedal puts at one’s disposal. With a voice called “temple,” you’d expect the kind of churchy, choir-like, octave-up tones associated with ambient reverb. At their best, these octave-up sounds can evoke organ tones or add lushness to overdubbed layers. At their worst, they sound like sickeningly sweet, cheap cable-sci-fi soundtracks. And the Cosmosis trades the octave-up ambient reverb technique for a smoother-sounding processing that uses just harmonics to create the reverb image. And an effective, wide-ranging tone control means you can bend that high-frequency-harmonics content to much weirder ends. At its highest extremes in the temple and even more spacious cosmos settings, the tone control adds almost granular washes that sound like the electromechanical clangs from a spring reverb taken to unnatural extremes. At some lower tone settings, the Cosmosis tucks high octave content into much more subliminal spaces, which is especially cool for adding faint illumination around the edges of foggy, extra-wet, super-spacious temple and cosmos settings.

The Cosmosis’ most demure settings are fun to work with. too. There are many convincing spring-like settings that run from subdued to splashy and metallic ’60s tones. And room-style settings can give any instrument a touch of intimate Fleetwood Mac Rumors glow.

The Verdict

The Cosmosis is, delightfully, more than the average generic ambient reverb. While it can generate the high-harmonic-bedazzled textures many look for in an effect of this type, its rangy and interactive tone, space, and blend controls generate octave-up colors that are uncommon and mysterious. The sounds you can create between the modest theater settings and the grandest cosmos settings span mellow room- and amp-reverb sounds and tones that evoke spaces measured in light years. The useful morph function, meanwhile, enables the player to shift between such extremes with dramatic effect. And while some players will lament that there are only four presets, that number can accommodate hugely variable tones if you’re clever and creative. At nearly $220, its price falls in line with comparable ambient reverbs. But its unique tonalities and features will make it a superior option for many players seeking less-common routes to space-time contorting bliss.