Watch the Analog Delay online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Guitar Effects Survival Guide
The first analog delay units used magnetic tape to record the original signal and play it back shortly after. The most famous tape units are the Echoplex and the Roland Space Echo. As cool sounding as these units are they require a fair amount of maintenance and they are rather large and aren’t practical for the gigging musician. But boy do they sound good! Another early analog delay was the Binson Echorec, this unit recorded your guitar signal onto a magnetic disk much like a hard drive does. This unit was favored by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Analog delay pedals made their debut in the 70’s with the use of what was called bucket brigade chips. These chips move the signal down a line like the way an old bucket brigade would pass buckets of water down a line to put out a fire. The most famous of these pedals is the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. A fantastic sounding unit and U2’s The Edge original delay sounds were a Deluxe Memory Man used on "I Will Follow" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Some cool added features to the Memory Man is the added chorus effect you can put on the delays. This is one of the coolest delay pedals ever. Many pedals now digitally model the sound of an analog delay pedal and come very close with the added flexibility a digital delay pedal provides like extended delay times and tap tempo.