Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues -> Articles in this issue -> View

Arion DDS1 & 4 DDL/Samplers


Article from International Musician & Recording World, December 1986

Paul Trynka puts his foot down on a pair of interesting pedals

It's well-known these days that samplers are de rigeur for every musician from saxophonist to conga player, so it's no great surprise to see the Arion DDS-1 and DDS-4 Digital Delay/Samplers which offer one and four seconds of delay time respectively, but are otherwise identical.

Both units are on the large size for a foot pedal and are made from moulded plastic, but don't feel too lightweight. Stereo outputs are offered; this means that you have the option of routing the straight sound through one amplifier, and the effected sound through another — there's nothing fancy like phase inversion on one channel, but this could prove handy all the same.

The units can be used as conventional delays, and control layout is what you'd expect from such beasts. Level controls the volume of the effected sound, and Tone determines the amount of treble on the delayed signal. Thus you can roll off a bit of the top to simulate the behaviour of an analogue device. Repeat and Delay Time are self-explanatory, whilst Mode can be used to switch between different delay times, or to select sample record/play.

You might have noticed the lack of any modulation facilities when in digital delay mode; these machines are restricted to straightforward replay of the original sound with no facilities for chorus or flanging.

As you'd expect operation is pretty straightforward. In delay mode, the 'Mode' switch selects between Short, Medium, Long and Extra Long, which range from 16ms to 4s, whilst the Delay Time mode provides a less coarse control. In sampler mode, the device may be used in two different ways; sound on sound, whereby you can stack more lines over a length of time determined by the Delay Time control, or straight replay, whereby the sampled sound repeats every time you depress the footswitch.

In use there are no great surprises. Bandwidth is easily adequate for guitar at 7kHz, so the delayed signal is bright and immediate, sometimes disconcertingly so, unless you roll off a bit of the top — that's just the effect of tradition, I suppose. In sampling mode, the reasonable bandwidth means the sampled sound is pretty indistinguishable from the original, so with one guitar you can have a fair amount of fun sampling short sequences (about two bars is the maximum with the four-second version) and then playing live over the top.

The sound on sound mode is fairly similar, but takes a bit of juggling with the delay time in order to ensure that the phrase recorded is of the correct length. It's necessary to make sure that the most recent line played is of adequate volume, because if you get too subtle the previous lines become very faint and you can hear clock noise breaking through.

Both straightforward sampling and sound-on-sound operations are easy to use once you've mastered the timing with the footswitch. All the same, I find such a basic sampler to be of limited use considering the price; a DDL with built-in modulation would probably be more useful for most people as a footpedal (I do hear that Arion are also introducing a digital chorus/flanger soon).

Power consumption is colossal; the supplied battery packed in after an hour or so. The unit tells you when the batteries are getting flat by means of the indicator light, which helpfully starts flashing. This indication is at a rather late stage, though, as it coincides with the effect output going completely dead. Presumably this visual aid is just to assure you that you haven't suddenly gone completely deaf.

Overall then, what do you get? Well, presumably this pedal is meant for guitars, so if you feel the need for a pedal that will sample a riff and play it back at the pressing of a footswitch, then get one of these. Otherwise, you've got a rather ordinary DDL, and whilst I admire the technology which can pack four seconds of sampling into such a small package, I'd rather see it being used to develop something which is rather more useful.

Arion DDS-1 & 4 Digital Delay/Samplers - RRP: £129 & £175

More info is available from FCN, (Contact Details)

Also featuring gear in this article

Arion DDS-1/DDS-4
(12T Oct 86)

Browse category: Guitar FX > Arion

Previous Article in this issue

Gallien Krueger 250ML

Next article in this issue

Sonor Performer Plus Kit

Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...


International Musician - Dec 1986

Review by Paul Trynka

Previous article in this issue:

> Gallien Krueger 250ML

Next article in this issue:

> Sonor Performer Plus Kit

Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

Donations for June 2024
Issues donated this month: 0

New issues that have been donated or scanned for us this month.

Funds donated this month: £20.00

All donations and support are gratefully appreciated - thank you.

Magazines Needed - Can You Help?

Do you have any of these magazine issues?

> See all issues we need

If so, and you can donate, lend or scan them to help complete our archive, please get in touch via the Contribute page - thanks!

Please Contribute to mu:zines by supplying magazines, scanning or donating funds. Thanks!

Monetary donations go towards site running costs, and the occasional coffee for me if there's anything left over!

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy