Delay freaks/experts, what's up with this?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Space Jazzer, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Ok, so some of you may have read about my delay quest (keep TimeLine or get a FTT Flight Time Delay) in another thread, and all the helpful replies really got me thinking. So, as I had a lot of time on my hands today I sat down and really worked the algorithms (particularly the Digital and Lo-Fi algos) to see what could be done, and to finally make up my mind on wether to stick with the TL or go grab a FTT Flight Time. I conjured up the digital and tape delay algos on the H9 for comparison/reference/giggles/optimal confusion, and started to play.

    Long story short, the digital delay on the H9/TimeFactor is completely different to my ears and fingers when compared to the digital setting on the TimeLine. I mean, I've heard and experienced this in person before, but figured it must be due to me not really knowing how to tweak the TimeLine and due to the fact that it's a "voiced" digital delay, which I figured must be why it sounds a little more dreamy and sits behind the signal in a certain way. Modulation is beautiful on both units, though. I never use much of it, but just a touch really brings out the mojo sometimes.

    Not bashing Strymon, the TimeLine is brilliant in its own way. I got completely lost in the dTape algorithm, which, when set clean with minimal distortion and modulation, is freakin excellent. And, as ThinPaperWings pointed ut in the other thread, using the LoFi also helps in this regard. I reduced sample rate to 48Khz, bits to 24 and turned all other filters off and got a beautiful, popping delay sound. But it's still not anywhere near what I'm hearing from the TimeFactor.

    Is it really only due to the "voicing" on the digital engine of the TimeLine, or is the TimeFactor also voiced, but in a brighter, snappier way? Is it due to the hardware? I'm starting to feel that the delay on the TimeFactor is not really "clean" either, but simply voiced in a different manner than the Timeline. Are the often praised clean and pristine repeats of the TF actually clean?

    Why don't I get i TimeFactor or another H9 then? Well, I don't really like the other sounds of the TF - in my book, the TimeLine win hands down when speaking of the other delay capabilities. And I like the idea and hands-on creative aspect of a dedicated delay pedal. But if the FTT Flight Time Delay doesn't do the TF digital sounds nearly as well as the TF (*duh*, but you get my point), I'm not sure that's what I want either.

    I'm confused. I don't know what I want anymore.

    :facepalm
     
  2. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

    Messages:
    9,082
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    The only way I've found to reduce this confusion in my gear searches is to forget about products, and focus instead on my needs. Narrow it down in your head to the exact qualities you want to get from a product, and only then look for the product that matches that most closely, regardless of cost. Then go from there with other factors that come up.

    For me, for example, I decided beforehand, before looking at products, that I wanted a great tweakers delay that was very simple and basic -- a simple delay that could be dialed in precisely to do one thing well at a time, to the highest standards. I wanted to choose one sound, or a few sounds, I liked the best, rather than have 12,000 presets I would either never use, or waste too much precious music playing time on. I needed to know literally nothing about any product to figure all that out. I also knew I enjoyed both tape and digital delays in the past, moreso than analog.

    All that, which was based on no knowledge of delay pedals, nonetheless led me directly to one product -- the El Capistan. I really had no choice. And not surprisingly, I was very happy with the purchase.

    So what do you want and need from a delay?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  3. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    The Timeline sounds murky. I think it's the analog path. All the delay machines end up sounding murky. It also seemed like you got one or two clear repeats then it was just a wash of mushy ambiance. The dtape was the one that worked the best for me in a band setting. Having a bunch of different delay machines just didn't matter, as they all kind of still had that overall murkiness.
     
  4. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Very good points, no doubt. For some reason, I can do this with everything else related to guitar gear, but not with delay effects.

    I want a clear, articulate and pristine digital base sound, with hi- and low cut filters and a nice, airy modulation. And different subdivisions. Thats what I really need, and what I mostly use in my jazz/eastern fusion projects. The dTape sound from the TL would be nice, but I never use it for tape sounds per se, just as a different flavor for when metal strikes and I go into Van Halen mode...
     
    underwound likes this.
  5. thekeefus

    thekeefus Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    The only sound I really loved in the Timeline was the dTape....so just went to an El Cap. I never could get a digital delay in the timeline that sounded pristine.
    I bounced through a Timefactor, DD-5, DD-7, DD-20....then realized I had gotten so used to tape delays that I didn't like a super pristine digital delay anymore.

    So now it's the El Cap for warble-y warm tape stuff and a MLjr for everything else. It's certainly not pristine...but it's pristine enough for me.
     
