Could you tell the difference between tape/bbd/digital delays at a live show?

Orvillain

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Just read a comment on Youtube where a guy said "how often can you tell a tape delay from a digital delay at a gig?" and I'm like ..... are you serious???


Do you think you could??
 
Just read a comment on Youtube where a guy said "how often can you tell a tape delay from a digital delay at a gig?" and I'm like ..... are you serious???


Do you think you could??
I mean, if we are talking actual tape delay vs digital emulation of tape delay of course not.

If we are talking digital tape vs digital...digital, would depend entirely on how the digital tape delay was dialed in. There are plenty of really clean tape settings that would probably be hard to distinguish at a gig if used kinda subtly.

Same with some digital-tape settings compared to analog (either real or digital), when used subtly or as a simple slap or something.

If we are talking something with higher feedback, where the digital tape delay isn't setup by some dude that really should have dialed in an analog delay in the first place, and we're talking about an accurate analog or analog model that includes realistic analog delay noise, then yeah, ai could likely tell a difference at a gig. Probably. I think.
 
As much as we can notice the difference between a 0.02$ standard tone capacitor and a expensive paper-in-oil tone capacitor infused with bee wax and unicorn's hymen

 
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I mean, if we are talking actual tape delay vs digital emulation of tape delay of course not.

If we are talking digital tape vs digital...digital, would depend entirely on how the digital tape delay was dialed in. There are plenty of really clean tape settings that would probably be hard to distinguish at a gig if used kinda subtly.

Same with some digital-tape settings compared to analog (either real or digital), when used subtly or as a simple slap or something.

If we are talking something with higher feedback, where the digital tape delay isn't setup by some dude that really should have dialed in an analog delay in the first place, and we're talking about an accurate analog or analog model that includes realistic analog delay noise, then yeah, ai could likely tell a difference at a gig. Probably. I think.

This.

To be fair, I’ve also spent the majority of my life hyper analyzing the tones of two big tape echo guys with Gilmour and EJ and I’m a delay junkie. Definitely could tell TC Electronics delays from Lexicon delays, but if the tape sounded like a tape echo and the digital like digital, yeah, I’d be confident saying I could point it out.
 
I just went to the concert to drink, dance, and with any luck, have the wife be receptive to my advances later in the evening. I have no clue what delay type you were using, but I’m sure it was great!

You're so ungrateful! After so much time, research, and heated discussions I spent to decide between a Nitro Vs Poly, you do not pay attention to the sonic nuances of my guitar finish? :cry:

cruel GIF by New Amsterdam
 
I'm pretty sure I could tell the difference between a digital delay and a non-digital delay. Depending on how they were dialed in, I think I could also tell the difference between a tape delay and a BBD delay.

I can definitely see not being able to pick between tape delay and analog delay if they're both doing the dark character thing. I can also definitely see not being able to pick between tape delay and digital delay, if the tape machine is maintained well, or the emulation settings are such that the feedback is quite short and the mix is fairly subdued.

But generally people use a tape or a BBD to get the specific kinds of degradation that they do, and in those situations, I think I'd be able to hear a difference.

I could defintely tell the difference between a reverse delay and a forwards delay. 100%.

Someone on the Fractal forum (iirc) once told me that at a live show the audience can't tell the difference between a spring reverb and a 100% wet "supernatural" kinda reverb. That blew my mind at the time.

I'm often amazed and frankly flabberghasted at some of the weird things that musicians say online; often times to justify not caring about what effects they're using, or minimizing the importance of gear choice, or minimizing the concerns about tone altogether.

Either they have cloth ears, or they're lying to themselves.

I kind of equate it to not being able to hear if a song is in a minor key or major key, or perhaps not being able to tell if a song is in 4/4 or 7/8.

IMHO, YMMV, etc etc.
 
I would have a hard time telling a pristine condition tape delay apart from a digital pristine delay. The more you introduce character to the sound the more distinct each type becomes, whether it's a worn tape sound, degrading analog delay repeats etc.

But when I am in the audience I tend to enjoy the band as a whole rather than try to analyze the guitar sound. I might look at the stage to see what they are using but that's it.

Meanwhile I had some fun over-analyzing the sound of my FM3 vs BluGuitar Fender tones yesterday. In reality nobody else would and should care but it's fun to compare.
 
As much as we can notice the difference between a 0.02$ standard tone capacitor and a expensive paper-in-oil tone capacitor infused with bee wax and unicorn's hymen

Ooh, I want a unicorn hymen delay! The ultimate tone distillation!
 
Just read a comment on Youtube where a guy said "how often can you tell a tape delay from a digital delay at a gig?" and I'm like ..... are you serious???


Do you think you could??

I could when I was using them. I prefer crisp digital delays live with distorted guitar. Better definition and
clarity of repeats. It seemed everything became too murky with analog delays and a guitar signal that is
also clipping/distorted. Carbon Copy, EHX DMM, Tonal Recall, and others didn't sound as pleasing too
me and got messier than an old Boss DD-5---so that became my go to delay with distorted tones. Cleans
not nearly as complicated when paired with a delay whose repeats will degrade more and more over time.

I can understand why guys instantly gravitated towards digital delay when they first came out---given what
they used prior.

I can also understand why people then gravitated back towards analog degradation and warmth after a couple
of decades of digital delays.
 
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I would have a hard time telling a pristine condition tape delay apart from a digital pristine delay. The more you introduce character to the sound the more distinct each type becomes, whether it's a worn tape sound, degrading analog delay repeats etc.

But when I am in the audience I tend to enjoy the band as a whole rather than try to analyze the guitar sound. I might look at the stage to see what they are using but that's it.

Meanwhile I had some fun over-analyzing the sound of my FM3 vs BluGuitar Fender tones yesterday. In reality nobody else would and should care but it's fun to compare.
I always say gear is mostly for you, not really the audience.
 
I could when I was using them. I prefer crisp digital delays live with distorted guitar. Better definition and
clarity of repeats. It seemed everything became too murky with analog delays and a guitar signal that is
also clipping/distorted. Carbon Copy, EHX DMM, Tonal Recall, and others didn't sound as pleasing too
me and got messier than an old Boss DD-5---so that became my go to delay with distorted tones. Cleans
not nearly as complicated when paired with a delay whose repeats will degrade more and more over time.

I can understand why guys instantly gravitated towards digital delay when they first came out---given what
they used prior.

I can also understand why people then gravitated back towards analog degradation and warmth after a couple
of decades of digital delays.

I was assuming that the OP was referring to a real analog tape delay Vs digital delay emulating the analog tape with all its nuances and crap (flutter, tape degradation, etc), not a pristine digital delay. Hence my skepticism that it could be differentiated.
Technology Tape GIF
 
I was assuming that the OP was referring to a real analog tape delay Vs digital delay emulating the analog tape with all its nuances and crap (flutter, tape degradation, etc), not a pristine digital delay. Hence my skepticism that it could be differentiated.
Either or, really.
 
my brother in law saw me playing with pedals a while back and was like what are those? i explained what each one did and showed him an example playing them.

he was like i had no idea they even made stuff like that. I'm sure he has been to plenty of concerts and such. just an example of how non guitar focused people think about stuff or dont think about it at all haha.
 
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