TC Electronic just started production of a series of seven "simple" stompboxes! It's a sacrilege if you know a bit about this company, which specializes in rack and programmable stompboxes, but it's also good news considering the success of the Nova series. This new range provides all the elements of a standard pedalboard: distortion, overdrive, chorus, flanger, reverb, delay, and even vibrato. read more…
Music is universal — even people in New Zealand, who live down under, play music. They even make guitar stompboxes. And of course, that's what interests us more here at AudioFanzine. Focus on four analog stompboxes... read more…
User reviews on Delay/Echo/Phrase Sampler for Guitar products
Unique and Awesome Sounding Modulated Delays (Eventide - Rose)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 04/07/2019
FYI… if you’re not into watching/listening to the entire demo, I encourage you to put on headphones and tune in around 10:15 for a sample composition with various Rose settings that was recorded with the Hooke Verse 3D audio headphones… listen as the binaural sounds swirl around your head!
Eventide is known for its digital effects, but this time the company has integrate analog with digital, thus resulting in a warmer and more organic sound (as opposed to its crystal clear digital fare). The dry path is analog, as is the Mix, Filter and Feedback components of this delay/modulation pedal.
The sounds produced range significantly. You can create very short delays in slap-back territory, but add in some modulation and the Rose becomes a chorus pedal. As with any delay there is a Feedback (repeat) knob, but also a low-pass Filter knob so that the effect can have a higher or lower pitch, great if you want the effect to jump out in the mix (more treble) or remain dark and mysterious in the background (more bass). Modulation shape can vary with a Sine, Square, Envelope or Random wave while affecting the Rate (pulse) and, of course, the overall Mix. One of my favorite features is the Infinite Repeat, which is like a freeze button (however, if you play over the freeze you do not hear the pedal’s effect – only a dry signal). To add to the diversity of the sound, there is a Reverse button, and also a Delay Multiply button, so that you can produce a 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x repeat for some very spacey time effects. Eventide did not stop there. You can save five presets, but each has an A/B option (which means two patches per preset). What makes this cool is that although you can switch between A and B with the Hotswitch footswitch, you also can morph the two with an Expression Pedal, thus producing some ultra-unique sounds limited only by your imagination.
A combination of analog with digital, the dry path, mix, filter and feedback are analog, whereas the delay and modulation are digital. You can create utterly unique and fabulous sounds with delays that range from 10ms to 10 seconds, and even adding a reverse delay or inverting (flip phase) the delayed signal; and add a delay multiply (2x to 5x) for delays that last up to 50 seconds. Although you can achieve a lot of different delay ranges and results, when combined with the modulation component delays can range from subtle (chorus-like) to freaky spacey. Modulation includes sine, square, envelope and random waves that sweep from ½ to 2x the standard delay time, simultaneously modulating pitch across a full octave +/- (while controlling the depth and rate of the modulation). Both delay and modulation are controlled further with the Mix knob, but also the low-pass Filter knob (so that the wet signal ranges from a lot of treble vs. a lot of bass… clear or subdued). You can save 5 presets, although each has an A/B switching option (moreover, if using an expression pedal you can morph between the A and B settings). The Hotswitch footswitch can be assigned to different operations, including tap tempo, infinite repeat, LFO hold, LFO reset and A/B switching (in case you don’t have an expression pedal and want to flip between settings). Some additional features of the Rose include USB (for MIDI, software updates and to be used as a preset manager), a TRS input (for expression, auxiliary switch or MIDI), a selectable bypass (relay, buffered or input kill), and finally an input level select switch (line/instrument). At $349 USD the Rose brings with it a hefty price-tag, but compared to other high-end delays (with modulation and all the features of the Rose) you get a lot of bang for the buck and some very unique sounds.
