Tag Archives: effector

The difference between reverb, echo, and delay


Space-based effectors for spreading sounds such as reverb, echo, and delay create the size and condition of the space, etc., and create an “illusion” in the sense of hearing. A space system effector is an effector that simulates the space in which the sound sounds literally by adding various reverberations. The sound changes depending on how you use the space system effector.

This time, I will introduce the differences between reverb, echo, and delay.

■ What is reverb?
Reverbs combine more complex delays to create reverberation in space. Simply put, reverb is a collection of delays. The reverberation that we usually listen to is considered to be a collection of more complex delays.

Even if you are in a room that is simply a square with nothing, your voice and the noise you make will come with reverberation with innumerable different delay times. And, the reverberation sound changes the sound quality and length depending on the size and shape of the room, and the material of the wall and the floor.

The reverberation sound bounces back to the wall or floor and reaches the early reflections that reach your ear directly (early reflection) and hit many places many times and finally bounces back to your ear. There is a reverberation.

Creating reverberation like this was the work of designers and architects before reverberation as an electrical effector appeared. They decided on the material and the angle of the floor and the wall to obtain the best reverberation while repeating various trial and error.

Even in the age of electronic recording records, this situation did not change for some time. Once the recording engineer had picked up the mic, he sent it to a very long reverberation room speaker, called the echo room, and controlled the reverb by picking it up again with the mic.

■ What is the echo?
What people, in general, say echo and immediately come to mind is what is called “one reverberating in the mountains”. An echo is a kind of effector that produces an effect that sounds like “one reverberating in the mountains”. Electrical or electronic simulation of the natural phenomenon is an effector called an echo.

The first electrically simulated effect that delays the sound is tape echo. Originally, it used the time difference between the recording head and playback head of the open reel tape deck, but it has been completed as an easy-to-use effector. Roland Space Echo RE-201 is a famous model of tape echo.

■ What is the delay?
A delay is a type of spatial effector that simulates with echoes. When you yell “Hello” toward the mountain far from the summit, a voice “Hello” will be returned from the other side for a while.

The speed of the sound is about 340m per second at room temperature, so if the distance to the next mountain is 340m, it will take 1 second until your voice reaches the other mountain, another 1 second until it bounces and you can hear your ear. It sounds like a delay of seconds.

Besides, in places where you can get a very clear wave, it is repeated again and again that the voice you return once is reflected in your standing mountain, and reciprocated between the mountains again. And you hear the voice “Hello” over and over again, gradually lowering the volume at regular intervals. This is called a repeat delay.

There are many cases where the voice bounces back and there is not only one mountain. So, in your ears, you will hear the voices of different delay times reflected in different mountains at different distances, “Hello”. This is an effect called tap delay.

There are two main types of delay effects: analog delay and digital delay.

Analog delay is an analog delay that has been developed as a maintenance-free delay for tape echo that takes time for maintenance.

In analog delay, the circuit delaying the sound called BBD element is connected in a row, and long delay is created like a bucket relay.

Digital delays store sound in memory instead of tape and take advantage of the time difference between the record and play heads. The input signal is first converted to a digital signal of 0 and 1 through a circuit called an AD converter and written to memory. And it is the principle which reads the data written in the memory according to the decided delay time, returns it to an audio signal through the DA converter, and outputs it.

The principle itself is common to all digital effectors, and in a sense, it can be said that all digital effectors are created by applying the digital delay principle.

■ The difference between each
I will briefly introduce each difference.

◆ Echo and reverb
You might know that echo is often used in karaoke boxes to “put more echo”. Karaoke echo is active every night in the karaoke box. Reverb is an effect that makes a sound like a reverberation in a certain space system. Depending on the setting of “size of space”, you can feel as if you are singing in a large concert hall because you feel like you are singing in a small karaoke box.

◆ Echo and delay
The echo and delay are similar effects. Both of these are effects that reverberate the sound volume down at regular intervals. The echoes are those that shorten the reverberation interval of this “one reverberating in the mountains”. The delay is what lengthened the reverberation interval.

