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How do you design the perfect Delay Pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by itswac, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. itswac


    Nov 24, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Endorsing Artist/Product Line Manager: Source Audio Effects
    At Source Audio, we're looking at a few ways to expand our line of pedals for our next generation of effects. One of those ways we are looking to expand is in the field of reverb/delay effects.

    So we have some questions for all of you on Talkbass:

    What are the key elements you look for in a Delay?

    In your opinion, what are the best Delay pedals on the market?

    What would you like to see in a Delay that has never been done before?

    Thank you all for your input!
  2. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Some thoughts:

    - transparent bypass: either true bypass, or using a transparent buffer
    - high quality, low noise, minimally colored A/D-D/A
    - analog clean path, or extremely low latency, transparent, digital clean path
    - tap tempo, with various note divisions
    - adjustable/switchable modulation
    - clean/character modes for a variety of delay tonalities (tape, analog, etc...)
    - adjustable low-pass filter on repeats
    - multiple user presets
    - effect information, status, and tempo display
    - ability to do quality flange/chorus/reverb a bonus
  3. My favorite delay pedals:
    Boss DM-2
    Line 6 Echopark
    Arion SAD-1
    EHX Memory Boy
    EHX Memory Man (vintage)
    Line 6 DL4

    Features/I'd like to see:

    Tap Tempo is important to some but not all.

    I like the adjustable hi-pass/low-pass filter ala the SMM w/ Hazarai

    No one has come close, imho, to the dive-bomb sound of the DM-2/3.

    I like a wide modulation range ala the Memory Boy (with triangle and square wave settings). Sample & Hold modulation would be great.

    What about an assignable LFO instead, so you could modulator pitch, or depth, or feedback, or blend; or an envelope follower (for ducking or repeats).

    Infinite hold ala Boss digitals - hold down the switch, repeat the note forever until you let go.

    Easy looping mode - flip a toggle switch and the above hold becomes a sampler. Just hold the switch to sample, let go to loop, stomp to stop.

    Stutter ala Line 6 delays.
  4. Lol, I swear you guys read minds! I'm on the hunt for both a reverb and delay pedal and it would be great if there could be a pedal that has a full range of both (like the Boss RV-3 but better). I'm a digital delay kinda guy and currently I have a Line 6 Echo Park. It's an awesome pedal, it has practically every sort of delay I could ever want or need and the only thing that would make it perfect is if it had an integrated reverb. If there were some why to combine it and a EHX Holy Grail it would be gold.

    The things that I would look for in a digital delay are:

    -multiple delay types (sweep, swell, ping-pong, etc)
    -tap tempo
    -integrated reverb

    The only delay's I've tried are the one that comes with the Boss ME-50B, the one that comes with the Line 6 PodXT Live, and my Line 6 Echo Park. The Echo Park smoked them both but I guess that's to be expected, lol. For me, a delay is probably the only kind of effect where I don't necessarily want something totally new I just want lots of features in a reasonably sized and priced package.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    All excellent, excellent suggestions. I can only think of two additions right now:
    --Expression pedal control over number of repeats. Sure, there are lots of other parameters that would be neat to control with an exp pedal, but for me "number of repeats" would get the most use.
    --Voicing from the old DeltaLab Effectron units. There are already loads of analog delays, loads of "clean" digi delays, and loads of digi delays filtered to sound "analog"; but I haven't yet heard a delay pedal that cops the awesome nightmarish crunch of the DeltaLab with its tweaked 12 bit process. Check it out. Edit: Here's a an example--not the best example, but the best one I can dig up ATM: http://www.ev-b.com/mp3s/Happy_Audit.MP3
  6. make a reliable tape echo!
  7. Oh, got another one. Effects loop - modulate the delays with whatever you want! Bonus points if the effects in the loop can be used as normal when the delay is bypassed (!)
  8. what all these people said, plus a self-oscillate button.
  9. Favorite Delays:

    TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay
    Empress Delay
    Strymon Brigadier

    I bought my TC Electronics Super Nova not only because of its fairly neutral tone, but because I can see the the exact numerical information just as ms of delay, number of repeats, etc.

