Strymon Ola

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by southpaw pete, May 2, 2015.

  1. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Member

    May 25, 2009
    Calgary, AB Canada
    I know there are a LOT of Strymon users on here, but for whatever reason there doesn't seem to be many threads, or even online reviews, about the Ola. So I figured I'd post something. I know there are a lot on here who just avoid chorus altogether because of it's overuse in the 80s. For whatever reason I apparently keep coming back to it, and find myself looking for a use for it in my sound.

    I've been through a number of chorus pedals over the years... the Boss DC-2, CE-2, CE-5, Digitech Multi Chorus, iStomp models, Line 6 tonecore, Danelectro Cool Cat (big steel version) and Milkshake, Visual Sound Liquid Chrous... There are a few that I liked in that bunch, but not enough to stay on the board.

    Well, this past week I found someone selling an Ola locally, and did a little trade (+$$) for it. I figured it would be easy enough to flip if I didn't care for it. Well, not only has it impressed me, but it has exceeded my expectations. I've been wanting to get some subtle shimmery chorus to thicken up my sound on occasion, and even take me to the classic Cranberries clean chorus sound. And this does it. And not only that, I've found that with the Envelope setting, I can have chorus on my cleans, and then it naturally dials out when I kick in my overdrive or distortion. Very cool feature - which can be used in reverse with the tri-chorus (no chorus when playing clean or quiet, but comes in to the mix as you play louder or kick in some dirt).

    The Vibrato is also very tasteful. I often stay away from vibrato, simply because i hear so many people going to the extreme sea-sick warble. Nothing against it - I just like a more subtle approach to my modulation. I think I may actually use the Vibrato on here! It can go to a more thick warble if you choose, but can also give the nice and sweet subtle movement that I look for. Not to mention that with the envelope setting it speeds up when you play harder and slows down as you lessen your attack.

    I have yet to use it in stereo... looking forward to trying that out soon.

    Anyone else on here using the Ola?
    NamaEnsou likes this.
  2. Musicmaster

    Musicmaster Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Sherwood Park, Canada
    I used to... I switched to the Retro-Sonic Chorus, because I missed the 'true-analog' chorus tones. But I *seriously* miss the Vibrato side...
    So much so, that I've got an Ola on my WTTF list in the Emporium again.
    I started with the RSC, went to the Ola, went back to the RSC...
    If I have to pick, it's the Retro-Sonic, but I like the Ola so much that I might need both :)
  3. dilznik

    dilznik Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    I got one a few months ago and immediately thought it made my Trichorus sound terrible. The Trichorus went in the drawer and the Ola is on the board for good. It's turned on about 50% of the time.
    NamaEnsou and like this.
  4. lawmason69

    lawmason69 Member

    May 6, 2012
    under the sofa
    agree...Ola is a great, great chorus ( and vibrato )...strangely under the radar offering from Strymon. Cant do proper "dream pop" without a good chorus, and the Ola is a key ingredient for me...way better then cowbell by the way.
    NamaEnsou likes this.
  5. Telecasteur

    Telecasteur Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    I wish more companies would do mod pedals with an envelope feature like that.

    The only other two I can think of off the top of my head are Pigtronix Tremvelope and Captain Coconut 2 (vibe)
  6. Revelation

    Revelation Member

    Jan 21, 2010
    Does the Ola sound like a nice emulation of an analog chorus but it lacks the warmth of a real analog chorus/ does it sound more clean and sparkled or does it have some warmth to it?

    What character does it have compared to other chorus pedals?
  7. Flight1311

    Flight1311 Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    It was my first Strymon pedal way back in 2010 and has been my all time favorite chorus since the day I first plugged it in. I've been through all the chorus pedals out there and still own others besides the Ola but nothing can replace it. I was so impressed by the Ola that a month later I ordered a Blue Sky and love that pedal as well.

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