Getting that Lexicon PCM-42 Delay Sound

Dominik

Member
Messages
526
The DIG has nowhere near the large three-dimensional quality of a PCM 41 or 42, 2290, SDE 3000, SDD 1200 or 3000, etc. It sounds like a typical flat 2-D delay, albeit with two delay lines.
There's a white paper explaining how the signal is processed in each mode. Series ping-pong in stereo with modulation is anything but a "typical flat 2-D delay."



There's a good write-up by analogkid85 here.



I'm fond of the old rack gear and would agree there are algorithms in those old boxes which sound more complex than today's pedals but it's easy to become too nostalgic and dismiss products today that are more convenient and reliable. I'll take a pedal running off 9VDC to a 40 year old rack that is waiting to die.
 
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MichiganEsquire

Supporting Member
Messages
1,017
There's a white paper explaining how the signal is processed in each mode. Series ping-pong in stereo with modulation is anything but a "typical flat 2-D delay."



There's a good write-up by analogkid85 here.



I'm fond of the old rack gear and would agree there are algorithms in those old boxes which sound more complex than today's pedals but it's easy to become too nostalgic and dismiss products today that are more convenient and reliable. I'll take a pedal running off 9VDC to a 40 year old rack that is waiting to die.
I'm not evaluating it off the white paper, just actual use and direct comparison in terms of how they sound. I'm sure the DIG is a very impressive piece technically. To me, however, it sounded nowhere near as good as a Memory Lane Jr or any classic rack unit.

Agree about the dangers of getting an old rack piece now.
 
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SFW

Member
Messages
1,392
The Digitech Hardwire DL-8 has the Lexicon chipset. According the their website. It’s a great sounding Digital Delay. Good enough for Steve Lukather to have two of them on his board.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,809
I was just talking about digital 'super' delay pedals that are sometimes perceived as successors to digital delay racks. I doubt many would consider the Rubberneck or Chase Bliss as fitting into that category, though I'm, aware they have a nice pedigree and have many analog components. Fair point on the Eventide Rose, I guess, though it tends towards 'dedicated single pedal' more than 'super delay' to my mind. (Not that these categories can't outlive their usefulness.) While were at it Free the Tone's offerings might qualify as well. I suppose my greater point was the trend with super delays is that the DSP is responsible for all the heavy lifting, whereas digital delay line + all other components analog is the exception.
what does “super delay” mean?
???
does it denote a digital delay line which features a variety of digital emulations of differing analog states?
like the Digitech Obscura, for example?
does it need user-memories to be called, “super delay”?
 

dirtytony

Member
Messages
2,578
Ive been the rack route and my main takeaways are:

- they work great but noise is too much, I have yet to find a silent rack gear (lexicon, yamaha..), my guess is that in the 80s they used noise suppressors a lot

- sound great but in mono are very powerful effects, you must use a multi amp setup

- headroom is great, no pedal comes close

- they are very pricey and a pain to bring around
 
Messages
2,561
what does “super delay” mean?
???
does it denote a digital delay line which features a variety of digital emulations of differing analog states?
like the Digitech Obscura, for example?
does it need user-memories to be called, “super delay”?
My off the cuff definition for a super delay would be 'a digital pedal with multiple algorithms, multiple user preset memory locations and that is MIDI controllable'. We could put the Boss DD-500, Eventide Timefactor, Strymon Timeline & Volante, Source Audio Nemesis & Collider, Empress Echosystem, Korg SDD-3000, GFI Specular Tempus & Seymour Duncan Andromeda into this category. Not an exhaustive list but these are the most prominent in these parts.

But the Pigtronix Echolution 2 and Eventide Rose would then be excluded on those grounds because they only feature a single algorithm, even though they both have tons of options to shape the delays (waveform possibilities on both easily eclipse many of the supers.) The Seymour Duncan Dark Sun, the Free the Tone Flight Time and Future Factory would also be excluded on the same grounds - they only have only algorithm (or one pair, in the Dark Sun's case). So upon more careful thought, I would broaden it to say 'multiple algorithms and/or numerous filtering, multi-tap and/or waveform options' (in addition to the memory locations and MIDI control). Again, not an exhaustive list...at this point I feel we get to some 'in between' options like the Meris Polymoon and the CB Tonal Recall. Except for the TR's delay line being analog, it fits my stipulations, but I'd consider it as well as the Meris in the 'single pedal' category and not 'super' delays. YMMV.

Regarding the nature of the algorithms, generally there seems to be a mix of analog emulations and 'modern' digital offerings. The DD-500 has analog, tape, drum (Echorec) as well as, Tera Echo, Shimmer, reverse.
 
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Mincer

Member
Messages
4,539
I can get that sound out of a Duncan Andromeda Delay. But I get while you want it- it is a sound that you 'play' as much as the instrument. Most delays don't do that.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,809
There's a white paper explaining how the signal is processed in each mode. Series ping-pong in stereo with modulation is anything but a "typical flat 2-D delay."



There's a good write-up by analogkid85 here.



