Big Sound, Small Footprint, More Power
BOSS compact pedals have been around for some time now, providing studio-grade effects in a unit that is small enough to fit on any pedalboard, packing in features and functionality to give guitarists a plethora of options for their guitar sound. In the late 70s and early 80s delay effects were typically something you’d find on the rack of professional recording studios, expensive and large in scale they were far out of reach of your average working musician or casual player.
In 1983 BOSS changed everything with the release of the DD-2. Taking the IC chip from the rack-mounted Roland SDE-3000 Delay Unit they managed to squeeze this awesome bit of tech into a small space and power it with a 9V battery, putting clear yet warm delay tone at the feet of the average guitarist. It was an instant hit and set the standard for delay pedals to come. With advancements in technology, digital components became ever cheaper, driving manufacturing costs down and allowing for greater developments in guitar pedal technology.
The Iconic Digital Delay
Enter the BOSS DD-3, featuring all of the functionality of the DD-2 but at a cheaper price, this pedal took the guitar world by storm and has been in continuous production ever since. It’s a testament to the ingenuity of the BOSS engineering and development teams that you still find this on many guitarists pedalboards today, and it really is the standard in delay pedals, accessible in price yet deep in features and rich in sound. The DD-3 has been used by everyone from Thom Yorke to Dave Grohl to Tom Morello, providing sounds for countless hit records for over three decades.
Enhanced for Modern Players
BOSS has now released the DD-3T with sound circuitry and controls that are identical to the original DD-3, ensuring that the warm and round delay sound is still present and accounted for. Added to this you get additional functionality and a couple of tweaks to improve the usability of the pedal. First up is the tap tempo feature, perfect for creating rhythmic delay effects a la The Edge with up to 800ms of delay time available and the option to subdivide your delay times, adding functionality that will assist you with your sonic sculpting. The DD-3T has also had its direct output jack repositioned to the other side of the pedal from the original DD-3 to make connections easier, letting you send wet and dry signals to different amps or utilising parallel effects loops with a dummy plug.
Maximum Delay Power
Alongside the DD-3T we’ve got the all-new BOSS DD-8, the most wide-ranging and feature-laden pedal ever created for the BOSS Compact range. With a whopping eleven delay modes, there’s something for every guitar player here.
Here’s a list of the modes:
- Analog — Classic analog BBD delay sound.
- Standard — Clear digital delay.
- Tape — Vintage tape-based delay sound.
- Warm — Digital delay with a softer sound.
- Reverse — Backwards delay for cool psychedelic effects and other unique tones.
- +RV — Digital delay with reverb added.
- Shimmer — Pitch-shifted delay for lush, shimmering textures.
- Mod — Digital delay with modulation added on the repeats.
- Warp — Unique delay with expressive pedal control. Holding the pedal switch increases feedback and level, allowing you to create ambient swell effects.
- GLT — Newly developed delay mode that creates glitchy machine-gun effects when the pedal switch is pressed. Adjust the Feedback and Time knobs for a wide variety of sounds.
- Loop — Loop recorder with overdub capability and up to 40 seconds of recording time with mono input (20 seconds with stereo input).
That amount of modes in a unit this size is unprecedented, so whether you prefer clean digital, warm analogue, vintage tape, futuristic modulation or jagged glitch sounds there’s something on offer for you.
It’s not just the sounds that have gotten an update either. With the tap functionality, you can control the Warp and GLT modes to add extra expressivity to your effects as well as adding one or two footswitches to unlock the additional Twist functionality. Expression pedal connectivity lets you manipulate level, feedback or delay time as well as giving you the option to do them all at once, adding an extra layer of control to your delay sound. The inputs and outputs of the DD-8 have a variety of smart setup options with mono and stereo connections available for creating extra-wide sounds as well as panning for ping-pong style effects. The default independent mode provides linked parallel delays on the left and right channels, allowing you to maintain the true balance of stereo input sources in the effect sound.
These two pedals represent the future for BOSS Compact Digital Delay effects, they know their heritage but aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of what’s possible for guitar effects in the modern era. Warm or wide, spacious or stormy whatever sound you envision the new BOSS DD pedal range puts it at your feet with form and functionality at the forefront. It doesn’t matter if you prefer classic rock or heavy metal, post-rock or post-punk, these pedals have something to offer you and are available at a price that is in reach for everyone.
Get the Gear
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Matt is a multi-instrumentalist, music geek and current Content Creator at Dawsons Music. He composes, records and produces out of his home studio in Manchester as well as playing in two bands, China Moon and Sawbones.