GENERAL USE: It will take a day of discovery to learn all the ins-and-outs, but a little bit of patience will make it all worth the effort as you can produce some utterly unique modulated delay effects. I won’t cover everything, but will go through some general guidelines. The delay knob allows you to select a ‘range’ by pushing down then turning the knob (the ‘range’ places you in a general area, e.g., 500ms delay); you then adjust the knob (without pushing) to fine-tune the milliseconds. Once you have a delay time you like (keep in mind you can tap tempo) you then can add a Reverse to the delay, besides adjust the Feedback (repeats) and even add a Delay Multiply (so that you hear your delay 2x to 5x). The amount of delay also is significant, ranging from 10ms to 10 seconds – add in a Delay Multiply the delay continues for nearly a minute even after you stop playing. Assign the Infinite Repeat to the Hotswitch and the signal will repeat forever (until you press the Hotswitch a second time, thus allowing the effect to trail off). Speaking of Hotswitch, you can assign many things to this footswitch besides an Infinite Repeat – you can use it as a tap tempo, use it to hold the modulation effect or reset the modulation (turn it on/off), and also use it to switch from a Preset’s A and B settings. In regard to the last assignment, if you have an expression pedal you can switch from A and B settings of a preset (heel down vs. toe down), but also morph the two into some fantastic sound-scapes (as you play and rock the treadle). The Modulation aspect of the Rose allows you to add various shapes to the delay tone, including a Sine, Square, Envelope or Random wave. You can adjust the depth of that shape, as well as its Rate (for a very slow wave to a fast pulse, as indicated by the Rose LED flashing to the set pulse or rhythm). Both the Delay and Modulation aspects can have a higher treble or bass response, whether you want it to be prominent and cut through the mix or remain dark and warm. And, of course, you can adjust the overall Mix so that even a complex sounding modulated delay remains nothing more than a hint in your tone.
OTHER DETAILS: The Rose is a medium sized stomp-box, measuring 115 mm (W) x 120 mm (D) x 60mm (H) or (4.5 x 4.7 x 2.37 inches). The input impedance is 600K ohms (mono) and its output 470 ohms (mono). The heavy duty chassis has purple/pink top with a dark grey base. The six editing buttons are of heavy plastic and would withstand normal use and abuse. The two footswitches (Active and Hotswitch) are soft switches, viz., no click when engaged or disengaged – there is no popping or significant signal noise when switching. All inputs (cable inputs/outputs, expression pedal, USB, MIDI and power input) are located in the back of the Rose to save on pedalboard space and to prevent possible damage from regular stomping use. Any LED lights are low profile and are safe from damage from regular use. The Rose requires a 9VDC power supply while consuming 500mA of power – however, this pedal also comes with its own power supply.
Clean, Clear and Easy-to-Use Delay at a great Price (J. Rockett Audio Designs - Immortal Echo)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 17/10/2018
The Immortal Echo is best described as clean and clear. This pedal is at a very good price, which means it is more of a barebones pedal than some other delays that may offer several types of echo with modulations, etc. However, if you’re the type of player that likes it simple with some modest customization, the Immortal Echo does a fine job. The YouTube demo video accompanying this pedal provides a look at the range of the Mix, Time, Repeats and Tone.
