I Need a Digital Delay With A Very Specific Capability.

Vhailor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,877
I'm hoping that someone here will be able to suggest a delay that does what I need it to do.

I need a digital delay with square wave LFO modulation, in addition to sync-to-DAW (either via midi or cv or even FSK for all I care, it doesn't matter which.)

I have an Echolution 2 Deluxe. Their square wave is not a square wave but rather a "squarish wave" - and not terribly squarish at that. It is horrible. You can hear the modulation rate slewing up and down. If the square wave's rise and fall times were instantaneous, as they should be, then the effect would be that of the repeats being pitch-shifted and no other artifacts; certainly not the squishy and unusable sound that I do hear.

I also have a Source Audio Soundblox 2 Orbital Modulator. The same remarks as above apply except that Orbital Modulator's squarish wave is rather more squarish than the Echolution 2's, but still not really a square wave, and the "not really square" parts of the wave cause too noticeable artifacts and, therefore, I can not get the effect that I need.

The Yamaha DD1500 claims to have a square wave. Not even close.

The MoogerFooger MF-105 has a beautiful square wave but it is an analog delay and has a "warm" sound. I don't really know what other people mean when they say a sound is "warm" but to me, it means "grossly deficient in high frequency content".

My ADA 2.56i also has a perfect square wave. And it sounds great. But it does not have any sync capabilities whatsoever.

Does anyone know of any other digital delays, either pedal or rackmount, it doesn't matter which, that have real square wave LFO modulation?

Thanks in advance!
 

R.C.Moran

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,262
The Korg SDD-3000 has square wave LFO, I'm not sure what your ear is looking for, but check it out, it might fit the bill.
 

Vhailor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,877
The Korg SDD-3000 has square wave LFO, I'm not sure what your ear is looking for, but check it out, it might fit the bill.
Thanks for the reply!

I actually had one here but it didn't have any sync capabilities at all.

I had bought it because a few websites, including Sweetwater (and "Rob Chapman" on youtube), claimed, incorrectly, that it did have such capabilities while a few others said otherwise. I only realized that there was some divergence of opinion on this matter after I ordered it, but before I received it. So I emailed Korg for clarification and was told that it had no sync. How stupid is that?

But having found out about the sync issue before I received the unit I ordered, I was able to return it unopened. (The site from which I bought it would have accepted a return unopened or not but I was glad that they were not stuck with an opened-box unit because of misinformation on other websites.)
 
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R.C.Moran

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,262
Thanks for the reply!

I actually had one here but it didn't have any sync capabilities at all.

I had bought it because a few websites, including Sweetwater (and "Rob Chapman" on youtube), claimed, incorrectly, that it did have such capabilities while a few others said otherwise. I only realized that there was some divergence of opinion on this matter after I ordered it, but before I received it. So I emailed Korg for clarification and was told that it had no sync. How stupid is that?

But having found out about the sync issue before I received the unit I ordered, I was able to return it unopened. (The site from which I bought it would have accepted a return unopened or not but I was glad that they were stuck with an opened-box unit because of misinformation on other websites.)
That's very unfortunate, from what I had read I was under the impression it would do all you needed. I've run into a few similar issues with products being advertised to have something that they don't, and it's frustrating!
 
Messages
2,221
If you want an instant pitch shift, without any ramp, maybe try a Lexicon unit. The LXP15 for example has a pitch delay algorithm. You could then assign the LFO to one of the pitch shift parameters to get a more instantaneous shift, if that's what you're looking for. Lexicon pcm42 has a square wave modulation, too.
 

AnalogKid85

Member
Messages
1,360
I'm hoping that someone here will be able to suggest a delay that does what I need it to do.

I need a digital delay with square wave LFO modulation, in addition to sync-to-DAW (either via midi or cv or even FSK for all I care, it doesn't matter which.)

I have an Echolution 2 Deluxe. Their square wave is not a square wave but rather a "squarish wave" - and not terribly squarish at that. It is horrible. You can hear the modulation rate slewing up and down. If the square wave's rise and fall times were instantaneous, as they should be, then the effect would be that of the repeats being pitch-shifted and no other artifacts; certainly not the squishy and unusable sound that I do hear.

