Rack Delay That's Not Too Complicated?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by Braciola, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Braciola

    Braciola Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a W/D/W system, and looking for a used rack delay.
    I have a Lexicon PCM 81, but it's just too in-depth/complicated for me, and I'm spending way too much time trying to program it.
    Looking to replace it with another great sounding rack delay that's relatively simple to use.
    Suggestions?

    In the mean time, I have a t.c. D-Two in my closet I'll pull out and see how it sounds with my system.
    As I remember, it was a decent sounding delay, but want to know what else is out there.
     
  2. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    I don't understand what you find complicated in the PCM as a delay machine.
    Once you have your delay times/fbacks/levels/pans set... and you can even assemble up to 10 parameters in the soft row, without the need to edit the full matrix.
    It's actually much easier than other devices.

    You probably want something with all parameters available on the front panel... which means looking back at old digital delays units.

    The amount of information you can have available on the front panel can differ a lot, from unit to another. The more expensive units had a display or multiple ones, to show actual parameters values.
    These would be Roland SDE 1000/2500/3000, Korg SDD 2000/3000, TC Electronic TC2290, BEL delays, Lexicon PrimeTime series I/II/SuperPrimeTime, Lexicon PCM42.
    Some less expensive units didn't have displays at all... or maybe a single one for delay time...
    like Deltalab Effectron series delays, Digitech RDS Time Machine delays, Lexicon PCM41, Korg SDD1000....
    ALL these units are very nice; some of them even have MIDI and presets, tap tempo. The only limitation is that they offer a single delay line. Not the Lexicon Prime Times but those can be too old to carry around.
    One delay I like a LOT is the Korg SDD1200. In one rack space it houses TWO digital delays. Completely separate. You can use them as "stereo"...dual delays.
    It also has a ton of tricks as the rear panel has aceess to their feedback loops... so you can use cables to create amazing effects there.
    It's not MIDI, doesn't have presets, no display nor Tap Tempo... and it sounds really nice. 1 sec. delay memory for each delay line. Cheap.





    Korg also had a triple delay line in a box, the SDD3300... 3 rack spaces... w/display.
    And their amazing DL8000R is probably one of the best dedicated delays unit ever made.
     
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  3. uraniumwilly

    uraniumwilly Member

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    Something simple in use but pricey: Roland tape echo machines. If you lust for analog tone, they're a good way to go. Not recommended for gigging.
     
  4. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    The old Digitech rackmount delays sound good and are idiot proof. Knobs on the front, no programming.
     
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  5. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    Maybe you just need a good "template" to start out with ;)

    What kind of sound are you going for?
     
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  6. Catch

    Catch Analog>Digital Converter

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    Italo, your knowledge is impressive, thanks for being part of this forum and discussion.
     
  7. critter74

    critter74 Supporting Member

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    I have and use numerous examples of the Roland SDE series and Korg SDD. I like the tone and modulation on the Rolands a bit more. How re the Korg SDD 1200 is amazing.
     
  8. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    The old MXR System II delay is simple and good sounding.
    Early Ibanez digitals are often cheap on Ebay.
     
  9. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    I had an old Ibanez rack delay, my first delay. It was pretty noisy.
     
  10. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    Doesn't surprise me. I haven't ever owned one; was only stating that they can be had very cheaply. Noise may be the reason. I like some of the older Ibanez gear (won't ever sell my UE300) but I know not all of it was great.

    The MXR System II was a very good one and served me reliably through thousands of sets during the 80s. But they sell for more, I think not just because of their quality but also because they were used by some big names like David Gilmour & Brian May.
     
  11. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    lexicon pcm42.
    the added benefit to its real ease of operation --- it's just buttons and knobs, there are no menus & no software programming --- is that it sounds freaking incredible.

    additionally, you could choose to also have it modified to include 20secs of tape-style "looping" effects, a reverse-delay switch, et cetera.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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  12. stilwel

    stilwel Supporting Member

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    For something programmable and very simple to operate I like the Line 6 Echo Pro.
    You get a very wide variety of delay types and tones available.
    All preset tweaking is done with the knobs.

    I love the TC D-Two as well, though it requires more menu-diving to get what you want out of it...but the interface is very intuitive.

    For old-school 80's rack delays I really loved the Korg SDD-2000. It had 64 presets available via MIDI and has programmable modulation rate and depth.
     
  13. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    TC M300 or M350 would seem to fit the bill.
     
