Those of you who own multiple delays, it’s time to make room for another one: you'll likely want to add the rich, lush Dedalo MDT6 to your collection. Those who need a utility player may want to investigate further: the MDT6 has great functionality but, sonically, it's somewhat idiosyncratic.
Let me start with my monthly disclaimer: the MDT6 is an analog tape delay emulator that doesn't really sound like tape, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The sound it does have is very cool, and there's an exciting array of features, including the ability to access two different voicings.
Two analog delay engines power the MDT6, working in tandem to create some really cool options, both rhythmically and texturally. The first engine is more tape-like; although it doesn't offer the crystalline cleans of a cherry tape delay, it does provide a nice, articulate, dense echo. The "Level T/2" knob controls this engine's level, and turning down the main “Level” control can isolate this voicing. Turning the Level T/2 knob down seems to isolate the secondary engine, which is more explicitly "analog" in nature—generating darker, smeared repeats, as you'd expect from a bucket brigade-based delay. Both engines work together to generate a total of 1.2 seconds of (analog!) delay.
The "T/2" in Level T/2 actually refers to the secondary tempo setting that's offered by the MDT6's tap function. Holding down the Tap Tempo footswitch for five sections activates the "Mod/Div" control, which offers six complementary rhythmic pairings that are applied discreetly to each of the two delay engines. Dedalo labels the first three pairings as "Normal": 4/4 and 4/8, 3/4 and 3/8, 2/3 and 1/3. The "Special" pairings are: 3/4 and 4/8, 4/4 and 2/5, and 4/4 and Golden Ratio. I used the first or last setting when I wanted to use the cleaner voicing on its own with the tap function. However, using both delay engines in tandem with the differing time signatures created really cool (mono) ping-pong textures and, using the two volume controls, the effect could be subtle or pronounced.
While the MDT6 may not offer the hi-fi cleans of a tape delay, it captures some other characteristics quite nicely. Without activating the secondary functionality as described above, the Mod/Div knob controls the modulation of the repeats. In the first half of the knob's travel, the MDT6 does a great job of capturing the subtle wow-and-flutter of a tape delay. Past noon, the effect is pronounced to the point of parody, but sometimes that's the fun part, right? Lower settings accentuate the "analog"-ness of the second delay engine.
Another cool feature of the MDT6 is that it responds like tape when you hit it with a lot of gain. The signal compresses gently but noticeably, offering some very nice—and squishy—compression that adds a hair more fuzz around the edges of notes. Dedalo has thoughtfully included internal controls that affect the MDT6's headroom so, presumably, I could've tweaked this to keep the MDT6 cleaner when I hit it with a fuzz, but I loved the sound so much—despite being someone who likes a lot of clarity and note definition—that I left it alone. I don't want to overstate this effect, but I found it very compelling, and I give Dedalo a lot of credit for providing the capacity for greater clean up, even if I didn't take advantage.
Of course, the MDT6 offers a control for the number of repeats and a manual control for the rate of those repeats in addition to the Tap Tempo control. Additionally—and wonderfully—the Tap Tempo can activate self-oscillation: hold it down for 1 second to activate, hit it again to stop. There's an internal control that affects the feedback but, again, I was satisfied with the performance right out of the box, and I didn't feel the need to tweak. Wow; I don't think I've ever written that before.
What We Like: Extravagant, thoughtful controls and rich, analog sound that blends nicely with your clean signal or smears nicely with your dirty signal (unless you don't want it to).
Concerns: The sound isn't fully tape-like, so adjust expectations accordingly.