I also have a Source Audio Soundblox 2 Orbital Modulator. The same remarks as above apply except that Orbital Modulator's squarish wave is rather more squarish than the Echolution 2's, but still not really a square wave, and the "not really square" parts of the wave cause too noticeable artifacts and, therefore, I can not get the effect that I need.

The Yamaha DD1500 claims to have a square wave. Not even close.

The MoogerFooger MF-105 has a beautiful square wave but it is an analog delay and has a "warm" sound. I don't really know what other people mean when they say a sound is "warm" but to me, it means "grossly deficient in high frequency content".

My ADA 2.56i also has a perfect square wave. And it sounds great. But it does not have any sync capabilities whatsoever.

Does anyone know of any other digital delays, either pedal or rackmount, it doesn't matter which, that have real square wave LFO modulation?

Thanks in advance!
Believe it or not, all those ones that professed to have a "square wave" modulation feature actually did have it--it was just modulation something different than you were expecting! ;) Namely, delay time--when you were probably expecting something that would modulate the sample rate instead...

The thing that really makes this "work" or not is whether or not your delay uses delay time modulation or sample rate modulation--those that use the latter will get that perfect "pitch shifted" sound (it's not truly a pitch shifter like how a pitch shifter works; it's a different--and simpler--process), while those that use the former will sound "glitchy" and produce a lot of artifacts as the delay time changes suddenly.

When you said that one pedal sounded a little more "squarish" than another--that likely means that different depths and "jumps" were used (delay time differences), and different "glide responses" (a feature that determines how fast a delay "moves" and re-samples as times change--a feature commonly available to the user in many Lexicon and Eventide units, but not available to tweak in many others). I have been able to get certain settings to sound more "squarish" than others by messing with these settings, but they are still an entirely different animal from sample-rate modulated machines. Even older Lexicons that did use sample-rate modulation don't really sound like the later delay-time modulated units.

One reason why the Lexicon PCM42 has become such an iconic machine for looping was due to its sample-rate modulated LFO--when you used the square wave setting, it would really jump instantly between two pitches; the PCM70, though--which came out not much longer after that, and used delay-time and other "randomization" techniques--could not do this. All of the Prime Time delays could, though (I think there's a fairly recent Henry Kaiser video out there where he shows off both the Prime Time and the PCM42 doing this).

The PCM81 and the PCM80 (with the help of a Pitch Card) can get somewhat closer to this sound, by using one of the pitch shifting algorithms and assigning a square wave LFO to alternate between two pitches--that does sound a LOT closer, but still not quite (since it's only changing pitch, and not "time-stretching" too). It's the closest I've been able to get to that sound with any of my gear though, and with the right programming, you can get it to switch between up to 8 pitches on a single pitch-shifted voice (and there can be up to 4 of those voices, like in the Quad>Hall algorithm).

The Eventide Eclipse can get in this ballpark too, by using a Square wave to modulate the LFO of a pitch-shifted delay (if the Harmodulator algorithm on the Pitchfactor/H9 has a square wave option, it should be able to do that too). Like the PCM80/81, it can be programmed to have no "ramp" at all, instantaneously changing pitches...or even programmed to have a little bit of a "ramp," for a bit of portamento :) (one of my favorite things to do on the Lexicon--great for shifting between 4-note chords!).

I first ran into this "problem" about a year ago when a friend of mine emailed me in frustration, because while one of his "PCM42-inspired" delay presets on the PCM80 was sounding good on several waveforms so far (Sine, Cosine, Triangle, etc.), he just could not get the Square wave to sound right, no matter what...I had to tell him, there's just no way to make this work, other than to use one of the pitch algorithms as an alternative; the techniques are just too different, and while the differences are harder to tell on "smooth" waveforms like sines and cosines, the jagged square wave really lays bare the differences going on in how the two techniques really modulate the delays. The sine/cosine/triangle waveforms usually operate on a smaller scale, and while they still sound different even on that level, the differences are much less notable, since it's possible to get smooth pitch increases & decreases by nudging the delay time up or down slowly in either direction.

