AD4096 Analog Delay
ENDANGERED AUDIO RESEARCH AD4096 ANALOG DELAY
One of the first few we made is currently out on tour with Tyler Ramsey of Band of Horses, the next one went out with John Baizley of Baroness. Matt Johnson of U.S. Christmas (USX) is now swirling in the harmonic cloud of the AD4096. Emeralds textural maestro John Elliott is also currently touring with the AD4096 watch for Emeralds at Moogfest Oct. 29-31 right here in asheville. Bands love this unit, so do we, we're sure you will, too, watch for more videos!!
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The AD4096 is one of the most flexible analog delays available today and is packed with never-before-seen features and functionality. There are four main controls: Time, Depth, Delay, & Echo. In addition, there are four switches: (Normal) o /∞ (Infinity), Wet/Dry Out, Expand, and Bypass. Finally, by removing the back panel, you may access internal trimpots that may be tweaked: Bias, Clock Speed, and Clock Null.
Time increases (to the left) or decreases (to the right) the space between the delays. With factory settings, the Time ranges betwen 20 and 300ms.
Depth controls the number of repeats. It is highly interactive with the Delay and Echo settings; depending on where they are set, the Depth can self-oscillate if turned up enough.
Both Delay and Echo controls how much of the wet signal is mixed into the Output Jack, though each has its own unique characteristics. Delay gives a familiar dusky analog quality. The Echo control, however, imparts a glittery, lo-fi halo of high frequency harmonics and noise and is reminiscent of an analog tape echo. Also, with the Delay already turned up, try slowly increasing the amount of Echo. You will notice that it is literally an echo of the delay. Together, these two knobs give continuously subtle control of the mix and tone of your delay.
The o/∞ switch selects between two modes: o acts like a regular analog delay whereas ∞ introduces a hold function to the wet signal that captures the last few notes or chord played and repeats them infinitely without getting louder. The looped signal gradually loses definition over time and settles into the dominant tone of whatever was just played. Instead of constantly layering signal over signal until everything is completely washed out, new input tends to push out the old signal, maintaining tonal clarity. This mode is highly interactive with all of the controls, especially the Time control. When in ∞ mode, the normally red LED turns green.
The Wet/Dry Out switch on the back panel allows you to use the Aux Out Jack as either a Dry Out (unaffected) or a Wet Out (carrying only the delayed signal). This effectively splits your signal and allows you to continue through two separate signal chains. If you want to create a “spill-over” effect, connect the Mix Out Jack and the Aux Out Jack into two separate amplifiers and set the switch to Wet Out. Then, when you bypass the effect, your dry signal will pass unaffected to the first amp while the delayed signal will trail off in the second. With that same setup, you can engage the ∞ mode and use the Aux Out Jack to tap off the delays and the looped signal to another amplifier.
The Expand switch allows you to instantaneously increase the Depth to 100%, causing runaway self-oscillating feedback, but for only as long as you depress the switch. The normally red LED turns green when you engage the Expand function. Because of a pecularity of the circuit, if the Depth is turned all the way down (to the left), the Expand switch turns into a momentary effect bypass switch. This is normal, and, depending on how it’s used, can be very musically useful, allowing you to momentarily play a “clean” passage before returning to the delayed signal.
The Bypass switch is true bypass. Even when the signal is bypassed, however, the Aux Out Jack will still pass your dry or wet signal, depending on how the Wet/Dry switch is set.
Bias, Clock Speed, and Clock Null are all trimpots that are accessable by removing the bottom panel of the enclosure. Any tweaking of these parameters comes with a caveat: you may not like the changes you make, and you may find it difficult to “reset” these controls without a multimeter.
The Bias control has a relatively narrow window of operation, though with careful tweaking you may arrive at subtle tonal differences that won’t comprimise the pedal’s functionality. Clock Speed controls the range of the delay time. The factory standard is set to approximately 20ms (min) to 300ms (max) but by turning the trimpot you can get slightly faster and slower delay times. Note, however, that all you are doing is shifting the range of 280ms up or down, so that if you make the longest delay longer, then your shortest delay will also get longer (and vice versa).
If you adjust the Clock Speed you will also likely have to adjust the Clock Null which helps minimize the amount of clock noise in the delays. This can easily be set by ear: first, turn the Echo knob all the way down and turn up the Delay knob. Start playing and turn the Clock Null until you find the “sweet spot” where the high-pitched whining goes away. You could also, if you wanted, deliberately introduce more clock noise to taste.
If you've been looking for the most tonally versatile analog delay out there, then you've just found it: the AD4096 by Endangered Audio Research.
The AD4096 features 100% analog circuitry and is hand-built and assembled right here in our shop. We use only through-hole components, and we make an effort to source environmentally-friendly components whenever possible. Our knobs are all high quality and custom-made in the USA. We also have all of our boxes custom powdercoated locally here in Asheville, NC.
- 20-300ms of analog delay
- Auxiliary out - switchable to pass either your dry or wet signal with a switch mounted on the back panel
- Switch for o or ∞ mode (Normal or Infinity). In o mode, you have a normal delay, but in ∞ mode, you have an infinitely repeating loop that hangs in the background without washing out your signal like Expand does and turns the normally red LED green
- Momentary "Expand" switch that shoots the Depth to 100% and also turns the normally red LED green
- Spill-over possible by using 2 amplifiers (for more, description above)
- Two different delay controls - "Delay" and "Echo" for both a clean and lo-fi delay sound that can be blended together
- High quality plate-through-hole circuitboard that is made to last
- Durable control faceplate - will withstand years of abuse
- Large, custom-made knobs that invite tweaking
- Locally powdercoated and drilled aluminum enclosure
- Hand-built and assembled in our shop to assure total quality control
- Footprint: 5.3" by 4.3"