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View Poll Results: Do you prefer this rhythm sound with or without delay?
Dry 29 70.73%
Ambivalent/no opinion 7 17.07%
Delayed 5 12.20%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
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Delay on Rhythm Guitars?


Ok, as this came up in the "included FX on amps" thread...

I'm a BIG fan of delay on rhythm guitars. It's something I picked up from Devin Townsend that I just love the sound of - it seems to add a bit of extra depth and gives you the sense that these huge walls of guitars are just crashing down around you. However, it seems like I'm pretty much the only one here who feels this way.

So, I did a couple quick sound clips last night. Nothing amazing, a 30-seconds-to-prepare Fruity Loops drum loop, about the same amount of time aligning an AKG C1000S in front of my amp, two tracks of guitar panned about 50% left and right, and a direct-in bass with some of the treble rolled off an a little bit of compression (I was in a hurry and didn't grab my J-Station).

The first clip is a riff recorded dry. I'll also point out I'm a horrible rhythm player, lol.

The second is the same riff with a little bit of ping-pong delay with about 40% feedback panned our 100% to each side. I mixed this quickly last night, and in retrospect the delay needs to come down another decibel or so, and I need to tempo-synch it too. But it serves as a demonstration.

So, thoughts? Not the greatest recording/mix you'll ever here, but do you prefer it dry? wet? No opinion? Does the delay bother you? Does the dry mix bother you? Does my sloppy riffing bother you?

Let me know.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:30 AM   #2
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While the FX'd clip sounds a little bigger by itself, as soon as you add any kind of solo/lyrics/etc over it, it's going to get muddy real fast.

Dry all the way.


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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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I prefer it wet and dirty myself...



...Oh and i'm gonna have to go with the delayed clip, but there is a slight too much of it.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:38 AM   #4
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Bah. I'm going to have to add a solo and three part vocal harmonies before you guys will give me a straight answer, won't I?

Chris, in theory you're right. However, if you route the delays for your lead and rhythm tracks through seperate FX busses and EQ them to hit different spectrums, theoretically I think it's possible to get away with a delayed rhythm tone without having sheer sonic chaos on your hands. I'll have to do a proper full mix like this to see if I can pull it off, and that I'm NOT crazy, lol.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
Bah. I'm going to have to add a solo and three part vocal harmonies before you guys will give me a straight answer, won't I?
Theoretically, yes.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:43 AM   #6
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I prefer dry - or, really, slightly 'verbed. As fast as we usually play, delay would make it mush, especially with the other instruments. I could possibly see delaying the rhythms of slower-paced music, but why not just double the track and 'verb 'em? Thick and crushing, but not washed-out...
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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
Chris, in theory you're right. However, if you route the delays for your lead and rhythm tracks through seperate FX busses and EQ them to hit different spectrums, theoretically I think it's possible to get away with a delayed rhythm tone without having sheer sonic chaos on your hands. I'll have to do a proper full mix like this to see if I can pull it off, and that I'm NOT crazy, lol.
I'm not right in theory bitch, I'm motha....in' right. Unless you absolutely kick ass at mixing, stereo rhythm tracks with effects + effect-laden lead = mush! Mush I tell you!


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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
I'm not right in theory bitch, I'm motha....in' right. Unless you absolutely kick ass at mixing, stereo rhythm tracks with effects + effect-laden lead = mush! Mush I tell you!
WWDTD, mutha....a', WWDTD!

Ok, ok, you're right, Devin Townsend does in fact kick ass at mixing and thus we're still in agreement...

I guess I'm just going to have to become a ....in' mixing GOD if I wanna get that kind of a sound on a CD...

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Unread 11-23-2005, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaeolian
II could possibly see delaying the rhythms of slower-paced music...
What, you mean like in the, oh, clip I included above?

Sorry, couldn't resist the cheap shot.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
What, you mean like in the, oh, clip I included above?

Sorry, couldn't resist the cheap shot.
Note my alternative - and superior - suggestion AFTER that comment.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 11:20 AM   #11
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I definitely prefer the delayed version. For me, I think the key is to record the guitar dry and do any effects in the mix, which, if I'm not mistaken, you are doing. You have so much more control that way. And yes, the tap delays are cool because you can really fill out the spectrum that way.

It really depends on what else is going to be in the mix. The more I've been recording the more I see that it's not so much what a few tracks are doing but where everything is in spatial relationship to each other. Some tracks should be dry so that they appear in the near field. The furthest back will be the sounds with reverb and the ones in between will be the tracks with delay and other effects (okay, it's more complicated than that once you start looking at the waveforms and such, but that's true in a general sense). As long as your other sounds don't compete distance-wise, you should be all right. What this means, though, is that once you add vocals, they'll probably need to be the sounds that are in the near-field mix. The bass, too, should be dry then, or a very light chorus.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
While the FX'd clip sounds a little bigger by itself, as soon as you add any kind of solo/lyrics/etc over it, it's going to get muddy real fast.

Dry all the way.
+1

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Unread 11-23-2005, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smueske
I definitely prefer the delayed version. For me, I think the key is to record the guitar dry and do any effects in the mix, which, if I'm not mistaken, you are doing. You have so much more control that way. And yes, the tap delays are cool because you can really fill out the spectrum that way.

