Korg SDD-1200 Dual Digital Delay


Last Update 11-10-2013

The SDD-1200 is a dual digital delay/sample playback with knobs, with nice patching I/O options on the rear panel.  It can be used for stereo or for dual independent delay processors.  It really excels at modulated delays (chorus) in stereo.  There is no memory storage or MIDI control.  These can be cheap, I found one in a store for US$75.  I have a pair of them, one dedicated to bass/ostinato synths the other for studio processing (great for stereo doubling).


The delays in the SDD-1200 can go from 0.5 to 1024 milliseconds with 16Khz bandwidth and you can apply 12dB/oct lowpass or highpass filtering to the feedback path. The sampling rate varies as to the setting of the FACTOR control, but the 16Khz bandwidth is maintained through the entire delay range.  If you chain the delays in series using the rear panel I/O you can get 2048ms (2 seconds) of delay.  Each delay can be used as sampling units for playing over looped audio, and you can use a footswitch to trigger each unit.

The input controls have enough gain to accept anywhere from -10dBv to +4dBu signals so it will work with pro audio gear or with guitar rigs.  Four segment LED level indicators are provided for each unit.

The feedback (regeneration) can be inverted, the *key* to killer flange effects, and you can get up to 110% feedback for runaway loops.  Each delay can be used as sampling units for playing over looped audio and you can trigger the loops with a footpedal.  Unfortunately, changing the delay time interupts the audio signal which is common for a digital delay; analog delays don't have this problem.

Each delay has its own LFO, and when using it in stereo mode you can run each LFO independently, in-phase, or out-phase.  Out-phase LFO is the key to lush stereo chorus that doesn't cancel in mono.  But the best part of the SDD-1200 is that the LFOs are real analog.  That means smooth modulation with no discrete stepping.  Neither the SDD-2000 or SDD-3300 have that.

The rear panel sports an excellent I/O matrix; for each unit you have input, +/- outputs (pseudo stereo which disappears when you play back in mono mode), effect out, direct out, bypass, hold/trig (in sampling mode) and feedback in.  This is the first digital delay unit I've seen with a feedback input.  The bypass is very effective for popping in chorus or doubling processing "on the fly".

The knobs are the dual concentric type with separate controls for each delay unit.  It's real easy to experiment until you get "the sound".

You can configure this unit in Parallel mode (dual processors), Serial mode (output of one processor feeds the input of the other, IE chain them for a 2 second delay), Cross-feedback mode (effect out of each processor are crossed to the feedback input of the other), or Open Feedback loop (effect out of one processor feeds feeds the input of the other, then that output feeds the feedback input of the first).  The "B" input is normalled to the "A" input for easy stereo processing of mono signals.  With a patchbay you can go hog wild.

Changing the delay time interrupts the audio signal which is common for a digital delay. This is not a box you'd use for live realtime tweaking.

The manual is well-written.  It explains the functions and has some good examples as starting points for patches.  Only thing missing is a block diagram, it's printed on the top of the unit but it's nice to have it in black and white.

I personally like the sound of these units for stereo chorus and doubling, they have an analog quality to them. In my experimentation it worked best on vocals, percussion, and guitars from my multitrack.  It is very effective for stereo synthesizer bass.  I used to use an ART Multiverb for modulated delay FX but it was too noisy and the internal chorus algorithms clip too easy. When my SDD set grew, I then dumped the ART.

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