Other guitar-y things

Keeley 30ms Double Tracker

1

I want to try it with the acoustic (Falcon Rancher) as well. It could use a little corn starch (lol).

this should thicken the sound up a bit.

2

I have the Keeley pedal and have occasionally used it to simulate double tracked lead vocals on recordings.

3

That looks and sounds like a pretty cool pedal. Heck, that could help make my clean sound, sound better.

4

That’s what I was thinking for both electric and acoustic, using it for vocals is just icing on the cake.

I’ve often wondered how the Beatles, etc got “that sound” and double-tracking sounds more natural to my ears than other methods. With it set in Slapback mode you get up to 180ms.

The reverb and the Slapback sound great on this as well. I’ve never cared for chorus much but this seems much more useable to me than a stand-alone chorus pedal.

5

That’s what I was thinking for both electric and acoustic, using it for vocals is just icing on the cake.

I’ve often wondered how the Beatles, etc got “that sound” and double-tracking sounds more natural to my ears than other methods. With it set in Slapback mode you get up to 180ms.

The reverb and the Slapback sound great on this as well. I’ve never cared for chorus much but this seems much more useable to me than a stand-alone chorus pedal.

– BirdsNBats

Although they had invented the ADR at Abbey Road, most of the John Lennon double tracking was done with him doubling the vocal track. He was very good at overdubbing.

6

Before springing for the Keeley, you owe it to yourself to consider the Strymon Deco. It offers a more complete approach to all manner of tape “processing,” with not only delay from an undetectable offset up through slapback, but warm and irresistible (and again thoroughly adjustable) tape-like saturation. AND an adjustable stereo spread that provides dimension without calling attention to itself.

The Deco is more expensive than the Keeley, but for me it’s completely satisfying. It took me years to realize that Robert Keeley and I do not share similar sonic taste. (Good thing - dude cranks out so many pedals that if his ear and mine agreed, I’d be pedal-broker than I already am.)

7

Proteus, I agree, not usually a Keeley fan-boy but I think I'll dig the simplicity of this and I'm not using stereo. I have a Ventilator pedal that handles most of my modulation needs and an Echoplex delay (dead simple) but this is a bit different. I think it'll be a fun box to use for acoustic as well as electric. (full report to follow once it lands).

8

Well, I had high hopes for the Keeley 30ms but it's going back. I can get everything this does from what I have onboard already. I think it would be a good addition to an acoustic pedalboard but not worth the scratch I paid for it.

The standout was the cheap Digitech Polara Reverb I purchased. That thing is pretty awesome. All the reverb's are really good but the "Halo reverb" is amazing, Plate reverb is excellent for higher gain and even the Spring is really good and drippy. It's a keeper.

9

I too have a Strymon Deco. I’m sold on it . Very useful tool especially for live gigs.

10

I too have a Strymon Deco. I’m sold on it . Very useful tool especially for live gigs.

– GaryE

I think I'll give the Deco a try soon.

thx

11

I've a friend in Virginia that uses the Keeley for live acoustic gigs in a stereo rig. He makes it sound good but I'm not sure I'd have noticed it if he hadn't told me. He runs so many effects it probably gets lost.

12

I think it would be a good Swiss Army knife type gadget for acoustic. It would cover a lot of ground with the delay, reverb and chorus but I expected it to be more than the sum of its parts, I guess.

13

I can get everything this does from what I have onboard already.

Which conforms with my observations and suspicions about Keeley's unprecedented flood of pedal releases over the past couple of years: they can't all be that new/innovative/groundbreaking/interesting. I kinda expect an endless parade of me-too clones, reproductions, and minor tweaks from a good 80% of the boutique market - but it has surprised me that a builder of Keeley's stature and reputation has seemingly gone down that road.

I mean, I know he started as a pedal modder - and largely built his early reputation as a builder on his Ross compressor circuit, so maybe that's just in his DNA. AND (see what I did there?), I know lots of other pedalers have released boxes of pretty much every effect type. It's a natural way to grow a company.

But among those, Boss is boss - originating many of the designs others have built from, with a comprehensive line going back decades - while EHX, who (50-some years into an amazing run) also offers a steady stream of releases in all categories, always includes some idiosyncratic or charming quirk, finding innovative and entertaining ways of doing things. Likewise EarthQuaker, originally a small boutiquer with a fuzz pedal, has grown to offer a full line across all types - but again does something unique and interesting with them.


I don't know that I'm just pedal-jaded; part of the journey has always involved finding some iteration or tweak of an old familiar that suits my ear better. (I've learned not to say I'll never need to try another dirt pedal.)

