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Cork-sniffers giving the Timefactor a bad rap?

ben_allison

Member
Messages
3,044
I see the TF on plenty of boards. Eventide has a long history of making killer studio effects.

Also, keep in mind that studio-gear is used for delays as much, if not more so than pedals are, on many of the records we listen to and get inspired by.

So, the two complaints I read most often regarding the TF are:

1) Entire signal goes through A/D D/A conversion.

Is this a bedroom player, cork-sniffer opinion? Again, serious mixing engineers have no problem running drums, vocals, or guitars through digital rack effects. So why are guitarists getting so hung up on this fact? Like, how much worse could the TF's affect on tone be?

Why is it ok for engineers working on key tracks on million dollar productions, but not weekend warriors?

2) Delays aren't mojo-ful enough (like, say, the TTE or DMM).

Again, is this a bedroom player criticism? Many pro boards feature DD3's and DL4's... no doubt these are also used in the studio, along with TC, Lexicon, and Eventide rack gear.

Is this a case of self-fulfilling prophecy/people hearing with their eyes (oh there's a digital read out... must not compare to XYZ analogue pedal, but I'll try it anyway).

Thoughts?
 

whoismarykelly

Oh look! This is a thing I can change!
Messages
8,021
I see the TF on plenty of boards. Eventide has a long history of making killer studio effects.

Also, keep in mind that studio-gear is used for delays as much, if not more so than pedals are, on many of the records we listen to and get inspired by.

So, the two complaints I read most often regarding the TF are:

1) Entire signal goes through A/D D/A conversion.

Is this a bedroom player, cork-sniffer opinion? Again, serious mixing engineers have no problem running drums, vocals, or guitars through digital rack effects. So why are guitarists getting so hung up on this fact? Like, how much worse could the TF's affect on tone be?

Why is it ok for engineers working on key tracks on million dollar productions, but not weekend warriors?

2) Delays aren't mojo-ful enough (like, say, the TTE or DMM).

Again, is this a bedroom player criticism? Many pro boards feature DD3's and DL4's... no doubt these are also used in the studio, along with TC, Lexicon, and Eventide rack gear.

Is this a case of self-fulfilling prophecy/people hearing with their eyes (oh there's a digital read out... must not compare to XYZ analogue pedal, but I'll try it anyway).

Thoughts?
Guitarists are notoriously conservative and closed minded when it comes to gear. Nothing will ever be as good as what their hero used 30+ years ago. Thats all there is to it.
 

Boogie92801

Member
Messages
2,240
I disagree. For me every time I have added any thing digital pedal in my signal I feel it.

I play a Tele (most of the time) into tweed amps and the second a digital pedal gets between me and the amp it feels different. I just think the digital stuff has a metallic or sterile edge to it and doesn’t react as natural to my fingers. It’s subtle, barely there really, but there none the less.

I disliked the DL4 and all of the Boss delays I have played or owned and though I love the sounds and feel of a memory man it just kills me to deal with all of the clock noise and tone suck - I have really enjoyed the very few times I have played through someone else’s TC or Eventide Rack but I have not been as immediately enamored with the Timefactor though I have barely played with it (I think the rack stuff has better tone and feel),

All that said, I might still buy a timefactor, I am looking at the Seymour Duncan and Vox digital delays as well as the damage control timeline to me even on the clips they sound less “digital” to my ears than the Boss, Tc or eventide pedals do.

Now if I could just wait out the Zar………
 

NewarkWilder

Member
Messages
3,674
i love my Timefactor, i've just decided I like it better with my synths than guitar. it still destroys most of the guitar delays out there--i'd take a TF over the much more expensive DML2 any day.

FWIW though, I really do hear the signal digitization issue. Its not enough of a big deal for me to bitch and moan about it, but it was enough for me to decide to take it out of my guitar rig when I got a Superdelay, which keeps your signal sounding silky smooth and natural.

