Last week, we reviewed the new Ernie Ball Expression Ambient Delay guitar effects pedal (spoiler: we thought it was great). While the delay and reverb aspects of the pedal would make it a great buy on its own, the addition of a built-in expression pedal really ups the amounts of things you can do as a player. Many players out might not have much experience with delay and expression pedal combo so today we’d like to take the time to showcase some of the benefits the Expression Ambient Delay can add to your tonal toolset.
Real Time Control
The biggest benefit of incorporating an expression pedal as part of a guitar effect is the ability to control it in real time. This means you can add as much or as little of the delay and reverb effect even while in the middle of a solo or phrase, perfect for creating some very dynamic pieces to your playing.
Two Pedals In One
It is not uncommon for guitarists to incorporate two delay pedals in their signal chain – one for subtle splashes of color and the other for more pronounces, saturated echoes. The ability to control the delay effect with a quick sweep of your foot can give you exactly that – along with everything in between – all in one pedal.
Keeps Your Dry Guitar Signal Clean
There’s a reason why true bypass is a very popular feature seen in countless effects pedal as it allows your guitar’s dry signal to remain clean, meaning the natural tone of your instrument remains strong. When the Expression Ambient Delay is used in the heel down position (no effect), the guitar’s original signal passes through at low impedance, exactly how a true bypass pedal in the off position would act. But what the Expression Ambient Delay does that other true bypass pedals might not is that it keeps your dry signal clean even while adding the delay effect on top of it (rather than mixing the two together).
Harmonize Live On Stage
Did you know you can create huge harmonized sounds with nothing more than a delay pedal? Simply play your notes intervals ahead of the delayed signal for a fuller, lusher tone. It's the same way Queen's Brian May does it on stage. And once you're done, you can simply turn down the delayed effect with your heel and get right back into the song.
Country/Rockabilly Slapback Tones And More
If you're a fan of the signature Echoplex-type slapback delays made famous by legendary players such as Check Atkins and Scotty Moore, just lower each of the knobs on the Expression Ambient Delay to the 9 o'clock setting and you're good to go! Or if you want something a little closer to that distinctive ambient, chiming sound akin to U2's The Edge, simply set the expression pedal to around 50%.
Don’t Underestimate The Reverb
While it might not be displayed prominently in the name, the Expression Ambient Delay features a reverb effect that is good enough to stand on its own. From a slight, subtle echo to full on, spacious hall reverb, it is definitely something owners should take advantage of to get the most out of this pedal.
In Conclusion ...
The Ernie Ball Expression Ambient Delay is a versatile guitar effects pedal that has a lot to offer as far as tone and functionality goes. The tips we highlighted above is just a fraction of the benefits it can give to your sound. If you haven't heard it in action, make sure you check out the video below but believe me, this is a pedal you have to try out for yourself!
If you have any questions regarding the purchase of the Ernie Ball Expression Ambient Delay or any other piece of gear we carry, don't hesitate to chat with one of our friendly PAL pros by using the live chat feature below or by calling us toll-free at 1 877-671-2200!
Your Turn to Sound Off!
Have any other tips on the Expression Ambient Delay you'd like to share?