With such a wide variety of delay effects on offer in today’s pedal market, the eternal quest for the perfect reflection can at times feel a little overwhelming. Our innovative friends over at Finland’s Mad Professor Amplification have taken successful steps and eliminated the guesswork from this arduous decision making, harkening back to the good old days while striking a harmony with the present.
Just as the name implies, the Dual Blue Delay is a hybrid of digital and analogue circuitry featuring two very distinctive delay channels with their own set of tweakable parameters. Each row gives you full control over the individual delay level, tone, repeats, and time for shaping unique combinations.
The ‘short’ side elaborates on the already excellent Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay which adopted the vintage charm of the Maestro Echoplex EP-3 tape machine for rich, warm tones. With a range of 35 – 215ms, you can easily achieve slap back sounds or dial in an ‘always on’ setting that thickens up your tone and leaves some headroom to explore and add other effects pedals such an octave or some subtle chorus.
The ‘long’ side provides a much brighter voice at 35 – 810ms which is great for modern ambience. Depressing the mode switch on the left lets you toggle between delays and holding it for one second puts them in parallel, allowing you to merge the two for enormous results. This interplay between duelling signals is where the Dual Blue really stands out. The repeats sound very natural, it plays nicely with distortion, and it doesn’t step all over my notes as I play. Tapping the same switch engages the tap tempo which responds accurately without affecting your settings.
Holding the bypass switch on the right for one second employs the pedals ‘multi head’ functionality. This produces rhythmic patterns reminiscent of legendary equipment used by Pink Floyd in many of their recordings and live performances, such as the Binson Echorec unit. I spent some time experimenting with different speeds and for the first time in a while, I found myself zoning out to the noises I was making, as I was making them; a very welcome distraction.
I was surprised to learn that Mad Professor had even gone as far as adding the option to change between direct and inverted phases for the multi head mode, a behavioural quality of old tape gear that seemed to vary between manufacturers and models. You can hear the subtleties in the high end of the dry signal as you alternate between the modes. It’s such a small tonal detail, but a neat little addition to an already impressive feature set.
As well as the standard mono in and mono out jacks, there is an added echo-only output, allowing you to route the wet signal to other effects or mixers for additional soundscapes. In addition, it is possible to change between buffed bypass and true bypass by holding down the on / off switch when the pedal is being powered on.
All of this delivered is in a simplistic, intuitive design with a small form factor. Mad Professor have really outdone themselves here, and I believe they’ve achieved exactly what they set out to do; to consolidate famous echo sounds of the past and present them in a contemporary fashion with an easy to use interface. You’ll be spending much less time scrolling through presets and navigating sub menus, and spending more time feeling inspired.
Thanks to our friends at Dunphy Imports, we're giving away a Mad Professor pedal bundle this month. Head to our Giveaway section for your chance to win.
Hits and Misses
The versatility of the ‘multi head’ function
Interplay between duelling signals sounds very natural