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The charm of the Flash­back is that it essen­tially gives you the option of using three dif­fer­ent delays at once, which opens up a world of cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties. But first, let’s look at the con­trols. There are 16 delay types at your dis­posal: four pro­gram­ma­ble TonePrint slots (which you can either cre­ate your­self on the free app or select artist pre­sets, then beam them to your pedal via a smart­phone or USB); Tape, Tube, Space, Ana­log, Ana­log Mod­u­la­tion, Reverse, Dynamic (i.e.: the vol­ume of the repeats fades back under­neath your notes until you stop play­ing), 2290, 2290 Mod­u­la­tion, Slap, LoFi and Ping Pong. You’ll see the stan­dard con­trols for Time, Repeats and Mix, plus a Tap Tempo but­ton and a Sub­di­vi­sion knob which lets you select every­thing from quar­ter notes to triples and all the way up to sev­eral kinds of dual delays. There’s a Series/Parallel switch for select­ing whether your three dif­fer­ent delays run into each other or occur along­side each other, and a Delay 1/2/3 switch lets you dial in com­pletely inde­pen­dent set­tings for each of your three delay set­tings one at a time using the same con­trols. Around the back you’ll find stereo inputs and out­puts, an expres­sion pedal back, a USB port and MIDI In/Thru jacks. The unit itself is quite big and chunky, but you want a pedal like this to be eas­ily acces­si­ble rather than so small that you risk acci­den­tally turn­ing on effects when you don’t want to.


The pos­si­bil­i­ties here are end­less. You can cre­ate all sorts of inter­est­ing rhyth­mic and tex­tural moods. You can set up three otherwise-identical delays with dif­fer­ent times to cre­ate stag­gered rhyth­mic delays, or you can dial in com­pletely dif­fer­ent delay sounds alto­gether and either feed them into each other or run them all along­side each other. The abil­ity to stack dif­fer­ent delays means you can build ten­sion across the pro­gres­sion of a song or solo by start­ing with one delay type and build­ing to three as appro­pri­ate. One of my favourite delay tricks has always been the 80s trick of hav­ing a very short sin­gle repeat, then a ping pong delay set to eighth or quar­ter notes in par­al­lel. The great thing about the Flash­back Triple Delay is that you can pull off this trick and then add a third delay in par­al­lel too — and Devin Townsend’s spacey, mod­u­lated, washy TonePrint works really well for this.


Every­one should run to a store right now to try the Flash­back Triple Delay. This is such a great idea that it’s kind of amaz­ing nobody’s done it this way before. That’s before you con­sider the incred­i­ble range of sounds avail­able by using your own TonePrints or those of a favourite artist. Every­thing is so well thought out, well imple­mented and well voiced that this one has usurped the mighty TC Elec­tronic Flash­back X4 Delay as my favourite cur­rent dig­i­tal delay unit.