I'm fond of the old rack gear and would agree there are algorithms in those old boxes which sound more complex than today's pedals but it's easy to become too nostalgic and dismiss products today that are more convenient and reliable. I'll take a pedal running off 9VDC to a 40 year old rack that is waiting to die.
my own opinion is that a musician ought generally to pursue the best possible sound (according to their ears & hands), moreso than pursuing the highest level of convenience.
but practically speaking, the sound is somehow the sum of all interactive parts within the signal-chain, so..... depending upon our circumstances, we can choose the area(s) of signal-chain we feel are ok to be convenient.

my rack gear has traveled the world for decades, and has only begun to occasionally breakdown very recently, as the level of handling-care of Airline Baggage-handlers has dipped into the realm of singularly & regularly abusive:

1 breakdown of 1 of my 40-yr old pcm42's, 1 breakdown of 1 of my 24-yr old lexicon pcm80's..... and 1 entire (extremely protective) rack destroyed..... within the past 19-months.

meanwhile, i've had many, many breakdowns of a variety of pedals, both cheap & expensive, all seemingly well-built (other than an awful lot of really cheap switches).
just for another perspective, since i have a tendency to travel.

My off the cuff definition for a super delay would be 'a digital pedal with multiple algorithms, multiple user preset memory locations and that is MIDI controllable'. We could put the Boss DD-500, Eventide Timefactor, Strymon Timeline & Volante, Source Audio Nemesis & Collider, Empress Echosystem, Korg SDD-3000, GFI Specular Tempus & Seymour Duncan Andromeda into this category. Not an exhaustive list but these are the most prominent in these parts.

But the Pigtronix Echolution 2 and Eventide Rose would then be excluded on those grounds because they only feature a single algorithm, even though they both have tons of options to shape the delays (waveform possibilities on both easily eclipse many of the supers.) The Seymour Duncan Dark Sun, the Free the Tone Flight Time and Future Factory would also be excluded on the same grounds - they only have only algorithm (or one pair, in the Dark Sun's case). So upon more careful thought, I would broaden it to say 'multiple algorithms and/or numerous filtering, multi-tap and/or waveform options' (in addition to the memory locations and MIDI control). Again, not an exhaustive list...at this point I feel we get to some 'in between' options like the Meris Polymoon and the CB Tonal Recall. Except for the TR's delay line being analog, it fits my stipulations, but I'd consider it as well as the Meris in the 'single pedal' category and not 'super' delays. YMMV.

Regarding the nature of the algorithms, generally there seems to be a mix of analog emulations and 'modern' digital offerings. The DD-500 has analog, tape, drum (Echorec) as well as, Tera Echo, Shimmer, reverse.
in that case, i'd probably say again that the Digitech Obscura is a super-delay, minus MIDI.

i might also say that the Chase Bliss Tonal Recall is an analog signal-path super-delay, incl. MIDI & CV, vast modulation & x-modulation/re-pitching options & user presets, though there are zero "paradigmatic algorithms".
and, owing to the powerful, simultaneous CV controls of clock speed, feedback & mix, not to mention the nearly infinitely variable 2-path-x2 modulation system & 19.8seconds of delay & the reverse and/or restart options, i might refer to the modded lexicon pcm42 as another kind of super-delay. (mine have been working daily & pan-globally on uncounted pieces of music & film-music, since the earliest of the 1980's).
 
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2,561
in that case, i'd probably say again that the Digitech Obscura is a super-delay, minus MIDI.

i might also say that the Chase Bliss Tonal Recall is an analog signal-path super-delay, incl. MIDI & CV, vast modulation & x-modulation/re-pitching options & user presets, though there are zero "paradigmatic algorithms".
and, owing to the powerful, simultaneous CV controls of clock speed, feedback & mix, not to mention the nearly infinitely variable 2-path-x2 modulation system & 19.8seconds of delay & the reverse and/or restart options, i might refer to the modded lexicon pcm42 as another kind of super-delay. (mine have been working daily & pan-globally on uncounted pieces of music & film-music, since the earliest of the 1980's).
First of all, I should underline that in no way is a pedal's inclusion or exclusion form the category any type of value judgment. Moreover, I have and like the Obscura. But is it a super delay?! No way, no how. It has ONLY multiple algorithms, no MIDI, no presets. Tone + degrade to manipulate the delay line, especially in conjunction with the musical phrase sampler, is a lot of fun, but it won't do what I usually want a super delay to do. Modulation control is limited at best. The format is the epitome of a single pedal, the colloquial 'stomp box.' For the purposes of classification, around these parts in particular, I personally just don't find calling the Obscura a super delay as helpful.

The Tonal Recall (and let's throw the Thermae in there as well) I will grant is probably as close as we will get to a BBD version of a super delay. The thing is, filtering, CV controls, modulation options, multi-tap are a perfectly acceptable, perhaps preferable, way to offer a diverse range of sounds. Though DSP is perhaps more flashy in the moment, and leans more on the designer's ear than the user's imagination, it really is the same way of offering the end goal of sonic variety.

