Tips for Using Reverb and Delay Pedals on Guitar

Please welcome guest blogger Natalie Wilson to the J.Rockett Audio Designs Blog!

My name’s Natalie Wilson and I’m an avid music lover and guitar player who has dedicated my life to sharing what I know on my blog. You’ll find a wide range of topics on my blog, including reviews, tutorials, and tips for musicians.

Natalie

Visit my site: musicaladvisors.com

Feel free to contact me at: natalie.musicaladvisors@gmail.com.

Effect pedals are an excellent way to enhance your sound. Whether you want to give yourself more presence during a guitar solo or create more ambiance in your music, effect pedals are the way to go. Ever since the 1950s, musicians have been hooked on this technology ever since, and it only continues to grow and expand every day.

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Reverb and delay pedals share many common characteristics, but also differ in significant ways. It’s important to understand how these pedals work, and then take advantage of their capabilities. Let’s take a look at what both of these pedals do, followed by some tips for using reverb and delay pedals on guitar:

 

 

Alien Echo Tape Delay Pedal

Delay Pedals

Delay pedals will take your audio signal and repeat it back to you. Depending on your settings, delay pedals can create cave-like effects and are an excellent investment if you want to create more presence in your sound. Delay pedals will usually have three knobs. Your feedback knob will allow you to control how many repeats you hear, your time knob will allow you to control how much time elapses between those repeats, and the level knob will allow you to adjust the volume.

 

Boing Spring Reverb guitar pedal

Reverb Pedals

While reverb pedals also create echo effects, the approach they take a different approach to affecting your sound. Reverb pedals are all about creating a specific setting. With a delay pedal, you’ll be thinking much more about the characteristic of your echo rather than the acoustic space you envision playing in. This is why reverb pedals have features that correspond with different acoustic settings, such as Hall, Cathedral, Room, and Gated

Tips for Delay Pedals

 Thickening your sound

“Doubling”, or fattening your sound by creating a really subtle delay effect is great for musicians who don’t want a noticeable echo to take advantage of their pedal. In order to double your sound, you’ll want to choose lower settings. Few repeats and time between those repeats are ideal. I’d recommend turning your time knob between 0-60 ms and turning your feedback to one repeat.

Slapback

You might have also heard of the term “slapback,” which refers to one short repeat. The effect is excellent for rockabilly genres, but you’ll be able to incorporate it into any rock genre if done correctly. Your time setting will also be short for this technique, at around 80-160 ms. This technique requires your feedback setting to be set to zero.

False Reverb

You can also create a more engulfing echo effect with your delay pedal. To create this effect, you’ll want to turn your settings up from the slapback settings. Your time knob should be set to at least 100 ms, and your feedback knob will be set to produce around five repeats. If you want your effect to be more reverberant, simply increase the time and feedback knobs until you’re happy with the sound.

Tips for Reverb Pedals

 Start with your setting

Since reverb pedals are primarily used to create the illusion of an acoustic space, it’s important to choose your ideal setting before you fine tune the effect. The most reverberant setting is Cathedral or Church. Medium reverb settings involve Room and Hall, and the least reverberant setting is Spring. Plated settings will produce an awesome metallic effect, especially when used with a long decay.

Fine tune

Typically, reverb pedals will also have knobs to fine tune the sound. An “FX” or “Reverb” knob will allow you to control how wet or dry your signal is. The higher the setting, the more intense the reverb will be. You might also have a tone knob on your reverb pedal. This is a great tool to control the warmth of your sound. Try turning your tone knob all the way up to create an intimate, ambient atmosphere.

If you have a decay knob, use it to adjust how quickly your sound dissipates. Quick decays will work well with settings such as “Room”, and not as well with more reverberant settings, like “Cathedral”. A longer decay time will create a more reverberant effect, so adjust accordingly to suit the setting you decided on in the above step.

If you want a clipped sound, make sure you adjust your pedal to end the signal quickly. For a metallic stutter-like effect, I’d suggest using a spring or plated setting, adjusting your settings to produce a short decay, and creating a cold tone using the tone knob. Experimenting with these settings are the first step to becoming a pedal guru, but remember to think outside of the box. You might even start a new trend.

