Analog Delay vs Digital Delay
Analog and Digital delay are two different methods to produce sound effect in music. Delay is a word commonly used in the world of music, especially by those who play guitars. This is actually a device that produces an echo effect by taking the input sound signal and then playing it after a time gap. It is possible to play the sound multiple numbers of times to produce the echo effect. Sometimes even a dying echo effect is produced using delay. Two main types of delay being used today are analog and digital delays. While both are popular, it is necessary to understand the difference between analog delay and digital delay to choose one that matches your requirements.
Analog delay was introduced in 70’s as a strong need was felt by guitarists to have a portable echo box that was also inexpensive. This device just took the input sound, recorded it and played back at the chosen time lag. On the other hand, in digital delay, the input sound is first converted into digital sound or in a series of 0’s and 1’s just like a binary language and then replaying this signal. It is clear then that the major difference between the two delays is that while the original sound is replayed in analog delay, digital version of the original sound is reproduced in digital delay. Other major differences are that digital delay is not only cheaper and better; it also takes very little space in comparison to analog delay.
There are many who feel that analog delay is better as it gives a soft feeling. This is because of the loss of strength of the signal in the region of high frequency which gives the effect of being soft with low bass. This effect cannot be created using a digital delay as there is no loss in the strength of the signal. Hence, the echoes used through digital delay are all same in intensity as the original sound. However, there are many who say that digital delay is far better as it has got longer durations. In comparison to durations of milliseconds (max 350-300 ms) that can be produced using analog delay, delay of a few seconds is possible through digital delay. This feature is of great significance for a guitarist as he can control the sound effect in a much better manner. While delay is set using manual knobs in analog delay, digital delay is much more advanced and there are settings that mean a musician does not have to change them every now and then.
Despite there being so many differences, there are still musicians who prefer to use analog delay. It is thus clear that it is a matter of personal choice. However, more and more musicians are today going in for digital delay as it offers more possibilities and options to them.
• Analog and Digital delay are two different methods to produce sound effect in music
• Analog delay just records the original sound and replays after a time lag, while digital delay converts input into digital signals and then replays.
• The sound effect produced using analog delay produces a softer sound as there is loss of signal strength which is not the case with digital delay.
• The duration of delay is very little in analog, while it is longer in digital delay.
• Digital delay makes available more options and settings.