It really depends on what else is going to be in the mix. The more I've been recording the more I see that it's not so much what a few tracks are doing but where everything is in spatial relationship to each other. Some tracks should be dry so that they appear in the near field. The furthest back will be the sounds with reverb and the ones in between will be the tracks with delay and other effects (okay, it's more complicated than that once you start looking at the waveforms and such, but that's true in a general sense). As long as your other sounds don't compete distance-wise, you should be all right. What this means, though, is that once you add vocals, they'll probably need to be the sounds that are in the near-field mix. The bass, too, should be dry then, or a very light chorus.
Interesting perspective, and one that makes sense to me on an intuitive level. In fact, if I picture a lead guitar over this I'm hearing something fairly dry and middy - a touch of delay, but mixed back so as to not really call attention to itself, and with either little reverb or a fast decay.

I like that way of looking at a mix.

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Unread 11-23-2005, 12:08 PM   #14
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I use a light 80-90 ms stereo delay on my live sound. It's back in the mix and it just adds some depth to my live guitar sound.

Whenever I've recorded rhythm guitar sounds, a delay sound from the rig always gets in the way. It takes away tight percussive parts and can make them mushy. I've got some recent clips I could share to demonstrate. I'll post them the next time I'm at my home computer.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 01:48 PM   #15
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There's NO WAY delay would work with most of the rhythmic stuff I play. A lot more going on than a simplistic riff like this example, Drew. If it's just slow, heavy nu-metal-ish dirge, then by all means, you can get away with a little. But if it's something tight, precise, and intricate? No ....in' way.

The delayed track sounds good.

The dry track sounds better.

My opinion.

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Unread 11-24-2005, 07:57 AM   #16
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i hear that when Messuggah play live the r guitar has delay added to it to take up for one guitar missing while it solos. how practicle is that.

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Unread 11-25-2005, 05:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VII
i hear that when Messuggah play live the r guitar has delay added to it to take up for one guitar missing while it solos. how practicle is that.
A technique known as artificial doubling. One single repeat is added 20-30ms after it is played.

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Unread 11-25-2005, 07:32 AM   #18
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I think the delayed track sounds good, but not as good as the dry track. I generally think that delay doesn't sound very good on rhythm guitar. It sounds pretty slick on delayed guitar, but not rhythm. You pulled it off, so that it sounds good, but not as good as the dry track. Personally, most of my distorted rhythm guitar wouldn't sound good with delay. A lot of my clean rhythm guitar sounds good with delay; and all my clean and distorted lead sounds good with delay.

I gotta agree with Chris, Vince, and Bob on this one.
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Unread 11-25-2005, 09:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smueske
I definitely prefer the delayed version. For me, I think the key is to record the guitar dry and do any effects in the mix
Very much so.


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Unread 11-25-2005, 09:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Wolf
There's NO WAY delay would work with most of the rhythmic stuff I play. A lot more going on than a simplistic riff like this example, Drew. If it's just slow, heavy nu-metal-ish dirge, then by all means, you can get away with a little. But if it's something tight, precise, and intricate? No ....in' way.
Also very much so.


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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:02 AM   #21
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Hey, are you guys calling me a sloppy, non-intricate, nu-metal guitarist?

Actually, don't answer that...

Eh, that's just the sort of stuff I like to write - mid tempo at fastest, and while it's not QUITE as simple as it sounds (I like to do a lot with diad 3rds and 4ths in conjunction with 5ths), if what I write is essentially slow, dirge-like nu-metalish riffing, then I suppose the sooner I come to terms with that the better, lol.

I guess I should re=post this poll with clips from a full mix, so it's a slightly more valuable comparison. Give me a few months.

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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Hey, are you guys calling me a sloppy, non-intricate, nu-metal guitarist?
Not at all. That particular riff was non-intricate, that's all.


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Unread 11-25-2005, 12:46 PM   #23
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Not at all. That particular riff was non-intricate, that's all.
Yeah, no shit. You're the mac daddy, D, and I ....in' love your playing. Bluesy, soulful, and melodic as hell.

But if you thought that riff of your'ns was technical... well shit. You need to come to T-Town and woodshed with me a bit, dood

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Unread 11-25-2005, 02:26 PM   #24
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7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.7 Dying Trees has an entire closet full of viking hats.
Feedback Score: 43 reviews
The first one is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better (ie DRY)

The Wet one just sounds undefined, verging on mushy and nowhere near tight, really not good at all. In fact the DRY one just sounds way maore powerfull.

Sorry, but Rythm guitar+overdrive HAS to be dry, otherwise you lose definition, punch and a whole load of other things. If you want a thicker sound, multitrack.

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Unread 11-25-2005, 10:31 PM   #25
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Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.Vince has an entire closet full of viking hats.
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
I've got the file for you, Drew.

http://www.vincelupone.com/mp3/VLUPONEguitardelay1.mp3 (4.14 mb)

I'm running a stereo delay, left delay at 320 ms, right delay at 340 ms, at a mix level of about 10%. I like how it thickens up the sound in parts, but when it hits the syncopated part of the piece, it's not as tight if I recorded without the delay.

Here's what's happening in this MP3:

(0:20) - delay around sound is "roomy"

(1:06) - delay makes the syncopated part sound less tight. This might sound great when coupled with a full band, but on it's own it's not as good as if I recorded it dry.

(1:51) tight rhythm line. This recording here disproves the idea that adding a delay to your sound makes it "impossible" to have a tight sound.



All in all, I'm probably going to record the guitars dry on the album (this is an isolated part from a songwriting demo), but this is a good example of a decent delay added to a rhythm sound that makes it a little more full sounding, without mushing it up too much. Use effects sparingly and for "effect" (as opposed to making them a main part of the sound), and you can do a lot with them.

Oh, and Drew, this recording was all done with the AKG C1000S mic. 4 tracks.
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