Megan L's Modulated Delay Device
We're so excited here at Swamp Witch to be working with Megan again! If this is your first time hearing about these excellent annotated demos, you should head over to Youtube and get better acquainted.
We're going to spend some time today going over Megan's demo of the Season of the Witch. And while we do so, we'll need to have some terms down to make talking about this a little easier. I try to avoid giving exact values, instead using words like "short" or "medium-short" to describe the settings. As well, for the two modulated settings (delay time and repeats), I will denote that the modulation is ON for that setting by saying so (a modulated delay vs. a short delay). And I will try to keep a consistent pattern and naming for describing how the modulation is setup, as well as organizing track descriptions (in italics) for the annotated video.
Through the Silver Birch in series mode for extra grit, Season of the Witch mid-blend, mid-boost (starts at unity-ish), medium repeats, modulated delay (switch on - knob does nothing) with a slow, small-depth modulation offset around a short-to-medium delay time using the sweep waveform
chords panned left
mid blend, mid boost, slightly more repeats, with a medium-fast, low-depth modulation offset around a medium delay on the random waveform
chords panned right
mid blend, mid boost, lots of repeats, with a medium-fast, low-depth modulation offset around a medium delay on the random waveform
mid blend, mid boost, short delay time, modulated repeats with a medium-fast, low depth modulation offset around more repeats, on the random waveform
Two excellent tricks with the Season of the Witch here! First is the slow, small-depth modulation on the delay for the melody. The slowness of the modulation allows it to be perceived, but more as 'movement in the sound' than 'vibrato or chorus' - a bit more subtle. The second is the random waveform for the chords and the bass. The random wave (and square random) are my favorite waveform(s) for creating organic feeling shifts and movement in the delay time and repeats
Mid blend, mid boost, medium repeats, modulated delay with a medium-slow, low-depth modulation offset around a medium delay time on the ramping waveform.
The slow pitch shifting can be felt, more than heard, but you can hear the "jump" on the ramp up, when the notes seem to suddenly shift in the sound. This shift can be used for a rhythmic downbeat, or to just add some strange color to your tone.
Wet blend, mid boost, medium-high repeats, modulated delay with a fast rate, low-depth modulation offset around a mid-to-long delay on the sine waveform.
Once the rate bumps above around 11 o'clock, until about 3 o'clock (seen here), the shifting delay time gives a strong vibrato feel, in addition to the delay. Megan uses this for excellent effect on the rhythm track, the panned right track with light overdrive (through the Silver Birch, again!), and the bass line -- all run through the EQD Ghost Echo for some extra sparkle, echo and depth.
A quick shoutout to the "bass line" here: using the Blues Driver to give the starting gain tone, then adding more grit and cutting the highs with the Silver Birch in series mode (which already boosts highs a bit) ,and boosting the lows gives such a nice, present-but-distant tone.
A nice, normal delay for you, because you're normal, right? None of that weird, pitch-bendy, warbling mess for you. Just some nice, simple short delay with light repeats. But as they say, there are many sights to see, and many different people to be ...
mid blend, mid boost, short-to-medium delay, modulated feedback with a fast rate, high depth modulation offset around a lot of repeats.
This gives an organic feel to the amount of repeats, cutting off sometimes and continuing to echo in other spots. It is one of my favorite ways to use the Season of the Witch. The ambient, natural feeling of the repeat swells can be increased by using either of the random wave forms, or by using an Expression or CV control to manually change the amount of feedback. An excellent addition to any post-rock, shoe-gaze or ambient pedal board.
Mid blend, mid boost, modulated delay AND feedback (in phase - long delay/long repeats) with a slow-rate, medium depth modulation offset around a longer delay, on the sweep waveform.
As the delay time lengthens, the number of repeats increases, which can amplify the cacophony and pitch shifting as each bent-repeat gets re-bent over and over.
Paired with the Champion Leccy Skitter before, and the EQD Ghost Echo after, we get a shimmer, sparkly, tremulous mess of descending tone that snaps back into line with the LFO. The Season of the Witch plays really well with other modulation and time-based effects, both pre- and post-pedal. As we see here, the echo afterward gives a little more depth and longevity to the Season of the Witch without adding more pitch-bending to the signal, and the reverb/tremolo of the Skitter on the input adds more breadth and movement to the signal. The Season of the Witch even plays well with drum machines, rhythm boxes and drones!
Mid blend, mid boost with medium repeats and a modulated delay with a very slow rate, low-depth modulation offset around a long delay.
We hear the lo-fi aspects of the PT2399 come to light here, with the static build-up and degraded tone from the longer delay times, accompanied by the subtle warped-vinyl feel of the changing longer delay times. And that does it for our writeup on Megan's demo of the Season of the Witch! Be sure to check out her other work -- her style is such an easy, intuitive way to see and hear pedals in action and in concert with each other.