There are some digital units out there that can do a good emulation of sample-rate, square-wave modulation--for one, there is the PSP-42 plugin effect (PCM42 emulator, basically), and I believe the Axe-FX can do it too. Supposedly, they still don't sound like the older units, but they are definitely closer than what you could get by just emulating them with a pitch shifter.

I'm really only somewhat familiar with what the Lexicons can do as far as these kinds of effects go. It would be cool if we could get a comprehensive list going of all the products are that can do this, though, and I'm personally interested to see just how many there are out there, pedal or rack.

By the way, it makes perfect sense to me why the ADA and the Moogerfooger would have a "good" square-wave modulated sound here, while the Yamaha D1500's is practically nonexistent--analog and early digital delays (often with analog VCOs handling the modulation, like the PrimeTime/42) were renowned for sample-rate modulation, while the "second generation" of digital delays really started to break with this trend. The D1500 came out around the same time the PCM70 and other "next generation" digital delays, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was using the same kind of delay time-sweeping techniques for its modulation.
 

kboman

Member
Messages
279
Fascinating stuff, but I'll just come out and ask it - what does "digital delay with square wave LFO modulation" actually sound like? I have a feeling we're not talking about chorusing the repeats here... :)
 

italo de angelis

Senior Member
Messages
4,786
Believe it or not, all those ones that professed to have a "square wave" modulation feature actually did have it--it was just modulation something different than you were expecting! ;) Namely, delay time--when you were probably expecting something that would modulate the sample rate instead...

The thing that really makes this "work" or not is whether or not your delay uses delay time modulation or sample rate modulation--those that use the latter will get that perfect "pitch shifted" sound (it's not truly a pitch shifter like how a pitch shifter works; it's a different--and simpler--process), while those that use the former will sound "glitchy" and produce a lot of artifacts as the delay time changes suddenly.

Nope...
You can get "perfect pitch" with both modulation techniques. All depends on good interpolation implemented for the purpose and other tricks. It's easier with sample rate modulation but it's not the only way.



One reason why the Lexicon PCM42 has become such an iconic machine for looping was due to its sample-rate modulated LFO--when you used the square wave setting, it would really jump instantly between two pitches; the PCM70, though--which came out not much longer after that, and used delay-time and other "randomization" techniques--could not do this. All of the Prime Time delays could, though (I think there's a fairly recent Henry Kaiser video out there where he shows off both the Prime Time and the PCM42 doing this).

Nope...
THE reason why the PCM42 has been used for looping by a few masters is because its memory was expandable. In a time when memory was very expensive and most devices didn't offer expansion, the 42 had its reason to be. The TC2290 was also great for that, but the cost of 32 or 64 sec. expansion was unreasonable.
When looping you do not really use modulation as your audio would get quite unpleasant to listen to. Dropping octaves or 5ths was done by changing the delay time while audio was "on hold".
The PCM42 SQUARE WAVE thing became famous because of Henry Kaiser, playing pitch shifted lines thru his 42. His first video shows what he was doing with the 42 and the H3000 back then (1980s).




There are some digital units out there that can do a good emulation of sample-rate, square-wave modulation--for one, there is the PSP-42 plugin effect (PCM42 emulator, basically), and I believe the Axe-FX can do it too. Supposedly, they still don't sound like the older units, but they are definitely closer than what you could get by just emulating them with a pitch shifter.

More nope...
"modulating sample rate" within an algorithm is not the same as doing it at the output stage of the unit itself, modulating the true audio sample rate of the system.
That's why anybody claiming that... doesn't really has a "good emulation" at all. You should try a 42 or some H3000 algorithms that actually do that and your ears will tell the big difference.
There is no emulation here. Either you got the real thing or you don't.



