As far as delay sounds go, most guitarists fall into one of two camps. The first being those who want crystal clear digital sounds, and the latter who are chasing a bit of warmth or grit. TC Electronic’s EchoBrain is designed with those players in mind, offering a classic all-analogue bucket brigade design that’ll keep your repeats nice and toasty — perfect for recreating the vintage tones of the 60s and 70s.
The first thing you’ll notice about the EchoBrain is its satisfying weight and solid construction. With three large knobs to control time, mix and repeats, it’s a solid example of how keeping things simple is often best. Within today’s climate of endlessly tweakable delay pedals with copious amounts of knobs, it’s refreshing to see an effect that’s bucking the trend and doing its own thing.
With the time and repeat controls set at their shortest, you’ll get a tasty slapback delay that’s perfect for some old school twang, rockabilly and country.
Because of the analogue degradation of the repeats, you can crank up the mix without it overwhelming the original signal. This is particularly handy with longer delay settings, with the overall effect turning into a wash of sound. Once you find the sweet spot on the mix knob, the result is nothing but lush.
With up to 300ms of delay time on tap, the EchoBrain offers more than enough room to move for most players. Maxing out the repeats knob will get you into some gnarly self-oscillation, proving that this pedal can push things out into the experimental spectrum too. Messing with the time knob will alter the pitch of the oscillation, ranging from shrieking highs to a low-end rumble that sounds like a helicopter in full flight.
Lower settings on the time control with a light touch on the mix will offer a pleasing faux-reverb tone, while dialling up the mix a little more is enough to add a touch of warmth and width to an otherwise dry signal. Capping it off, the top mounted jacks are a nice touch, as is the EchoBrain’s compact size.
We’ve reached a point in guitar technology where modern day creations can represent the sound of the past in an easy to use, affordable format, and the EchoBrain is a prime example of that.
Hits and Misses
Faithfully recreates vintage tones that we all know and love
For what it sets out to do, there’s no criticism here