  6. DecoWaves

    DecoWaves Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    I've shared this perspective before on other threads ... but also to build on what others have shared here,

    One can easily get caught up chasing the 'ideal' description of (the expected response of tone/effect from the "title" of such effect) instead of exploring and then finding an ideal tone/effect that speaks to and inspires us. Example: A 'Digital Delay' does not automatically mean clean and pristine repeats. I would suggest that, to get caught in the chase, often happens when one tries to duplicate the sound from a favorite artist or song ... and/or ... when we focus on "expectations". Sorry if that sounds cryptic. Effects, especially delays, and their offerings and technical abilities thereof, have changed throughout the years ... from tape machines to digital delays, to processors that now emulate tape machines. They all have unique voices and abilities and no two often sound alike.

    Best to find one that you really enjoy with respects to its personality, works well in your setup, has both the attributes and control mechanics that allow you to dial in the right blend and characteristics, and provides flexibility for you to deploy and use it more often.

    I have the El Cap ... which is sort of the main delay of choice because of its "Voice" and easy controls. Then I use my H9 for "alternate" delays or specific needs like covering a little U2. At one point I had the Strymon DIG and I contemplated getting the Brigadier to cover all delays ... and, as cool as that would have been, the practicality of that setup (using that much board real estate for three delays) didn't make sense for my needs when thinking Big Picture. To note: In referencing the U2 above (and would also apply to the Floyd covers I perform), I am sometimes just has happy, or more engaged, when I use the El Cap delay to play songs like Bad or Streets -- to have the hints/inspirations from the classic version of the songs but to then add a uniqueness of a darker, tape delay -- a more mellow vibe. I think the audience "buys-in" a bit more because god knows, as do they, that I am not the Edge, nor am I trying to be a tribute band. LoL
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
    Occasional User likes this.
  7. Kennyscrown

    Kennyscrown Member

    Messages:
    1,955
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Location:
    England
    I love the Timeline - I've had it for about 6 weeks, and hadn't noticed the Digital Delay wasn't pristine. All I really noticed was that the dTape setting wasn't a patch on the El Cap.

    There are some great models on it - the Ice Delay, Filter, Swell, and dBucket have all found themselves on to recordings so far. I love the dBucket especially, and the 'Saltwater' Digital Delay preset is one of my favourites. But I don't think it's what I thought it was - a total solution to all of my delay needs.

    And now I'm starting to think the Digital delay isn't clean enough - I think this is definitely a case of TGP-fever. I must stop reading TimeLine threads!
     
  8. natethegreat12

    natethegreat12 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Location:
    Metro Detroit, MI USA
    IMO the TimeLine totes does pristine clean digi delay.
    Note:

    Mix knöb must be cranked to 2:00 or 3:00.
    Cut some low end

    WaaaahLaaaah
     
  9. Kyle Byquist

    Kyle Byquist Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Free the Tone FT is super underrated IMHO - No diving through menus or "modeled" delay sounds... you basically build your own sound with the parameters of the pedal such as adding HP and/or LP filter, modulation depth/speed, etc. INSTEAD of trying to get an "analog with mod" setting to sound like this or that thing. I'd strongly recommend watching Shnobel's A/B demos with the TC and Korg rack delays for the comparison with the real deal. There's a reason David Gilmour used two of them on his last tour.

    P.S., so many people have Timelines now it almost feels cliche to have one. Branch out a little!
     
  10. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Well, I agree with this. I try to think along those lines when looking for gear, but I just lost it this time. I guess I never gelled with the personality of the Timeline, I think thats a good word you used in your post. I have other pedals that I just loved from the very moment they landed on my board, and they're always a part of my rig - I never think twice about them. I'm not much for changing things up for the sake of change, I guess it comes down to the fact that I just don't really love the Timeline...
     
  11. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    That's exactly how I like to get to know my effects. That's also one of the reasons why I've been eyeing the FTT FTD. Just straight forward tweaking of basic parameters, in order to achieve different sounds and textures.
     