But mostly now I'm looking for pedals that dazzle and delight me, that boldly go, that carve out their own territory or do some familiar thing SO much better than I've heard it done that they're irresistible. That quest leads to builders like Strymon, Meris, drolo, Red Panda, Montreal Assembly, Source Audio, EQD - and a couple others whose stuff is so impossibly good I don't even want to reveal who they are. (I guess those pedals are like advanced technology that the Prime Directive prevents me from sharing with pre-warp pedalers, lest I contaminate their culture.)

In that context, it's remarkable to me that the old giants like EHX and Boss, despite their industry-standard status as the quo, still come up with magical boxes that keep entertaining me. Much as I genuinely admire, respect, and "like" the newer generation of industry-standard builders - Brian Wampler, Josh Scott, Robert Keeley - their offerings (while never less than excellent in quality, refinement, and functionality) rarely open new vistas, or inspire me.

That's probably on me, not on them. Their first mission is to fill out pedalboards with great versions and combinations of all the "standard" effect types guitar culture has created. But I'm over 50 years into playing with those pedals, and my ongoing mission is still to explore strange new worlds of sound, to seek out new...you know.

Anyway, yeah. Not that the Deco is about strange new worlds. But, unlike the Keeley, it is

more than the sum of its parts.

It's better at its "retro" core functions than anything I've heard, and its range of control over the way it combines those functions - and stereo implementation - actually do make something new of those "old" things. It's a highly evolved bit of kit, providing time-based and soft saturation effects that would have taken a recording studio full of gear to create "in the day" - but far more conveniently, reliably, consistently, and flexibly. And, bottom line, it simply makes your guitar sound gorgeous.

(But I think its full glory only emerges in stereo. I'm sure it's yummily effective in mono...but it couldn't be the full spread of feast-for-the-ears.)

14

Proteus: Does the Deco satisfy your slap-back (or other delay) Jones? Do you use another delay?

15

Well...I use tons of other delays, but that's just because I have a problem. I have the Deco near the end of my signal chain, usually for subtle (but profound) stereo widening and some tape-saturatey warming and softening of the signal - so rarely for slapback, which I would do earlier in the signal chain. But I don't use slapback often, so my other delays are usually doing wackier things.

If I could have only one delay pedal, I don't know what it would be. I'm equally enamored of half a dozen or more, most of them big-box do-it-alls. But if I could have only one tapey delay, it would probably (still, after all these years) be the Strymon El Capistan. It's just so juicy ooey gooey. (I hasten to add that, while its slapback is as slappy as you could want, I'd be using it more for longer delay times. Using it only for slapback would be wasting a lot of pony on one trick.)

BUT. The Deco's slapback certainly more than gets the job done, while including the tape saturation stuff. And given that the first and original slapback effects were done with tape...I mean, there you go. And it specializes more in the short-delay domain of slapback.

Try the sound samples on this page for examples: https://www.strymon.net/deco/

16

I can get everything this does from what I have onboard already.

Which conforms with my observations and suspicions about Keeley's unprecedented flood of pedal releases over the past couple of years: they can't all be that new/innovative/groundbreaking/interesting. I kinda expect an endless parade of me-too clones, reproductions, and minor tweaks from a good 80% of the boutique market - but it has surprised me that a builder of Keeley's stature and reputation has seemingly gone down that road.

I mean, I know he started as a pedal modder - and largely built his early reputation as a builder on his Ross compressor circuit, so maybe that's just in his DNA. AND (see what I did there?), I know lots of other pedalers have released boxes of pretty much every effect type. It's a natural way to grow a company.

But among those, Boss is boss - originating many of the designs others have built from, with a comprehensive line going back decades - while EHX, who (50-some years into an amazing run) also offers a steady stream of releases in all categories, always includes some idiosyncratic or charming quirk, finding innovative and entertaining ways of doing things. Likewise EarthQuaker, originally a small boutiquer with a fuzz pedal, has grown to offer a full line across all types - but again does something unique and interesting with them.


I don't know that I'm just pedal-jaded; part of the journey has always involved finding some iteration or tweak of an old familiar that suits my ear better. (I've learned not to say I'll never need to try another dirt pedal.)

But mostly now I'm looking for pedals that dazzle and delight me, that boldly go, that carve out their own territory or do some familiar thing SO much better than I've heard it done that they're irresistible. That quest leads to builders like Strymon, Meris, drolo, Red Panda, Montreal Assembly, Source Audio, EQD - and a couple others whose stuff is so impossibly good I don't even want to reveal who they are. (I guess those pedals are like advanced technology that the Prime Directive prevents me from sharing with pre-warp pedalers, lest I contaminate their culture.)

