Hey guys,

I own a Line 6 Spider III, and would like to have a dotted eighth delay tap tempo. The problem is that the Spider III is a modeling amp. So I've been using it's on-board delay, reverb, and distortion. And it sounds good, there's just no dotted eighth tap tempo. I've been just tapping out the dotted eighth with the normal tap tempo for a while, but it's kinda hard to get right all the time, especially in a live setting. Is there any way to add a dotted eighth tap tempo aside from buying a whole line of stomp boxes? Would buying a Boss DD20, Line 6 DL4, or Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay and putting it just before the amp sound OK? How bout after the amp? Is there a way to hack the amp controller pedal (Line 6 FBV Shortboard MKII) and add a dotted eighth tap tempo? I attached a picture of the FBV Shortboard. Thanks in advance and God bless you.

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The essence of the tap tempo is that you set it live so it matches your live speed - so nothing personal, but the issue here may be technique, rather than kit.  Having said that, other units might be easier to set, and particularly, you might be able to store the delay settings so that (as long as the songs is always at the same speed) you can just recall the patch for the song.  Does the Spider III let you store patches?  If not then look for a programmable delay so that when you get the timing right you can keep it.  Any external effect should be fine with the amp, though for best tone you should run delay in the effects loop if the amp has one.

Yeah, I could probably improve on my technique. I'll work on that. But aside from that, I've heard people say that it doesn't sound right to put delay in front of distortion, reverb etc. Is this true?

It's true. If you don't have an effects loop and generate all your distortion/drive in the amp then it will sound a bit pants.

If there is one stomp box that would handle this with ease, it's the TC Electronic Nova Repeater. I would recommend it for "dotted eighth note in a box" over the Boss. But like Toni said, it's mostly about technique. You can spend a lot of money on new devices only to find out that it wasn't the equipment after all. And mostly, doing dotted eighth notes live requires that everyone be focused on and centered around the guitar - one slip up or missed note and you've ruined the whole thing. Notice too that Edge is the center of the whole production when he's doing his echo magic. Every instrument has to be adjusted and fitted to that tempo and metre.  And, if you're not all the way forward in the mix, no one will hear it.

Good luck and let us know how this turns out.

OK. I'll have to look that pedal up. Thanks! Yeah, I know what you mean about one slip up and the whole thing's ruined! One Sunday, I was going to start a song with a dotted-eighth-style intro, and set the tap tempo too low. So, I had to apologize for the delay (no pun intended) and get it set right. I suppose that's why I thought,"I need a dotted eighth tap tempo!" But maybe that wasn't the problem. Thanks again for the reply.

I own the TC Electronic ND-1 (Nova Delay) which seems like the Nova Repeater with more bells and whistles.  Overall, I'm a fan of the tone and usability of the pedal and Stevo is right, the pedal makes it easy to dial in dotted eight notes.  Just set the delay to dotted eighth and you can either tap in the regular tempo of the song or specify the BPM that you want for a specific preset.  Way easier than trying to tap in a dotted eight tempo.

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