Golden Tones from a Unique Delay Pedal
We’ve been wanting to release a delay pedal for years, and now it’s finally here. The Dark Times is more than a standard delay – it’s got some sexy features which most other delay pedals (except for its big brother, the Holy Era Tap Tempo Delay Pedal) can only dream of. Features such as:
- Extended delay time
- Trails bypass – delay fades away organically even after you disengage the pedal
- Soft touch switching
- An effects loop to change the sound of the repeats with other effects pedals – with active blend control.
…Tasty. You want a video demo? Here’s the Dark Times Delay Pedal’s video demo:
Now you’ve heard what it can do, let’s take a closer look at what makes the Dark Times so desirable.
Analogue vs. Digital
The Dark Times uses pure analogue circuitry on the direct path, with digital circuitry providing the delay signals. Put simply, this means your original tone is kept purely analogue – only the delay repeats themselves are treated digitally. That’s why the Dark Times is more than just a digital delay – it’s ana-digi.
Don’t worry: the fact that the repeats coming from a digital chip doesn’t mean that the Dark Times is a cheap-sounding, sterile device. The PT2399 chip the Dark Times relies on is the spiritual successor of classic analogue bucket brigade chips, and gives warm, soulful, old-fashioned repeats. We push this chip to its limits, and as the delay time increases, the repeats get increasingly dark, glitchy, and grainy, just like the old tape echo units used to do. The Dark Times was designed to have old, warm, analogue-sounding repeats, making it a perfect antidote to the increasingly sterile, cold, soulless nature of pure digital delays.
Longer than your average delay pedal
Most other ana-digi delay pedals offer no more than 450 milliseconds of delay time. We increased than limit to approximately 950 milliseconds, because we could. You’re able to dial in anything, from country chicken-pickin slapback to wild, weird, spacey soundscapes. This pedal can make you sound like you’re at the bottom of a well five miles away, if you want it to. Or, keep it reigned in and you’ll be able to get a subtle, thickening, wonderful sounding delay. It’s all here.
Turning the Delay control while repeats are still sounding will change the pitch of the repeats, just like on a pure analogue delay such as the Boss DM-2 or MXR Carbon Copy. Playing around with this control is all kinds of fun, especially when playing around with the Repeats control at the same time.
Talking of which:
Chaotic Self Oscillation
Coaxing crazy self oscillation from old delay pedals could be tricky. Not so with the Dark Times. Crank the Repeats control beyond three-quarters, and the delay circuit will start to feed back into itself, getting louder as the repeats pile back on. This is great to experiment with, and creates unreal soundscapes.
In fact, it’s so much fun to play around with the Dark Time’s oscillations, you may forget to even play your guitar for minutes at a time.
Soft Touch Buffered Bypass – with Trails
We’ve broken from our standard true bypass with the Dark Times. Why? Because buffered bypass not only keeps your tone fresh and bright – essential at the end of your pedal chain, where the Dark Times will likely be placed – but because this way, you can hear the Dark Times’ repeats fading organically after you disengage the pedal.
If that’s all Greek to you, worry not – it’s simple to understand. A buffered bypass means that there’s a buffer always active when a pedal’s in your signal chain. A buffer acts like a boost pedal at 0, adding no tone coloration, distortion or volume increase. This arrangement means that when you turn the Dark Times off, you’ll be able to hear the delay fading away naturally – far better than the harsh, stark stop which true bypass would have offered.
Just to reassure you, the Dark Times uses the same buffer op-amp which features in the famously good, and famously expensive, Klon Centaur. You’re in good hands.
Oh – and the footswitch is soft touch as standard. No hard clicking footswitches here.
Effects Loop with Active Blend Control
We’ve saved the most exciting feature for last: you’re able to put other effects pedals in an effects loop to change the sound of the repeats, while keeping your original signal completely analogue. There’s all kinds of fun to be had with this – modulation, tremolo, distortion, pitch-shifters, or any combination of external effects units can help you create delay sounds which no one else has ever created in history.
There’s even a blend control on the pedal, so you can choose to have your repeats pure, fully affected, or any ratio in between. Half-distorted, half-clean… limit a tremolo just a little… dial in a subtle suggestion of pitch shift to achieve a “shimmer” U2 style reverb… you’re limited only by your imagination. The Dark Times is perhaps the only ana-digi delay pedal that allows you to do this.
The effects loop uses switched jacks, meaning that if there’s nothing plugged in to the effects loop, the blend control and effects loop will be bypassed completely. Handy, no?
Buy a Dark Times Delay Pedal Now!
It makes more sense than practicing!
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Evan (verified owner) –
Absolutely love it!! The self-oscillating just blows me away. Used it with a self-oscillating reverb pedal and disappeared for about a week!!!!
Seriously though, I find it much easier to use than other pedals I’ve tried and the controls are so tweakable but I found it so easy to get a sound that suits me perfectly that I’ve always struggled to find in other delays. HAving so much fun I almost forgot about the effects loop for a few days. Have thrown phasers, reverbs, univibes and even other delays through it and it always just makes me smile as well as actually being sooo usable.
AAAAnd it’s built like a freaking tank!!
FAntastic job, fantastic tones and just an all round fantastic pedal. THank you Ben!!!