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BOSS Guitar Pedal Overview: Delay/Reverb

When you're looking for guitar pedals, there are many things to consider and research. There's one question that most people who are shopping for stompboxes want to know the answer to: “What should I get?”. There are a lot of factors to consider on selecting the right stompbox.

Delay and reverb are two of the most common effects used by musicians. Delay is based on repeats which effects apply to a single note over time. Reverb affects the overall space of a track, adding a sense of atmosphere or depth. Both have been instrumental in creating some of the greatest records ever made!

different variety of guitar effect pedals placed in a wall for easy viewing

What Is A Delay Stompbox?

Delay effects are one of the most versatile tools in any guitar player’s arsenal. Delays can smooth out a solo note and add depth. They can push hard-hitting power chords into auditory orgasms of feedback. Plus, they can end a song with a flourish by echoing out a held chord.

At first glance, a delay stompbox may look like an effect that is best suited for psychedelic music. But nothing could be further from the truth. Its uses are infinite – from adding a sense of ambiance to your lead playing to creating a warm and textural backdrop for chords.

The delay pedal replays your signal with a slight time stamp. With a very short delay, you can use this to add a slapback effect, while longer delays create an echo effect. It’s useful when playing live since it can fill up empty spaces in your sound. Or, create cool rhythmic patterns that sound like you performed many takes tracked together.

Why You Should Get A BOSS Delay Stompboxes

A delay stompbox is a type of electronic effects unit used with electric guitar and bass. A delay unit records a sound, known as the “dry” mix of the instrument, and then replays it after a while. The “wet” sounds are played along with the original recording. This creates a playback effect that can add depth and complexity to the record output. While there are many types of delay units available on the market, most delay stompbox units function similarly.

With this in mind, let's dive into the world of stompbox-based delay. Examine how it works, what it sounds like, and what options you have when it comes to manipulating the effect.

Delay As An Effect Pedal

Delay is one of the most used effects in music production. Delay is so popular because it's applicable, easy to make and manipulate, and sounds good.

Think about that for a second. You hear a sound, then it gets recorded and what was once there comes back to you after a short time. That's a delay. It takes that original sound, records it, and stores it in memory. Then, it replays the sound that you've chosen. Not just the notes and the sound but also the actual vibrations in the air.

How Does Delay Stompbox Works?

The operation of a delay pedal is straightforward. But, its rather complex operation is one of the aspects that makes it so enjoyable to use on a daily basis! Let's dive into how a delay pedal works!

We are about to get into the nitty gritty of BOSS Delay Stompboxes. Here are the four main parameters that apply to all delay stompboxes:

  1. Effect level - It is the amount of the delayed signal concerning the dry/input signal.
  2. Delay time - It is the time between when the initial signal is sent, and when the delayed signal occurs.
  3. Repeats - It is the number of repetitions of the signal before the sound fades away.
  4. Feedback - a certain amount of the delayed signal that is returned to the delay line.

Let's listen to Johnny DeMarco as he shows how the delay pedal sounds in the recording studio or on stage.

BOSS Delay Stompboxes

TOP BOSS Delay Stompbox: DD-8 Digital Delay


product image of BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay


The new DD-8 is the latest BOSS compact series delay pedal. It's packed with lots of new features. These pedals come with 11 unique delay modes and looper capability. It’s the ultimate delay pedal that gives you a limitless range of great sounds.

This innovative stompbox also features infinite overdubbing, a dedicated dry blend control, and a USB audio interface that opens up exciting possibilities with computer software. With the DD-8, you’ll never run out of great delay sounds again.

The DD-8 is a beast. The new modes bring a whole host of new effects that are not present before. The looper is useful, the stereo and reverbs are fantastic, and the harmonizer is sure to impress.

What is a Reverb Stompbox?

The sound you make when you clap in a room, the roar of the ocean, a whisper…it’s all there on your recording. Where did the reverb go? This is the question that reverberated through studios in the late 50s. Reverb was everywhere, and it was messing up recordings. If we got rid of this reverb, we could get a better and clearer sound right? Well, yes and no. 

