Help settle an argument...echo vs delay

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by toneman335, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. toneman335

    toneman335 Senior Member

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    Was with a follow guitar player and he said echo and delay are the same thing. I say there is a difference. How would describe things?
     
  2. dosmun

    dosmun Supporting Member

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    Same thing. I think echo is just more of a "vintage" term.
     
  3. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    Yeah; semantics and custom--no actual definitive difference.
     
  4. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    It's the same thing
     
  5. madsr

    madsr Member

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    an echo is when you are standing at the entrance to a cave let's say.. and you say "HELLO!!" .. and it comes back "HELLO..HEllo..Hello..hello..etc."
    a delay is when you are heading to work let's say... and up ahead on the road you see Godzilla holding a bus with screaming people hanging out the windows.. you are stuck there until Godzilla decides to throw the bus and head on back to the ocean.. you get to work and tell your boss there was a "delay".
    Hope this cleared things up for ya!:AOK
     
  6. Jarvis

    Jarvis Member

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    Shouldn't delay technically be 100% wet echo? Then the note is actually delayed.
     
  7. BrianB

    BrianB Member

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    But reverberation and echo are the same thing. Reverb is a slight and fast echo with more randomness, which is what I would associate more with an echo, but delay is a repeater.
     
  8. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Member

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    The big reverberation rooms that big studios had, (actual rooms were used to house the plate reverb,) were sometimes called "echo chambers;" it's semantics though really.
     
  9. Skreddy

    Skreddy Member

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    The case for the differences between echo and reverb is much more substantial than the argument between echo and delay. E.g., and Echoplex is called an "echo" and a digital delay, capable of exactly the same thing (ignoring the minor tonal difference) is called a "delay."
     
  10. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    In my opinion a delay is a repeated, pristine copy of the original signal. It has a clear and precise reproduction of the original content. Though the tonality may change, it is still quite clear.

    When you stand inside a cave and shout "Hello!" the returned sound comes back to your ears altered or diffused. To where finally the sound is of the same timbre but you can no longer understand the word. To me, this is an 'echo'.

    The original tape echoes did this well. The signal degraded over time, changing tonality and getting murkier. The diffusion of the original signal changes over the repeats.

    So an echo, in my mind, is the gradual diffusion and change in tone as the trails repeat. Whereas a delay still retains the clarity of the original.

    But this is my own thoughts on the differences. :)

    -Z
     
  11. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Thats what I think too. So in my mind there is a difference between the two.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>So an echo, in my mind, is the gradual diffusion and change in tone as the trails repeat. Whereas a delay still retains the clarity of the original.<<

    This isn't actually the case. You can have a delay that changes like the echo you're referring to. It's not about tonality, it's about time, number of repeats, multitaps, etc. Time is the distinguishing factor.

    Reverbs are the fundamentally the same as delays are the same as echoes. The difference is in the amount of time between the reflections.

    A reverb is more difficult to create because to give the listener the impression of a sound being in a "room", many more virtual reflected surfaces have to be created, because a room reflects sound off the walls, ceiling, and floor. This is a more difficult undertaking than simply creating a "repeat". Many short delays or echoes are needed to create a realistic sense of space (and spring reverbs have their own dynamic of course as well). Sound bounces around a room in a fairly complex way.

    Many delays are "multitap", which makes their algorithms a bit more complex than simple echoes.

    So yeah, they're all based on the same thing, that is, creating the impression of reflected sound.

    There are things a multitap delay can do that a simple old fashioned echo unit can't do, and things a reverb can do that neither of the other two can do, but basically it's all about sound, reflection, and time.

    So in a way, you and your friend are both right, if you both accept that a delay can be an echo, but an echo can't always be something like a multitap delay.
     
  13. Frosted Glass

    Frosted Glass Member

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    I agree with you. An echo to my mind is not identical to the original signal (high end roll off etc). A delay is identical to the original signal - it's that signal "delayed". To all intents and purposes they refer to the same units in guitar effect speak, but if I asked for an echo I wouldn't be happy if someone handed me a Boss DD-6, I'd want something analogue. Actually, Maxon had a digital echo (DE-01) and and digital delay (DD-01) in their Japan-only 01 series. It'd be interesting to hear how they differ.
     
  14. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Member

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    So, the semantics of English are just so confusing, we'll let the Japanese decide for us??!!??
     
  15. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    That's kind of how they are differentiated by a lot of manufacturers. Delay = crisp, digital, echo = warm, vintage. But technically, it's the same thing. It's like asking the difference between black and obsidian.
     
  16. RitalinCupcake

    RitalinCupcake Supporting Member

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    If that's the case what about analog delays?
     
  17. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    I consider analog delays to be delays :) They don't lose definition on the repeats. They just change tone...

    -Z
     
  18. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    Actually I don't think I was as clear as I thought I was on explaining my idea on what an echo is...

    An echo, in my opinion, starts to break up and lose its definition as it repeats. Like diffusion. Direct signal, 1st repeat is still pretty clear but darker, 3rd repeat is starting to become less defined, 4th repeat is almost a reverb sound at this point, then the 5th would be almost an aftertouch.

    -Z
     

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