What is most noticeable with the Immortal Echo include two factors. First is the Mix: Even when turned up 100% it is not 100% wet. Even when turned up full you still can hear the dry signal or original tone. And so, if you’re looking for some extra-ethereal sounds this is not the delay for you. The second noticeable aspect is the Tone knob. I’ve used other delays that have tone controls, but I found the Immortal Echo to be one of the most obvious, going from a nice warm sound to a very crisp and thinner sound (in the echo, of course). It does a most excellent job at cleaning up muddy pickups or thickening up bright ones, simply by altering how much bass or treble is in the echo itself.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Developed by J. Rockett Pedals, the Immortal Echo is one of a limited edition four pedals, part of the JET collection. Also available is the Squeegee Compressor, the Steampunk Boost/Buffer and the Touch Overdrive. Half the size of a regular pedal, the Immortal Echo comes in at only $99 USD (as do the other three in the collection), and when combined with the other three you can have a very basic, yet highly functional mini-pedal board. Miniaturized pedals, like the Immortal Echo, are becoming more common and more popular, allowing a musician to squeeze in just one more thing on a pedal board. The Immortal Echo fits that bill, but it also is of excellent quality as it produces a crystal clear echo tone that can be adjusted for general use, from country to rock to ambient. Consequently, you can darken or brighten the overall sound by adjusting the pedal’s Tone knob, which then alters the outcome of dark or bright pickups. The one drawback is that there is no tap tempo function, which is difficult to achieve in a pedal of this cost and size. As well, if the power input were located in the back the Immortal Echo would be just about perfect at its price point, as it would allow an even tighter pedal fit and board layout. Available from: https://www.rogueguitarshop.com/products/rockett-pedals-immortal-echo
EASE OF USE: All the JET series pedals are easy to use, including the Immortal Echo. It has a Mix, Time, Repeat and Tone knob. The Mix indicates how much of the echo you hear, regardless of how high or low the Time and Repeats are. Even at 100% you still hear some of the original tone (it is not 100% wet). Time extends to about 1000ms, or so it seems (I did not time it, nor is it indicated on Rockett Pedals’ site). You can achieve some good slap-back echo (around 9-o’clock), and definitely decent ambient echo once turned up to about 2-o’clock and higher. The Repeat function has a nice fading effect, meaning that if you place the control around 12-noon for 4-5 repeats, each one fades off slightly for a more natural echo effect, rather than one pulse or repeat remaining as strong as the last. Consequently, whether going for only a few repeats or up full for a good 10-seconds worth of repeats, there is a very organic trailing off that occurs. The Tone control needs some tweaking for best effect, as you want to match it with your pickups. Typically (although you may want different), if your pickups are dark, then increase the Tone more toward treble to create a differentiation between tone and echo – at least if you want the echo effect to be more dramatic and the sound thicker. Conversely, thinner or brighter pickups (e.g., Strat and Tele) would benefit with more bass in the echo to, likewise, produce a thicker tone and more differentiation.
RELIABILITY & DURABILITY: The Immortal Echo’s all-steel chassis feels rather hefty in the hand, and measuring in at only 1.75 x 3.5 inches (4.44 x 8.89 cm). Due to its small size, a big foot may touch down on the plastic knobs occasionally, although the knobs are of good quality. In that regard, the feel of the pots when turning the knobs are very solid and smooth. The cable input/output both are located in the back, whereas the power supply (standard 9v 2.1 mm) insert is on the side. Even with the power insert located along the side, you still can fit the pedals rather tightly together (particularly with EBS flat head patches), which helps to keep the power input snug and in place, and out of harm’s way. The Immortal Echo cannot run on a battery.
Wide Range of Settings + Looper (TC Electronic - Flashback x4)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 13/08/2018
TC Electronic’s Flashback X4 is a combo pedal, offering a wide array of delay types with a looper and as demonstrated in the YouTube video below:
TC Electronic is known for its quality delays and the company brings its best in Flashback X4. You get 12 delay types, starting with Tape, which has a very vintage and widely popular tone. Tube is slightly warmer than Tape. Space has rich echo sounds based on the Roland Space Echo. Analog produces a nice fading echo, while Analog with Modulation adds some swirls in the mix. Reverse is based on the old Hendrix experimentation, reversing a tape delay signal. Dynamic is unique, as the delay swells in volume when you stop playing and reduces while playing. 2290 is a vintage TC Electronic delay from 1985, producing a crisp and clean echo – while the 2290 with Modulation adds a tri-chorus effect in the mix. Slap produces that vintage slap-back echo, reminiscent of Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins. Lofi has a (well… lo-fi) tone that sounds dirty. Finally Ping-Pong shifts the echo back and forth from left to right (cool when running your gear in stereo, although it sounds great in mono). The overall quality of sound is obvious and pristine; whether keeping the effect low or high in the mix both the guitar signal and the delay are audible and separate. What also is cool is that you can edit and create unique delays (and save them in three presets) or upload TonePrint delays, which are delays designed for TC Electronic and by professional musicians like Petrucci, Morse and Townsend.