The great sound engineers at EMI in the 60s noticed that when they recorded in cathedrals, there was so much reverb. And, everything sounded distant, warm, and full. They started experimenting by sending reverbs to tape (then to disc). To bring them back on track and shape the sound of their recordings.

Reverb is one of those magic ingredients in music. It's that special something that can elevate a song from decent to something special. Every musician will have a unique approach to using reverb. Each chooses different amounts and settings to achieve their desired result.

In the absence of it, the world would be a dull place. But if we add even a tiny bit, then our mix comes alive. Reverb is an ingredient that improves any sound. Making it believable, but always supporting the lead instrument that you're mixing.

Should You Get a Reverb Stompbox?

Reverb is a ubiquitous effect in music, you see it everywhere. From massive halls to small rooms, guitarists love throwing a reverb pedal on their board. Because they get that extra bit of the sound they are looking for.

It is an effect that you'll find on the pedalboards of many guitarists. Reverb turns up on everything from guitar and vocals to synth. You might be wondering then,  what does reverb do? How does it work? Why do guitarists love it so much? We'll answer those questions below and more.

Reverb As An Effect Pedal

In the right situation, reverb can make any guitar part sound better. Reverb can fatten up single notes when they're playing over a chord. Or, used like a synth effect — oscillating long notes that fade in and out. You can find a reverb pedal in almost every professional recording studio. Because it is such an effective way to make your guitar sound HUGE!

The reverb effect, or “reverb” for short, is one of the most used effects in modern music. Whether it's a soft shoegaze sound with long repeats or a severe and haunting metal sound. Or, something in between, there's hardly a genre that doesn't use reverb.

The first thing to understand about reverb is that the term refers to the kind of effect, not the physical phenomenon. You can achieve Reverb effects with devices. Like spring reverbs and digital reverbs used in digital audio workstations. In physical terms, reverb is actually a very natural phenomenon.

Reverb pedals are devices that create a virtual version of the reverberation. The timing is at a certain place and at a certain time. This type of effect adds depth and ambiance to the natural sound coming out of an instrument or recording. The reverb pedal creates this artificial reverb by using advanced technology to generate it. You can use reverb on a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, keys, horns, and vocals.

How Does Reverb Pedal Work?

Ever heard, ‘it sounds like it's in a big room' or something close to that? That is reverb. Reverb is natural and creates great-sounding audio if you know how to use it correctly.

Hello and welcome to the reverb effect. I bet you've ever walked into a big concert hall or any cave for that matter. If yes, you've likely heard reverberation. It's made up of periodical repeating reflections of the original sound, or combination of sounds. We hear this as an echo or ghostliness of a sound which results in the feeling of space around us.

The four parameters that determine how a reverb effect sounds are as follows:

  1. Effect level - It discovers how much of the reverb-effected “wet” signal is heard, on the dry/input signal. The reverb effect should be adjustable to suit the music. It should also be responsive, so you can use the fader to increase or decrease its depth.
  2. Pre-delay - It is the amount of time between when a sound is made and when the reverb it produces begins. This simulates the initial reflections that we hear in real life.
  3. Decay time - It is how long it takes for the reverb signal to reach zero amplitude relative to the time it began. This resembles the behavior of real-world environments.
  4. Damping - The rate of decay for higher frequencies. Damping simulates materials that absorb sound in real-world environments.

Choose a warmth (decay time) and a size (reverb pre-delay) that's right for your music. It works based on the effect send through a random function. You input a sound and a length of time for the reverb to apply. And, it generates an output based on what it thinks that signal would if it were bouncing around different spaces of varying sizes.

Here’s Johnny DeMarco again as he illustrates how a reverb effect pedals sound like.

BOSS Reverb Stompboxes

TOP BOSS Reverb Stompbox: RV-6 Digital Reverb

product image of BOSS RV-6 Digital Reverb

An industry leader in effect pedals, BOSS has long been at the forefront of innovation. With the RV-6, BOSS' vision was to create a stompbox with the capability to deliver a variety of reverb tones with a simple stomp of your foot.

Providing BOSS quality in an affordable compact pedal, the RV-6 is a powerful reverb unit. You can use this to create subtle ambient effects or complex new sounds. Create lush spaces, free from clutter, noise, and harshness. Add complexity, color, clarity, and dimension. The RV-6 Reverb envelops your tone in lush ambient spaces.

