The Timeslip Delay by ALABS is a delay pedal packed with interesting features not found on typical delay pedals.
In this review, I’ll give you a thorough look at whether you might want one on your pedalboard, what the delays sound like, and how you can use it.
ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal Features
The Timeslip Delay is one of four debut pedals in the “Adam Adventures” series from ALABS. All four pedals pack a lot of features and selectable modes, which gives you a lot of flexibility over the effects.
Here are the main features of the Timeslip Delay pedal:
- Stereo input/output (True Stereo or Ping Pong modes)
- 9 Delay Types (Tape, Digital, Analog, Reverse, Warp, Granule, Octave, Sweeper, Swell)
- 32-bit Digital Signal Processor
- Different modulation effects for each delay type
- Tap Tempo (selectable 1/4 or 3/8 beat division)
- Multiple function footswitch (automated expression parameter, tap tempo)
- Selectable Analog Buffer Bypass or True Bypass Modes
- Long Delay Mode for extra delay time
- External Power Supply Only (not included)
- 250 mA power draw (9V)
ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal Ease of Use
The Timeslip Delay packs in a surprising number of selectable modes and features. Unless you read the included manual, you may not realize how flexible this pedal can be.
I’ll walk through the main features and selectable modes of this pedal and what they’re like to use.
While the Timeslip Delay has a lot of selectable modes and features, you don’t have to dive into all the features.
Selecting one of the 9 delay types is as simple as turning the Delay Type knob and adjusting the other knobs to your liking.
As shown in the above photo, there are 9 selectable delay types.
I started testing this pedal by experimenting with the different types of delays and not digging into the selectable modes and extra features.
It felt like any other delay pedal in that you have a knob to adjust the delay time, a knob to adjust the number of repeats, a knob to adjust the mix, and the MOD knob to adjust or remove the modulation for that delay.
So if you like the sound of the delays produced by this pedal but are hesitant about the sheer number of selectable modes and advanced features, you can use it like a simple delay pedal if you want.
But if you dig into the advanced features covered below, the Timeslip Delay truly starts to stand out.
Each type of delay has a different parameter that can be adjusted with the MOD knob. You can hear the modulation types in the audio clips later.
While you can get typical clean delay tones without any modulation (just turn the modulation knob all the way to the left), the modulations built into the Timeslip Delay are fantastic.
One quirk with the pedal is that you may notice that there are two labels for the TONE/MOD knob.
This is because the knob controls two different parameters. To adjust the TONE parameter, you need to set the toggle switch to the upper “TAP” position:
To adjust the MOD parameter, you need to set the toggle switch to the lower “∞” position.
Once you adjust the TONE or MOD parameter, the pedal will remember your setting and you can set the toggle switch back to your preferred mode.
You have two ways you can adjust the delay time with the Timeslip Delay pedal: the TIME knob or Tap Tempo.
The Time knob gives you a range of 20 to 1100ms (in standard mode) with the 12 o’clock position set to 375ms.
When the pedal is in Long Delay Mode (covered later), the range of the TIME knob doubles to 40 to 2200ms with the 12 o’clock position set to 750ms.
To activate Tap Tempo, set the toggle switch to TAP (make sure the pedal isn’t bypassed), then hold down the footswitch until the LED turns blue.
Now you can tap on the footswitch to set the delay time.
After 5 seconds of inactivity, the pedal will exit Tap Tempo mode.
You can also set beat subdivision to either 1/4 or 3/8 while in Tap mode (toggle switch set to TAP).
Hold down the footswitch until the LED turns blue. Now you can set the beat subdivision as shown below:
- Turn the REPEAT knob to set the beat subdivision to 1/4. The LED will turn green
- Turn the MIX knob to set the beat subdivision to 3/8. The LED will turn yellow
You need to keep holding down the footswitch while turning the correct knob to set the beat subdivision.
This is a great feature as 3/8 (often referred to as ‘dotted eighth’) is a very common delay effect. Being able to switch between the two beat subdivisions gives you plenty of flexibility in how your delay sounds.
This pedal isn’t as easy to switch between the subdivision modes compared to other pedals that have a dedicated knob/switch, but it didn’t take me long to get used to switching back and forth between the modes.
∞ Footswitch Mode
The Infinite “∞” mode is a creative feature that allows you to record and playback up to five seconds of parameter control.
In plain English, what this feature does is it first asks you to record yourself turning any or all of the four parameter knobs for up to five seconds. So you can gradually increase the number of delay repeats to create a big delay swell. Then when you hold down the footswitch, the pedal will “playback” the way you turned the parameter knobs.
You can come up with some extreme swirling and almost synth-like sweep effects. If you’ve ever turned a delay pedal’s time knob while a note was ringing out, you’ll know what I mean about extreme sweeps.
Here’s an example of how to use this feature.
First, you set the toggle switch to ∞. Now hold down the footswitch until the LED turns purple:
While holding down the footswitch, you can turn any of the TIME, REPEAT, MIX, or MOD knobs for up to five seconds to memorize the changes.
In this example, I’ll gradually turn the REPEAT knob all the way to the right to gradually increase the repeats over the five seconds.
The LED flashes purple five times over five seconds to tell you how long you can memorize this automation.
If you want to adjust more than one knob, you can do another memorization pass.
In this example, I held the footswitch down again and gradually turned the MIX knob all the way to the right.
