It’s no secret that Line 6 invented the digital modeling amplifier. However, many people also consider us the industry leader in quality audio effects processors and stompbox modelers. To date, we’ve modeled over 100 vintage and modern FX from legendary analog tape delays like the Maestro® EP-3 Echoplex to more recent and advanced effects like our Smart Harmony which was inspired by* the Eventide® H3000.
With so many individual effects to choose from the tonal possibilities are seemingly endless. Couple that with our new POD® HD multi-effects processors and their ability to allow for truly unique signal chains, your imagination is the only limit. Still, simply having all of these effects at your disposal doesn’t necessarily help you understand what each one actually does or even how it should be used.
During the upcoming months I’ll be writing a series of blogs that break down every single effect offered in our POD HD multi-effects processor pedals. I’ll talk about individual parameters and what they do as well as offer up some of my favorite effect settings. We’ll even learn how to dial in a few artist and band tones here and there. Is everyone ready? OK, here we go!
Delay Effects: What They Do and Where They Came From
Delay effects are some of my favorite types of effects to play with and are featured on countless songs and albums. Certain artists have even sculpted their unique sounds based solely on the delay effect. Think about what U2’s “The Streets Have No Name” would sound like without The Edge’s classic delay lead ringing out over the rhythm.
The very first delay effects took a bit of effort to create. Engineers and musicians used tape loops on analog reel-to-reel magnetic recording systems and shortened or lengthened the loop of the tape as well as adjusted the read and write heads. By doing this the nature of the delayed echo could be controlled and manipulated. It’s important to note that before this technique was invented, musicians had to capture the effect in a naturally reverberant environment. What a pain!
As the delay effect gained popularity throughout the music industry, several musical instrument companies developed products that made it much easier to emulate this effect. The original tube Echoplex designed by Mike Battle in 1959 really paved the way for more modern delay devices like the Roland Space Echo in the 1970s.
Digital delay technology became possible due to the inexpensive cost of parts in the late 1970s and really took off into the 1980s with popular products from Ibanez and Boss. Digital delays sampled the audio input signal into analog-to-digital converters where it was processed through a digital signal processor (DSP) and recorded it to an audio buffer at which point enabled the user to control certain parameters of the effect before the output stage.
Digital delays made it possible to control a wider array of parameters then analog delays. Now, it was possible to control the mix of the dry and processed signals as well as the amount of times the signal is fed back through the audio buffer (feedback).
Today there are literally hundreds of delay pedals and stompboxes out there for you to choose from and the POD HD multi-effects processor pedals offer the best collection of vintage and modern delays of any other multi-effects processor on the market. Next week, we’ll talk about the Analog Echo delay model in the POD HD family and briefly discuss the pedal it was modeled after, the Boss® DM2 Analog Delay. We’ll dive into each parameter of this effect and what they do and I’ll give you some of my personal favorite settings. Until next week!
*All product names used in this webpage are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Line 6. These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied during Line 6’s sound model development. All that info can be found here: http://line6.com/legalDetail.html