Running your hardware synths and keyboards through guitar pedals can be one of the most fun experiences a producer can have in the studio.

The fact that they technically don’t belong together creates a slight sense of taboo and success when you hear how they combine. And rest assured, the warm and complex timbres of many of the most popular hardware synths create excellent sound when used in tandem with some of the most basic guitar pedals.

And as a fan and producer of ambient and melodic house music, I love a suitable delay and echo effect. Luckily, the guitar pedal world is filled with many excellent options for me to run my synths and keyboards through. So after doing a bit of research and a ton of experimentation, here are the five delay pedals I love to use on my hardware synths and keys.

Walrus Audio Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator


The Walrus Audio Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator can help you create the soundtrack for fantasy realms that you previously thought only existed in your imagination. This pedal has five programs running through two DSP chips, which are running in series and have their analog feedback path. Now you can capture the elusive sonic creatures inhabiting your noggin.

The Lore is packed with features like reverb and reverse delay, time stretching, and pitch shifting that’ll help you create a fantastic soundtrack for your next adventure.

Why We Love This Delay On Synths

For a good reason, this is one of my favorite guitar pedals and delay effects for synths. The tonal delays on this delay pedal can’t be replicated by any other product I’ve ever seen and have quickly become one of my go-to weapons to achieve a signature sound that is clear and defined while also whimsical, washed-out, and captivating.

This is one of the best effect pedals for synths in the whole game, let alone the best delay effects for one.

Check Out This Pedal Here

Keeley Halo Andy Timmons Dual Echo Pedal

Keeley Halo Andy Timmons Dual Echo Pedal

The “halo” sound that Andy Timmons produces is not just an effect; it is a delay that has been crucial to his tone for decades. It is often imitated but never replicated with absolute precision. With the Keeley Halo Andy Timmons Dual Echo Pedal, Andy’s dynamic delay sound is immortalized in a single stompbox, making it easier than ever to tap into the mystique and aura of one of the electric guitar’s tones wizards.

The Halo has two separate sides that can each be used to lock in delays. You can quickly switch between the two sides.

A convenient Rhythm Mode selector lets you choose from common delay types to a setting that instantly calls up Andy’s unique “halo” effect, with plenty of controls onboard to tweak your sound to perfection. Once you dial in the ideal effect, a built-in memory bank store up to eight presets for instant recall, making it easy to take your signature sounds wherever you go.

Why We Love This Delay On Synths

This Rhythm Mode selector makes using guitar pedals of this caliber excellent on synths. It helps lock into a tempo, but in the fact that it’s a dynamic delay, it never lines up perfectly, allowing you to get that almost-perfect-but-slightly-off-kilter quality that makes delays like this shine.

This pedal is perfect for gritty analog synths that you want to send soaring in the mix, and with a handful of tasteful delay options, finding one that sits perfectly in the song has never been easier.

Learn More About This Pedal Here

Meris LVX Modular Delay System Pedal

Meris LVX Modular Delay System Pedal

The Meris LVX is a modular delay system providing almost limitless creative freedom. With 2.54 seconds of dual delay, configurable delay structures, types, and processing elements, the LVX gives you many of the same great features as other Meris products and some unique ones.

This pedal has two independent stereo delays with selectable note divisions and a 60-second looper. Despite all this processing power, LVX is easy to navigate, thanks to its intuitive screen-based user interface.

The LVX delay pedal provides high-quality stereo sound, a premium analog signal path, pristine 24-bit AD/DA converters, and 32-bit floating-point DSP. You also get 99 preset locations for quick recall, assignable expression pedal control for multiple parameters, and comprehensive MIDI implementation. If you’re searching for a robust delay pedal with top-level tweakability, the LVX will meet — and exceed — your expectations.

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Why We Love This Delay On Synths

This unit isn’t so much a pedal but a high-level delay workstation for your synths.

It has everything you need to craft crazy unique delays, ambient sounds, and tons of customization that allow you to dial in the exact delay you need (or didn’t know that you wanted).

With a different delay mode for every situation and the ability to save presents to use later, you can get creative and discover wild combinations of settings that you can save for later use. Most analog pedals don’t offer such recall functionality, and the fact that this does make it one of the best delay pedals one can snag for your synths.

Learn More About This Awesome Pedal Here

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal

The MXR Carbon Copy delay features a rich, warm, analog audio path using old-school bucket brigade technology. It has 600ms of delay time, with modulation options via a top-mounted switch. Its simple three-knob layout gives you complete control over Delay, Mix (dry/wet blend), and Regeneration (delay repeats) – all in one compact pedal!

This MXR Carbon Copy analog delay has two internal trim pots that let you customize the width and rate control of the modulation, as well as stage-worthy blue LEDs and 9-volt operation. You can use it to create anything from crisp bathroom slap echoes to epic delays, all with the simple twist of a knob.

Why We Love This Delay On Synths

This is a fantastic starter pedal whose approachable price point and simple design mean that producers at any level looking to add a little bit of analog delay to their production workflow will find this an easy addition.

It doesn’t offer a wide variety of delay effects for you to use on your hardware synths. Instead, it offers just a couple of delay types that sound incredible when used on the warm and rich timbres of hardware synths.

Learn More Here

Boss DD-8 Digital Delay Pedal

Boss DD-8 Digital Delay Pedal

Since they first released the DM-1 Delay Machine in 1978, BOSS has been known for making great-sounding delay pedals. The DD-8 Digital Delay, their most potent yet, offers up to 10 seconds of delay as well as 11 versatile delay modes that go from crystal-clear repeats to glitchy and modulated echoes.

The BOSS DD-8 is an excellent tool for practicing soundchecks, and creating backing tracks on the fly, thanks to its 40-second looper. It’s easy to sync your repeats to a song using the tap tempo feature. The carryover switch enables delay trails to continue after the effect is bypassed.

The BOSS DD-8 is overflowing with flexible stereo I/O, while three selectable output modes create a wide range of effects. The BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay includes external footswitch jacks for on-demand tap tempo, extended looper control, and an intriguing Twist effect.

Why We Love This Delay On Synths

Where most of the other delay pedals on this list were analog delay pedals, this digital delay offers a bit more crystal-clear precision that brings back a bit more control to the output that predominantly-in-the-box producers find easy to use familiar.

That being said, this compact delay pedal also offers a ton of customization and functionality out of an affordable delay pedal. This pedal is the best option if you’re looking for a tight and predictable rhythmic delay that sounds amazing.

Learn More Here

Why Use Guitar Pedals On Synths?

guitar pedals for synths

I am a massive fan of routing my hardware synths through tape delays, reverb pedals, and even a tape echo from time to time. In fact, I think it’s the secret sauce to arriving at an authentic and original sound that cuts through the noise of the million other producers uploading songs to the internet.

Because guitar pedals help color the signal and give a much more unique output that any type of software imaginable. You can run guitar delay pedals like a Korg MS-20 or Juno, creating complex and intriguing soundbeds and textures that no other software can achieve.

Plus, delay pedals are just the beginning, a single piece of the puzzle. Once you get the bug for using guitar pedals through synths, nothing is stopping you from chaining distortion pedals, chorus effects, and anything else through your synths and keyboards. And once you get started, you’ll find the boutique market of guitar pedals brings some insanely creative options for you to start collecting.

This is why I love using guitar pedals on my synths in music production.

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