Student Project Final Presentaion on Analog Delay for Guitar





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Published on Dec 17, 2013

Students are encouraged to develop projects in their field of study based on interests they have. Here a student looks at the concept of analog delay and its impact on amplified guitar sounds.


Through our engineering courses we talk a lot about delay circuits. I just remember studying a lot of Op-amps with the feedback loop.
So as a teenager messing around with effect units, putting them together in a chain and trying to explore different sounds. I think that stayed with me through Engineering to understand phase and delay and coursing, stuff like that.

So it just stuck with me to one day build an analog delay. As I started researching analog delay pedals I learned that they all have a similar architecture they call it a "bucket brigade delay". Where you see them, before fire trucks and hoses, guys would just pass along buckets of water to put out a fire and that's what this delay does.

It's a charge that's going through a series of capacitors using MOSFETS as the switching. The "Bucket Brigade" analogy is so perfect for this because it's not just the passing of the charge. But as you pass the water and it sloshes out the same thing is happening to the charge, because there's degradation at each step. The expander is just the inverse of the compander, and the purpose of the compander is actually to condition your signal that it will feed the rest of the pipeline.

That's a digital delay built in. You hear how clean that is? Each repeat is an exact sample of the original signal. This is the analog by itself.

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