Meris Polymoon

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The Meris website describes the Polymoon as a “mathematical dream state.” That description might not pass muster in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, but in essence, it’s true. The Polymoon produces everything from simple slapback delay to dizzyingly complex and animated echo clouds. It’s an inspiring tool for ambient/textural players. The sound quality is stunning, thanks in part to 24-bit A/D convertors and 32-bit floating-point processing.

Washing Machine in a One-Note Wonderland

One of the pedal’s goals, says the manufacturer, is mimicking the sound of cascaded hardware delays. That is, not just sustaining echoes, but submitting them to successive rounds of delay. When you have a complex web of closely spaced echoes, it starts to sound like reverb because, well, that’s what reverb is.

One way to evaluate a digital delay/reverb is by listening closely to the effect’s final decay. Graininess is easiest to detect when levels get low. Here, the echoes fade into silence with gorgeous detail and clarity. 

Even though the delay time maxes out at out 1.2 seconds, the ambient sound clouds can seem to drift forever via cascading and regeneration. Factor in a dimension control that smears delay attacks, and you get sounds you’d expect from a pedal with “reverb” or “freeze” in its name.

You can generate ridiculously complex textures from ridiculously simple input. Just a note or two can trigger long, lush, washes. Someone with no guitar skills whatsoever could simply pluck a string and create something lovely.

These sounds are stupendous in stereo. Yes, you can get cool sounds within a standard mono signal chain, but damn, those wide images! I tracked the demo clip in stereo, connecting the Polymoon directly to an audio interface, and then using software amps.