hey everyone, i keep hearing and seeing alot of debates about this and everyone just keeps saying "digtal is better" or "analog is awsome" ect ect. i want to know what is the difference? is one better with certain effects? is one easier to set up? and most of all WHY? thanks for all the input and information. examples would also be helpful so i could hear/see the difference.
In delay pedals it's got quite a noticeable effect. A digital delay will be more cold and sterile, allowing for much crisper, cleaner repeats that don't tend to degrade as they go. Analog delay will be warmer and the signal will degrade a little with each repeat. Digital delays also tend to have much longer delay times available than an analog delay. There are digital delays that are capable of modelling analog effects as well.

There's no right or wrong answer here, you use what sounds good to you. Generally it just depends on the quality of the pedal.
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For live perfromance I personally use a Boss DD-3. Although if I'm recording I'll (borrow) use any analogue delay I can get hold of at the time as I prefer the organic and natural sound when recording - the only reason I can think why is that everything else is going digital so I try to retain as much analogue as possible.

The DD-3 is seen as something of an "industry standard" but I'd recommend trying a few different models first. The MXR Carbon Copy is a nice analogue pedal. And now they are more widely available I may make the switch. I use Boss because I can pretty much replace like for like at the drop of a hat.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
I prefer analog or tape delays for celan or low-gain playing... modulated delay is also great as well.

I prefer digital delays (or lofi delays) for tighter riffing or higher gain... It sounds like there's better clarity in the repeats and it doesn't get muddy.

For similar reasoning, I prefer digital delays when playing a live show with my band for clarity, and analog delays when I'm in the studio for the added warmth
If you can find a digital delay pedal that can model analog then you're set.
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Quote by AAleadguitar
hey everyone, i keep hearing and seeing alot of debates about this and... i want to know what is the difference? is one better with certain effects? is one easier to set up? and most of all WHY?

the effects are almost identical in their controls. but knowing the differences between delays and how they sound is tied very much to the history of delay.

the first 'delay' effects weren't just 'analog', they were quite mechanical. tape machines were very typical but echo chambers and even a rolling drum with 'magnetic oil' were the first stabs at delay. these aren't as 'sharp' and accurate sounding as later technology and tape machines were the closest to modern delay units but they were also large and cumbersome, prone to break down. but they gave a warm and compressed tone with a hint of lo-fi (due to the tape they used back then). delay at this time was mostly a studio trick and weren't used too often live.

studio tape machines gave way to more portable tape units(yet still cumbersome), but a technology was introduced called the 'bucket brigade' circuit (a string of capacitors from what i remember) that gave birth to the first truly portable, pedal-like delay pedals. this technology is what we call 'analog' delay today. the idea of the bucket brigade is that the caps would 'store' the analog signal and then pass it along to the next line caps until the decay is inaudible. the limitations of caps at 'storing' this audio signal results in very characteristic tone of the delay, high end frequencies in the note get attenuated and the signal generally degenerates with each reproduction.

once hi-fi digital audio could be realized (bit depth, memory, processor freq, etc) then digital delays were implemented. digital delay is pretty simple, you sample the input, code it digitally and use pointers in the memory to loop the signal. digital delays use discrete signals that do NOT degrade with reproduction (unless they are designed to, so that they sound more like analog delays) and can be repeated infinitely without distortions. digital delays sound more accurate and bright.

in general analog delays are considered 'musical' at best and 'muddy' at worst, i was usually frustrated by their lo-fi tendencies, but sound really sweet as a slight echo in the background. digital delays sound 'strong and 'accurate' at best or 'sterile' and 'shrill' at worst, i preferred them because i liked the good reproduction of the notes.
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