A Nice Slapback Sound

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,813
Savannah, GA
Stumbled across a very nice rockabilly slapback sound tonight. Not sure how unique of an idea it is but I thought I'd share and see what the Gretschies think?

Recently acquired a little One Control Sea Turquoise Delay; a little 3 control delay with a nicely voiced repeat. The kind that is there but doesn't draw attention to itself. I have it at the front of my chain and use it primarily for a quick slapback effect.

I also run the Source Audio Collider which is highly tweak-able and among other things has a very posh spring reverb setting. Setting a fairly long pre-delay on the reverb will also give a different, more dense slapback echo.

Combining the two I thought would be overkill but it really gives me the best Sun Records vibe I've ever dialed in with my equipment. The echo is more present but less defined. It gives the percussive slap a complex character that sounds more like sound bouncing off of a close wall. A little bit like blinking into the infinite well created by two mirrors opposite one another.

I imagine any subtle slapback delay running into a reverb with enough pre-delay to give a slapback effect will do the trick? Give it a try if you're interested and let me know how it works for you?
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
As Mr. Cash points put, the reverb trail is probably going to have a lot of effect upon the sound. If the reverb decay is too long, you could have a runaway effect.

One of my favorite slapbacks if the Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master, which is basically a Hall Reverb and a Digital Delay, in one pedal. It’s sort of a classic slapback, without going over the top.

I also reverse the process, at times, and use a delay with a very tight repeat to enhance the sound of a reverb. The vaunted reverb drip can be simulated with a short interval delay added to any solid reverb sound.
Slapback? The main theater I worked in had horrid slapback. It was 250' from the FOH to the front of the stage, 350' to the back of the 2nd balcony. Even with diffusers on the back wall it was a PITA.
I imagine. You’d have one echo at about 444 ms and another at 621 ms. that had to be tough to deal with.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,312
lafayette in
You’d have one echo at about 444 ms and another at 621 ms. that had to be tough to deal with.
There'd be another between those two from the first balcony. Even with curved diffusers and absorption panels the slapback is really noticeable. It gets better when there's an audience in to soak up the sound. That's more obvious in winter with heavier clothes and all.
 

Maguchi

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
73
Lalaland
Stumbled across a very nice rockabilly slapback sound tonight. Not sure how unique of an idea it is but I thought I'd share and see what the Gretschies think?

Recently acquired a little One Control Sea Turquoise Delay; a little 3 control delay with a nicely voiced repeat. The kind that is there but doesn't draw attention to itself. I have it at the front of my chain and use it primarily for a quick slapback effect.

I also run the Source Audio Collider which is highly tweak-able and among other things has a very posh spring reverb setting. Setting a fairly long pre-delay on the reverb will also give a different, more dense slapback echo.

Combining the two I thought would be overkill but it really gives me the best Sun Records vibe I've ever dialed in with my equipment. The echo is more present but less defined. It gives the percussive slap a complex character that sounds more like sound bouncing off of a close wall. A little bit like blinking into the infinite well created by two mirrors opposite one another.

I imagine any subtle slapback delay running into a reverb with enough pre-delay to give a slapback effect will do the trick? Give it a try if you're interested and let me know how it works for you?
I get a good rockabilly, slapback delay/echo with 200-250 ms delay and a single repeat or a couple of repeats at the most. Works great inside medium size clubs. Outdoors has got to be a real challenge to get the right adjustments. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
There'd be another between those two from the first balcony. Even with curved diffusers and absorption panels the slapback is really noticeable. It gets better when there's an audience in to soak up the sound. That's more obvious in winter with heavier clothes and all.
That would have to be frustrating when you’re on stage. The Phase differences would turn it to mudd.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,312
lafayette in
That would have to be frustrating when you’re on stage. The Phase differences would turn it to mudd.
That's still better than a geodesic dome at Notre Dame. When it was empty, you'd here so many repeats of, say a rim shot, that they'd just go on and on. Better when there were people inside, but still could be annoying. Room acoustics are so important but many folks just ignore them.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
That's still better than a geodesic dome at Notre Dame. When it was empty, you'd here so many repeats of, say a rim shot, that they'd just go on and on. Better when there were people inside, but still could be annoying. Room acoustics are so important but many folks just ignore them.
I’d never though of that before, but a geodesic dome would be a nightmare.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,312
lafayette in
I’d never though of that before, but a geodesic dome would be a nightmare.
Stepan Center at Notre Dame. Saw a lot of bands there, played it a couple of times. Holds about 5K. It's a true Bucky Fuller geodesic design. Notre Dame also has two other newer domes, but those are the pie slice types. They'll hold 15-20K each. One's the hockey arena, and the other's for basketball and concerts. Saw a lot of groups there as well. Acoustics are great for sports. Not so much for anything else.
 


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