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February 23, 2010 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Rapper Edan uses an amazing spacey delay sound on some of his songs. How can I duplicate it?

Example 1: The Science of the Two (@ 0:35)
Example 2: Smile (@ 2:02)

I read an interview with Edan where he says he uses a Space Echo or an Echoplex, but both of those are old school tape-delay boxes that are hard to find, hard to maintain, and expensive. I am wondering if I can get that "drifting off into space" style delay from any analog modeling pedals. I'm trying to get that drifting dub-style delay, but maybe with some stereo pan effects.

Bonus question: In "The Science of the Two", assuming Edan is using analog devices, how did he get the delay loop to match the beat PERFECTLY? it's kind of insane.

Thanks for your help.
posted by orville sash to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
there is a digital stomp-box version of the space echo from Roland. I haven't used it, but I here it is pretty good. While Space Echoes are expensive, if they are an integral part of your sound, they can be worth the money. A lot of studios that deal with electronic music have them on hand.

how did he get the delay loop to match the beat PERFECTLY?

Either trial and error or he is maybe using a plugin that syncs to the tempo.

The tape-delay plugin in Logic is okay. One of the things that is kind of a characteristic sound of this effect is the deterioration that occurs with each pass through the delay. You can try to emulate it with plug-ins.

Send your source signal out to an aux track.

On that track put a delay and then an EQ. Put the delay's feedback to zero.

On the Aux track, create another send and send the signal back into the same aux track. This is what you will be using to control feedback.

On the delay plugin, set the delay time to whatever sounds best to you. Most have the option to sync it to the tempo.

On the EQ which is post delay, put on a high pass filter rolling off the lower frequencies and maybe slightly boost the frequencies where there is some hiss or noise in the original signal.

Now each time the signal goes through the delay, it goes the the EQ as well and gets filtered.

Be careful with the feedback (remember this is actually the aux send on the same channel sending signal back into itself.) -- it can be a bit wild and cause the signal to overload the bus easily.

If you have a mixer and analog pedals, you can accomplish the same thing but it's kind of a pain to set up.
posted by chillmost at 7:30 AM on February 23, 2010

When I saw him perform live, he was using a guitar delay pedal, pressing the switch and fiddling the knobs live by hand, while also cutting his samples on the turntables, and rapping. Pretty amazing to watch. I guess he just has enough practice and intuition to make it sound seamless.
posted by ijoshua at 8:01 AM on February 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the info, Chillmost. Unfortunately, I don't have a mac, and they stopped making Logic for PC a while back. I've been tooling arould with the delay plug-ins for Pro-Tools, but I'm just not getting that organic sound that I'm looking for.
posted by orville sash at 8:17 AM on February 23, 2010

The steps I suggested above will work for just fine in Protools as well.
posted by chillmost at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2010

For in-computer use, I'm a big fan of the Bionic Delay and Tape Delay VST plugins here:
posted by Erroneous at 12:15 PM on February 23, 2010

The Massey TD5 tape delay plug for protools will decay like a real tape echo machine. And it's free to try!
posted by Aquaman at 2:39 PM on February 23, 2010

Just remembered I shot a photo of that show. You can see the delay pedal in his hand there, and on the table here, but I can’t identify the make.
posted by ijoshua at 5:09 PM on February 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, ijoshua. if you look at the interview I posted, he says that he uses a digital delay pedal at shows. That is, from the looks of it, either a Boss DD3 or a DD7. Very useful (I actually have the RV3, a predecessor to those pedals) but not exactly what I'm looking for. I'd love to be able to recreate this effect live as well as in the studio, but at least for the time being i have had gotten a lot of neat plug ins to try.

Thanks everyone
posted by orville sash at 9:05 PM on February 23, 2010

SoundToys plugins (TDM native, in your case), designed by a bunch of ex-Eventide folks, include EchoBoy, the best delay plugin I've used. It has meticulous attention to detail including forward/backward shuffle, swing, flam, and most of all, tone modeling to simulate the quality and bandwidth of old devices. I've owned more delays than I can remember over the past decade, hardware and software, and this is absolutely my favorite
posted by Señor Pantalones at 5:39 AM on February 25, 2010

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