For this article a few ideas how to get your digital delay to sound less bright and more like an analogue delay.
Digital delays tend to sound brighter than their analogue brothers. Not a problem really, but there are times you would like your delay to sound a tad bit darker. In cases like this there are a few options you have to tame the brightness of your delay:
When you use your delay in combination with other pedals make sure you put the delay at the end of the signal chain.
If you have the option of using two amps, please do so. Set one amp up for a darker sound, get the other one to sound a bit brighter. Set the brigher amp up for a slight distorted sound.
If your delay offers DIRECT and EFFECT, make sure you set the pedal up to get the delayed sound on the slight distorted amp. The distortion will make the delay less bright while the brightness of the amp will preserve the clarity of the delay. Leave the darker amp set up for your direct guitarsound.
When set up all correctly the end result is a well-balanced sound where the orgininal brightness of the delay will sound darker and more muddy while still retaining its clarity.
Which delays are good for this approach?
Any of the Boss Digital Delays respond very well to this approach. You can get very close to the sound of a DM2, even a Electro Harmonics Memory Man Deluxe. It all depends on how well you set up your distorted amp: If it is too distorted, the clarity of the delay will be lost, hence me using a brighter amp for this approach.
Could you achieve similar resulsts with putting a distortion pedal after the delay?
Interstesting question. I have not tried this set-up yet, but my feeling is that the first scenario will give you better results.
Will you need to use two amps?
To get the best results the answer is yes as your sound is divided in: Delayed guitarsound and Straight guitarsound.
One amp will combine both sounds and as a result you will loose a bit of clarity.
If you are new to using two amps with a delay (or Reverb or Chorus) you should give this set-up a go anyway, as your sound will be so much bigger, even a fairly low volumelevels.
Have fun experimenting and hope to catch you soon again,