Should I get the Strymon Volante or the El Capistan?

Ask the DudeA reader’s question to the Dude:

“I am torn between the Strymon Volante and the El Capistan.
I have seen your video a million times and am still not sure. I like the rhythmic possibilities you can get with the Volante, the rec level knob which can add some dirt to the repeats, the 3 delay types and the 4s max delay time.
But I am tempted with the warm sound, and the simplicity of the El Capistan.
I want the unit as a main delay (currently have a Boss DD7 which will stay on the pedalboard as a second delay).
Do you think it is worth it to lose that extra warmth for all that pros of the Volante?
Currently, I am playing a Les Paul through a Bugera 5W tube amp.
I mostly play ambient and progressive to blues rock (Huge Pink Floyd fan).
Also, if you have the time, what is your favorite (or favorites) delay pedal(s) and why?”

DelayDude:

Thanks a lot for your email! On my pedalboard, the El Capistan was a permanent pedal for a long time. But now, the Volante has replaced it. Personally, I think, the handling is much easier because it has no secondary functions like the El Capistan. Every pot has its own function and can be tuned without difficulty.
And as you already mentioned, the rhythmical repeats of the switchable, virtual tone heads offer endless possibilities.

Of course, the El Capistan also offers two different rhythm modes as well, but they do by far not reach those of the Volante. Not only activating certain tone heads, but also the option “full/half volume” of the tone heads produces completely different emphases of the repeats.
Rec Level provides Gain and thereby is able to make some low gain overdrive pedals superfluous.

Sonically, the three types of delays vary a lot and frequently, people forget, that the sound additionally can be altered by the half, normal or double speed setting of the tape.
Using the tape setting on half speed and a slightly turned down wear pot (which reduces the treble), you will get close to the sound of the El Capistan.

With your Les Paul and its Humbuckers in combination with the Volante, you ought to create a really, really nice sound. Especially because of the fact that you are a Pink Floyd fan, the Volante (with its Drum sounds) is perfect for you.

My two favorite delays which are both on my pedalboard are in fact the Volante – amongst many other things because of the external tap and midi- input (this is why I might be a bit biased) and the Empress Echosystem which I use for reverse, pitch and digital sounds.

Ambient pedalboard setup

Ask the DudeSeveral times, people asked me, how to assemble the perfect ambient pedalboard.
For this reason, I would like to sketch my very personal design of my pedalboard for ambient and soundscaping sounds in this article. Continue reading “Ambient pedalboard setup”

Reverse delays

Tips & tricksAlmost since musicians used tape recording, there are also reverse delays. Very early artists like the Rolling Stones or Jimi Hendrix experimented with this type of delay sounds. At those days, creating reverse delays was pretty complicated because the recording tapes had to be cut and played backwards. Continue reading “Reverse delays”

Effect History: Multi Digital Delays – Current developments (Part 3)

Effect PedalIn part 1 and 2 I have dedicated myself to the beginnings of multi digital delays and the second generation of this kind of pedals.
Recently there occurred some new developments concerning delays, so I would like to present the latest multi delays. Continue reading “Effect History: Multi Digital Delays – Current developments (Part 3)”

Analog pedals vs. digital emulations

Ask the DudeFrequently the question arises which kind of pedal to chose: an analog one or a digital emulation?

It almost seems to be an article of faith and this is why I would like to illuminate this controversal issue. Continue reading “Analog pedals vs. digital emulations”

New Delays in 2017

2017 numerous new pedals were put on the market. Especially for delays it seems that the Golden age has come. There have been some interesting innovations for both, the analog (because of the reissue of the MN2005-chip) and the digital delays. Continue reading “New Delays in 2017”