Using a Delay Pedal with Acoustic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Jethro, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Curious if anyone regularly uses a delay pedal of some sort when performing live acoustic?

    I've been fooling around with a couple of pieces lately where I'm considering adding a bit of effect such as delay. I'm looking for something to add a bit of length or sustain to the notes, so I was thinking either a delay pedal or possibly a bit of compression???

    Just looking for any suggestions as I have never added any effect to acoustic other than a basic DI with a boost

    Cheers,
    Jethro
     
  2. Strum und Twang

    Strum und Twang Tele-Meister

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    I've never been very happy with the response (squashiness, weird pick attack, etc.) that I've gotten when I've used a compressor with an acoustic live. I often play single-note lead lines when performing live with an acoustic and find that my left hand vibrato is preferable for creating some sense of sustain than a compressor is. If others have found a compressor they've used to good effect (so to speak), I'd certainly be interested in hearing about their experiences and equipment.

    I've had far more success with some delay in performance situations with an acoustic. I use a Mad Professor DBD from time to time and find that it's useful with my acoustic.
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hair of chorus on certain songs
     
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  4. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Digitals, analogs, delay with modulated repeats, long and short delays. I mostly use subtle delay @ about 400ms w/ low mix instead of reverb (which is also on the board), but for rockabilly will use analog delay for a pronounced slapback.

    Acoustic-electric instruments are picky about compression. Particularly those that utilize unison courses of strings, such as twelve string guitars and mandolins.

    The midrange bumps of some ROSS/Dyna Comp style comps are not a great fit. I have best success with optical compressors with acoustic-electric instruments. The ROSS/Dyna-type that I've had the best success with has been an Xotic SP, which has great fidelity and a blend knob to preserve attack.

    I have found light/moderate compression to be useful for a variety of applications, particularly for fingerpicking and slide, but also for general limiting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
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  5. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

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    I use a Boss DD-7 delay all the time. It adds some sustain to the notes and works great dor solos and arpeggios.
     
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  6. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lots of country players rely on compression for both acoustic and electric guitar. Personally, I don't like it. Too slick, too processed-sounding, too denatured, too cold.

    The delay question is also just a matter of taste. I don't use it often, and only on electric, usually just to add more reverb. I already like the way my folk guitars sound, so I don't add effects. But if you get a kick out of it, there's no rule book that says you shouldn't!
     
  7. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    PS - If it's more sustain you're after, have you considered using an electric guitar?

    They're not created equal. For instance, I had an arch-top with a P-90 pickup that sounded gorgeous on tunes I usually reserve for folk guitars. And the sustain was impressive.
     
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  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    somebody say archtop and P90?



    ballsy
     
  9. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey, that's my old guitar! A late '40s Gibson ES-150.

    Sold it about a year ago to buy a decent dobro. Sort of miss it (amazing tone), but I made a couple hundred dollars on the sale, and the dobro gets a lot more use. And there's no shortage of electics in the house. Glad I made the move.

    Anyhow, for an acoustic player who wants more sustain, there are electrics out there that can incite smiles.
     
  10. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, the interesting thing is I usually play this piece with my Tele and an MXR Carbon Copy Delay, and also some very light transparent gain from my "Tim" pedal....but unfortunately the open mic venue is restricted to only acoustics.

    I actually attempted using the Carbon Copy with the acoustic last night....It worked out decently as far as lengthening of the singular notes, but it does add a certain amount of (for lack of a better word) synthetic tone to the acoustic
     
  11. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can imagine. And the Carbon Copy sounds a lot less mechanical and sterile than a digital delay. I have an Aqua Puss. It sounds more organic that a Carbon Copy but is harder to control.

    Anyhow you're not likely to get an acoustic sound from a Tele, no matter what you do. That's why I'm thinking f-holes, arch-top, hollow, P-90 - for the best of both worlds: lots of sustain, fat 3-D tone, and plenty of woodiness.

    Otherwise, just keep experimenting with what you have. A little fine-tuning goes a long way!
     
  12. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Of those I own, the MXR Carbon Copy is fairly far down the list of delays I'd choose for acoustic-electric instruments; the first repeat is a bit obtrusive. I wish I knew what's out there currently that sounds just like my (discontinued) Maxon AD-900 analog delay, because I'd recommend none above it. For general ambience that lightly adds a little more air to your notes, a well voiced digital with subtle mix may be a good fit.

    The Tim(/my) is one of the great unsung tools for live acoustic-electric guitar. In my opinion it is more useful than lots of dedicated A-E gear. With light gain dialed in it is my secret weapon. Fantastic for warming up a piezo.
     
  13. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    how do those delays compare to ehx memory toy nano?
     
  14. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    wait, Biram is playing the git you sold him?
     
  15. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Seriously??? Wow....I hadn't even considered trying that.

    Now ya got me thinking
     
  16. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    I've always wanted a nice old arch-top, especially with the P90's....Just gotta convince the wife now. LOL
     
  17. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can't guarantee that you'll dig it, but I certainly do. I have 2003 & 2013 Timmies, and have been doing this with A-E guitar at weekly gigs for over ten years.

    Match the bass & treble @ the pedal to the base tone, and bring the gain up to taste - for me, it's just a hair of gain, enough to add just a little edge for leads & fills, but so that clipping is not heard when strumming lightly. And the Tim has even more headroom than a Timmy.

    I've found some things that work well for me that aren't normally associated with acoustic-electric applications.
     
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  18. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oops, sorry, no, I meant I had the same model. Biram is on his own!

    It was just funny to see the exact kind of guitar I was thinking of when I mentioned archtops and P-90s.
     
  19. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just try the old at-least-it's-not-a-motorcycle gambit.

    And let us know how it goes!
     
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  20. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use my Belle Epoch with my acoustic guitars - in an attempt to get close to John Martyn's playing style on songs like I'd Rather Be The Devil. I think it works well - and that some serious delays and repeats on these tunes. I also use it to give a mild doubling effect on the guitar to fill out the sound on some songs.
     
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