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#tuesdaytip - 02.16.2020

Analog vs. Digital Pedals - What’s the difference? Is one better than the other?


Digital pedals require the audio signal has to pass through an analog to digital (A/D) converter. The A/D converter allows the effect to perform the necessary algorithms to alter the sound, after which the signal passes through a digital to analog (D/A) converter and is then sent to the output.


With an analog pedal, the unadulterated signal is processed with minimal translation from input to output.


Basically, the difference between an analog and digital pedal is that the analog effect is continuous, while the digital effect is the sum of a number of individual points. It’s this continuity within the analog signal that provides that ‘pure’ or ‘warm’ sound. Digital pedals cannot sample at a high enough speeds to compute an entire analog signal, meaning a digital pedal can only do so much in so little time.


An analog pedal, though, will alter the analog signal with the subtle differences created by resistors, capacitors and transistors, the results of which are infinite. However, this is the one area where analog effects fail to stand up to digital ones…


For example, an analog delay pedal will often use a bucket-brigade device (BBD) that pushes the signal through a series of capacitors, one step per clock cycle, which often results in variances in sonic character from step to step. Digital delay pedals use digital signal processing (DSP) chips that allow for the manipulation and control of the delay.


🔻Analog & Digital effects we recommend:

🔹@strymonengineering Mobius/TimeLine/BigSky

🔹@jhspedals Panther Cub Analog Delay // Lucky Cat Digital Delay

🔹@bossfx_us DD-7 Digital Delay // DM-2W Delay

🔹@walrusaudio Julia Analog Chorus // Lillian Analog Phaser

🔹@ehx Deluxe Memory Man // Stereo Memory Man w/ Hazarai


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