  14. iam_krash

    iam_krash Supporting Member

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    I had a couple of the SDD3300...very cool and rare piece...don't see them much anymore
     
  15. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Yep... those were very cool for the routing magic and the tone.
    Only big mistake Korg did with them is the miserable delay memory allowance they put in the box.
    3 lines at max. 500 ms each... that is quite poor, isn't it.
    Imagine a couple of seconds for each!
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Member

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    It doesn't have presets, so you just dial it in and go. It's a great sounding delay unit. The stereo stuff it does is amazing because the outputs aren't L & R. They're actually 180 degrees out of phase. The chorus you can create would make Alex Lifeson say, "Dayum, now that's some chorus!" Very easy to use! Downside is 1000 ms max. Not a problem for me as I never need anything that long.

    The Chandler SDE-II. Make sure you get the II & not the I, as it has an input level that is very useful.


    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    I recon OP will like to stay stero, so the Korg DL8000R should be a fine candidate, but really, don't sell the Lexicon!
     
  18. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Not that you said anything wierd; actually you did say VERY wise things. :cool:
    But I'm afraid that if one finds hard to use a PCM80/81 for delays with just the 6 parameters (Dly 1/Dly4/Master Level/Master Feedback/Master Rate/Master Depth) he needs to use for that... like on any ancient digital delay.... he might find the legendary DL8000R as a path to suicide!
    o_O
     
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  19. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Hehe probably :D
     
  20. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    Braciola
    here's MY open heart suggestion to you. I can even post the MIDI sysex file for you and you will live happy like a penguin among ice creams...
    With ONE... ONLY one preset... you'd be done forever for delays with your PCM81. No troubles at all.

    I take you are using two delays. Fine.
    -Load a CHORUS+RVB based preset
    -go in the PATCH ROW and kill every patch made there, removing all SRC and DST parameters
    -set FX MIX to 0% REVERB (that's no reverb)
    -now KILL all reverb parameters in the 1 RVB TIME and 2 RVB Design rows, seting them to their lowest value
    -next kill the levels (OFF) for delay 2/3/5/6. You will only use Delay 1 and 4
    -set delay time to 0 ms for voice 2/3/5/6
    -set feedback to 0% for voice 2/3/5/6
    -back to delay time row and set delay 1 and 4 at 500 ms... maybe set delay 4 at 510 ms for super thick delays (studio trick)
    -back to feedback and set voice 1 and 4 feedback as you like... you can even reverse the phase of the value for one of the 2 delays (more studio beauty)
    -kill Rate and depth for voice 2/3/5/6 and set voice 1 and 4 rates and depths as you love them, WHILE KEEPING MASTER RATE and MASTER DEPTH at 100%
    -go to the PAN row and set 50L for voice 1/2/3, 50R for voice 4/5/6
    You're done. Stereo delays none of the suggested units will do... unless you do more programming.

    Yopu know you can create a SOFT ROW in your PCM, meaning that you can take up to 10 parameters and put them into this SOFT ROW for quick access, without the need to go searcing in the parameters matrix.
    Check the manual on jow to do that. It's very simple.
    WHat I'd put in this quick acces zone is:
    FX Adj = will control your delays level
    Dly1 time
    Dly 2 time
    master Feedback
    master rate
    master depth
    high cut

    You can aldo customize the ADJUST KNOB assigning it to a dedicated parameter. You decide what's a crucial parameter you may use a lot... maybe FX Adj for levels? Or Master Feedback? You decide.
    You will be able to use THIS knob at any time, to change your assigned parameter without edit.
    To access the SOFT row you just need to press Edit. IF you stored the preset LEAVING any SOFT ROW parameter on the display as the last viewed parameter... any EDIT key press will take you directly to the soft row (it's in the manual).

    Benefits of such design:
    -you have your stereo delays; they can be stored in absolute time (ms) or rhythmic subdivisions (1/4 note <> 1/8 note) for Tap Tempo (use the rear panel footswitch/tap tempo key/any MIDI CC to tap tempo)
    -you'll have the same parameters ANY other unit has for level/feedback/rate/depth/delay time/high cut... only better because each of them works for BOTH delays vs. two knobs for two identical parameters
    -MIDI control/recall possibilities
    -quick parameters adjusting (patching a critical one to ADJUST and all the above ones collected in the SOFT ROW for ultra fast access)
    -PCM81 TONE ain't second to none of the suggested alternatives... actually being better than a lot of them

    Store this one preset and you'll be done for ages! No preset switching required.

    Really...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016

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