Maybe it is a sign of the times that a debate over analog and digital multi effect units remains a divided argument. One essential tool in any given guitarist's bag is one in which analog is not an option. Reverb. So where does Ridges stand?
Ridges is a compact pedal from 323 Effects with three switchable reverb modes: Shimmer, Hall, and Spring. Let's break it down!
In Shimmer mode, regenerative octaves are added to the decay meaning as the note trails you hear a higher pitch reflected in the decay. Some people describe it as angels singing behind the notes. Shimmer is the perfect mode to add ambience and texture to your playing.
In Hall mode, the Depth knob is where you hear the sound of the room increase to a near cathedral reverb. I find myself holding melodic phrases just long enough to hear the long hall decay before overlapping another phrase just to be in a wash of reverb. This mode is where I'm home.
In Spring mode, the Color knob will either dampen that high end "drip" with which this digital recreation of a spring reverb tank is emulating or brighten the decay to a more metallic reflection. The big surprise to me when trying Ridges for the first time is how well I actually get on with the Spring setting.
A thing to consider when searching for any reverb pedal is your preference to the amount of wet/dry ratio available. Guitarists often want to bring in just enough of those massive hall, high octave shimmer, or metal spring tones while keeping their clean signal properly heard. On the other hand, some guitarists want a full 100% wet ambient mix without even a slight audible mix of dry. Ridges is the 50/50 mix option for guitarists.
Often the sign of a well engineered effect is in relation to how much time you spend dialing in the tone to your liking. In the case of Ridges we have a reverb pedal which instantly catches your ear moment you turn it on. The options are there to tweak the reverb in order to find that preferential sweet spot if you want but to be honest right out of the gate Ridges grabs you the second you hear it. Happy playing!