Tap Tempo

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.

TAP TEMPO IS THE BEST THING EVER

There are some who won’t touch a delay pedal without Tap Tempo. It’s a really great feature. You can now sync your delay time with the tempo of the band. Sure you could pre-set it, but if you’re not using a click track or if the song has multiple tempos in the arrangement you’ll need to adjust on the fly.

Another great feature of Tap Tempo is the ability to throw yourself out of sync in a very musical way. I have often times tapped out a tempo way faster or slower than the actual song to create an effect almost like a tremolo that can fill in the space very nicely.

TAP TEMPO IS OVERRATED

One of the things you’ll hear from older guitarists is “back in the day, we didn’t need tap tempo to set our delay” or “the Edge got along fine without it” or something to that effect.

There’s actually quite a bit of truth in that sentiment. There are many ways of using a delay pedal where a tap tempo is fairly irrelevant to the sound. Then there’s analog delays with tap tempo that are unsuitable to many worship situations because of the “warble” that happens when you tap while playing.

When using a pedal like my Kilobyte delay (see review HERE), I rarely feel like I need a tap tempo. I think it happened once, and it was because another guitarist was using it who didn’t know how to set a delay without tap tempo. Don’t let tap tempo keep you from being able to dial in a delay setting on your own.

CHOOSE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU

As with anything, choose what’s best for you and not what the hyped or trendy choice is. There are some really great, gold standard delays like the Deluxe Memory Man that don’t feature Tap Tempo and it would be a shame if someone didn’t at least consider a pedal that well designed because they’ve been told that they “have to have” tap tempo on any delay pedal they own.

Like any other feature, tap tempo is a skill to learn, but we shouldn’t let it be a barrier to learn other skills in dialing in a delay pedal.

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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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: 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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Why Use 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.

 

There has been a lot written about “HOW” to use the delay effect, specifically in worship music, but less said about “WHY”.  The how may not help you at all until you know the why. For example, if someone is asked about how to use your delay pedal, and they tell you “How” to set it up for slapback sounds, would that help you if you want to create ambient swells? Or if you are playing a lead part, do you want to know how to set up your delay pedal for the rhythm guitar? These are of course rhetorical questions, but they make the point, so in this post we will look at 4 reasons “Why” you would want to use a delay pedal in your worship service.

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The Month Of Delay

For whatever reason, and whether you like it or not, the delay effect has become a sound synonymous with modern church music. Staples like Hillsong, Paul Baloche, and Chris Tomlin, along with newer voices like Gungor and John Mark McMillian all employ the delay affect to varying degrees in the music.

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It’s Kinda Like Coldplay

This post isn’t just written for the worship leader. It’s for every member of the church’s worship band and community.

 I vividly remember the night. I was driving home from work in the summer of 2000. I had just graduated from High School and my car only had an FM radio. Then it happened, a song I’d never heard before came over the airwaves with sound that was both ground breaking and familiar all at the same time. This being the dark ages of technology, I had to sit in my parked car for three more songs to find out who this band was. The song was Yellow and the band was called Coldplay.  On my lunch break the next day I walked over to Sonic Boom records in Seattle and purchased the album Parachutes. Within two weeks, everyone I knew seemed to have a copy. That was 13 years ago.

Since then, Coldplay has grown and established itself in the mainstream musical consciousness of the Western World and beyond. Even if you’re the type of Christian who has a personal conviction not to listen to secular music, you have heard Coldplay. You often hear about Christian bands ripping off U2 (I’ve written about it HERE) but the truth is that they’ve been influenced by Coldplay just as much. Yet, again and again, I’ve been in a worship band practice and said “it’s kinda like Coldplay” and received nothing but a blank expression back. It’s been 13 years.

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