February 8, 2013

Sorry For The "Delay"

I've never been shy about my love for reverb and delay, or for that matter about my disdain for completely dry synthesizer sounds. I feel as though my sentiments are validated by the following excerpt from A Foundation For Electronic Music, from Roland's wonderful book series: The Synthesizer (1979):

You see, no sound was ever meant to be heard in a vacuum! For a synthesizer to be truly alive it must be given it's own space. Yes, a simulated space. A synthesized space if you will. 

Over the years I've collected many delays and reverbs (mostly spring reverbs) and now my studio has been graced with the presence of two new delay units. The Roland RE-501 (which is my first tape delay) and the Deltalab DL-2 Acoustic Computer. I believe the DL-2 may be somewhat rare --there's scarcely any information about it online (if anyone out there has a scan of the manual I'd be much obliged!). I think it's something quite special. It even has a built in voltage controlled oscillator with it's own CV input! I'm still getting aquatinted with it so I can't say much just yet but I will tell you that I'm having a very nice time with it and here are some pictures of it (from left to right):


  1. I have to agree, synths do sound much richer with reverb or delay. There are some songs I listen to that use delay (I think) which I can't imagine being without it. I would just hear a single tone making a sound once, which would be silly. Like in this song:


    Headroom... turn it up to the Max ;) *rim shot*

  2. I'm also obsessed with reverb sounds, but am looking for a few new analog units. I recently acquired a rare Roland RV 100 and I love its lush sound. But I'm looking for something a bit more "drippy" sounding as well.

    I'm sure you are familiar with the Embassy's Futile Crimes, here's the track "La Haine."


    It sounds like a Dr. 55 is possibly being used throughout the song, but I love that drippy reverb punch effect that comes in at about 0:22.

    The only other Roland products that seem to offer pure analog reverb are the RE 201 and the 501 like you mentioned above. Although, to my understanding, their main functions are for tape delay, but I've heard they do have built-in reverb tanks (but not as powerful as, say, the RV 100).

    Any new suggestions? They don't necessarily need to be Roland products. Any suggestions would be great, especially if you personally own or have owned them in the past and can give a first-hand impression. I'm pretty much only interested in analog reverb tanks and not digital. Thanks!

  3. Love that City of Gold song!

    Not sure what the Embassy are using there. It does sound very springy but also perhaps gated at the end? It's possible that it's a true spring reverb but those sweeds have never been analog purists.

    Realistic made some very inexpensive reverbs and delays that can be quite nice to experiment with:



    I got on of those at a thrift store once for two dollars.

  4. Also a big fan of reverbs! But I wonder, do you use any "more portable" reverb or delay unit in the live situation? Which one? And which one's would be your suggestions?

    I have one of those Boss RE-20 on my pedalboard for my guitar and I love it.
    And my teacher told me it would work fine with live synthesizers.

  5. I'd love to do a cover of sorts of that MCoG song, but I don't think I could do it justice. It's my favorite from the soundtracks, and one of my top favorite songs ever. Early 80s synthesis...

    Good find on the Realistic delay! You never know what you'll see in thrift stores or at garage sales.

  6. I think the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail reverbs are pretty good and portable.

  7. Heres some major use of the re-201 & poly800 over a doepfer 8step sequence; patch including spring rev from a199 & cv controlled analogue delay from the A-188-1 BBD module
    They actually bed the pitch via tape speed & intensity.


  8. Hey, that is really cool! Is that your music? If so I'd love to talk with you some more about how it was made.

  9. Sure. No but I know them. I could get you in contact if you would like.

  10. I would really like to get in contact with them... tried email but never got a response.