A couple of months ago, I posted this picture of my board that I had just changed up on Gear Talk (I just posted about the Facebook Group Gear Talk here if you don’t know about it or you’re not a part of the group): Do you see it? Do you see the “problem” with this pedalboard?
Ok, it’s really not a problem. But some people that saw it that it was insanity…
Count em…1, 2, 3, 4, 5. FIVE delay pedals!
I had just changed out a few things and was deciding what I wanted to keep vs. sell/trade out. But I figured I’d share because that’s what all the cool kids were doing. And a couple of people were blown away that I had FIVE delay pedals. In all honesty, I didn’t need 5, I didn’t even need 3, but I had gotten one in a trade and had a blank spot on my board (and I hate having blank spaces!), so I threw an extra few on. Each of them were different and did different things, but reading through the comments did make me laugh…
Flash forward to now and I posted my current board on the page to share:
A little different, but the biggest difference is being down to three delay pedals now. But even after posting this, some people still wondered why I had 3 delays on my board (especially when one of them was the Timeline!). SO…here’s my explanation:
I started using 2 delays when I bought a DD-5 to go with my DL4. I heard the way Alex Nifong layered delays and had a dotted 1/8 delay going into a 1/4 or 1/8 note delay and it sounded really cool. My friend Brian, who was playing with me at the time, starting doing this as well. I loved the sound and got my own. Ever since then, when it fits, I’ll use the two delays at once.
I’ve had a handful of delay pedals over the years, but I love a few of them more than others. I love my DD-5…it’s the best digital delay I’ve found in my opinion. I use it mostly for 1/4 or 1/8 delays, dotted 1/8 delays and even some reverse ambient stuff.
I am also attached to my Deluxe Memory Man Tap Tempo. They only made a small number of these…true analog, but with tap tempo. I bought one new and now the price has doubled that they go for, but it just sounds too good. I mainly use this for 1/4 or 1/8 note delays, with some modulation to go with the unreal analog sound. I’ll also use it for ambient stuff and swells with the repeats and mix higher, as well as a slower tempo.
Other than being attached to the sounds in these two pedals, I’ll use my Timeline for programmed delays…mostly the tape setting because I’ve found that’s what I like the best. I have a few swell, ice and digital machine settings.
I’ll use two delays to give some longer delay or cool dotted 1/8 through 1/4 or 1/8 note delay sounds. I’ll use all three sometimes for swells or something. Maybe a reverse on DD-5, 1/2 or whole note on the DMMTT, and a 1/4 note tape or swell on the Timeline.
I find lots of use for multiple delays…whether using them together for really ambient stuff or for different kinds of sounds. But let’s be real, usually deciding between an analog, digital, tape or some other sound is more work that you want to. Sometimes using having one or two sounds is easy enough…and I find myself here a lot. I typically have a good feel for what I’ll use based on what the song sounds like or what we’re going for.
Hope that helps some and explains to some of you that were asking. Different sounds or lots of layers of delay. Obviously you can go a lot deeper with all this (hence the five delay pedals) or just roll with one delay. I’d say figure out whatever it is that you like and whatever works best for you and roll with it. You definitely don’t want to be caught looking down at your board and switching things on and off the entire set rather than leading worship or putting on a great show (whichever or whatever it is that you’re doing in music…)!