- Tap-tempo delay pedals help you stay in time with your band and recordings.
- What are the different types of delay?
- Here are the best delay pedals with tap tempo.
Delay is a super common guitar effect that is typically used to give your guitar sound some extra space. There are a variety of different types of delay effects, from vintage-inspired sounds based on tape delay machines, to modern DSP-based processing for unique rhythmic sounds.
One thing that many delay pedals feature is a “tap tempo” switch or button that allows you to sync your delay time to other sources, whether it’s your bandmate or your computer as you record.
While tap tempo isn’t a requirement for a delay pedal to operate, it does allow you to play with much more precision. In this article, we’ll look at 7 great sounding delay pedals on the market today that all feature tap tempo.
7 Best Delay Pedals With Tap Tempo
EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run
The Avalanche Run is a dreamy stereosonic exploratory multi-tool that includes up to 2 seconds of delay time, reverse delay, tap tempo with subdivision control, switchable true bypass or buffered bypass with 5 different tail lengths.
While every EarthQuaker pedal pays homage to the great sounds and equipment of the past, they are always innovating and making unique new products with familiar sounds, and the
All in all the
The DD-200 features 12 different delay modes that cover everything from the classic
One of the best features of the DD-200 is the ability to save up to 4 different presets, which gives you a ton of flexibility. You can even save these presets to your computer, or use the provided library of up to 127 different presets to have a wide range of different delay effects in a convenient package.
One other awesome feature of this pedal is the ability to assign the footswitches to different functions. While the standard option assigns them to the bypass, tap, and loop functions, you can set up foot-switchable control of the delay tails, a hold function, and a whole host of other options to create your own unique setup.
All in all the DD-200 packs a ton of features into a compact pedal package, and while it is a fully digital pedal, it sounds fantastic.
From pristine digital delay to warm and warbly tape echo, reverse and modulated delays, cascading octave delay and shimmer… even an exquisite Deluxe Memory Man emulation. There are ten different effects in all plus a fully featured looper.
This means you can set the tempo by simply tapping the footswitch in time after you’ve engaged the effect, and it will “adapt” to the tempo after you’ve given it at least 2-3 clicks.
It’s a great space-saving feature that is surprisingly accurate, it syncs well to backing tracks and other musicians you are playing with. The pedal also features an external footswitch connector so that you can add an external tap tempo switch if desired.
The other great thing about the
These are accessible by holding the tap divide button and adjusting the delay and feedback knobs to control the secondary functions.
If that wasn’t enough, the onboard looper features up to 62 seconds of recording time and unlimited overdubbing. While it’s not as complex as a dedicated loop pedal, the fact that it’s even included in a pedal that already has 10 different delay types adds so much to the value.
While all of the delay types in the
The sample and hold feature is a really cool effect that takes a sample of whatever note or chord you play and repeats it indefinitely until you play something else, which is awesome for creating some really cool stutter effects that are impossible to achieve otherwise.
MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe
The Carbon Copy Deluxe Analog Delay adds a bevy of new features to fine-tune the warm, organic sound that has made the original the bestselling analog delay in the world. With extended delay time-now up to 1.2s-and tap tempo functionality, you now have more control over your Carbon Copy repeats than ever.
The Carbon Copy Deluxe expands on the feature set of the original with up to 1.2 seconds of delay time (the original had 600ms), while still maintaining all of the same rich tones found in the original.
The biggest feature that the Deluxe adds is a tap tempo switch, earning it a place in this article. It also features a delay divide function that you can see on the LED screen in the middle of the pedal, allowing for both simple subdivisions of the delay tempo as well as dotted and triplet divisions.
The pedal also features an expression pedal input which can be set to control any of the controls onboard, and you can also save presets. For better or for worse, the presets only recall delay time, but the mix and feedback settings are not affected.
If you dig the sound of analog delay and want a fully-featured pedal, the
Wampler Faux Tape Echo
It combines the clarity, lower noise, and longer delay times of a digital delay with an all-analog dry path and the lovely warmth of an analog delay. This pedal does everything from country slap-back to ambient washes to straight-ahead rock and metal delay.
What I like about the
Another great feature is the footswitch-able subdivision button. While lots of expanded delay pedals feature tempo subdivisions, the
All in all, the
Eventide TimeFactor Delay
The TimeFactor is another hugely versatile delay unit, but with a markedly different flavor from other multi-effects units. All of the delay functions in the TimeFactor use
The TimeFactor also features USB connectivity to update and load new sounds into the pedal and create custom patches.
One of the most unique features of the TimeFactor is the multi delay function. While many pedals feature rudimentary multi-tap delays, the TimeFactor is much more sophisticated on this front. You can use complex multi-rhythm delays to create incredible studio-quality soundscapes.
One thing to note about the TimeFactor is that it’s unashamedly digital, so if you’re looking for warm analog or tape delay flavors, this might not be the best box for that (though there is a tape echo setting you can try out).
The TimeFactor succeeds at taking the studio hi-fi quality of
Strymon Effects (El Capistan, Dig, Brigadier)
They have a large line of great delay and reverb effects. I refuse to pick just one because they are all fantastic!
The El Capistan, Dig, and Brigadier are full-featured compact pedals that emulate a tape echo, a digital delay, and a bucket brigade delay respectively. The cool thing about these pedals is that they add a secondary control function to every knob on the pedal, which was something I was initially unaware of.
This allows you to have a simple interface to control major parameters, and a clean method of digging deeper to modify your sound without having to menu dive.
While each of these effects only covers one “type” of delay, they do the job incredibly well.
Rather than “water down” their larger delay units like the Timeline with their more compact pedals, they decided to keep the full DSP processing and instead focus on each delay style.
This makes it perfect for a player who might only want the tone of an analog delay, but more refined control of the parameters. I couldn’t really decide on any one of these delays because they all have fantastic and usable sounds in them, so you can’t really go wrong choosing any of them.
Personally, I have an El Capistan and it’s an incredibly useful delay. It’s based on classic Tape Echos, but since it has a “tape head” switch you can essentially change the way the pedal reacts so that it can sound like a Space Echo, Echoplex, or even the very elusive Echorec pedal (famously used by David Gilmour). And while you still get the classic “slowly degrading” character of a tape echo, every repeat still feels clear and doesn’t get too muddy.
Hopefully, this list gave you some great ideas for tap-tempo delay pedals, and you were able to work out which one best suits your needs. I fully stand behind the sounds you can get out of any of these pedals, and know that these options should definitely be on your radar if you’re after a cool new pedal.
Looking to change up your pedalboard? We’ve got you covered!