The closest thing to the 42 trick is the Eventide reverse shifter which does pitch shifting AND time compression/expansion at the same time. That's where you get that and a lot more funny things...
 

italo de angelis

Senior Member
Messages
4,786
Fascinating stuff, but I'll just come out and ask it - what does "digital delay with square wave LFO modulation" actually sound like? I have a feeling we're not talking about chorusing the repeats here... :)

Exactly!
It's not about chorus/flanging or anything like that. It's about pitch jumps.
Here's the guy who started the square thing:
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,832
One reason why the Lexicon PCM42 has become such an iconic machine for looping was due to its sample-rate modulated LFO--when you used the square wave setting, it would really jump instantly between two pitches
hey!
you say that as if my pcm42's weren't working today, but i can assure you that they are.
i'm not sure, but i believe that the rate control might be modified to sync, somehow --- certainly, the VCO itself features a CV input.

also, re: @italo de angelis' post, above:
henry "started" the square thing?
hmmmm.

i don't know if square-wave modulation during real-time-sampling of guitar was somehow made famous by my dear friend henry in the 1980's or not --- certainly, i wasn't aware of that --- but i was utilising it since the first modified pcm42's came out of gary's (and then bob's) hands into mine.
actually..... i first used those techniques with a lexicon prime time (¿or proto- PrimeTime II?) brought to me by lexicon's david dunetz in 1978 or '79, recorded on a duo project with synthesist andrew schlesinger.
 
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6,244
Ah, Henry has not only a PCM42 but a Super Prime time. I saw Steve Tibbets play his old Martin acoustic into one of those live and it was stunning what he was doing. All those synth like ambiences from his ECM records he could do live.

That being said, I think I can do something similar to those pitch jumps using my weird idiosynchratic apparatus. Stand by.
 
Messages
6,244
After listening to Henry's video - it seems like it's the delay is coming back pitched up an octave kind of like the old octave reverb trick Eno and U2 got known for but with delay instead of reverb. You could also do the Fripp/Belew interlocking guitar thing with one guitar if you set it up right.
 

Vhailor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,877
@AnalogKid85

I can't really say how correct you are in general. I tend to think that the Moogerfooger and the ADA do not use sample-rate change for their square-wave modulation for the simple (and possibly invalid) reason that their modulation waveshape is continuously variable from sine to ramp (sawtooth) to square. So while admitting that I am not knowledgeable enough to form a confident judgement, I am skeptical.

@italo de angelis:

I've seen that Henry Kaiser video! Some of his videos are far more "outside" than others. He also has a video of him using an Echolution 2, in which he says that he is very happy that Pigtronix is going to put give it square-wave LFO modulation but he did not, as far as I recall, actually use that square-wave in the video. So I was very very disappointed upon finding out that there is nothing resembling it in the box. I would have liked to have gotten in touch with him about it but could not find a way to do so. Pigtronix hasn't responded to a few posts on the dedicated Echolution thread here, nor to the comments on their Echolution 2 video page in which they showcase their not-ver-squarish-wave, and they did not respond to an email I sent them; perhaps they would have taken Henry Kaiser seriously...

@aliensporebomb:

Nice to see you here! I am a long-time Vguitars forums user. Speaking of synchronization, as I was in the original post, I ought to "synchronize" and coordinate all my user names on the forums I go to. Too late for that, though!

Having a bunch of VG's I will be very interested to hear what you can come with.

( If anyone here is interested in ambient music and textures, they need to listen to aliensporebomb's stuff. It is outstanding and deserves far more attention than it gets!)
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,832
After listening to Henry's video - it seems like it's the delay is coming back pitched up an octave kind of like the old octave reverb trick Eno and U2 got known for but with delay instead of reverb. You could also do the Fripp/Belew interlocking guitar thing with one guitar if you set it up right.
in real-life, it can be pitched to come back to wherever you set it (within range, which is about 3-octaves --- or more), and that pitch can be altered in real-time..... as can the speed of the alteration..... which is how some of the shifting rhythms occur on a piece like "was a cave there....." (from "only sky") for one example, or on many of the rhythmic figures from any of my 3 sample discs from the late 80's/early '90's.
 
Messages
6,244
Ah, "only sky" which I have and you were kind enough to autograph in Minneapolis when you toured the Cedar.

I definitely think the virtual PCM42 would be easier to acquire than the real one - I've actually seen a real one for sale early on in my musical development and I never realized at the time how hard they were to find. Sigh.
 




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