All that said, right now I've got the best delay setup I've ever had the pleasure to hear with an old analog yamaha rack delay w/ modulation going into an early maxon ad-900.

bliss. (but no tap tempo! omg!)
 

leblanc74

Member
Messages
526
ZING!

I agree... a lot of us seem to be perpetually stuck in the past...
I miss those 80's Metal concert days....:dude ... those were my teenage years, but time has passed...

anyways, I have a few friends that uses "live" the TF and it's their only delay on board. The delay sounds great in a church setting; however, I still prefer my AD-900, but that is my opinion only...
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,977
i didn't like the TF because my favorite delay (vintage delay) was noisy when set to less than 16 bits and the unit failed to update. When I contacted them I was given the runaround. I won't buy another of their products.
 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,952
So, the two complaints I read most often regarding the TF are:

1) Entire signal goes through A/D D/A conversion.

Is this a bedroom player, cork-sniffer opinion?
Yes. I play out with my TF 2-3 times a week. In a live situation, at gig volume, you can't hear the difference between the TF's converted signal and a "pure" analog signal. I can hear the difference when I'm playing in my basement at home. At a gig, where it matters? No.

2) Delays aren't mojo-ful enough (like, say, the TTE or DMM).

Again, is this a bedroom player criticism? ?
Also yes. I use a delay to add space and ambience to my sound, and the TF does an admirable job. It also has some cool effects like filter, modulation, and an analog sim. These work well, and I use them sparingly.

It's dead quiet, easy to program, sounds great, and is infinitely controllable via MIDI. Everything a gigging player could ask for, IMHO.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
The time factor sounds fantastic man IMHO. Two independent , beautiful sounding delays, as pristine or as low fi as wanted. Also thick lush, analog sounding warm or bright choruses and modulated delays can be had easily.

The buffer can be turned on or off ( so true bypass or dsp ) 40 presets, cool sounding hall or plate type reverb out of the tapped delay patch.....line or instrument level at the input and output....

My whole rig sounds better with it in line that when it not used in my set up.

Great delay ( and I've used just about everything out there at one time or another, I'm a delay junkie )

This is all IMHO and YMMV and all that of course.
 

Skreddy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,321
I've never played one of those, but I do have a general comment about digitizing the "dry" signal. It adds latency, at very least. This is not desirable. I can be "felt" by the player, and even in parallel effects setups, unless it is turned to 100% wet, that latency on the dry signal will cause an out-of-phase or fixed-flange/comb-filter problem. The human ear can hear minute delays; these are used by the brain to aid in stereo localization and so forth. "Corksniffer" is clearly a disparagement. So you blame the person who finds fault with something, even though you admit the fault does exist?
:dunno What kind of logic is that? :Spank
 

ben_allison

Member
Messages
3,044
I disagree. For me every time I have added any thing digital pedal in my signal I feel it.


THIS, I get. There's something to be said for voltage from your pups connected directly to the input tube of your amp...

sharkminusbear said:
A lot of pros use DL-4's and DD-3's in live rigs because they are easy to replace if they fail.
I used to think this, but it doesn't add up. If you're in a big band, you have the dough (and responsibility) to have backups on hand... possibly also a deal with the builder to send you a replacement stat. If you're not in a big band and your XYZ Boutique breaks down, then you just go get a DL-4 to see you through the tour, etc.

I think people use DL4's and DD3's because they like them.
 

ninjaaron

Member
Messages
1,132
The feel of the TF might be a little different due to the slightest latency.

However, the AD/DA coversion has such a high sample rate (more than twice CD quality, and processing a much simpler signal) that I defy anyone to tell the difference when someone else is playing.
 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,952
I think people use DL4's and DD3's because they like them.
Correct. There are many examples, but Joe Bonamassa is one of the better ones. He had a DD-3 on his board for years (not sure if he still does). He said in a ToneQuest Report interview that he loved it. If it's good enough for Joe...

