Keeley Memphis Sun Pedal
Head into the Memphis Sun and bask in the tones of the 1950s! Sun Studio sounds of the early 1950s and more. Small Room Reverb, Slapback Echo, Futuristic Double Tracking…. the sounds of early Rock and Roll….
The Keeley Memphis Sun – Lo-Fi Reverb, Echo and Double-Tracker is their second studio themed pedal. The first was the Keeley 30ms ADT which was created to grab the sounds of Abbey Road reverb and double tracking they made famous on those famous Beatle recordings.
With the Memphis Sun, Robert Keeley was after the sound of Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio recordings. Think of this pedal as three different effects:
ECHO 600 – Echo for Long Delays
SUN MODE – Auto Track-Doubling and Slapback with Short Delays
REVERB – Room Reverb – Full Studio Studio Simulation.
Both of the ECHO 600 and SUN MODE effects have a Room Reverb. It’s a one-knob, rock and roll type of room reverb.
The Room Reverb simulates a small 33′ by 18′ asbestos-tiled room so filled with music the sounds actually get compressed. We add a slight amount of “room compression” to the reverb; it almost lives and breathes. We take into account the frequency response of the mics used then. The RCA 77 is loosely simulated by a group of filters including a HPF = 300 Hz and LPF = 8 kHz. Many artifacts are incorporated in our room reverb. In fact, second and third order harmonics are added to make sure it sounds Just Right.
The Time Control is the Pre-Delay amount: 0-150ms of pre-delay. This allows for a slapback sound as the first reflections come into focus.
Regen/Mod is the Tone Control: this is an active filter +/- 10 dB and is centered around 1.1 kHz.
Reverb Control is the Depth Control for the reverberations
Let’s Do it Twice Mama, It’s Alright! Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) was not available in the 1950s, but Keeley has it in this pedal because it makes a wonderful sound. And, if you lengthen the time it goes right into slapback territory which is at the foundation of Country and Rock and Roll guitar sounds. Like our Keeley 30ms this pedal will do ADT. The Memphis Sun creates a vintage-voiced double-track in mono. Your guitar playing “Gemini-Twin” in this case has a very warmed up tone. Adjusting the Time Control lets you easily create anything from Double Tracking to Slapback with up to 180ms of dealy time.
Time: Delay Time is 0-180ms. For Automatic Double-Tracking set this control at the second mark or lower, 0-30ms. For slapback echo 30-180ms sounds great. The knob markers notate 0,30,60, 90, 120, 150, and 180ms
Regen/Mod: This is the Modulation for the ADT voice created. Set to OFF for no Rate or Depth. As you increase this control both the Rate and Depth of “Tape” modulation are increased.
Reverb: Old Rock-and-Roll Room Reverb.
Rock and Roll is the Devil’s music, right? Of course Keeley made the delay time up to 666ms to simulate some unearthly echo machine that never really existed. Filtering in the Slackback Mode is done in stages. First we heavily filter the response at 1 kHz then compress the thing. Remember the concept… pack a bunch of sound in a small room and it compresses. Next we filter it again at 1 kHz! Sounds like Rock and Roll.