The Edge's Delay Settings > Until The End of the World (102 bpm)

For the main riff, Edge plays something like this:
 (down)(down)(up)  (d)(u)    (d)(u)    (d)(u)(d)(u)       [<- clip is from these last 4 chords here]
||--9-----9--9------9--9------9--9------9--10-9--10--||-9-- x3
||---------------------------------------------------||---- ..
  (all chords are staccato with distortion)
Here's the sample clip I studied for this song (it's slowed down 8x maintaining the same pitch. It's eq'ed to help separate the guitar.)

Figure 1: Waveform of the sample clip

  • This is the most likely signal path:
       Guitar ->
    	 420ms (1 repeat)  ==  3/16 @ 102 bpm
                    with modulation, 50% of the inital signal  ->  Amp

Here's a sample clip of the delay modulation in the solo (it's slowed down 8x maintaining the same pitch)

  • For the solo, there's just 2 delays:
       Guitar -> 500ms (1-2 repeats)  [not in time with the song!]
                    with very heavy modulation, about 25% of the inital signal -> amp
    The delay is slightly longer than 3/16 though it's set at 500ms exactly which is not in time with the song. It's also very faint. It's mostly used to get the effect of the modulation which can be heard well in some parts when slowed down. The modulation adds a fast up and down scale of half-steps (listen to the clip from the end of the solo). I would guess that this delay was added during mixing by Flood, for many reasons. First, it would be very unusual for Edge to dial in a delay out of tempo with the song especially on a key guitar solo. Second, the modulation on the delay is unusally clear as you can hear in the clip which hints that it wasn't run through Edge's cranked tube amp. And third, Achtung Baby as an album was obviously heavily worked on during mixing and post production.

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All text and pictures copyright © 2004 Tim Darling.