El Cap not loud enough?

rbuist

Member
Messages
44
So I've noticed something strange with my El Cap recently as I've been playing more with my band- the repeats aren't loud enough.

When I originally bought it, I was primarily playing on my own and blown out of the water with how awesome it sounded.

The repeats aren't coming through for me when jamming though. I have a Caroline Haymaker drive and a Carbon Copy as well. The El Cap gets lost when the drive is on- the Carbon Copy gets louder/quieter with the drive on/off.

I won't be practicing in the band for a while, but I noticed the same issue last night as I was playing through my Blues Junior. Even with the El Cap mix almost all the way up and the boost via the secondary function, I still fail to hear the repeats when the drive pedal is on.

I know a lot of guys use it on here- but do you jam with it? As a studio tool there is a world of sounds in there so I can see how it's still useable.

Anyone else notice the same issue?

My signal chain:

Guitar to Pitchblack tuner to Caroline Haymaker to Biff Muff Pi to Carbon Copy to El Cap to Ghost Echo Reverb to Ditto X2 looper straight into Twin Rever/Blues Junior
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,878
No. Mine are plently loud, with the mix up, nearly as loud as the source.

Have you perhaps turned the tape bias up real far? (Secondary Function - 'repeats' with both footswitches held)
 

MilwMark

Member
Messages
2,777
I've not had that problem in our mix. And I run it in front of a dirty amp, and with a low gain OD in front of it. According to the manual 50/50 wet/dry mix is at 3:00 on the dial, in case that helps.
 

jurfin

Member
Messages
2,064
yeah i have never had this problem. i would double-check where you've got those secondary function knobs set at. the reverb can mush it up if too high, the bias can do all kinds of stuff, and the low end contour really makes a difference as well.

hope that helps!
 

S. F. Sorrow

Member
Messages
8,291
Might try finding a sweet spot with all three - low end contour/tape age/tape bias. That helps a lot. Also the tape head selection can help too depending on the speed.
It's unlike other delays where it isn't really a plug and play unit. You can tweek it to your gear. I like that.
 

rbuist

Member
Messages
44
No. Mine are plently loud, with the mix up, nearly as loud as the source.

Have you perhaps turned the tape bias up real far? (Secondary Function - 'repeats' with both footswitches held)
That was it right there- I feel dumb for not trying all the knobs out, but I had no idea the tape bias could actually reduce the volume of the repeats.

Just had her all cranked up with the fuzz running through it- shoegaze heaven!
 

rbuist

Member
Messages
44
yeah i have never had this problem. i would double-check where you've got those secondary function knobs set at. the reverb can mush it up if too high, the bias can do all kinds of stuff, and the low end contour really makes a difference as well.

hope that helps!
I've owned it for 2 months now and I still haven't figured it all out yet.

Thanks for your replies everyone- I was worrying about buyer's remorse. If I'm going to buy a pedal, I want it to sound good in recording situations and live.
 

kaseri

Member
Messages
620
I too have owned my El Cap for a few months and I am still figuring out how all the secondary settings affect the primary functions.
 

rbuist

Member
Messages
44
you can use that to control the volume when you get into heavy repeats and/or oscillation
Couldn't the Mix serve the same function? Or is controlling the volume via tape bias some awesome Strymon dTape craziness I need to experiment with?
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,946
Couldn't the Mix serve the same function? Or is controlling the volume via tape bias some awesome Strymon dTape craziness I need to experiment with?
well with an analog delay when it goes into self-oscillation the volume can get out of control, kind of a runaway effect where it just keeps getting louder. So with the higher bias you can get the crazy oscillation stuff but at a certain point it will saturate and not keep getting louder.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,878
That was it right there- I feel dumb for not trying all the knobs out, but I had no idea the tape bias could actually reduce the volume of the repeats.

Just had her all cranked up with the fuzz running through it- shoegaze heaven!
Its a complicated pedal. I wouldnt say i 100% understand it after a year.
 

sanhozay

klon free since 2009
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,922
the low end contour also has an impact on the prominence of the repeats
 

shoepedals

Member
Messages
3,792
well with an analog delay when it goes into self-oscillation the volume can get out of control, kind of a runaway effect where it just keeps getting louder. So with the higher bias you can get the crazy oscillation stuff but at a certain point it will saturate and not keep getting louder.
Pretty much this. Bias affects how compressed the repeats so if it's up very high the repeats may sound kind of washed out and distant (aka cool) but they won't be so up front and percussive. I suspect a lot of complaints people have with el cap have to do with the same kind of thing. Either not realizing there are secondary functions or not realizing what they do to fix the issue you might be having with your specific setup.

Personally i like to keep the bass cut pretty high, tape age in an averagey spot, and bias a little on the higher side (reverb at a moderate level not too far from factory default). But I like things a bit more washed out.
 

jAcKoFsPeEd

Member
Messages
1,792
It must be easier to ask multiple questions about the same thing than to read the PDF manual online and see how a pedal actually works. "I've had a pedal for over a year and I still can't figure out how it works, can someone help me?" WTF!
 

sanhozay

klon free since 2009
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,922
the el cap is not an easy ride. it requires some research and, in my case, I've learned far more from discussions and other peoples input than the strymon manual.

people that have a good understanding of real tape machines and the way they work have added a lot of commentary over the past few years and that, coupled with suggested user settings for different echo machines & sounds, has been very valuable.
 

heyrobscott

Member
Messages
411
Make sure you're using the Left Out for mono. Right Out is only used for stereo and would affect volume significantly in mono.
 

ericb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,816
Great thread!!! I HATE secondary functions without a screen to let you know what's on /off!!! I've owned my EL Capistan since it came out ,and LOVE LOVE it , but hate that I've accidentally switched the secondary functions before and had to reset it ,etc. . Anyway , I use mine mostly as a set and forget pedal and use it at every gig . It's a great pedal. Eric
 

Groberts

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,708
Great thread!!! I HATE secondary functions without a screen to let you know what's on /off!!! I've owned my EL Capistan since it came out ,and LOVE LOVE it , but hate that I've accidentally switched the secondary functions before and had to reset it ,etc. . Anyway , I use mine mostly as a set and forget pedal and use it at every gig . It's a great pedal. Eric
Totally agree. LOVE the El Cap. But the secondary settings are not obvious without visual reference ..which it does not offer.
 






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