Delay pedals that do NOT have linear volume repeats

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by UrbanHymns, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. UrbanHymns

    UrbanHymns Supporting Member

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    I've owned a lot of delay pedals - Timeline, El Cap, Boss DD3 and DD5, Nova, DL4, Diamond Memory Lane Jr, EHX DMM XO, Panther Cub, and Mad Professor DBD. Most of them sound like there's a mathematical formula to the volume at which the repeats degrade. For example, if I strike a note on a Strymon Timeline dBucket setting, and I can hear 10 repeats, the volume of each repeats seems to decline by 10%. Again, like there's a mathematical formula.

    But the last 3 pedals I mentioned - DMM XO, Panther Cub, and DBD do not seem to sound this way. Their repeats are more organic. On the DMM XO and Cub, the first 2-3 repeats stand out, but then there's a more dramatic drop in volume for there rest of the repeats. I like this because I can use delay when playing rhythm, and it does not overtake my signal. The DBD is almost opposite. The first few repeats sit lower in the mix, but almost get heavier later on, creating this nice ambient wash.

    So are there other delay pedals that I did not mention that have a similar, organic quality to the degradation of their repeats?
     
  2. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    Very interesting question. What I've been noticing lately is a difference in whether the feedback path is analog or done digitally. One thing I didn't like about the Timeline was that at low feedback you got 1 or 2 distinct repeats and then all of a sudden it would switch to ambient wash with a bit more. It was hard to find the middle ground.

    The delays I'm using at the moment, do the feedback in an analog fashion and do seem to strike a more useful set of sounds. The early digital delays were basically the same signal path as analog delays, just the method of storing the sound was changed. Having the repeats go through the analog path subjects them to tonal shifts which may lead to a more organic sound.
     
  3. midwayfair

    midwayfair Member

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    Part of it may simply be that when the repeats on the analog delays are too loud, they'll either be clipped (DBD, which has the lowest headroom in the repeats of all those pedals) or compressed (if there's a compander involved, like the Memory Man). Until the repeats degrade below the clipping or compression threshold, they'll sound louder. All the delays are degrading the signal uniformly, it's just whether the circuitry can handle the signal level in the first place.

    The El Capistan has a tape bias mode that will do pretty much exactly this, you'd probably just need to constrict the bandwidth to hear it more if you still have that. I'm not sure how to do it on the Timeline, since it's missing some functions in tape mode, but it should have something for the dBucket. There might be other parameters you can use in other delays that I'm not as familiar with.

    EDIT: Analog delays (e.g. DMM) and PT2399 digital delays (DBD) will also be heavily, HEAVILY filtered on the repeats to avoid noise, which may be why they're sitting better in the mix. Again, though, the Strymon delays at least have ways to alter the bandwidth of the signal; it's the tape age on the El Cap, which gets very dark, though nothing like a Maxon 9xx ...
     
  4. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    Himmelstrutz Gekko is a very cool, organic sounding delay. The modulation is done by two sensors, one which senses light in the room, and one from how you play, so it's quite random, and the repeats melt nicely into the background. It's been on my board since the day I bought it a couple years ago.
     
  5. Kev77

    Kev77 Member

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    Akai head rush , version one and two.
     
  6. crowquill

    crowquill Member

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    the timeline has a parameter in the settings to do just what you want
     
  7. UrbanHymns

    UrbanHymns Supporting Member

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    Explain
     
  8. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I second the Gekko. One of the most "organic" delays I have tried. Timeline Schmimeline! I had a Timeline for a few months. The word sterile comes to mind immediately. Clever, but too cold. The Gekko has the best, most subtle weirdness to it I have heard. I am surprised it's not a firm TGP favourite. It deserves to be.
     
  9. olkie

    olkie Member

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    the stereo memory man w/hazarai can do the repeats getting louder thing.

    The trigger and hold delay in the Zoom MS100BT is non-linear and musical.... almost chaotic yet controllable.
     
