When do you prefer digital to analog delay?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mikoo69, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. mikoo69

    mikoo69 Supporting Member

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    I love analog delays (Moog, DM-2, Memory Man) though I have a Boss DD-500 that I use for effected type delays that can't be done in the analog realm (reverse, warp, twist, hold, etc)

    Haven't explored more standard types of digital delays in the DD-500 yet since I've been using my analog delays for all of that (subtle trails on leads, rhythmic syncopation, ambient delay with modulation, slapback, etc).

    Wondering if anyone prefers digital delay over analog for those standard types of delays and why.
     
  2. mrpinter

    mrpinter Supporting Member

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    I prefer digital to analog delay then the delay in question is an EQD Disaster Transport. I seriously like this better than any delay I've ever had - it's not brittle or artifact-y sounding like a lot of digitals, and the modulation feature is brilliant (basically a vibrato effect).
     
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  3. Al Varez

    Al Varez Member

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    I prefer digital over analog delay. Why? Digital can do pristine or mimic analog high-end roll off, tape delay etc.. A better question is why a preference for analog delay? I could understand it back in the 1980's, early 90's, when cheaper digital effects had 12 bit or lower ADAC's and suffered from "zippering" and good quality digital was expensive. Once all brands adopted 16 bit and now 24 bit ADAC's as a minimum standard, why cling to analog delays? And yes, I've owned and used analog delays. I don't get the analog delay fetishism. If it sounds good, it is good.
     
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  4. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    I prefer analog delay when used as a thickener, especially slapback or near slapback, as an always on because it doesn't get in the way of my playing.

    I prefer digital when the delay is the centerpoint of the piece as in percussive or rhythmic delay parts ala The Edge from Joshua Tree on.
     
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  5. filtersweep

    filtersweep Member

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    Looooong delays work better in digital- for me.
     
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  6. Black_Label

    Black_Label Member

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    Control. I'm more into analog and tape for delays but I'm a big fan of the DD-500 because of the built in parametric EQ and the ability to sculpt the feedback curve of each preset. Would I take a DD-500 over a perfect EP-2? No. But if I could only have one delay, I'd probably have to pick the Boss.
     
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  7. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    I'm glad people came to appreciate analog delays.

    Because when they originally hit the scene, I thought of them as cheapier, crappier fake delays, for people who couldn't afford tape or later, digital. I had one briefly -- hell, it might even have been a Memory Man as EH pedals were always cheap -- and hated it. It sounded like a tin can or something, just going on memory from a brazillian years ago. On the other hand I loved the original echoplex, and also was quite impressed with the "new" digital delays, which were rack units. It seemed like each did what the other could not, the digital being ultimately "best" since it reproduced the original signal more cleanly and accurately, which is a huge big deal. Then, the tape was warmer and had more character, being a physical medium that carried the echo.

    But back then it was unclear to me why anyone would buy an analog delay, which seemed to be just a cheaper digital delay, a strictly electronic delay.

    Now, unfortunately, I still don't get analog delays -- which I admit is my own fault -- and don't get why anyone wants one. I will admit it's one of the few effects I've never youtubed or been curious about. Seems to me if you take a digital delay signal and modify it with controls to make the tone more usable, warm, room-realistic and friendly -- you basically have a better version of an analog. Obviously, there is a unique sound and appeal I still don't get. I have an El Capistan, and I have minute control over how the echos sound, their tone, their breakup, their modulation, everything. I can make them as warm as I want, and as lo-fi or distorted as I want. Or I can dial the echoes in clean. I feel like I get the best of all worlds, as I can also get a pretty convincing tape sound with none of the sometimes annoying hassle, trouble and bulkiness.

    I feel, "from afar", like analog is all about hearing it and liking it, without needing a reason.
     
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  8. guitardudeness

    guitardudeness Member

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    About once a year.

    All smartassery aside, digital works well for me when I play bass, as analog repeats are already dark and murky; repeating bass notes is almost inaudible in a mix. I almost never use digital with guitar. Unless it's a digital emulation of some ridiculous tape unit or something that David Gilmour has hoarded up in his summer recording studio on Iapetus.
     
  9. 68Injunhed

    68Injunhed Supporting Member

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    Always. My Timeline does everything I need.
     
  10. rosslevans

    rosslevans Member

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    I run analog for slapback (Way Huge Aquapuss), digital for longer, repeating delay tones (T-Rex Replica). Although sometimes its hard to believe that the T-Rex is digital.
     
  11. wundergussy

    wundergussy Member

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    I've tried the "always-on thickener/natural echo" thing with many digital delays (even the big boys like Timeline, El Cap, etc.), and only analog works "right" for me in that application. However, if I want rythmic or percussive or "noticeable delays" then I can never get analog to work as well as digital.
     
  12. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    I use both. I like the wonkiness of analog delay modulation... It sounds the closest to my EP3, especially in the decay of the repeats. But when I need repeats that are more precise and pristine, without modulation, I go with digital.
     
  13. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    I used to think the Analog vs Digital delay thing was a bunch of garbage until I heard a vintage AD-80 in a band mix. Changed my awareness on a dime.

    I think the thing about the analog delays that people love is that they all have their own, semi-unique sonic character. The way they sit in a mix, the way the first repeat hits and subsequent repeats decay, etc. I tend to think of a digital delay as more or less a "commodity sound", and I'm sure that is ignorant. But I think that's the dividing line once you adjust for the functionality that a typical digital delay has.
     
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  14. Brien

    Brien Member

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    +1
     
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  15. Imperial_Tone

    Imperial_Tone All things with a Maple Cap

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    If I was touring more I would definitely be 100% digital. But I do love the warmth of Analog Delay. I rarely have a board that doesn't include both.
     
  16. apoyando

    apoyando Supporting Member

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    I have always wondered about the description ...

    Own and use a 2290 ( chip based delay )
    PCM 79,80 etc ( software based ?)
    Eclipse ( software based )
    Aren't analog delays " chip based " as well ( with the exception of oil can , tape etc)
    I personally choose by sound rather than topology...
     
  17. 0xeneye

    0xeneye Supporting Member

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    Any time I cover a song from say pre-1984 (really before the recorded advent of digital), I use analog to emulate tape and studio delays. Plus, I love he simplicity of TIME, REPEATS, and LEVEL.
     
  18. Chandyland

    Chandyland Member

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    I like to use both for really unique sounds. I like the warmth and warble of a good analog delay, but I also like the wackiness you can get out of certain digital delays. I'm not really into the whole "pristine, rhythmic repeats" thing.
     
  19. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    Same here.
     
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  20. Pizzaking

    Pizzaking Member

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    Almost always. Especially when I want a subtle delay in the background. I find analog delays get a more washed out reverb-like sound when set very low and subtle.
     
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