There is something to be said for picking up a replacement for a piece of gear at the local Guitar Center when you're on the road, but I don't think that's why so many players use digital delays.
 

ben_allison

Member
Messages
3,044
I've never played one of those, but I do have a general comment about digitizing the "dry" signal. It adds latency, at very least. This is not desirable. I can be "felt" by the player, and even in parallel effects setups, unless it is turned to 100% wet, that latency on the dry signal will cause an out-of-phase or fixed-flange/comb-filter problem. The human ear can hear minute delays; these are used by the brain to aid in stereo localization and so forth. "Corksniffer" is clearly a disparagement. So you blame the person who finds fault with something, even though you admit the fault does exist?
:dunno What kind of logic is that? :Spank
I love spankings.

I fully get the latency issue... which is why if fully buy the "feel" argument, more easily than I do the "tone" argument.

And yes, the Haas effect and all that, I get.

I used the term "corksniffer," not to describe people that don't like this or that because of real experience, but to describe people that dismiss something based purely on assumptions or theoretical reasoning (which is often ill informed).

So while I realize that a potential fault exists, I'm asking if "corksniffers" are giving the device bad press based on the "corksniffer code of conduct", as opposed to actually using their ears and evaluating in an open-minded way.
 

Angle Loss

Senior Member
Messages
1,505
How is the latency by a converter running inline to your amp going to be any different from the latency a guitarist feels from standing farther away from the amp? Get on a big stage and you will feel latency anyway. Sure you don't want anymore than you have to, but the Timefactor doesn't exhibit much latency, say compared to a DL4.

Even more people complain about the Boss DD-20 "digitizing" their sound and feel, when the pedal keeps the dry signal analog. I think in general, many people hear with their eyes. I have regularly done blind tests with a friend of mine of digitizing, cables and buffers. Sure there can be some differences at home, but we have both agreed that these factors get neutralized when playing a gig.

I personally use a Timefactor and Echoczar on my main board. I have them both in a looper with my modulation/ambience. Picking your effects, paying attention to where your buffers are can produce a very tone neutral system. My board of 16 pedals sounds nearly identical to a single cable to the amp.

The Timefactor has great convertors. If they would fix the vintage delay (too noisey) and the tape delay (sounds like digital delay with slight roll off and modulation--not tape!), they Timefactor would gain many fans among the Gear Page and boutiquers. I use the Echoczar because the lo-fi sounds aren't there on the TF.

Many of people's complaints are just silly here. Like, "my buffer is sucking treble" which goes against what a buffer does. If people would sit down and do blind tests, they would genuinely be surprised. A little knowledge is dangerous around here. Plus, the digital fx manufacturers are having to deal with the stigma of the 80's rack units. That was technology of a quarter of century ago.

I think people will respect my delay sounds if just put a swirly paint job on my Timefactor. Finally it will have analog boutique "mojo". lol. :dunno:bkw
 

tonnu

Member
Messages
67
one of my gripe with the TF is that although it has a tape echo mode, it has no 'analog delay' mode ... u know a mode where the delays can decay like a good 'ol analog delay like the dmm, dm2, ad-80, whatever etc.
 

ben_allison

Member
Messages
3,044
one of my gripe with the TF is that although it has a tape echo mode, it has no 'analog delay' mode ... u know a mode where the delays can decay like a good 'ol analog delay like the dmm, dm2, ad-80, whatever etc.
That troubles me too... seems like the vintage and tape modes are kinda duds... but the fact that they might "fix" these models, and that you could download updates is... quite remarkable.

Man, too bad they don't have an SDK so we could program our own!
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,105
Corksniffery is mostly the placebo effect.

Or even when sound "defects" are actually heard, they are only heard because you are actively looking for them and amplifying them in your mind.

For the most part, a cork sniffer's reaction to something says more about the person than the object in question.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
it surprises me when folks say the TF can't get lo fi enough....

when running the most current version ( 2.04 ?? ) the filter and feedback knobs become very powerful parameters indeed....

lo fi, thick, warm, grungy , on the edge of runaway ( or infinite oscillation ) repeats are there for sure... with all sorts of thick or subtle modulations when wanted...
 




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