Echoes are mainly used for vocal voices, etc. Delays are not used primarily for vocal sounds but are used as effects for instruments such as electric guitars.

◆ Delay and reverb
The delay has a delay effect as the name implies. Reverb is a pseudo reproduction of the reverberation occurring indoors. Reverb is just a reverberant, while the delay is after the original sound, then the sound is delayed at regular intervals to follow.


What is an effector?


Without fear of misunderstanding, an effector is a tool for spoofing sounds. Dynamics / filter effectors such as limiters and equalizers were invented to avoid the limitations of the sound quality of early radios and records, and spatial effectors such as reverbs and delays were recorded in small studios. It can be said that the color of a sound is an illusionary tool as if you are playing in a large church or concert hall. In this way, the effector is something that is somewhat trickery in the first place.

However, the image of a cheating tool for cheating is always intriguing, like the mysterious tools lined up in the old science fiction movie lab. The mysterious attraction of such an effector, like a magician or a street performer, was to inspire curiosity of musicians and engineers to create a variety of new sounds.

In technical terms, an effector is a “box that changes sound”. And it’s not just “changing”, it’s a box that “simulates” something. The reverb simulates a variety of sounds, the delay simulates a maverick, and the distortion simulates the distortion of an amplifier. And as long as it is a simulation, an effector has the limit of “It can not exceed the real thing”. In that sense, most of the effectors are incomplete, according to the producer’s intention for perfect simulation. Many of the effectors created in the late 60’s and 70’s, especially the golden age, were far from unfinished due to the technological limitations of the time. However, only the unfinished part has been supported by musicians and engineers as “a sound different from the real thing,” a sound that can only be produced by the effector.

The fuzz that tried to create amp distortion was eventually used by lead guitarists as an effector that creates much more aggressive distortion than the amp. Even for the producers, even the small boxes that have not been completed yet, the transformation of the musicians and engineers’ ideas has transformed the new sound into a magic box to create.

The rapid development of effectors since the 60’s is closely related to the change of popular music from live music to record. In particular, rock musicians considered the record to be a new art form created by studio recording, unlike traditional music. So they went to the studio day and night and repeated various experiments using effectors. As a result of such trial and error, the setting and usage of the effector that they came up with did not necessarily correspond to the correct usage that the producer of the effector intended. There were a lot of uses that the producers would use to scream when they heard it, such as “kick the spring reverb with feet”, “pass vocals through distortion” and “turn the reverb with noise gates”. In other words, with regard to effectors, the correct usage is not very meaningful. Rather, it may be the only one who seems to be the royal road of the effector-master to create a sound that the producer could not even predict, in a beating setting.

By the middle of the 90’s, a new generation of digital technologies called plug-in effects and modeling came into play, and the world of effectors has undergone considerable change. A plug-in effect is an effect that reproduces computer software and can be used in hard disk recording software on a computer. Although this changed the way the effector was used in the studio in some ways, it did not change the essence of the effector. The biggest impact on the world of effectors is modeling technology.

Modeling is a technology that attempts to reproduce musical instruments and effectors from the characteristics of materials, structures, circuits, and parts using the processing power of high-speed computers, which is like CG in the world of video It may be better if you think.

With this new technology, the difference between the sound of “real” and digital effector simulation has become inaudible even for professional musicians. As a result, anyone can easily try the sounds of vintage expensive and rare effectors and guitar amps that were not easily obtained before. This looks like something to be welcomed by musicians in a way.

But one thing I want you to keep in mind is that what is being reproduced by modeling is just the sounds and settings that someone has already used. If you’re looking for an original sound that no one else has ever tried, first messing around with the crap magic box you have before you consider replacing it with the latest modeling effects. It may be better to start by defeating and creating an original sound that you have never heard of. Then one day when you become a famous player, that sound may become a preset for your next modeling effector.