TC Electronic is known for its delay pedals, and so you know you have quality on your pedal board. However, the Flashback X4 is not the most pedal-board-friendly, since it has a second function – a looper. Gigging musicians may opt for the Flashback Mini (if not wanting to store a preset or a TonePrint) or the Flashback (regular) or Flashback 2, both of which can save at least one presets/TonePrint. However, even with the added size of the Flashback X4 if you’re looking for a delay that offers three presets that can be accessed with footswitches, as well as another four TonePrints, upward of 7000ms of delay and have access to the many delay types (that you set manually), then you would be hard pressed to find a better and more complete option… all at a price of $249 USD. What also makes this version of Flashback useful is the MIDI in/out, stereo capabilities and being able to use an expression pedal for some unique and ambient effects. The Flashback X4 does come with its own power supply, but you can use any 2.1 mm 9v-12v supply that gives at least 300mA of power.
EASE OF USE:
The first part of the Flashback X4 is the DELAY. Three factory presets are included at the footswitches, which you can change and save. The other delays (e.g., Tape, Tube, Space, etc.) and all their elements are “what you see is what you get.” For example, you can select Tape delay and from there you turn a knob to select Delay Time (unless you use the Tap temp function), Feedback (or how many repeats you get) and Delay Level (how much you want to hear the delay, e.g., the mix between dry and wet). This is very straight-forward stuff. There’s also a Subdivision Selector so that you can chose the note intervals that the delay is based upon (e.g., quarter note, dotted eighths or quarter notes + dotted eighths). It doesn’t take long to set these and to know where to set them, although it depends if you want a hint of delay or a lot and how much feedback, etc. (and once you find what you like, simply save them in the footswitch presets).
Use of the TonePrints (uploading them more particularly), or creating your own unique delays/TonePrints is more involved, but not that difficult to apply. Users first would download the free TonePrint Editor and hook up the Flashback X4 via USB (cable included) to a computer… or you can use a SmartPhone and stream the information to the pedal. Once in the editor you can select from dozens of custom TonePrints from world-class musicians… you can edit them or create your own from scratch in the editor and then save those in the presets or in the four TonePrint slots (located with the delay type selections). This also brings us to the use of an expression pedal. When using such a pedal to create unique delay effects, you can apply different elements to the pedal. For example, you can create a delay time swell, from 200ms to 1000ms… you can increase the amount of modulation in the mix, or perhaps alter the Feedback or the Delay Level… or all the above.
The second part of the X4 is the LOOPER, activated with a flip of a switch and while still able to access the various delay types (with other loopers you still need a delay effects pedal) so that whatever you record includes delay. However, you do not have access to the presets, since the footswitches now have different functions when working the Looper. You can add as many dubs or layers to your loop (up to 40 seconds of record time) simply by pressing the REC footswitch, and each one can have a different delay type and mix. Once you press REC a second time the recording stops and the loop plays continuously until you press the Play/Pause footswitch – also, you would have to press REC again to start another dub. If you don’t like a recording you press the UNDO/REDO switch (obviously pressing it again will REDO the recording … and holding it down for a few seconds wipes out the Loop and all its layers). There’s a ONCE footswitch, which is useful if you stop soloing and want the loop to play one last time before ending. One thing you should be aware of is that the Looper does not save any recordings… once you turn off the Flashback X4 you lose what you recorded.
RELIABILITY & DURABILITY:
TC Electronic’s Flashback X4 is a hefty piece of technology, encased in steel. The company did not skimp on the quality of the housing, that much is obvious. The footswitches are soft-click-based and all solid to the touch. The footswitches are spaced apart well enough that it’s unlikely you will double-click anything. The footswitches also are far removed from the heavy black plastic knobs, large enough that you likely could rotate them with a foot (with the exception of the delay selector, which clicks in place). The two switches on the front (Subdivision Selector, e.g., eighth notes, full notes, and the Delay/Looper switch) are small and located between larger knobs, and so they are well protected from mishaps. All lines (input/output/power/USB/MIDI) are located in the back, to save on pedal board space and to keep unwanted force or pressure away from a stomping foot. You cannot use a battery with the Flashback X4, but a 9v DC power supply that provides at least 300 mA (power chord included or use your own pedal board power supply).