  10. bobcunningham

    bobcunningham Member

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    Interesting. I was under the impression that our ears perceive volume levels exponentially; as in 2 is twice as loud as 1, 3 is twice as loud as 2, etc..
     
  11. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    You should check out the Moog Minifooger delay.

    I have owned dozens of delays, including vintage Echoplex EP3, multiple vintage DMM, super expensive delays....the Moog can hang with them all.

    The repeats sound completely NON linear, and organic, and that's why I love it. Another awesome delay is the Maxon AD999. People say it's inferior to the AD900, but I disagree. The AD900 has clearer repeats, and I think loses some of the magic because of that.

    My opinion and all.

    :)
     
  12. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

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    Dbl post
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  13. edgie

    edgie Member

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    Another Gekko owner here. I like how the repeats just sounds natural and lays on the fundamental tone. The onset of oscillation together with the voicing depends on where you set the toggle switch. I had the Catalinbread Montavillian, Seymour Duncan Deja Vu, El Capistan, Deep Blue Delay, etc. and this has stayed in my board for two years now.
     
  14. eclipseall

    eclipseall Member

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    Rockett Pedals Alien Echo
     
  15. thesooze

    thesooze Member

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    The Digital engine on the Timeline has a feature called "repeat dynamics." This reduces the repeats in a non-linear fashion so that the delay tapers off faster than it normally would. The effect is most easily heard with high repeats levels, allowing for high repeats that trail off to allow the next phrase or chord to stand out more.
     
  16. Son of Noise

    Son of Noise Member

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    @ JimmyR and all other Gekko players
    Yes, I fully agree. Everybody who tried Gekko stuck to it, and so did I. Himmelstrutz is better known for their lively OD boxes, and because I knew these I bought a Gekko, just because I was keen about that Himmelstrutz Delay pedal. Let me tell you that I own a fully functional Dynacord Echo super 64, so I know about good Delay sound. But it is hard to manage it so I used El Capistan on stage. But tiny Himmelstrutz Box comes really close to the spacy middy-muddy analog tone of the real thing with its lively swirling overtones. I don't know how it works, but it melts to the guitar like nothing else does and makes it big. Gekko indeed should be much more mentioned on TGP, like Himmelstrutz pedals in general should be.
     
    wblackmon likes this.
  17. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I am a delay junkie! I've had all the usual suspects and many of the less usual too! I still have my 1988 Ibanez PDM1 I bought in HK all those years ago. I've had all the Strymons ( extremely clever but boring and clinical), the various Catalinbreads (I swear I will never buy another Catalinbread pedal ever!), various Eventide and TC Electronic delays, for years I used a Maxon AD999, and currently have a Boss DM2w.

    But my main delays are the TC mini Flashback, which I use for a slapback delay and it's tiny size, minimal tone suck, and the Gekko. The Gekko is by far the best modulated delay I have ever tried. mainly because it doesn't sound like a delay with chorus on top. It is so much cleverer and subtle than that.

    I am constantly amazed that Himmelstrutz isn't a household name here. The best OD I have ever used by far, and brilliant, clever, FUN delay.
     
  18. gollumsluvslave

    gollumsluvslave Member

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    What i'd REALLY like to see in a delay (and I'm very surprised I've not seen this yet, at least in a pedal!! AFAIK!!) would be the ability to define (or at least alter) your feedback curve in more radical ways...

    [​IMG]

    Take the fade curve above - it would show a reasonably quick drop in repeat volume, but then hang around longer.

    Obviously a diagonal line would be linear, and the inverse of the curve above would be louder initial repeats, followed be a precipitous drop.

    With something along these lines, it would open some really interesting possibilities for delays - suppose the above graph could be flipped left to right? You would get an initial low level ambient wash, followed by repeats that steadily got louder - so not a traditional 'reverse delay', but a 'reverse feedback delay'.

    Extend this to use of LFOs for the feedback, and things could get really interesting - especially for the more ambient and experimental of us!
     

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