This is the ultimate tool for adding space, dimension, and drama to your playing. The BOSS RV-6 gives you eight world-class reverb effects in one compact stompbox. Including modern and classic reverb types. As well as a unique Shimmer mode, the RV-6 is the perfect pedal to liven up any sound.

BOSS Delay And Reverb Stompboxes: What Are The Differences?

If you're a fan of the kinds of effects that BOSS makes, you must have heard of the Delay and Reverb pedals. Usually made to be used together, these pedals provide users with different sounds. It could enhance or change the sound of their guitars. 

Understanding the differences between these BOSS pedals can help you determine which one is right for you.


On the face of it, delay effects are like reverb. But, there are some important differences between the two. These differences help us understand how delay effects work. As we will see, all delay effects involve taking an incoming audio signal and playing it back at a slightly later time and at a lower volume. Reverb creates a sound of the echoed signal in a virtual space. It is an effect that will make your guitar sound like it's in a large, airy space.


Delay and reverb are both a series of echoes but serve two completely different purposes.

Try clapping your hands loudly, you'd hear the sound bounce off various surfaces, giving you a natural echo-like effect. We like to refer to this as 'reverb'. In comparison, a delay is when you continue clapping your hands but do so with less force each time.

Once played, a delay pedal will create artificial echoes in time with the music. Whereas a reverb pedal typically allows you to add an echo effect to your instrument sound regardless of how fast or slow you are playing.

Let's hear Mykola play a few examples of each pedal to help us understand the difference between them.

BOSS Delay And Reverb Stompboxes: What Are The Similarities?

Though delay and reverb pedals seem to do very different things, the two effects are somewhat related. Delay pedals send out a single, repeated sound immediately after the initial attack. Reverb is a similar concept. Except that it usually involves multiple "reflections" of the same original sound over time to achieve the effect of ambiance.

Both reverb and delay are time-based effects, but their similarities end there. These stompboxes are two of the most popular guitar effects pedals. Both provide guitarists with a sense of depth, volume, and space to their sound and you can use it in several ways.

Should You Get A Delay and Reverb Stompboxes?

We all have our taste in music. While some people are more into distortion and overdrive, others love reverb and delay. If you're one of these people who like the sound of reverb and delay, then you should take a closer for the best time to use these pedals.

Best Time To Use A Delay Stompbox

When you're playing live music, a delay stompbox can be useful. It's especially good when you have a long solo and you're not sure how to fill the time.

A delay is sort of like a reverb, but it will only 'reflect' or create an echo after the original sound has finished. You can use the delay to fill in empty spaces in your music. And as a creative effect like that of reverb.

Best Time To Use A Reverb Stompbox

What's the best time to use a reverb stompbox? If you've spent any time with a reverb pedal in the past, you'll know that it can be used for many different effects. From adding ambiance to your clean tone to recreating the sound of an old spring reverb unit. There's a wealth of options available on the market.

Some of the greatest guitar tones ever created have used a reverb stompbox as an integral part of their sound. It's able to act as a way to add atmosphere and space to your tone.

Reverb is the ideal tool to enhance your sound and create a larger, wider, and more lush soundscape. It can help you fit into a mix and help glue it together in a powerful way.

Best Time To Use Both Delay and Reverb Stompbox

Delay is one of the most dynamic effects you can find. By using both modulation and time-based controls, you can create everything from subtle background reverb sounds to extreme gated-chorus effects. Combining a delay with reverb is a great way to build up your sound. Which in turn makes it perfect for use on chugging, heavy riffs where the goal is to reach something bigger and more aggressive.

BOSS Delay And Reverb Stompboxes: Conclusion

BOSS Delay and Reverb Stompboxes are specialist effect pedals that can be used to create a fuller sound when recording or live. More than anything else, with these products, you have an impressive number of sound options that range from expanding your guitar's potential to creating mind-blowing sounds.

Delay and reverb effects often act as companions in your respective sound. A good way to describe them would be that reverb will add a sense of space or room while delay gives you voice-like effects.

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