Beauty (meaning tone) comes in many different forms (of delay). It can be a handpainted Freakshow Digilog (tone is in the paint, of course), in the looks-so-boutique-you-know-it-sounds-good Skreddy Echo, or the calm, cool black of an Empress Vintage Modified Super Delay. For others, it might come in the form of a flanger. We humbly call those people wrong.
For me, it comes in the form of the spectrum of tonal light emanating from this pedal:
You don’t see the spectrum of tonal light? Not even emanating a little? Ya. I know. My little Arion SAD-1 looks as if it may at one time have been an effects pedal. I still don’t know how it’s working. I’ve re-taped those wires so many times, as the adapter jack is broken. And I never step on it; bypass looper only. I’m afraid, realistically I think, that if I step on it, it will disintegrate. But here’s the thing. I have delay pedals that can do more than this thing. I have delay pedals that sound better than this thing. I have delay pedals that are not in danger of developing a short in the wiring and frying my whole board. But I have yet to hear a delay do what this one does. There is a strangely dark, meshed quality to this pedal’s tone that almost seems to meld things together. Or even synthesize sounds. Like a chorus, but good. And I cannot get any delay pedal to sound like this one. And I’ve owned and played more delay pedals probably than anyone ever should. To me, this is the most beautiful one. I got it six years ago this December, at the now defunct Future Music on Sunset Boulevard. (Oh, how I loved that store. I still have dreams about it. No, for reals.) And it has been through pedalboard after pedalboard, and has seen hundreds of pedals come and go. Yet it’s still here. And well, I can’t sell something that looks like that, so…it always will be. But it would be anyway for the tone! hehe
To truly appreciate what this pedal can do, you really have to hear it. This is another new song I just recorded, and towards the middle/end of the video, I put the guitar down and start messing with the POG, and then this Arion. And you can hear the almost orchestral sound that starts as I turn the mix knob up. And sorry for yet another song, but it’s where all my spare time has been going lately. (Pedals that do not have homes yet, if you’re reading this, I’ll come back soon.) So here’s the new song, and this one is not tracked, but played straight through and looped live, while recorded via external microphone:
And you can hear what the Arion did. This is truly one of those beautiful, gorgeous sleeper pedals that we all dream of finding. I’ve never heard another delay, analog or digital, do what this one does. Just be careful not to breathe around them.
Now, I must mention that undoubtedly the best part of this video is that I obviously have no clue whatsoever on what to do with my hands when there is not a guitar in them. I had no idea I was doing that. If I had to guess, it looks like I’m first conducting the POG (inanimate object, folks), and then wofting the sound from the amp up towards my nostrils. Sounds like something I would do.
I am so awesome. Nope.