Electric bass guitar player on a stage with set of distortion effect pedals under his foot. Selective focus

In Conclusion

Hopefully, you found this article tips for using reverb and delay pedals on guitar helpful. Remember to learn the basics of your pedal first, and then experiment with different settings to produce your ideal effect. Delay and reverb pedals will open up a world of endless musical possibilities, so enjoy getting to know all of their nuances!

Guitar Gallery of Scottsdale Arizona

First of all we would like to congratulate September’s pedal giveaway winner James Bor of Valparaiso, Indiana!  He is now the owner of a Dude Overdrive pedal and loves it!  The October pedal to be given away at the end of the month is the .45 Caliber Overdrive.  For all you JTM 45 lovers, this is the pedal for you so keep receiving all our newsletters!

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This week’s dealer feature focuses on the cool little store in Scottsdale, Arizona called Guitar Gallery located at 10243 N. Scottsdale Rd., #6. I happen to live in Scottsdale so I can tell you first hand that this is the best store in the entire Phoenix Valley if you are looking for the following:

  • Great boutique equipment
  • Guitar Lessons with top notch teachers
  • Fantastic guitar workshop & tech
  • Knowledgeable staff

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Since 1993, they’ve been locally owned and operated by longtime musicians who are totally dedicated to everything guitar. The have just completed renovating their store by increasing the size of the guitar workshop. They can handle just about anything you need when it comes to work on your guitar.

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As far as gear goes, not only are they the state of Arizona’s exclusive J.Rockett Audio Designs dealer, they also have a bunch of great guitars, amps, accessories, and other pedals.

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Just a few of the brands they carry are:

  • Reverend
  • ESP
  • LTD
  • Ayers Guitars
  • The Loar
  • Recording King
  • Larrivee
  • Takamine
  • Marshall
  • Roland
  • Eden
  • VHT

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If you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, or are just visiting the city, be sure to stop in at Guitar Gallery and plan to spend a couple of hours there!

J & E Guitars Las Vegas

 

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For the next several months we will be highlighting some of the great dealers we have throughout the United States. You will find J.Rockett Audio Designs pedals along with other wonderful musical gear in these stores!

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J&E Guitars in Las Vegas is one of the finest guitar stores I’ve had the pleasure of walking through! If you are ever in Las Vegas and you are a gear lover, you have to put it on your list of must sees! They specialize in guitars, amplifiers, and effects.  You will find some of the top brands in the world in this store as do many famous musicians who stop by there when in Las Vegas.

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One of the founders of J&E Guitars, Jess Gago, has a long history in the industry starting as a floor salesman at a well known retailer in New York city. He has over 18 years of experience in the industry and is highly knowledgeable about vintage instruments. He has also worked extensively over the years in artist related sales with players such as Joe Bonamassa, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, and Keith Urban just to name a few!

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So, if you want to visit a shop that has a knowledgeable staff as well as a ton of great gear, be sure to stop by J&E Guitars in Las Vegas the next time you are there!

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Favorite Amplifiers

If you’re a gear “whore” like I am then you will be able to relate to this article! Amps, amps, amps! I love them and can’t get enough of them! If I had my way, my entire house would be filled with amplifiers. If that were the case, however, my girlfriend would quickly make me homeless! Looking on the bright side of that scenario, I’d be homeless with lots of amps!

There’s nothing I enjoy more than thinking, “hmm, which amp should I play today”? That’s the cool thing about collecting gear…you can play it! I collect gear versus buying stocks and bonds. There is not one piece of equipment I’ve purchased that I can’t at least get my money back on. You can’t say that about the stock market. And, I can play it all! It’s like living in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory as a a chocolate “whore”!!

My personal favorite amp is a 1978 Marshall JMP Mark II Combo with period correct Celestion Black Back speakers. Every guitar I own sounds great going into this amp. Pedals sound awesome when plugging into the low input and diming the volume and master. Personally, I like having a master volume whereas some Marshall “purists” don’t like them. I like having a multitude of ways to shape my tone with a MV.

This particular amp has 6550 power tubes and they happen to be vintage. One is a 1957 Tungsol and the other a 1961 Tungsol. These are considered the holy grails of 6550 power tubes and you can hear the difference! I prefer the low end thump of 6550’s versus EL34’s. Think AC/DC in spades when you play this amp!

