Re: [Harp-L] delay signal
- To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: [Harp-L] delay signal
- From: Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:29:59 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
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- Reply-to: Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
gary eldridge wrote:
> Is there a big difference, in sound , between analog delay and digital
> delay? Is it just preferance?
Yes, they sound different. An analog delay tends to have less high-frequency content, and the clarity of the echo diminishes with each repeat. A digital delay produces an exact duplicate of the input signal, so it has more high-frequency content and less degradation of the signal on each repeat.
Analog delays are great when you want some grit in the sound; that's why they're popular for styles like blues and dub reggae. Digital delays are great when you want to produce a clearer set of echoes with a sweeter ambience. Some digital delays include an EQ that you can use to reduce the high-frequency content and make it more analog-sounding, but I haven't heard one that produces a really analog sound.
If you want one pedal that does a lot of different delays, the Digitech RPs ship with several flavors, including analog, digital, ping pong (the echoes move around in the stereo field), modulated (the echoes have a little bit of swirl on them), and tape echo. With a Digitech Rp155 going new for less than $100, it's a very cost-effective approach to delay (and you get a bunch of nice reverbs and other FX thrown in for free; Slim Heilpern uses one just for reverbs).
Robert Hale said he generally sets repeats on his delays to zero, which I find is effective for slapback (short and punchy analog) delays in particular, but with a digital delay especially it's nice to set the delay time and repeats longer, and see what evolves out of the echoes.
There are plenty of good delays out there at price points ranging from $30 to multiple hundreds of dollars. For most harp players, a good analog delay is the right starting point. Like I said, I like the delays in the RPs--it's what I use on all my recordings and performances.
Regards, Richard Hunter
author, "Jazz Harp"
latest mp3s and harmonica blog at http://hunterharp.com
Vids at http://www.youtube.com/user/lightninrick
more mp3s at http://taxi.com/rhunter
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