Delay pedal --- Analog vs Digital

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 83_Silberpfeil, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. 83_Silberpfeil


    Aug 15, 2011
    Looking to add a delay pedal to my set up. Wondering about Analog vs Digital.

    Looking for some seasoned veterans here to school me on the two.

    My current set up is a Yamaha BB1200S (active) into a EHX Clone Theory (original 80's chorus pedal) then into an Ashdown 5-15 combo.

    I try to emulate Peter Hook's New Order sound.

  2. hellboy


    Nov 5, 2002
    Unless you're looking for a very specific sound (like a tape delay) I don't see much point in an analog delay, and AFAICT Hooky always used digital.
  3. I only use analog but I actually like the repeats to degrade.

    Depends what you want it to do.
  4. I don't have a lot of stock in the analog/digital debate. As already mentioned, it really depends on how you want your repeats to sound. If you want them to be super clean, you'll likely have to go digital. Otherwise, surf around for the sound you're looking for. I, too, like my repeats to degrade, but I love the sound of my Caroline Kilobyte, which is in fact digital. It adds modulation and gain to the repeats, or you can turn those parameters off and get perfectly clean repeats.

    No idea what Hook would have used for delay, but you certainly have the gear for a nice Hook setup. Cheers.
  5. hellboy


    Nov 5, 2002
    Digital delays can degrade the repeats as well. Nothing wrong with analog, but a digital delay will be more flexible, and unlike some other effects there's little or no downside to going digital.

    I was mistaken, it appears that Hooky did use a Yamaha analog delay for a bit at the end of Joy Division, but he switched to digital delay (Korg or Roland) not long afterwards. It's not a big part of his sound, though, so just about any decent delay should work.
  6. Same as the others. I would suggest a digital delay, as it is easier to use, and probably more versatile. Plus, you can often degrade the signal too, if you wish to, on some digital delays, such as the Nova Repeater for example.
  7. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    There is a place for either because they both have a unique character. I have both in my rig.

    Analog when I ant to sound warm, subtle, flexible, and have the repeats gently fade away.

    Digital when I want something crisp, dead-on time, rhythmic, and attention grabbing.

    If New Order is what you are aiming for then go digital, there wasn't much subtle his delay sounds and timing in new wave/electronic is vital.
  8. 83_Silberpfeil


    Aug 15, 2011
    Thanks to all who chimed in with your valuable personal experiences and knowledge.

    It does sound like the Digital path is what I should explore next --- I'll look into Roland or Korg as HellBoy has mentioned.

    I know the core effect that makes Hooky's sound is the EHX Clone Theory --- and I have that already. Now, I'm just trying to refine it --- with a bit of delay; 80 ms based on some research I've done.

    Thanks again to all!!!!

    zapped777 likes this.
  9. bludog

    bludog Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217
    Another tid bit to add... if you want the repeats to continue after you've disengaged the pedal you'll need to go digital. An analog delay will kill the repeats immediately. Some like this when you get a big feedback sound and then just kill it abruptly. Others like to have them echoing as they turn it off so it's smoother from the affected tone to the unaffected.

    As many have said regarding tone of the repeats, depends on your taste.
  10. zapped777


    Jul 6, 2011
  11. Depending on your current rig /bass (overtly bright or ultra dark?) and what your final tonal goal is (Hook's New Order daze) may dictate the delay path you take.

    A Pt2339 chipped delay is digital, but can get analogue-like dark repeats depending on how it was built up (longer delay times will be more dark n dirty, shorter can yield cleaner repeats)...

    Or so I've read...
  12. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Digital. Tape and analogue fakes are good enough.
    Wallofbasses likes this.
  13. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Mont Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I much prefer analog. I like degrading, slighter grittier repeats.

    Get a Moog MF-delay. Best analog delay out there for the money. Amazingly close to the MF-104 that run in the thousands

    Admittedly- digital emulations of analog are getting better and better and better. The tape delay on my H9 is pretty damn impressive.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    blindrabbit likes this.
  14. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Mont Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I don't think this is true. I have have two analog delays that do trails. Moog MF-104 and the Way Huge SupaPuss
    karla684 and blindrabbit like this.
  15. Get a Boss DD7 then you can have both.
  16. bludog

    bludog Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217
    Really? I had no idea. All the analog delays I have every used do not, but that's only a small handful. Good know.

    Although, because I didn't know that I started checking out the Strymon delays and they pretty much do it for me now. The El Cap is particularly good.
  17. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Mont Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I would love an El Cap. And yeah their analog emulations are shagging amazing. It's amazing how complicated the Op's question has gotten in recent years. Before that, the delineations were kinda clear. Now - a really high quality digital delay like the Strymons or the Eventide H9 etc can come damn damn damn close to being completely indistinguishable from quality analog delays on the right mode.

    No way your audience could tell the difference - that much is for sure.

    I still stand by the MF-delay by Moog. Man they can be found really cheap and they are just amazing.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  18. +1 to what @Mosfed is saying - while I've not tried that many delays, the MF Delay was fantastic, particularly for its sonic quality. I have a feeling I'll be acquiring another one someday.
  19. My favorites out of the delays I've owned are the line 6 m5 and the tc flashback. Both are digital, cost effective, and both do a lot of different types of delay. The tape delay on the tc flashback is nice, I really like the modulated digital delay in the m5. But I will say if you want a true analog delay check out the mxr Carbon copy, the modulation in it really makes it stand out among analog delays IMO. Some delays are great for certain tones. For example if you want a Justin Chancelor or Tool type of delay go boss all the way. So try to get an ideal of which type of delay you like and then if you want to spend more for a pedal that's great at that particular sound go for it. I always recommend folks try the m5 not as the end solution, but it'll definetly point you in the right direction on getting the perfect pedal for many different types of effects.
  20. I recently started using an MXR Carbon Copy and I really like it, but I use it to get a more 3D sound, rather than pronounced repeats