Line 6’s DL4 Mk2 Delay Pedal Is Higher Than the Unique

In 1999, Line 6 launched a guitar results unit, aka a pedal, which foreshadowed the

In 1999, Line 6 launched a guitar results unit, aka a pedal, which foreshadowed the computerized takeover of music gear. And now, virtually a quarter-century later, it has a sequel. 

The Line 6 DL4 was an early digital modeling unit within the type of a guitar pedal, a field designed to take a seat on the ground and be operated with footswitches. It was a delay impact and modeled a number of then-popular (and now traditional) analog delay items. It was additionally a looper, which allowed musicians to play multiple half by themselves. Now, the DL4 is itself a traditional, albeit a flawed one. Pitchfork known as it “a very powerful guitar pedal of the final 20 years,” and the brand new Mk2 model appears to be like like a worthy successor. 

“I bear in mind the primary time I noticed and heard the unique Line 6 DL4 in motion. Singer-songwriter Howie Day was on tour, and essentially the most memorable track he carried out was his single, Ghost, guitarist and music journalist Andrew Dodson advised Lifewire through electronic mail. “Utilizing the DL4, he began looping a percussive beat that he created on his acoustic guitar, then stored layering extra sounds till it seemed like a whole band was taking part in behind him.”

The DL6 might have been revolutionary, however it was removed from good. Whilst you nonetheless see them on guitarists’ pedalboards to this present day, anecdotally, this was extra of a testomony to repairability reasonably than construct high quality. 

“We used to joke that the MkI had a 7-year lifespan. Mine died in its seventh 12 months, virtually on cue,” stated musician and DL4 proprietor GovernorSilver in a music discussion board frequented by Lifewire. “One thing concerning the design of the footswitches—contacts sporting out, and possibly another issues as properly. I had mine repaired and modded twice, which resurrected it for some time till it died once more.”

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It was additionally loopy ugly, a metallic inexperienced blob that took up a ton of house on a board. However it provided one thing that has since develop into a very powerful characteristic of any services or products: comfort. You may mimic most delay results proper there from one field, from rockabilly slapback to The Edge’s luscious rhythmic echoes. Did they sound precisely like the unique? Perhaps not, however the digital recreations had been ok to make the DL4 a real success. 

“The DL4 was such successful as a result of it managed to search out the right stability between having a complete vary of helpful sounds with out sacrificing tone,” guitar instructor and DL4 proprietor Andy Fraser advised Lifewire through electronic mail. “In 2000, when it got here out, this was fairly revolutionary. You ended up with the equal of 5 totally different pedals multi function, and it did not sound terrible.”

If there was any doubt about guitarists’ love for the unique DL4, it evaporated when the sequel was introduced this week. Guitar boards are abuzz. A few of that is absolutely nostalgia, however on this planet of guitar gear, the place younger and outdated gamers use ever extra highly effective {hardware} and software program to recreate the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Dave Gilmour, nostalgia is a robust software. However one other a part of the attraction is unquestionably that guitarists wish to use the traditional, however to keep away from its issues.

The brand new mannequin is smaller and lighter than the unique however nonetheless is available in a particular metallic-green shell. It has all of the delays from the unique, plus 15 information ones from Line 6’s personal FX and amplifier-modeling powerhouse HX collection.

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It additionally has a mic enter, MIDI connections, and an SD card slot for conserving recordings. And Line 6 particularly calls out the brand new “heavy-duty footswitches,” presumably as a result of it is aware of concerning the unique’s fame in that regard. 

However regardless of these enhancements and additions, it does not stray from the unique formulation. In actual fact, it could possibly even morph into the unique.

“What do I like greatest about this pedal? It is VERY acquainted. In case you used to make use of this pedal and received away from it, you’ll be able to actually hit one button, and it acts similar to the unique DL4 that you just’re conversant in,” says Dodson.