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Another favorite amp of mine is a Whitney Penta 66. It’s an incredible rendition of an early JTM 45 with a twist. It actually has an EF86 pre-amp tube in V1 which creates a beautiful “Vox” type chime at low volumes yet it roars like a Marshall at full volume. Being able to swap out EL34’s and 6L6’s for the KT66’s that are in it make the amp really fun as well!

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I was lucky enough to find a Star Super Nova out there in amp land as they are rare beasts! I bought it from a harmonica player so it had not seen heavy use. Mark Sampson didn’t make many so they are hard to find. In case you weren’t aware of this, Mark designed the circuits in three of our pedals; the Max, Hightop, and Revolver! The Super Nova is a 6V6 based amp with low and hi inputs and one master volume. There are gain (volume) controls for each channel. Tone flexibility is endless and the 6V6 grind is so juicy!

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I could go on and on because, as I stated at the beginning of this article, I have too many amps! I want to here about what YOUR favorite amps are and why! So, here’s what I want you to do. Send me an email telling me about your favorite amp in your collection. Also, send me a picture of the amp (even better is a picture of you with the amp) and what it is you like about the amp, what makes it cool and what gives it that “mojo” you love!

I’ll have our social media company post your picture and amplifier description on our social media outlets! Now that’s a cool way to promote your baby! Send your pictures and amp write-up info to:

rockettpedals.evt@gmail.com

 

 

September Pedal Giveaway

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J.Rockett Audio Designs would like to congratulate Mark Nason of Hampden, ME as the winner of the Summer of 2016 Pedal Giveaway! You can see Mark here in this picture “Rockin” out with his Fender Telecaster and he will soon be “Rollin” when he receives his Animal Overdrive, Josh Smith Dual Trem, Alien Echo, Lemon Aid Boost, and Archer ikon!

There’s More to Win!

Thanks to all who signed up for our newsletter and participated in the contest but “that’s not all folks”! From here until…well, we decide not to do it anymore, we will be giving away a pedal every month to those on our Newsletter Mailing List! That’s right, as long as you are receiving our Newsletters you are a contestant because we will draw a name from that list on the last day of every month!

September Pedal Giveaway

 

THE DUDE

The new The Dude by Rockett Pedals Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 in Brentwood, TN.

The New Hooligan Fuzz

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The brand new Tour Series Hooligan Fuzz breaks all the barriers for traditional fuzz tones. When it comes to fuzz pedals, players either love them or hate them. So, we took that into consideration and created an extremely versatile pedal that all players will love! It’s not just a fuzz pedal as we’ve designed an incredibly thick and organic gain stage that works phenomenally well as a stand alone overdrive! Want some fuzz? Just dial in the Gunk knob and you are on your way to mild or wild, trumpet sounding fuzz mayhem! The fuzz tones on this pedal are so fun that there are an endless number of sounds you can get when blending the Gain with the Gunk. See the new video below of the Hooligan Fuzz demonstrated by talented Canadian session player Kris Richards!

Guitar Tip of the Day- Chord Changes and Voicings

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Do you find it difficult to create complimentary chord changes and voicings? You’re not alone as many guitar players struggle with that, even some of the more advanced players. Often, we can get stuck in a rut and play the same chords over and over simply because that’s what we are comfortable with.  Get creative and apply these fantastic chords and voicings taught by our Master Instructor, Chris Champion!

Tim Pierce Power Amp and the Naylor Superdrive 60

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There is a reason why the Tim Pierce Power Amp is on the boards of many session players and touring musicians. Simply put, it’s a phenomenal pedal. The circuit is based on a Naylor Superdrive 60, a legendary amp born out of the 1980’s and Tim Pierce’s favorite amp. If you’ve never heard one, do yourself a favor and find some Youtube videos, sit back, and enjoy!  As a matter of fact, we’ve attached a video of Sam Vilo playing one in addition to Alberto Berrero playing the Tim Pierce Power Amp.  Listen to both and you will understand why the SD60 is such a great amp as well as how accurately we’ve been able to re-create the tone of that amp in a pedal!