How do you get a good delay sound when...

Magoomba

Member
Messages
13
you're going into an overdriven amp that has no FX loop? I think about all my fav players, Jimi, Jimmy, Eddie, Randy, Brian May, etc. They all used delay going into an overdriven amp (maybe not Jimi so much) and sound great yet when I do it it sounds horrible, muddy, and out of control. I've heard Brian may uses a dedicated AC30 just for his delayed signal. How does that work, 'cause it seems to me you'd still be sending a delay signal into a dirty amp. One possible idea I had is, using the line out of my Bad Cat Lynx,into the delay pedal, then into a Crate powerblock (I say powerblock because I just want a replica of the delayed signal hence solid state). Would I fry the delay pedal? Would I fry the Bad Cat?
 
Messages
150
Effects loops are a pain in the azz. What kind of a delay pedal are you using? I have a Micro Delay at the end of my pedal chain (just after the distortion and the boost, incidentally) and it sounds great regardless of whether my signal is clean or dirty.
 

TommyMambo

Member
Messages
2,075
I never use an effects loop, and think I get a decent delay sound with my Boss DM2 analog unit. I think the key is to understate the effect so it doesn't junk up the spaces, and learn to play with it like this.
 

Phil M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,604
Delay sounds best after distortion, but you can do it with an overdriven amp; just not an all-out high gain amp. To me, the recipe would go something like this:

-Amp set to edge of break up or just over for a nice overdriven sound that cleans up when you nudge your guitar's volume knob.

-Put the delay pedal near the end of your chain. Make sure the mix or level knob is set fairly low. You should be able to hear the effect but don't let it wash out your sound. The echoes will be more subtle but will get your point across.

-Place any overdrive pedals before the delay pedal for your higher gain sounds.

I had a rig like this that consisted of an Allen Old Flame with a Boss DD-3 for delay, Eternity for overdrive and a crunchbox for balls out rock. Remind me again why I sold most of that stuff? ;)
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,712
I too, have had this thought many times...

If you have a line out of your main amp, you could do a wet/dry setup.

Run the line out into your modulation effect and then into a "B" amp - doesn't need to be high quality at all, just something to throw the effect out there.

That way you have the amp's sound through the delay pedal which can be mixed with the level of your B amp.

I had only discovered this recently - I have two amps with effect loops and I use them. After seeing this article that explained it for me, I ran my line out into my delay and through a solid state amp during rehearsals for a while.
 

JoeP

Member
Messages
1,785
In the front end of an amp, the delay tends to want to run away with you. You have to back it down, so that it fits in the spaces, and doesn't overrun everything else.

I prefer it in a loop, but have amps that sound great with it in the front end, because i've learned how to set it for that.

The guys like EVH and guys you talk about, they are using multiple amps, and probably only have the delay going through one, so they have kickin' signal without delay, and then blend that amp with everything else.

Of course, if your talking about a CD sound, they very well may have added that in the mix.

But, just play with your delay, and set it up for running in the front of the amp, turning down the repeats, and the amount of delay running in the front.
 

Rayneman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,309
Effects loops are a pain in the azz. What kind of a delay pedal are you using? I have a Micro Delay at the end of my pedal chain (just after the distortion and the boost, incidentally) and it sounds great regardless of whether my signal is clean or dirty.
The loop is the ideal place for certain effects, esp. when you want to "effect" the tone that has already gone through the preamp stage.

Yes, you use your delay after your OD pedal, but if you were using the OD channel on your amp (assuming it has one) you're not going to be able to get an "echo" sound with your delay in front, but rather more like the Neil Young kind of delay sound, where the amp distorts the delay and not the other way around.

Personally, I could not imagine NOT having an FX loop, as I use rack processors in my rigs and I'd rather have any of my time or EQ effects after the preamp (e.g. chorus, detune, delay, trem).
 

Kiwi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,072
One other option:

If you have an amp with two pre-amp inputs such as a blackface Fender or 4-hole Marshall, you can try running the delay in between the jumpered channels. It's a faux effects loop.

=K
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,702
My simple explanation why delay before overdrive doesn't sound good: Play an amp set totally clean...strike a note hard and it's really loud...strike a note softly and it's really quiet. Now switch to a very overdriven amp...strike a note hard and it's loud...strike a note softly and it's still almost just as loud...just with less distortion. So when playing a delay into an overdriven amp...the echoes are coming out of the delay at a lower and lower volume for each repeat...but when those repeats come out of the amp they are still loud (because of all that compression)...just less distorted. So the echoes don't trail off like they should and the tone of each repeat changes (unless the delay is set such that the repeat(s) are same volume as the original note).

