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How to Create Different Delays using Guitar Delay Pedals

Learn how to create different kinds of delay using delay pedals from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video about guitar pedal effects.


There's a lot of different kinds of delays. Some of them are in the form of a guitar pedal, which I'll demonstrate here today. I guess, the basic two kinds of delays are digital and analog. When delay was first introduced, obviously it was analog before digital. They actually used tape, so there's a tape delay. A lot of times you'll see tape delay in an audio plugin or you'll see it described, that's literally what it's referring to, a tape delay.

The heads of a tape would literally record a sample or a guitar or an instrument sample and it would play in a continuous loop. And the device, the actual one that I'm referring to is an Echoplex. There were others, but Echoplex was a big box with literally, tape running through it. It would record a sample of the guitar riff or lick or chord and you could adjust the speed and the amount of intensity of that delay and those were the first delays.

Fast forward to the 70's and 80's. We started getting into digital delays where they were able to take that technology, put it on circuit boards, and do digital samples of delay sounds. And then you could adjust the milliseconds as far as how fast the delay is, in response to what you're playing, and also the feedback loop, which is how many times it's repeated. Also the intensity and the blend, all sorts of different variations of parameters of the delay itself.

So the two pedals that I think are the most popular and the most relevant to guitar today, to simply it are delay pedals that emulate analog, which is the classic vintage delay sounds, and then pedals that emulate digital, where you can do all sorts of crazy things. And I think those are the two most commonly used guitar effect pedals today, at least the ones that I use in my arsenal, and the ones I see for sale and the ones that I see other guitar players using.

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