    Kyle Byquist likes this.
  12. DecoWaves

    DecoWaves Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    It can be very easy to feel like "I must like this pedal" because it is so well received by others, that it comes from a good company, or ... <fill in the reason>, and, to actively engage with the theGearPage.net forums will certainly exacerbate this feeling -- LoL. That being said, one (we) can walk away from our experience with two completely true but different perspectives simultaneously; example:

    1) Strymon makes incredible pedals and the Timeline is a fantastic, well-respected delay ... AND, in the very same breath, 2) The Timeline does not vibe well with me and/or work for my needs or what I am looking for.​

    It sounds very much like this may be the scenario you are facing so you shouldn't feel guilty in moving on in a different direction and continuing the search.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  13. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    22,478
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    ..... or, just get a lexicon pcm42, then ask MoltenVoltage to do a tap-tempo+sub-div switch for ya, & be done with it?
    maybe, because..... who knows?

    you really do sound like you've gone kind of nutty on this, to me, which's saying something; ha!
    i mean: "airy modulation"? that's not even a thing (although i def know at least one way you could achieve it in a custom design, or program it into a lexicon pcm80/81 etc).
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  14. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Yeah, well, so much for the art of describing sounds with words :rotflmao What I mean by airy modulation is that in contrast to some modulated delays which are quite dense and heavy, some delays have a modulation which sits a little bit more in the back of things, or more or less float above the notes. I guess the more dense kind of modulation is what some people would describe as natural, but I kind of prefer it with a little less weight.

    See, makes perfect sense :bonk
     
  15. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Spot on!
     
  16. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    22,478
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008

    yup! i see.

    mostly, modulation of delay can usually be found to have shape, depth & speed; in some cases, the input level --- i.e., your playing dynamics --- might also affect one or more of those parameters.
    in most cases, the entire audio-range of the delay is modulated simultaneously, as one whole thing.
     
  17. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    It's definitely not the analog path! If that were true, every rack system ever put together would have "murky"-sounding delays ;)

    Strymon seems to be really proud of the "murky-ness" of the Timeline, in all the demos of the factory preset demos I've seen (and really, a lot of people do like that heavily-diffused, "reverb-y" sound)...so it may be time to just create some blank templates, with no Grit/Smear/filtering/modulation/etc. of any kind, and see where that takes you.

    I don't have the Timeline myself, but after doing a lot of PCM80 delay programming (which has many of the same features), I hear a lot of the same things in the Timeline, but to an even greater degree (and new things like "Grit"), all re-circulating in the feedback loops of the delays (which is probably why it decays so fast into a "wash"). Whenever that's involved--whenever the "modifiers" are not just in front or after the delay, but in the feedback loops instead--things can really "wash out" very fast, especially when more than one of those modifiers are involved. If you really start from some "blank" settings and you still hear it "wash out," then there's definitely something deeper going on; but I suspect that there's just too much going on in the feedback paths, and it needs to be tamed a bit.

    One thing that I would really try to tease out is whether or not the "Grit" control only affects the front end of the delay, or if its also in the feedback path (a lot of "Hi-Cut" filters on delays are placed before the delay and also in the feedback path, so it's possible that's what's going on here too). "Grit" will impart its own special kind of filtering too, so you may have to compensate a bit with the regular filters too on the Timeline.
     
  18. Enusire

    Enusire Member

    Messages:
    1,089
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    A few years ago this video was the reason that I decided against the Timeline and for the DD20. I owned the DD20 till the DD500 came out. With both Boss delays I was/am really satisfied.

    The Timeline is also a wonderful delay but I didn´t like its "digital delay". It just doesn´t get as pristine, clear, sharp as the Boss delays.

    You can see that perfectly at 2:45 when Shnobel says "Timeline is as bright as it gets". When I heard that I made my decision.





    Maybe I´m missing the point (if then sorry) but how would it be to use both a Timeline and a DD7 from Boss on your board? With a Disaster Area Smartclock or a Selah Effects Quartz Timer you could Tap/Send a Tempo simultaneously to both delays. You could use the Boss DD for your sharp, pristine, pure digital delay, the Timeline for everything else and both together for the most fun ever! :)

    I hope I could help at some point.
     
    Space Jazzer likes this.
  19. Space Jazzer

    Space Jazzer Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Thanks for the input! The DD-7 is a killer pedal for what it does. I've actually given your idea some thought a while ago, but I don't really care for the modulation on the DD7 and with my current setup, I won't be able to fit or power a DD7 on my board. Been thinking some more about the DD500 though.
     
    Enusire likes this.
  20. DecoWaves

    DecoWaves Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Thought I'd share ... working on this side project today and recorded the following track which contains some delay effects both from the El Capistan (on the lead work) and the H9 (Rhythmic track). Neither are "clean" delays but I think the unique sounds help illustrate my earlier point in having a great deal of fun just exploring the vast capabilities of what these pedals can do.

     
    kowalski440 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice