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What Are Guitar Delay Pedal Settings?

Learn about delay pedal settings from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video about guitar pedals.


So a lot of what's common in rock-a-billy music and early music like that, a lot of Western music, Country and Western music, early country, was the use of a large reverb, but most commonly it was a slap back delay. And that's an effect that was more or less honed in on over the years and you can get that effect with a delay pedal.

To achieve that setting what you want is you want a very quick response from the note or chord that you played. It's not a stereo effect, but it is a direct sample that happens in you know, a millisecond later. You're not really thinking about milliseconds. You're really just trying to get the quickest response; so that it sounds like the note or chord you played is bouncing off a wall right back at you or you're in a cavernous hall or recording studio; to get that effect of space.

So what I've done here in order to achieve this slap back delay is I have the; let's start on the right; I have the blend setting right about 12 o'clock, so that I'm getting an even amount of clean sound from my guitar versus the effect level. The middle is the feedback, which is pretty far down, I'd say about 9 o'clock. If you listen, what ends up happening is it reacts with the delay setting which is next to it.

The delay is; let's go over here to the knob on the left. Now you're hearing a little bit of the pitch shift and that is very common in the analog delay pedals. Because the tape delays that they had such as the Echoplex; when you would adjust the delay setting and the speed you would slow down the tape; and you would get almost like the loop would slow down, so fast that you would almost a pitch shift.

That's not intentional, but it is an effect that you can use with these pedals that's pretty cool. So as I increase the delay setting, you hear that? That's the delay time, so what you're hearing is you're hearing the amount of time in between each note, increasing or decreasing in speed. As I decrease the knob, you hear it's pretty quick. Now if you adjust the feedback setting, let's see how that is.

So now what we're doing is we're increasing to a minimum and maximum level of the amount of the repeats. Speed of repeat with the delay setting, amount of repeats with the feedback setting.
And as far as the language, every pedal has a different way of-- a different name they may call it, but that's basically it.

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