A guitar pedal has been sent into space for the first time

Chaos Audio is claiming to be the first effects firm to have sent a guitar pedal into space.

The company’s new multi-effects pedal, the Stratus, lived up to its sky-high billing as it hitched a ride on a weather balloon.

The launch took place in Panama City Beach, Fl and saw the pedal enter the stratosphere, reaching approximately 108,000 feet before its valiant steed, er, popped and it headed back to earth.

Remarkably, Chaos Audio was able to recover the well-travelled Stratus from the branches of a tree, approximately 150 miles from the launch site, in Quitman, Ga. 

Fortunately, the firm captured the whole journey on video, so you can relive the drama from the comfort of your own screen. 

Chaos Audio CEO Landon McCoy says the stunt was intended to draw attention to a product that they consider “out of this world” and, therefore, worthy of a literal launch in keeping with the new space age. 

Indeed, the video of the trip even captured the first launch of Space X’s Falcon Heavy, which coincidentally took off nearby at a similar time.

“This is Stratus' launch,” says McCoy, “but we're really launching an ecosystem. "Stratus is a pedal, an app and a digital pedal store, all-in-one. It allows you to download new effects with a tap and dial in your tone in seconds. 

“The multi-effects platform will ship with 24 boutique quality digital effects, with more to be added regularly.

“It's truly out of this world technology. The groundbreaking hardware is simple and elegant in design, and more complex than you might imagine.”

Chaos Audio Stratus pedal and app

The Stratus pedal and accompanying app (Image credit: Chaos Audio)

The Stratus has been through several iterations over the past two years. We first reported on an early version of the pedal in 2020, before the Stratus was updated in 2021 following a successful campaign for backing on Kickstarter. 

Now the firm’s flagship pedal is ready for general release and set to arrive on December 9, at a price of $399. 

For pre-orders and more information, head to Chaos Audio (opens in new tab).

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.