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Exploring the DOD Rubberneck analogue delay
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Exploring the DOD Rubberneck analogue delay

Delay pedals really are 10 to the dozen. With analogue delays enjoying a renaissance in recent times, the Rubberneck needs to impress in order to sit above the noise. When I first encountered the Rubberneck, it left an impression; it oozed character and provided me with the inspiration to come up with the demo for our previous Musician’s Blog post [You can check that out here]. For this segment I wanted to put that experience aside and approach the pedal with a fresh perspective. I wanted to see how versatile I could make the pedal sound as well as how effectively I could make the Rubbernecking and Regeneration features in musical examples.

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #1/6 Warm Quarter Note

For this example I wanted to demonstrate the characteristics of the Rubberneck’s Bucket Brigade Device design. With all BBD delays, the longer you set the delay time, the more high-end you will lose on your repeats and so with this example, I set the delay time to around 500ms and played in-between the delay repeats to demonstrate this effect as much as possible. I also used the Rubberneck’s internal modulation to slowly modulate the repeat pitch to get some subtle pitch movement. One of the best features of the Rubberneck is that the Rubberneck Rate mini-pot displays the modulation speed and depth in a traffic-light colour scheme; slowly pulsating from green to amber.

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #2/6 Choppy Dotted Eighth

For this example, I wanted to see how ‘digital’ I could make the Rubberneck perform. I cranked the Tone control and turned off the internal modulation to try and get the pedal’s repeat characteristics as clean as possible. I then switched the Tap Ratio to the dotted-eighth note setting whilst I played a simple straight eighth-note riff to achieve the choppy, doubled-up rhythmic effect that has been heard on countless records. The trick to achieve this effect is to keep the repeats to a minimum (2-4 max) and raise the level control until the delay repeats sit just slightly underneath the dry guitar. The beauty of the Rubberneck’s BBD design is that even with the tone all the way up, the repeats still sit nicely beneath the dry guitar signal so that the player can still lead the sound with the repeats supporting and not getting in the way.

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #3/6 Dirty Pad

For this example, I increased the Gain control to introduce some saturation from the Rubberneck’s internal circuits. By increasing the Delay Time, Repeats and Level whilst using the guitars volume control to create swells, you can really use the Rubberneck to fill the space and create a ‘pad’ type effect. For this example I also started to explore the two performance features, Regen and Rubberneck. 

The Regen footswitch essentially enables a second repeats control that can be switched in and out using the footswitch. For this example, I used the footswitch as a Repeat hold-style control to hang on the delay repeats whilst I played over the top (0:30). The other performance feature is the ‘Rubberneck’ feature which essentially adjusts the Time control to create extreme pitch shifting effects. I set the Rubberneck to increase the pitch by an octave when it was switched on (0:50), but this effect works the other way too; as demonstrated at the end of the video when I dropped the pitch by an octave by holding the Rubberneck footswitch down and releasing after I played the note (1:00). 

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #4/6 Pitch Shifter

For this example I really wanted to explore the possibilities of the ‘Rubberneck’ feature by utilising the Rate control. For this example I set the Rubberneck rate to its maximum setting which means that the pedal will half the delay time instantly to achieve an octave-up pitching effect. I also placed the Rubberneck before my guitar amp so that I can run the delay repeats into the overdrive coming from the amp. If set correctly, this method can create some interesting effects as the amp can compress and distort the delay repeats to merge with the dry signal unlike effects loops where the amps overdrive is just being repeated (You can hear this compression effect at 0:49, notice how the dry guitar cuts through the wash of repeats). For this demo I also started off with the Rubberneck footswitch engaged, this effectively gave me 2 separate delay times, one when the Rubberneck is off (~¼ note delay) and one when it is active (~1/16 note delay). By using the Regen and Rubberneck features in conjunction with each other I created some extreme Whammy-esque octave-up effects (0:36). 

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #5/6 Solo Tone

No delay pedal is worth its salt if it can’t backup a great solo. For example 5, I tried to use the Rubberneck to fill the space for a guitar lead line whilst also staying out of the way of the dry guitar. The Rubberneck excels in this regard as the repeats are warm and sit out of the way whilst still providing the required effect. You can also use the Regen footswitch to create some extra ambience on key motifs (0:38).

DOD Rubberneck Showcase - #6/6 Reverse-verb waves

For the final example, I utilised the Rubberneck’s built-in effects loop to insert a DigiTech Polara reverb in-between the pedal’s delay repeats and the output. Placing a pedal in this position allows me to affect the delay repeats of the Rubberneck whilst being able to switch both the effect and the pedal in the loop off or on by using the Rubberneck’s bypass footswitch.

For this setting I used the Rubberneck in ‘On-No Dry’ mode to cut the guitars dry signal and then used the Polara in the reverse mode which again cuts the dry signal of the rubberneck for a complete immersive pad sound. You could also use the effects loop to insert a pitch shifter into the pedal for ‘shimmer’ style effects.

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