• David Gilmour’s delay sounds explained

    David Gilmour is famous for his unique use of delay and echo. Although he often blends different types of delays, creating rich textures and layers, I’m going to break it down into four signature setups covering each era.

    David would use a Binson Echorec in the early days between 1968-1978. It was usually set for single head and a fixed time at about 310ms.

    For The Wall he switched to the MXR Digital Delay for those accurate and pristine time setups. In this clip I have one set for 380ms for Run Like Hell and one for 440ms for Another Brick in the Wall (part 1). David would use the latter setting for most of the album.

    In the 80s and 90s David would mostly use digital rack models such as the TC Electronic 2290. In this clip I’m using Coming Back to Life as a reference with 700ms. This setup can also be used for songs like On the Turning Away and Sorrow.

    See the buyer’s gear guide for recommended delay and echo pedals and the Binson Echorec feature for more on this classic unit. See the album guides as well for all the delay units used on each album and tour.

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28 Responsesso far.

  1. Tim says:

    Hey Bjorn, have you tried Keeley’s new eccos delay it has tape flange in it sounds great and if so what would your recommend settings before especially for the modulation

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it. I’m using the Strymon Deco a lot for tape machine sounds. It has a really authentic sounding tape flange too.

  2. Hi Bjorn, thanks for your excellent blog and great sounds!

    I love your interpretation of Run Like Hell. Would you ever consider sharing the tab for it? It’s really beautifully done!

  3. Shane Olsen says:

    Thanks Bjorn love your work. I recently bought the tc flashback and after watching your videos ive learnt how to use the tone print editor what an awesome lil pedal. Thanks again an keep up the awesome work

  4. MARCO CRESPI says:

    Hi Bjorn, how would you collocate an EHX memory man deluxe in gilmour tones? would it be suitable also for things like ABINTW part 1 or run like hell stuff???

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s great for those early 70s tones but perhaps a bit too dark and dirty for the more pristine digital stuff.

  5. Ben says:

    Excellent post as always Bjorn! I have a question. I currently have an EHX Canyon delay/reverb pedal. Would this work for Gilmour delays and if so, how would I dial it in? It has analog, tape, echo, and DMM settings. Or should I get another delay pedal like the Catalinbread or Dawner Prince Boonar pedal and a Boss Digital delay and sell my EHX?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Canyon can easily be set up for some nice Gilmour sounds. It has all the sounds needed for each era. The best way to set up time settings for pedals without a display is to use Garageband, Amplitube or something similar. Set up a delay with time signatures you need and match that on the pedal. Make markings with a pen so you have them visible whenever you need them. You can also use the references I’ve made in this clip for the same purpose.

  6. Bram says:

    Quick question: I may have read somewhere that Gilmour used dotted eighths delay for his The Wall tone? He’d call them “triplets”. Is this accurate?

  7. CTyson says:

    Loving these videos that give brief overviews of specific parts of Gilmour’s sound across certain eras! Would love something like this for Big Muff settings, that just gives a brief ‘this model with around these settings’ type thing for The Wall, Pulse and solo stuff. Either way, great stuff you’ve been putting out recently!

  8. Arya Boustani says:

    Thanks Bjorn. This video makes it so clear and simpler to understand. So you used TC 2290 setting instead of MXR digital delay for The Wall. Did you find the sound of both units are pretty comparable? I have a TC Electronic Alter Ego X4 which I was hoping gives me a decent Echorec. Apparently setting 2 is not bad but perhaps no where near Boonar quality. Its 2290 has too much modulation but apparently I can use one of the user settings to toneprint Flashback 2290 delay from the software. I’m wondering if it becomes exactly like your Flashback 2290 setting or it is slightly different in quality. Also it would be good to know how much tone quality difference is between original rack mount 2290 and Flashback or Alter Ego 2290 tone print. Thanks again :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never tried one of those old MXR rack units so I can’t really tell. I’ve based my tones and assumptions on David’s tones and clips I’ve seen of the unit on YT. It’s a digital unit and from what I understand, it had an analog flavour to it so the 2290 is perhaps a bit too pristine. The Boss DD2 would perhaps be closer.

      TC claim that the Flashback 2290 setting is sonically identical to the old rack unit. The Alter Ego can be manipulated with the tone print feature so you can set up your clean 2290 there.

  9. João bicudo says:

    Thanks Born! Very helpful video mate and very accurate tone as usual 😉

  10. Uli Speicher says:

    great review…can you fix the different times , for the Echosex 2 ?

  11. Ken says:

    Fantastic work as usual please keep these coming!

  12. inkslingers1 says:

    I love the stereo delay on ‘And Then’. Pity the drums and production make it sound like the end theme to an 80s Soap. Seems like there is a better album in there trying to get out.

    I have a similar feeling about Eric Clapton’s August album. I always wished he would record it again but without the 80s knackering it. It’s full of strong material and the gorgeous Holy Mother but the plastic Phil Collins shine and drum sound really ruined it for me.

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