Delay into an overdriven amp

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by iMatt, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    Is anyone really having any success putting their guitar through delay and then into an overdriven amp. I know that the loop is the best place to put it - but in this particular case (Orange Tiny Terror) there is no loop. There is no point trying to get reverb into the front of an overdriven amp as that just blows up horribly in my experience - so I thought I would try a little delay but just can't get my DD3 to produce any good effect. I either get much too strong repeats or I end up with effect level and feedback turned so low I get very little control and end up with repeats that drop so quickly in level that the repeats are clean (as the amp cleans up with drop in volume) and fade quickly.

    I appreciate that with any delay the repeats are going to clean up as they drop in volume, but I just can't get the DD3 to give me even a couple of nice overdriven repeats without having the problem mentioned above of the delay signal becoming too dominant.

    Perhaps I am doing somthing wrong or expecting too much? Or maybe there is a delay out there which does better than the DD3 in this application?
     
  2. M Hossa

    M Hossa Member

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    I like Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay.
    "The delay is specially designed to work well with distorted tone, as this is the most critical application, where delays often fail"
    http://www.mpamp.com/pedal/pedals-dbd.html
     
  3. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    That's interesting because I was just looking at the site of a guitarist I like(Matt Schofield), and that is exactly what he uses in front of his Two Rock. So definately one I should check out.

    Thanks.
     
  4. jstone

    jstone Member

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    It really depends on how much drive the amp gives.
    Instead of buying a expensive pedal it might be better to mod the amp. It is not very difficult to add a loop to it.

    About 25 years ago my setup was a JCM800 half stack one channel head. I always had a slight crunch coming from there and used a guyatone analog delay in front. I had several fuzzes and dist/od pedals in front of that and that setup worked great for me.
     
  5. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    Yeah, digital delays don't always sound good going into the front end of an amp. They tend to get a bit muddy. Analogue delays are better for this. The EHX Memeory Man goes well in the front 'cause it has a nice preamp section and you can tweak it so it's right for your amp. There are other ones out there though by Ibanez and Maxon etc. Even Behringer is doing an affordable plastic cased analogue delay apparently loaded with similair chips, and consequently similar delay times, to the Ibanez and Maxon ranges - it's called the VD 400. See: http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/72071
    I haven't tried it but I have one of their digital delays and it's a suprisingly good sounding unit with an excellent buffered bypass. You do need to run them off an external power supplies though.
     
  6. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    I've never heard any delay sound good into a distorted amp, if you only use the amp with some breakup a delay may sound ok.
     
  7. jstone

    jstone Member

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    True... but depending a little of the purpose of the delay.
    Single repeat and staccato playing works OK even with distorted amps. :)
     
  8. 89strat

    89strat Member

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    minimum drive + miminum delay usage = useable sound. But I've always found that delays sound better after overdrive. However, as someone else said, I had better luck using an analog delay (in my case, the boss dm-2) instead of a digital delay, which was a dd-3 at the time.
     
  9. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    What makes the analog delays better than digital through distorted amps? I'm not arguing with you, just really curious because that seems like it would be the opposite.
     
  10. jstone

    jstone Member

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    Honestly I don't know but a guess is since the frequency response from a analog delay is different from the digital it might work better.
    It could also be because of different output impedance but I doubt that will have a large effect.

    In my ears the sound from analog devices is much better (or maybe worse specification wise) than from digital.
     
  11. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    The reason an analog delay can seem to sound better than a digital delay is because the analog delays tend to have a rolled off treble response. Bright delays will accentuate everything thats bad about distorted delays.

    If you want to minimize the horrible interaction between delay and distorted amp you MUST filter out some treble from your delay. Even so, don't expect miracles. A muted delay will sound better than a bright delay in front of a driven amp but it will NEVER sound as good as a delay in a loop.
     
  12. vinney57

    vinney57 Member

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    The situation you have described is simply how it is. As others have said, rolling off some top end helps (so that its competing less with original guitar sound) but a delay into a naturally compressing valve front end is always going to be a compromise.
     
  13. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Completely agree. Probably all know this but the problem as I see it is twofold. First, since the effected signal is similar to trying to run a stereo into a guitar amp, it gets too "fragile sounding", and second...you really want the SAME sound being "echoed" but the volume on subsequent beats is going lower and lower...just as if you turned your guitar down and got less gainy sound (without the guitar vol treble rolloff) as well as it being a non-guitar signal being injected into the amp.

    The best one I have tried personally for this is the Deep Blue Delay, but it is still a compromise, and the less mix, the less delay length, the better.
     
  14. Doug H

    Doug H Senior Member

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    The problem with delays into distorted amps is the repeats clash with the notes you are playing and cause nasty intermodulation distortion.

    I would think a delay with a "ducking" function (where the repeat volume is lowered while you are playing) may help but I don't think there's anything that will completely eliminate it.

    One radical solution would be take a line-out from your amp, run that through your delay and then into another amp (clean or SS or just a power amp) to the speakers.

    One idea I'm experimenting with is mic-ing the cab myself, running that through a mic pre and compressor, then through delay effects and giving the sound man a direct line from that.

    Just some thoughts... YMMV.
     

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