Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dotted Eighth Delay Studies

Dotted eighth, the magical note integral to music of U2 and modern Hillsong. I've come up with several videos to properly explain how to set this up and apply this in a variety of situations: with a proper delay pedal, in the time signature of 6/8, and with a small practice amp that doesn't have displays.

Some background:

Here's a diagram to illustrate what happens when you use the delay:

The above represents four beats (quarter notes) in a bar of 4/4. The picked notes (top row as indicated with a ^) are picked on beats 1 & 2 & 3 &... (i.e. 8th notes) while the metronome clicks at 1, 2, 3, 4 (i.e. quarter notes). The delay notes come in three-quarters of a beat after the note is played (i.e. 3x 16th notes) and appears right after the next note is played.

Tone Tips: The Dotted Eighth Delay

Tone Tips: Programming the Dotted Eighth in 6/8

Tone Tips: Programming the Dotted Eighth with a Practice Amplifier

Tone Tips: Obtaining the Dotted Eighth on a Manual Pedal

Update: 14 June 2014
Some of you guys have been emailing me asking me why your dotted eighth setup with the "80/20" rule (effect level/feedback level) doesn't sound right. I've investigated several pedals and realized that some pedals function with a mix level knob, not an effect level knob.

What a mix level does is superimpose the wet/dry signal and allocates space between the wet delayed signal versus the dry signal (your playing). So if you have a high mix level, let's say 75%, what you hear is that in the sonic space, 75% is the delay, while 25% is your playing. Suffice to say, this really knocks you off your socks when you try to play this live, as the delay is so much louder than your actual playing.

Your goal in programming a dotted eighth delay is to have the repeats at the same volume as your playing. To achieve this with a mix level control, put the mix at 50% (so the ratio of wet/dry is 50/50). This should make the delay as loud as your playing and not overpower it.

Tone Tips: Mix versus Effect Level


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