    As far as quality in tone goes, check out the The Empress

    and a newer company called Strymon:

    I would definitely want an expression pedal to control the number of repeats, a hold button, and self-oscillation in the ideal delay. I don't see the need though to add reverb into the effect as that is a whole other beast.
  10. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    -The ability to choose which parameter can be controlled by expression pedal.
    -Input Jacks for both expression pedal and external tap tempo.
    -Tap tempo that functions while the pedal is bypassed/off.
  11. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008

    This and add a "Sample/Hold" button....
    and I would buy one tomorrow.

    Self oscillate > sample/hold would be genius.

    I don't think making a delay and "looper pedal" in the same box is as useful as it sounds. If you did then it should be able to do both simultaniously and that would require 2 delay circuits... = $$$$$

    I don't know of any company making a self osc.>sample/hold.
    If you want to stand out in the croud, this would do it.

    FWIW: Favorite Delays?
    -Reel Echo
  12. Ok, could someone explain to me exactly what self-oscillation is? All the demo I hear of it are just random noise. In any effect I'm looking for usable, musical tones not just noise. Not knocking what you guys may like though, those are just my preferences.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Self-oscillation is when the delay unit feeds back on itself. It's good for massive swashes of sound to wipe everything else out.
  14. It's also key to the divebomb sounds of the DM series (and the end of Radiohead songs :D)
  15. Yeah, if I could just get that sound in a pedal - push the button, divebomb! - that would be rad :D:cool:
  16. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008
    then to be able to hit "hold" and drone over the held tone would be even better.

  17. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    If it's gonna be feature rich, it has to have user presets.
    Midi in for tempo and control.
    Reverse and crystal modes.
    +10 to a ramping feedback/oscillation button
    All features need to be available at all times -- I want feedback ramping, tap tempo, and modulation rate controls to be usable simultaneously.
    Control is important, but I'd rather tweak a filter and decay rate than have an 'analogue' mode.

    My favorite delays:
    Boss DD-6
    Boss PS-3
  18. jesseRSA


    Apr 21, 2010
    Lowly, Dirty Designer and Engineer: Source Audio Effects
    Hi All,
    Jesse R here, I'm the main designer at Source Audio. I asked Will to start this thread and I appreciate all the input thus far.

    I need some clarification on a couple of things... if you have songs or sound clips as references, that will be really helpful.

    First off, the self-oscillate feature. All delays have feedback, that's what gives you multiple (more than one) repeats of a note. Do you guys mean the kind of sound you get if you play something then turn the feedback (or repeat) knob way up? That kind of out of control ringing feedback sound?

    Next, dive bomb. Does someone have a specific example?

    Also, sample/hold. I'm guessing you mean recording a short sample and having repeat infinitely until you shut it off?

    I've been wanting to do a delay pedal for a while but it's been a matter of culling down all of the possible features into something that is powerful and feature-rich but easy to use.

    It would absolutely need presets, and obviously I value MIDI control for pedals like this. We would put it in the Soundblox Pro format pedal but the interface would be different since needs additional controls compared to the Multiwave Bass Pro.


  19. Kromwarp


    Sep 16, 2008
    Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Master Luthier: Ironclad Bass Guitars
    Favorite Delays:
    GFS Pro Delay
    EXH Memory Boy
    EHX Memory Man
    Boss RV-3

    Important Points:
    Analog Circuitry
    Ability to switch between reverb and delay
    Long and short delay options
    Vibrato and Chorus controls to 'color' the delay or reverb
    Two footswitchs, one for delay, one for reverb
    Sperate controls for delay and reverb, with the chorus/vibrato controls in the middle to use on either side
  20. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    You guys never cease to amaze me.


    The only delay pedal I ever had was a Toadworks Redux and it's unique characteristic was it's offset control which kind of gave "asynchronous" repeats. I don't think it's a feature that is make or break for a delay but it's definitely neat.

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