The 3rd MIDI pedal in the range, the long-awaited Ambi Space is a digital reverb incorporating a good part of the bases of the development of the excellent Flight Time! On the program, an ultra-complete Reverb that shakes up the Eventide, Strymon and others...
Externally the pedal adopts the same type of casing as the Tri Avatar and Flight Time, namely, a very light casing and pleasant to the touch, with an anodized finish and a bronze color dress. It does it! It is also manufactured, exceptionally, in Iwate prefecture and not in Yokohama, in order to support the local economy which suffered greatly following the events of 2011. We will appreciate the gesture!
On the front, there is a design which in fact proves to be of formidable ergonomics and simplicity. Finally, let's remember, it's a Free The Tone, which means a completely original circuit developed from A to Z by the brand. No, it's not yet another lambda Reverb, a very serious reference, as always with the Japanese brand.
At the grip, we therefore have 2 footswitches; one to activate the effect, the other to switch between MIDI presets. You can therefore store up to 4 presets within the Ambi Space. This will satisfy 99.99% of guitarists! The pedal is therefore controllable with an external MIDI controller. On the left, there is a rotary knob that allows you to navigate between the 6 Reverb modes available. A MIX knob adjusts the depth and density of the effect. The Tone acts like an EQ on the effect, allowing you to tune the effect response very precisely. This always in a very musical way (Free The Tone requires). Finally, the Decay adjusts the length of the reverb and the pre-delay its delay time. Ambi Space can be used in Manual or Preset mode. In preset mode, you can modify the parameters of an already saved preset. In Manual mode, you can create a preset from A to Z and choose the destination location. On the rear panel, the usual stereo In and Out, the possibility to adjust the level of the pedal (instr. or line) and to activate the KillDry and finally, a MIDI In.
Connected to a very nice clean channel, with a stratocaster in hand, we attack with the different modes available,
- Spring: This emulates, as its name suggests, a spring reverb. This mode is extremely realistic, the Ambi Space delivering an extremely detailed and never caricatural Spring, even with advanced settings.
- Plate: One of the most impressive modes. The Ambi Space gives us a metallic reverb that's just right, without being too stiff or cold. La Plate benefits from a very beautiful all-natural diffusion without being too typical. It will therefore be ideal for those looking for great versatility.
- Room: One of our favorite modes. A very realistic spatialization and a superb rendering, in particular thanks to its perfect integration of the Tone knob which will allow it to be sculpted in detail.
- Hall: A magnificent reverb for those looking for more depth and a more 80's side. It will be perfect accompanied by a modulation. Its "build up" is a model of naturalness and its complexity a must of its kind.
- Cave & Serene: These two modes are aimed at fans of ambient, electro and other complex pads. Here, no "hovering" Reverb strictly speaking, but two harmonically very rich modes, which base their rendering on multiple lines of delays and rhythmic patterns placed in parallel, which gives very interesting "cascading" effects for more adventurous and creative among you.
As always with Free The Tone, the transparency and naturalness of the pedal are impressive. The controls are very progressive and not caricatural. The Ambi Space does not give in excess but in efficiency and ease of use. Here, no drawer sub-menus, but an extremely easy-to-use reverb with formidable efficiency. It allows you to combine the best of both worlds by keeping your analog signal intact, this one being processed by a mixer in parallel.
In summary, the new Free The Tone Ambi-Space is an absolute success. Yukihiro Hayashi hits the mark, as always. The Ambi Space will be the Reverb for those looking for power, flexibility (4 presets) and "plug 'n play" access, even for those allergic to digital and other too many buttons. An obvious alternative, ultra-qualitative, compared to other big bikes available on the market.