BY MICHAEL ROSS
Delay effects can enhance your sound in almost
any musical genre. There are dozens of analog,
digital, and even a few tape models available,
but three additions have come up with some
new twists, making them worth a look.
tapping. Also, no need to guess at dotted
eighths; you can set the tap to give you triplet, straight or dotted eighths, quarter notes
or half notes. This made setting up U2-style
rhythms a breeze [clip 1].
parameter settings—heel and toe—for each
memory slot (within the same delay type).
The elephant in the room when reviewing
the TimeBender is the Line 6 DL4. That
green box has become the go-to delay
effect for many musicians who appreciate its
four presets, looping options and variety of
quality delays. Let me say right up front that
the TimeBender matches most of the DL4
effects (check out the Digi Tech site for a full
list) while offering many additional features.
With limited space, I will just evaluate some
of the exciting extras this pedal delivers.
The Voice knob delivers three octaves of
pitch-shifted delays. Unlike on some delays,
these do not continue up or down in pitch
with each repeat, but stay right where they
are, creating inspiring effects like those in
clip 2. Holding the right pedal down while
strumming a chord automatically places
these intervals in the chord’s key.
The TimeBender’s looper does not offer the
DL4’s half-speed and reverse loop options,
or its ready accessibility of three memory
switches (the TimeBender requires stepping
through its four memory slots or buying an
optional footswitch). It does, however, let
you use pitch-shifting effect during looping,
to create bass lines or high chiming parts.
With all the aforementioned features
(and a few more tricks up its sleeve), the
TimeBender enters the field as a serious contender for the top of any delay lover’s list.
I could set the delay time by tapping the
right footswitch, or set it by holding that
switch down, damping the guitar’s strings,
and strumming the tune’s tempo. I found
this to be much more accurate than foot
The Envelope setting let me create stuttering slicer effects. I could set the rhythm of
the repeats for this, or any delay effect, to
ten different patterns. I could also create my
own patterns by setting the Pattern selector to Strum, holding down the right pedal,
and strumming the rhythm of my choice. As
with the DL4, an optional expression pedal
will let you set two completely different
Buy if...delay is a major part of
your musical expression.
Skip if... all you need is a
Guyatone Mighty Micro MDm5
Players concerned with preserving both pedalboard space and sound quality have long
prized Guyatone’s miniature Micro pedals. The
new Mighty Micro line upgrades the series with
easier battery access, more robust construction, and a roll bar that protects the knobs and
switches from wandering feet.
The MDm5 Micro Delay offers from 30 to 2600
milliseconds of delay in a 3-3/4” x 1/2” x 2-1/2”
enclosure. Present are the usual controls—
blend, delay time, and feedback—to which
the MDm5 adds a sliding switch that lets you
choose among three time ranges—short, medium, and long. A tiny knob rolls off the highs for
more lo-fi, analog sound, keeping the delays
from obscuring your original signal.
The Mighty Micro let me cover most of the
common delay bases, from country slap [clip
1] to ambient washes. It also demonstrated