As for the PCM42, why drag it down to the super delay's level? ;) So many of the classic racks are what super delay pedals wish they could be, maybe even think they come close to on their best days. They're just a hard sell to many modern players bent on a pedalboard solution. Available delay time, modulation, routing options, tone/analog components (preamps, limiters, etc.), not to mention MIDI and presets are certainly super.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,809
First of all, I should underline that in no way is a pedal's inclusion or exclusion form the category any type of value judgment. Moreover, I have and like the Obscura. But is it a super delay?! No way, no how.
oh, yeah!
i didn't see it as a value judgment.

but, re: Obscura: it's super!
long, sweepable delay time. that's loopable, and time-sweepable even when looped! can oscillate.
degradation control! tone-control.
4 algos.
dependable & consistent little brick.

It has ONLY multiple algorithms, no MIDI, no presets. Tone + degrade to manipulate the delay line, especially in conjunction with the musical phrase sampler, is a lot of fun, but it won't do what I usually want a super delay to do. Modulation control is limited at best. The format is the epitome of a single pedal, the colloquial 'stomp box.' For the purposes of classification, around these parts in particular, I personally just don't find calling the Obscura a super delay as helpful.
ah, ok.
i'm gonna refrain from ever using the term "super-delay", i think.

The Tonal Recall (and let's throw the Thermae in there as well) I will grant is probably as close as we will get to a BBD version of a super delay. The thing is, filtering, CV controls, modulation options, multi-tap are a perfectly acceptable, perhaps preferable, way to offer a diverse range of sounds. Though DSP is perhaps more flashy in the moment, and leans more on the designer's ear than the user's imagination, it really is the same way of offering the end goal of sonic variety.
As for the PCM42, why drag it down to the super delay's level? ;) So many of the classic racks are what super delay pedals wish they could be, maybe even think they come close to on their best days. They're just a hard sell to many modern players bent on a pedalboard solution. Available delay time, modulation, routing options, tone/analog components (preamps, limiters, etc.), not to mention MIDI and presets are certainly super.
well, i guess if i ever did use the term "super-delay" --- but , i won't!, lol --- i'd say the prototypical "super-powered delays" arrive from Lexicon, TC, AMS, and maybe etc.
 
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David Moylan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
53
and, i'm unclear about the Expedition Electronics, as pictured above..... it well might have some analog within the design architecture.
there gotta be more, yeah....
The 60 Sec has analog filtering pre and post for anti-aliasing and reconstruction and analog companding mainly for noise improvement, but I also like how it creates some playing dynamic control of repeats, by essentially ducking repeats. It's all hardware, no computers / microcontrollers inside. Main clock is analog and CV / expressionable. The structure is very like an analog delay except that the memory part is digital and that of course requires analog to digital and digital to analog conversion. No attempt was made to copy or approximate the sound of any existing unit, but I was intent on it being able to have all the features of the 16 second (reverse, fast/slow, always listening). In the end, Clix didn't get implemented.
 

dirtytony

Member
Messages
2,578
This hasn't been my experience at all. I'm currently using a rack with one Lexicon devices, two Eventide devices, and an audio interface. It's dead quiet.
Im no rack expert, had only a SPX90, a PCM41 and an Aphex Aural ...guess I had no luck
 
Messages
2,561
The 60 Sec has analog filtering pre and post for anti-aliasing and reconstruction and analog companding mainly for noise improvement, but I also like how it creates some playing dynamic control of repeats, by essentially ducking repeats. It's all hardware, no computers / microcontrollers inside. Main clock is analog and CV / expressionable. The structure is very like an analog delay except that the memory part is digital and that of course requires analog to digital and digital to analog conversion. No attempt was made to copy or approximate the sound of any existing unit, but I was intent on it being able to have all the features of the 16 second (reverse, fast/slow, always listening). In the end, Clix didn't get implemented.
Thanks for the info - good to know!
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,809
The 60 Sec has analog filtering pre and post for anti-aliasing and reconstruction and analog companding mainly for noise improvement, but I also like how it creates some playing dynamic control of repeats, by essentially ducking repeats. It's all hardware, no computers / microcontrollers inside. Main clock is analog and CV / expressionable. The structure is very like an analog delay except that the memory part is digital and that of course requires analog to digital and digital to analog conversion. No attempt was made to copy or approximate the sound of any existing unit, but I was intent on it being able to have all the features of the 16 second (reverse, fast/slow, always listening). In the end, Clix didn't get implemented.
thanks, david; i meant to tag you!
 

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,851
The 60 Sec has analog filtering pre and post for anti-aliasing and reconstruction and analog companding mainly for noise improvement, but I also like how it creates some playing dynamic control of repeats, by essentially ducking repeats. It's all hardware, no computers / microcontrollers inside. Main clock is analog and CV / expressionable. The structure is very like an analog delay except that the memory part is digital and that of course requires analog to digital and digital to analog conversion. No attempt was made to copy or approximate the sound of any existing unit, but I was intent on it being able to have all the features of the 16 second (reverse, fast/slow, always listening). In the end, Clix didn't get implemented.
Is it based on the PT2399 or similar, or are you using an algorithmic chip and just ignoring the algorithmic part? (if you don't mind me asking?)
 




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