Gear Thoughts: The Malekko Ekko 616 Analog Delay

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.

Editor’s Note: Normally, I wouldn’t do a write up on a piece of gear that I’ve never played. Even if I have played or used something, if I haven’t had enough time with it I won’t review it because I really want to know what I’m talking about. But since we are in the Month of Delay, I’m making exception and writing down thoughts on delay pedals that I’ve only played a few times or have only heard YouTube demos of, so please take these for what they are.

Malekko

Malekko makes some really well made and innovative pedals. They also like to make things that go crazy, which is awesome of bands trying to push the limit, but not always awesome for church players who want to build a tone but not become the center of attention. I’ve found that every Malekko pedal I’ve used for worship has required a subtler approach.

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Digital Delay

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.

“Understand that something may be true for one type of effect or piece of musical gear but not for another”

WHAT IS IT?
The last of the three main types of delay to hit the market, Digital Delay pedals use microchips and digital processing to convert your analog signal and create almost limitless repeats. In addition to creating crisp, clean and clear digital repeats, digital delay can be used to simulate or emulate the sounds and characteristics of the other two types of delay: Tape and Analog.

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HERE COMES THE BUCKET BRIGADE: ANALOG DELAY IN WORSHIP

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.

WHAT IS ANALOG DELAY?

I’m not going to bore you with the technical details, but a truly analog delay uses a Bucket Brigade Chip set up (BBD) to create a delayed repeat of the notes you play. An analog delay is way more portable than a tape delay and since it doesn’t have moving parts, far more reliable. It’s easy to see why pro level guitar players made the switch and why the average guitar player embraced the technology.

Analog delay is known for it’s dark and warm tones and repeats. Great for just about any style of music, the only real limitation for a BBD style delay pedal is how long the delays can go for (usually around 400-600 ms).

The delay sounds on early U2 records are just a EHX deluxe Memory Man with a Ross style compression before it, going into a Vox AC30. (see example HERE) Ofcourse in the world of P&W, guitarists like James Duke use analog delays like the Boss DM-2 or EHX DMM all over the place.

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TAPE DELAY

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.

REEL TAPE DELAY

See what I did there? Real, actual, Reel to Reel tape delay is almost entirely a thing of the past or the realm of the studio. Famed vintage units like the Maestro Echoplex, Binson Echorec, and Roland Space Echo and Space Chorus used real magnetic tape to create a delay effect by repeating notes. The unit would take the guitar signal, record it and then play it back on another tape head, and then erase it on the final head to start the process over again. The physical distance between the tape heads affects the length of the delay (time). How many times the notes were sent back through in a feedback loop controlled the repeats.

Tape delay has been used by artists from Jimmy Paige to Radiohead to the Black Keys to Buddy Miller to Brian Setzer. It sounds great. For the most part, the only Tape units out there today are vintage units mostly 20-30 years or older selling for $100-1000’s if they’re in good shape. The notable exception is the Fulltone Tube Tape Echo which is essentially an improved modern take on the original Echoplex. They sell for around $1300 new which is cost prohibitive for most of us, but it’s used by artists like Buddy Miller and the Black Keys.

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Gear Review: Catalinbread Belle Epoch

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.

BRAND: Catalinbread

MODEL: Belle Epoch Tape Delay

COST: $199

DO I OWN IT?: No

WHAT IT IS: The Belle Epoch (Wonderful Era or something like that) is Catalinbread’s attempt to digitally recreate the vintage Maestro Echoplex (EP-3) that was used by many classic guitarists such as Jimmy Paige both for it’s delay effect, and it’s pre-amp circuit that acted as a light overdrive or tone booster. To that end the BE not only features delay, but an analog pre-amp circuit. It is also designed to be able to before your dirt pedal or a dirty amp setting just like the original EP-3 did. This is different from most delays who have a recommended placement after the gain pedals or in a dirty amp’s effects loop.

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Gear Review: El Capistan dTape Delay

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.

BRAND: Strymon

MODEL: El Capistan dTape Delay. The El Cap is Styrmon’s attempt to make the ultimate recreation of vintage magnetic tape delays possible. It’s really 3 types of delay in one: Single head, Multi-head, and Fixed-head Tape delay with the ability to get Magnetic Drum sounds to boot. Think the Echoplex, Space Echo, and Echorec all rolled into one pedal.

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Gear Thoughts: The MXR Carbon Copy

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.

Editor’s Note: Normally, I wouldn’t do a write up on a piece of gear that I’ve never played. Even if I have played or used something, if I haven’t had enough time with it I won’t review it because I really want to know what I’m talking about. But since we are in the Month of Delay, I’m making exception and writing down thoughts on delay pedals that I’ve only played a few times or have only heard YouTube demos of, so please take these for what they are.

MXR

I love MXR. I’ve never come across an MXR pedal I didn’t like, and their Carbon Copy analog delay doesn’t seem to break that trend.

The Carbon Copy is a bucket brigade, analog delay that features built in modulation. I admit I’ve never played on, so everything I’m going to write is based on other reviews and YouTube clips. The pedal costs $150 new and is available just about everywhere.

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Gear Review: Kilobyte Delay

Photo on 3-7-14 at 1.54 PM #4

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.

 BRAND: Caroline Guitar Co.

MODEL: Kilobyte LoFi Delay

COST: $199

DO I OWN IT?: Yes

PROS: A worship guitarists needs versatility on their rig. Never more so than with their delay pedal. I can do almost everything with the Kilobyte. Rythmic/U2 delay. Slapback rockabilly/country. Ambient/atmospheric delay. This pedal can cover a LOT of ground sonically. (The pic above shows me and my Kilobyte with my settings at U2-ish).

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Review: Borderland by John Mark McMillan and Other Thoughts

My friends at the Church Collective blog reviewed the new John Mark McMillan record “Borderland” so I don’t have to.

I’ve been a fan of John Mark’s music since “the Medicine”. I hadn’t heard the song How He Loves before that record so I don’t have the hang ups that a lot of people have with it. Since then John Mark released one of my favorite records of the last 5 years: Economy, and now he’s back with Borderland.

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Interview: Rick Matthews from Matthews Effects

I had a recently had the chance to talk with Rick Matthews, owner of Matthews Effects, who makes great guitar effects pedals. We talked about topics ranging from gear and the music industry, Fuzz pedals in worship, and where to place a buffer in your signal chain; turns out I was doing it wrong. It was a great conversation and I hope you find it to be a useful resource as well.

Real World Worship: Could you tell us briefly about yourself?
Rick Matthews: I am a christian guitar enthusiast. I’m married to my awesome supportive wife Ashleigh and live with my two dogs Riby and Gatsby in Richland Wa. I own a guitar electronics company called Matthews Effects.