In that context, it's remarkable to me that the old giants like EHX and Boss, despite their industry-standard status as the quo, still come up with magical boxes that keep entertaining me. Much as I genuinely admire, respect, and "like" the newer generation of industry-standard builders - Brian Wampler, Josh Scott, Robert Keeley - their offerings (while never less than excellent in quality, refinement, and functionality) rarely open new vistas, or inspire me.

That's probably on me, not on them. Their first mission is to fill out pedalboards with great versions and combinations of all the "standard" effect types guitar culture has created. But I'm over 50 years into playing with those pedals, and my ongoing mission is still to explore strange new worlds of sound, to seek out new...you know.

Anyway, yeah. Not that the Deco is about strange new worlds. But, unlike the Keeley, it is

more than the sum of its parts.

It's better at its "retro" core functions than anything I've heard, and its range of control over the way it combines those functions - and stereo implementation - actually do make something new of those "old" things. It's a highly evolved bit of kit, providing time-based and soft saturation effects that would have taken a recording studio full of gear to create "in the day" - but far more conveniently, reliably, consistently, and flexibly. And, bottom line, it simply makes your guitar sound gorgeous.

(But I think its full glory only emerges in stereo. I'm sure it's yummily effective in mono...but it couldn't be the full spread of feast-for-the-ears.)

– Proteus

..but Keeley got his start from stealing from other builders. Analogman.com Mike Pierra had come up w the CompRossor pedal, and Keeley grabbed it n took it for his own.

17

I’m definitely in the same wheelhouse as Proteus here. I use my Deco along with an El Capistan . I also have an Eventide H9 Max which will do basically ANY effect I need so it gets used for the odder tones I require. The H9 however is not an easy to control or change in a live situation even with an expression pedal and the optional Ox switch set. It needs a midi controller of some sort. My point is that the Strymon system is just so much better for my purposes live. Easier to navigate and great sounding stuff.

18

I let my Deco go before my El Capistan, and now I use the DIG. Gotta have one strymon pedal on the board :)

19

There's a bit of Keeley knocking going on here, so I thought I would change it up a bit. On my acoustic pedal board I have a Keeley Delay Workstation which has some pretty good reverb and delay sounds. It runs in the FX loop of my Grace Alix preamp. I love that you can tap in delay tempos while it's off, then kick in the delay at the right tempo. I just use it for 3 or 4 different tones a night but it's very easy for me to dial those tones. The little pedal board sees about 5 3-hour gigs a week.

https://i.imgur.com/f4pzPoC...

20

I use tap tempo all the time now . Not sure if I could use a delay that doesn’t have it these days.

21

I enjoyed this thread, especially collecting more guitar and gear philosophy from Proteus. I appreciate that we hi-jacked BirdsNBats simple request for a review into a larger discussion on the pedal industry.

I go through phases with pedals (and also quite a few of them). At times, I'm "Eric Johnson-ian" levels of obsessive about my pedal chain, knob settings, etc. It's satisfying for that to pay off. It also is huge distraction from...you know...actually PLAYING. That said, I'd rather obsesses over pedals than cymbals (they all sound the same to me when you hit them, sorry drummers).

I've started doing a lot more slide guitar work over the past year, so I've been pretty dialed into what Joey Landreth and Ariel Posen have been velcro-ing (is this a verb?) down. Their levels of pedal addiction make me feel better (i.e. no one's building me a custom version of their pedal with NOS parts). I've bought a few of those "blue-blood" boutique pedals they've demoed on the Youtube blogs. They're awesome and sound great. As Ferris Bueller says, "It is so choice. if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

After I got fatigued by scouring the internet and rearranging my board to figure out how to make all of these boutique pedals do what I actually needed for gigs, I got the old Keeley Compressor and a Tubescreamer out. It was fun and got me excited about and focused on my playing again. I'm sure The Gear Page loons would have ordered me to be stoned immediately.

I've bought and sold a bunch of Keeley stuff. It's good quality and everything he makes serves a purpose which may or may not be for you. More importantly, plug it in and if it inspires you to DO SOMETHING, it's the right pedal to buy. If not, that's why the Good Lord made Reverb.

P.S. -- The 30ms is fun and musical for what it is with a shallow learning curve.

22

The Dunlop Echoplex is surprisingly good and dead simple, the Preamp adds warmth and boost and work really excellent with the acoustic.

23

I’ll fix photo (upside down) in a bit.

24

EP3 is a good match for acoustic as well as electric. The “more hollow” the better.


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