Michael Elsner takes a look at the Visual Sound Time Bandit, as a way of locking tap tempos with the rhythm of the drummer in a live situaton...
Syncing delays to the proper tempo is often a bit of a juggling act when you're performing live, especially if you want to run more than one delay at a time. Infact, it's rather common to stack different delay times depending on the style of music you're playing.
If you're not fortunate enough to have your own guitar tech running your system from side stage, or a fully integrated Midi rig, you'll find yourself spending a lot of time tap dancing on your pedalboard throughout the show, making sure your delays are in sync for each song.
Thankfully, those days are now over for us guitar players thanks to Visual Sound's Time Bandit.
Ideal in the studio and on stage, the Time Bandit takes the sound of a click track or metronome and converts it to the type of signal that any delay pedal with an external tap tempo jack can read. It also has a built in BPM generator so you don't need a click track to lock to the exact tempo of a song. Simply dial in the tempo, and it'll send that to the delay pedal for perfectly tempo sync'd delays.
Setting up the Time Bandit is a breeze. There are two 1/4" connections, one is a click input, the other is the output. The input receives the click signal from a metronome, or DAW. The unit converts that signal and then sends it to the output which in turn feeds the external tap input of your delay pedal.
My current live setup includes the Time Bandit controlling the delay tempos for my Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay. We run tracks live, so I pull a feed of the click from the aux send of our drummer's mixer.
This allows my delays to be perfectly in time, without me having to worry about tapping in any tempos, through the set. It's as easy as setting it up and then forgetting about it, the pedal takes care of the rest.
When it came time to put together my pedalboard for this particular gig, I was specifically looking for an easy to use, versatile, great sounding delay that would allow me to have multiple options without requiring an unreasonable amount of pedalboard real estate.
In my quest to put together a live rig that requires the least amount of maintenance through a show, the Dual Tap Delay was the ideal choice for me.
The beauty of this pedal is not only its incredible sound, but its fairly compact size considering the fact that its two individual delays in one stomp box, all synchronized with a single tap tempo switch. This affords me the ability to have two completely separate delay settings, accessible at any time.