Which Delay and Does It Matter?

This article is part of The Month Of Delay at the Real World Worship blog. All throughout the month of March we will be looking at different aspects of the delay effect in worship music.

 

We’ve covered the three main types of delay (Tape, Analog, and Digital) in previous posts. But which one should you put on your board? Is one better than the other? Will anyone in my church notice the difference?
WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?

If you are only going to put one delay on your pedalboard then I would recommend the one that gives you the most options. Either the Nova delay or the Alter Ego, both by TC Electronics would be my recommendation, depending on what you want/need and what your board space is (the Nova for larger boards, the AE for smaller space needs).

But really any type of delay will accomplish the same goal, which is to created repeated copies of the notes you play. (See why we use delay HERE). Ultimately I will all come down to personal preference so test out a lot of options before you make your decision.

IS ONE BETTER THAN THE OHTER?

That’s a very subjective thing. One type of delay isn’t really better or worse than the other, they just accomplish a similar thing in a different way. One type of delay may be better or worse than another, but only in regards to your specific needs. There is a reason that I currently have three delay pedals on my board, because I use different ones to accomplish different goals.

WILL ANYONE NOTICE?

No and Kind of.

The truth is that next to no one out in the congregation will know the difference between a Boss DD-3 and a Strymon Timeline, or between your Tape Delay and your Analog Delay.

But they will notice, kind of. It’s a moving target, but I believe folks will notice certain things, even if they don’t know to attribute it to your delay choice. They’ll notice if you have a “good” or ‘clear” tone vs a “bad” or “muddy” tone which could be affected by choosing a cheaply made delay pedal vs a higher quality one. They’ll notice a washed out, mutli-head tape delay’s sound if it helps to fill in a thinly arranged song’s sound, but they won’t know that your sweet delay pedal made it happen.

So when you’re deciding which delay to use for worship music, remember that your church doesn’t need you to break the bank when a more affordable pedal will do, but they will notice if your cheaper pedal negatively affects your tone. The rest is just personal prefernce on your part.

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5 thoughts on “Which Delay and Does It Matter?

  1. I searched Google for delay pedal and this post show up. It’s really useful to me. Thanks for sharing! Keep writing! There are not many posts out there as good as this one!

  2. Hi Adam, thank you for this post. It’s been very helpful. I’m relatively new to using individual effects (stomp boxes). Most of my years playing the electric guitar were solely using multiefects units. Now that I’m buying myself individual effects, I’m finding myself in trouble when it comes to switching delay settings. There’ve been times when I’ve needed up to three different settings in just one song (dotted 8ths, quarter notes and a setting for ambience tone), and so far I’ve only got two delay “units”. I have a TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 and a Line 6 M5. These two pedals are really great but I’m not sure If I need a third one. Switching presets on the Line 6 ME in the middle songs it’s really a pain in the neck since the display it’s too little and the way you must press two buttons at the same time is just insane. So I’m not sure whether to buy a third unit or swapping one these two for a DL4 or a Flashback X4 to solve my problem. What’s your opinion on this? Thanks in advance. God bless!

  3. Hi, thank you for this post. It’s been very helpful. I’m relatively new to using individual effects (stomp boxes). Most of my years playing the electric guitar were solely using multiefects units. Now that I’m buying myself individual effects, I’m finding myself in trouble when it comes to switching delay settings. There’ve been times when I’ve needed up to three different settings in just one song (dotted 8ths, quarter notes and a setting for ambience tone), and so far I’ve only got two delay “units”. I have a TC Electronic Alter Ego V2 and a Line 6 M5. These two pedals are really great but I’m not sure If I need a third one. Switching presets on the Line 6 ME in the middle songs it’s really a pain in the neck since the display it’s too little and the way you must press two buttons at the same time is just insane. So I’m not sure whether to buy a third unit or swapping one these two for a DL4 or a Flashback X4 to solve my problem. What’s your opinion on this? Thanks in advance. God bless!

    1. Hi Ed,

      sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.

      given the situation you describe, you’d probably be better off with presets. THE X4 could be a good option, or the Nova delay. The Timeline would cover a whole lot of ground.

      I’m in the same boat. i’ve made the choice to run 1-3 different delays on my board instead of having one “do it all” delay. But that’s a personal preference and wouldn’t be the right call for everyone.

      hope that helps.

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