Digital delays delay the original sound from anywhere to milliseconds to tens of seconds. This allows for effects such as echo, flanging, chorus, reverb, and looping effects, although the latter four are often handled by specialized effect units or multi effect units.

Short delay settings (30 to 50 milliseconds) added to the original non-delayed sound give a doubling effect to your sound as if two or more players are performing together. Longer delays (75 to 250 milliseconds) give an echo effect.

Digital Delay Pedal Controls and Features

Delay pedals include a control variously call “ Feedback,” “Regeneration,” or “Repeats.” As you might expect, this allows you to control the number of time the delayed sound repeats and sometimes lets you control how the repeats fade out.

Tap Tempo is another desirable feature in a Digital Delay. Instead of fiddling with knobs to get just the right delay time, Tap Tempo lets you control the delay time to match the beat of your music on the fly.

Use of Delay in Sound Systems

Delay is also useful in Sound Reinforcement application so that the sound from speakers at the back of the auditorium reach the listener at the same time as the sound from speakers in front. The rule of thumb is to add 1 millisecond of delay for each foot of distance, although professional sound engineers use more sophisticated formulas. Of course you would not use a Delay Pedal for this; instead you would use a rack mount processor such as a dbx Drive Rack or one of the well known Rane products.

Featured Digital Delay Pedals

Here are some Digital Delay pedal effects for your consideration:

The Boss DD-3 Digital Delay Pedal is part of the extensive line of Boss Delay and Reverb effects. The DD-3 covers all the basics including three delay time modes ranging from Short 12.5-50 milliseconds (for doubling effects), Medium (51 to 200 milliseconds) for echo effects, and Long (201 to 800 milliseconds) for more sustained echo effects. The DD-3 includes a Hold function to enable infinite repeats of the delayed sound.

For more advance players and for a few dollars more, the Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal provides you with greater versatility and convenience, especially if you add the optional footswitch and expression pedal. The DD-7 adds a modulation delay, which adds Chorus to the available sounds, and expands the possible delay times to a generous 40 seconds of delay time for recording some serious sound on sound looping. This is a stereo unit so you also get sweeping and panning effects among its wide ranging capabilities.

The Gravesend DL1Digital Delay is a great value priced unit. With 7 different delay effects and features like Tap Tempo. The Gravesend DL1 gives you plenty of features for a remarkably small investment.

For those who prefer the warmth and nostalgic sound of the classic studio analog delays, the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay pedal is a welcome change from the Digital Delay sound. No wonder it is one of our most popular effect pedals. Featuring up to 600ms of delay time with optional modulation, the MXR Carbon Copy Delay can produce anything from traditional slap back echo to classic David Gilmour style delay effects.