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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up a EHX Memory Toy for $60 from kijiji. Really loving my first analog delay that's not a modeler and can instantly hear some great sounds out of this thing. How do you guys set the delays without tap tempo between songs? My current thoughts are marking it with a sharpie or something at various spots (e.g. 60,80,100,12,140 BPM).

Would love to hear your solutions.


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We are so spoiled aren't we?
I had a hard time using delay before tap tempo. There are certain times that work well for me: around 250ms and 450ms, seem to be a good all around time. Analog is good for a nice short slap back too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm actually seriously considering getting another one (if I can find a deal) and have 1 set at 120 bpm with quicker decay and the other for an ambient setting


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Same with the MXR Carbon Copy (great pedal too) - you can't set delay times by seconds - you just have to hear the approximate times and mark your fave sweet spots.
I actually kind of like how you have to use your ears to find the right spot(s) - I used a digital rack delay for many years and would set the seconds on the rack unit but now I really like the 'feel' and sound of playing with the analog carbon copy =)
 

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For live playing, I use my analog delay pre-set (time, # of repeats, mix level) for a nice solo-type delay. I find it difficult to preset at precise delay time on the fly and have it close enough to the beat - which changes a bit from night to night anyways. I also have a digital delay on the board with some presets (a TC Nova Delay) and it has tap tempo so I can get the delay setting just right at the start of the song, if I want that.
 

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I used to use a dd-3 and a carbon copy set to two different times for the same reason. Combining them for more of a dotted eight was fun too. I found precise delay is really only needed for more modern sounds (of course as we have the option) but when playing classic tunes, it doesn't matter as much.
 

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If you need to adjust tempo per song in a set, I would strongly suggest just buying a pedal with tap tempo.
 

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How do you guys set the delays without tap tempo between songs?
I do know someone that just used his foot with a Memory Man. Not very precise and hard to do with shoes, but it worked for him. Probably a little harder with the smaller knobs of the Memory Toy.

There are certain times that work well for me: around 250ms and 450ms, seem to be a good all around time.
I agree with this. For me it seems that there are settings between 200-250 ms that I can just leave on almost all the time with a relatively low mix. The dark character of the analog delay seems to sit well underneath the dry tone to thicken things up without making it muddy. Unless I'm playing something particularly rhythmic, it's a great "always on & makes it sound better" setting. With the mix cranked up, this time does seem to fit in with a few common tempos without getting in the way.

If you are hoping for very pronounced delay to work with multiple tempos, I find a tap is essential. If you just mark your pedal with a sharpie but then you set it just a little bit off, it can sound pretty terrible. And even if you do get it right, the tempo of the song is bound to drift unless your drummer is playing to a click or is just super awesome. Even still, I'd keep the Memory Boy to use as your go-to delay for an always-on sound, and then just get something else you can use more prominently for other songs.
 

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I've seen people use something like this for 'big toe tweeking'. But I wonder if tempo would require too fine of an adjustment?

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This is why I have three delays on my board. A DD3 in the lead loop set at about 350ms for just a nice solo "tail". An H20 set for slapback and a Digidelay set long and deep for those Pink Floyd moments.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ya, I'm thinking im gonna pick up another delay (maybe with tap) to work together with this one. I also like stacking delays sometimes for ambient swells so it makes that possible too


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If you adjust knobs with your feet, look into barefoot buttons.
 

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In many analog delays, delay time is set by single variable resistance. In principle, a person could sub a multi-position rotary switch for the delay-time control, with a trimmer or identified resistance value for each position that yielded a preset delay time.
 

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Find pre-marked settings or even preprogrammed settings don't work well in live/real time as drummer may speed up or slow down the tempo from what's called for depending on how much adrenaline is pumping or how tired/wore out he/she may be. (Studio work is entirely different though, as you're most often working from a digitized reference or the drummer is playing to a click track). Sure the pre marked/pre programmed settings can be a good starting point for a live situation, but often one must adjust on the fly by hand or foot to dial it in (use latter to keep hands free to play).

Don't much care for tap tempo delays in live situations either as they get close but don't often nail the delay time for what's needed by the trickier stuff (dotted thirds, etc). Develop a good ear and learn to adjust accordingly. You'll be dialled within two bars or less in no time...
 

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I agree...which is why I said "in principle". Personally, I don't use tap tempo, because I don't play with other musicians. But I could see where neither presets nor tap tempo would suit a particular player's needs (especially if their drummer has an "idiosyncratic" sense of rhythm).

One other means for setting time on the fly is something one might call "pick tempo". I have it on a Lexicon unit, and apparently the Empress delay pedals do too. It detects a strum pattern, best delivered by lightly muting the strings and strumming. For some players, this is better than tap tempo because timing via picking hand may be more accurate than their foot.

However, as Steve Bragg from Empress explained it to me a few weeks ago, it is VERY complex, and requires some serious DSP programming. He uses a comparison of successive fast fourier transforms to detect a strum. You're not going to get that in an analog delay, or in anything likely to cost under $250.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ya. I'm going cheap so I'm looking at maybe the Joyo D-Seed or something as a secondary delay. $90 on Amazon


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One other means for setting time on the fly is something one might call "pick tempo". I have it on a Lexicon unit, and apparently the Empress delay pedals do too. It detects a strum pattern, best delivered by lightly muting the strings and strumming. For some players, this is better than tap tempo because timing via picking hand may be more accurate than their foot.

However, as Steve Bragg from Empress explained it to me a few weeks ago, it is VERY complex, and requires some serious DSP programming. He uses a comparison of successive fast fourier transforms to detect a strum. You're not going to get that in an analog delay, or in anything likely to cost under $250.
I don't know if this is quite the same as I mentioned in an above post or not. Does it just 'do it' while you play or do you need to access some function to make this happen? With my Nova Delay, I hold down the tap tempo and it mutes the output while 'listening' to my strumming and sets its tempo to that. As I mentioned, I find this more accurate than tapping with my foot because my hands are just better at this (maybe practice would change this, but with the ND I don't need no stinkin' practice). And I regularly see ND's for $200ish, or less.

The downside is I have to mute my playing for a bar or two to set the tempo, which is just fine in some circumstances but less than desirable in others. I'm not sure if your example has that downside or not.
 

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That's exactly what I'm talking about. I suppose "on the fly" requires some qualification. There is still a requirement to indicate to the pedal that THIS is the strums I want to represent the desired delay time.

It's funny, though. I've tried to post the previous reply several times, but the bloody hotel wi-fi keeps cancelling it. Initially I had set the pricepoint where such things kick in as $200, but thought maybe that was a bit too low and hiked it up to $250 just to be safe. I guessyou now know who's NOT going to win the showcase on Price Is Right. :D
 

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man, I have never ever used tap tempo with delay

I have used my feet to mess with the feedback etc while playing though
 
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