I know some say they get great tone putting their delay before their overdriven amp but I've never heard it/seen it. Most of the delay I've heard used like this that did sound good was when the delay was set to slapback or just one long echo (like the violin-bow stuff JP did on Dazed from TSRTS)...it's just one repeat and it's pretty much the same volume as the original note...no problem getting that.

It's the natural-echo-thing (with several decaying repeats) that never sounds right when the delay is before the distortion.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,813
THe only thing I put in the loop is a volume pedal. Delay and modulation sound fine up front to me.
 

CocoTone

Senior Member
Messages
2,644
you're going into an overdriven amp that has no FX loop? I think about all my fav players, Jimi, Jimmy, Eddie, Randy, Brian May, etc. They all used delay going into an overdriven amp (maybe not Jimi so much) and sound great yet when I do it it sounds horrible, muddy, and out of control. I've heard Brian may uses a dedicated AC30 just for his delayed signal. How does that work, 'cause it seems to me you'd still be sending a delay signal into a dirty amp. One possible idea I had is, using the line out of my Bad Cat Lynx,into the delay pedal, then into a Crate powerblock (I say powerblock because I just want a replica of the delayed signal hence solid state). Would I fry the delay pedal? Would I fry the Bad Cat?

Jimi never used delay in front of the amp. All his was done in the studio, but live, in those days, he only used the fx he is known to use,,fuzz, wah, and vibe.

CT.
 

MuseCafeChris

Senior Member
Messages
7,829
THe only thing I put in the loop is a volume pedal. Delay and modulation sound fine up front to me.
+1. I actually like how the repeats are distorted in front of a gained-out amp. Adds a slight screaming quality to the right passages (a la Brian Robertson's solo on "Still In Love With You" from Live And Dangerous).
 

Magoomba

Member
Messages
13
WOW! this was my first thread ever to this board and I got 11 replies in 5 hours. Thanks for all the suggestions. To answer one guy's question, I'm using a boss DM-2, DM-3, or line 6 DL4. I've tried the idea of turning the repeat vol and number of repeats down. That works to a degree but I want to get long, lush delays ala Brian May; delays long enough to harmonize over if I wanted to. Does anyone know how Brian does it? or Eddie on a song like Cathedral (even though on record it's clean, live I've heard it distorted). How are the guys who are using a 2nd amp strickly for the delayed signal delivering the signal to that amp?
 

BIGGERSTAFF

Member
Messages
7,907
What kind of amp are you using? Does it have 4 inputs? If so, you can bridge the channels and run the delay through the normal channel, as an improvised loop.
 

planetal

Member
Messages
671
I tend to run everthing in front of a cranked Marshall type of amp (power tube overdrive mostly).. The only boost/od pedal i use in front is an RC boost and I only use that to clean up, not to boost (reverse of most everyone I know). In terms of delay, I use a Nova (used to have a DD20).. I have different settings depending on the tune and how much delay I want.. but in essence you need to back off the amount of delay in the signal.. it has to be a fairly dry mix in order for the repeats to not overwhelm the dry signal. Also if your delay can "duck" (i.e. dynamic on the nova, ducking on many studio units) that will help keep the original signal clean. If you back down the volume you can increase the amount of delay in the mix.. (hence different settings depending on how your playing)..
I also don't keep the delay on, I use it as an effect on tunes where it makes sense.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,622
How much distortion are you using? What amp? The line out idea will work well if your amp is primarily using preamp distortion (like Mesa Boogies, modern 2 and 3 channel Marshalls etc). If it uses some preamp and some power amp distortion (non-master volume amps, most Fenders) then you'll need to tap it after the power tube contribution. An attenuator or a direct box with attenuation (most have a switch for 40 dB) will be fine for this. Then run the line level signal from the attenuator into your delay then your slave amp set clean. It'll reproduce the distorted sound from your main amp but with delays that gradually tail off (since there's no compression after the delay). This is how Eddy and Brian do it, if I understand correctly.
 

Jack Daniels

Member
Messages
1,965
I find the same thing. When using a delay for that large room/stadium effect, the amp has to be clean behind it or it needs to go into a loop. I have a delay on my pedal board that sounds great, until I switch channels on my amp. Then it is just noise and mush. The extra harmonics, the ambinece that adds etc tend to get distorted in a bad way. To me it sounds like the way a snow globe looks. All messed up and garbled.

BTW: I find simular issues with a reverb pedal up front in some (but not all) cases.

JD
 




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