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New delay pedal - TC Electronic Alter Ego

A year ago, when I graduated from my MSc program, my wife told me I could buy a guitar/bass effect pedal as a gift from her. Three weeks ago, I finally made my choice and placed the order. After some deliberation on what type of effect I wanted to get; delay, chorus, overdrive/distortion, fuzz, flanger, reverb, etc, I then had to decide which specific pedal to get, factoring in value for money, flexibility and how much I figured I'd actually use it... the practicality of it. In the end, since I already have a chorus, and a couple flavours of distortion, I figured delay would round out my meagre battery of effects best.
There are a lot of different delay effects out there, but I figured I'd get the most use out of something with an analog sound, where there are imperfections in the repeats, rather than something pristine. At the same time, I didn't want to be sitting with a one-trick pony, or spend too much, for though it's a gift, I still don't have a lot of cash Razz I ended up deciding on a digital modelling pedal, something that imitates other effects digitally, rather than having a single effect circuit, one of the pedals from TC Electronics. While the Flashback delay is readily available, I decided to get the Alter Ego, which is a modified Flashback available only through ProGuitarShop. The Alter Ego replaces two of the presets on the Flashback with exclusive models of the PGS founder's own EchoRec and Deluxe Memory Man pedals, classic magnetic disk and analog delays respectively.

I've been able to play with the pedal the past two weekends, after it arrived and I got home. I'm slowly learning to work with delay; it's a bit of a different approach to playing. I've been playing with a couple different settings and techniques to greater or lesser success... I did find immediate use for it within my band context, filling out a somewhat sparse breakdown section within one of our songs. I've never been very happy with that part of the song, but the delay really helped out.
Aside from that, I've been enjoying the more modulated settings, the EchoRec and tape delay settings primarily, but have found some use for some of the cleaner styles too. Using my bass VI, chorus, reverb and volume swells with the modulated delay settings I'm getting some rather atmospheric, ethereal sounds, almost synth-like. I think I can make use of that sound in new songs with my band, but we'll see.
Chances are, the cleaner, more accurate repeat modes will be more useful, but the dark and singing modulated tones are a lot of fun to play with at home.

So far I'm pretty happy with the pedal, though it apparently eats through batteries like a vampire. From what I'm reading that's just the nature of delay pedals in general. I've already had to swap out the industrial 9V I put in it a week ago, and have plugged it into a cheap wall wart I had laying around. I'll have to get myself a pedalboard and power supply at some point after I replace my dead computer.

2 blog comments below

Quite erie, but very interesting to play with I'm sure. The sounds is as clear as a bell. I can imagine there must be an infinite number of possibilities for being creative with it.
deanhills on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:59 am
It's certainly encouraging me to play around and experiment a bit... nothing mind blowing, but, anything that gets you to pick up the instrument and play is a good thing Wink
The trick is to make tasteful and appropriate use of it in application (outside of just playing at home)... Delay is easy to over use or use wrong. I'll have to watch for that.
Ankhanu on Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:21 pm

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