With a huge plethora of delay pedals on the market it’s increasingly difficult to get excited over a new design, especially a new take on a vintage analogue delay.
When DOD’s new delay pedal was announced, all of usual buzzwords were on display; 100% Analogue, tap tempo, beat divisions, 1.5 seconds of delay, internal modulation… but I certainly wasn’t expecting the words ‘Rubbernecking’ and 'Regeneration’. This peaked my interest. What was Rubbernecking? How does it sound? What does it do? How could I use it in a real-world situation? All questions I was eager to answer when I was tasked with creating a video for it.
From the minute I opened the box, the Rubberneck oozed inspiration. Not only did it look great and do all of the right delay-stuff in the right ways, it had a sublime internal chorus circuit (Worthy of its own pedal!) and had a tone about it that made the pedal present... but never getting in the way. Analogue delays are famous for sitting back, but not in the way that this pedal does it. Tap Tempo worked as expected, the repeats control really went up to 11 - which is great- and the Gain control really helped add a bit of extra dirt to the repeats.
I was underway with writing the material for the video instantly. Pressing and holding the Regen foot switch does this excellent thing where it overrides the pedal's current Repeat control with a secondary option set by the mini LED pot. I boosted the mini pot value so that I can make the pedal oscillate at the press of a switch.
For the ‘Chorus’ section of the piece, I added a big helping of the built-in modulation. A little goes a long way with the depth control, and I found that setting the rate slow really gave the sound a gentle movement that wasn’t off-putting, but it was missed when bypassed. The mini LED also pulses in a traffic light system that corresponds with the modulation rate and depth value - a great touch!
The real fun began when I began exploring the ‘Rubbernecking’…
This switch can make the pitch of the delay soar into the high heavens or shake the earth depending on the value of the mini pot. I was very conscious to try and use this feature in the most musical way possible because whilst these things can be great party pieces, it has to work in the real world.
I adjusted the Mini pot until the pitch dropped to exactly an octave below my guitar (around the 25% mark), I then held the ‘Regen’ foot switch, activated the Rubbernecking and... hey presto, I was off recording the Chorus section to the video. I would never of even thought of a part like that in a song before I heard the Rubberneck. Sure, delay pedals can make swooshing pitch effects by turning the time control all-day-long, but none do it so tunefully and consistently as the DOD Rubberneck.