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Watch the Time-Based Effects online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

Initially the idea behind using a volume pedal at all came from my first guitar hero via my first guitar hero—let me explain. My oldest brother Louis (my first guitar hero), who put an ES-175 in my hands while in elementary school, had a mammoth Morley volume pedal at his feet because of his admiration for the great Steve Howe (his guitar hero, which like any other little brother, I assimilated to be my first bona fide hero). After hearing Lou play the volume swelled intro melody from “To Be Over” from Relayer again and again, the concept stuck. As for delay, I wanted nothing more than to play the dotted eighth note induced main riff from “Another Brick in the Wall”. After saving enough dough I got my first Boss delay, a DD-3 I still have today, and I was hooked. At the same time I discovered The Edge and Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for the movie Birdy and the rest is history.

When it comes my delay pads or clouds concept, it’s basically the Steve Howe swells combined with the approach I heard The Edge going for on The Unforgettable Fire album (listen to the title track). The trick is to attack the strings before you start the swell so as not to inject any identifiable transients that can get captured within the delay stream. What I’m going for is a constant stream of sound that just floats. In addition, the whammy bar plays a huge roll here, too. I use it to modulate whatever it is I’m feeding into the delay to deepen the overall sound much what the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man does with it’s modulaion section.

To give you a more in-depth example, here’s another offering from Solitaire, called “Security Blanket”. It’s 5:56 of pure delay clouds with another one of my Buono-isms—complex changes.

Steve Howe
The Edge