So the automation the pedal has memorized is for both the REPEAT and MIX knobs to gradually increase to full over five seconds.
Once you’re happy with the memorized automation, you can recall it at any time by holding down the footswitch. The LED will turn purple and you’ll hear the delay change exactly as if you were turning the knobs yourself.
It took me a while to get used to this mode, but now that I understand how to use it I enjoy playing with it whenever I want something extreme to happen. It’s a different way to add something interesting to a part of a song or to highlight a riff or lick.
While you can run the pedal in mono, it shines as a stereo pedal.
The Timeslip Delay has two selectable stereo modes: True Stereo, or Ping Pong.
With True Stereo mode, the left and right channels run independently with separate algorithms modulated with different low-frequency oscillators.
The True Stereo mode works well when you want a big sound or want lush and wide stereo effects. If you listen to the audio clips later with headphones, you’ll hear subtle differences between the left and right channels.
The alternative is Ping Pong mode, which alternates the wet signal between the left and right channels.
As you might expect, this creates an obvious bouncing effect between channels. Ping-pong delay is a commonly used stereo effect and has a distinctive sound – especially if you spread your two speakers far apart.
To set the stereo mode, power up the pedal with nothing connected to the Right Input jack.
Hold down the footswitch and plug a cable into the Right Input jack.
The LED will flash yellow three times to indicate True Stereo mode, or green to indicate switching to Ping Pong mode.
Simply repeat the process to switch back and forth between the two modes.
There are two bypass modes you can use on the Timeslip: Analog Buffer Bypass or True Bypass.
Analog Buffer Bypass is the default mode as it keeps the delay trails when you turn the effect off. This means if you hit the footswitch to turn delay off while playing, the delay will naturally fade away instead of cutting off abruptly.
If you switch to True Bypass mode, you won’t hear any delay trails after you turn the effect off.
To switch between bypass modes, cut the power to the pedal then hold down the footswitch. Power the pedal back up with the footswitch held down. The LED will flash and you can release the footswitch.
It’s worth mentioning that the analog buffer bypass is quite a premium feature in this pedal. Typical digital delay pedals will convert the dry signal to digital for processing and when bypassed. This pedal retains the analog signal when active as well as when bypassed. So when the delay is active, what you’re hearing is the analog dry signal passed through and mixed with the digital delay.
Set the toggle switch to TAP to select Analog Buffer Bypass mode (the LED will flash red), or set the toggle switch to ∞ to select True Bypass mode (the LED will flash green).
Long Delay Mode
The standard delay time range is 20 to 1100ms. If you want to access longer delay times up to 2200ms, you can switch the pedal to Long Delay Mode.
Setting up Long Delay Mode is a bit odd and will only be useful for certain setups.
You need to connect the input to the Left jack, then the output to the Right jack. Stereo isn’t available in this mode.
The Timeslip Delay requires an external power supply that can supply 250mA of current (at 9V).
This is quite high compared to typical guitar pedals, so you must check your power supply before connecting anything to this pedal.
Some power supplies only supply up to 100mA, which isn’t enough to properly power this pedal.
If you have a power supply you’re currently using with another pedal that offers enough current to power both pedals (eg: 300mA or higher), an easy way to power this pedal with it is to daisy chain the pedals together as explained in this guide.
ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal Sound Quality
As you can see from everything covered above, there are a lot of different features and selectable modes on the Timeslip Delay.
I’ll demonstrate the 9 main delay types and will cover the pedal in more detail later in a video.
In each clip, I’ll strum a chord and then quickly mute it so you can clearly hear the delay trails.
All clips are in True Stereo mode with the default modulation settings.
Here’s the Tape delay:
Tape delays are very popular with guitarists due to the way the trails sit comfortably behind the main guitar. You can hear how the higher frequencies roll off during the trails, which helps bring more clarity to the main guitar tone.
The MOD knob can be used to dial down or exaggerate the simulated tape effect.
Here’s the Digital delay:
Digital delay is often dismissed unfairly by guitarists as some think it will create a ‘digital’ or cold sound. But modern digital delay pedals like the Timeslip use high quality processing and sound fantastic.
The MOD knob adjusts a vibrato effect you can hear in the above clip. Turning the MOD knob all the way down completely removes this for a more straight-forward delay.
Here’s the Analog delay:
Of course, this is a digital pedal, but the analog delay effect authentically replicates the typical ‘warm’ sound found on true analog delay pedals.
You can clearly hear the chorus effect added to the delay and can easily lower or remove it using the MOD knob. Or you can turn the MOD knob higher to make the chorusing effect more pronounced.
Here’s the Reverse delay:
Reverse delay is an incredibly fun type of delay to play with. It doesn’t sound very exciting in the above clip, but when you jam with it you quickly learn how to use it.
I spent quite some time just jamming with this reverse delay. It’s one of the best reverse delay effects I’ve tested and works very well with both clean and dirty guitar tones.
Here’s the Warp delay:
The Warp delay has an obvious chorus effect and the MOD knob can bring out some extreme pitch-shifting effects when turned up. This type of delay sounds great with a wide stereo field or in the Ping Pong stereo mode.
Here’s the Granule delay:
Granular delays are extremely fun to play and are becoming more popular with guitarists. Guitarists are starting to realize how musical and creative granular effects can be as seen with the success of pedals such as the Red Panda Particle 2 and the Hologram Microcosm.
Granular delay is unique in the way it chops up your signal and rearranges the ‘grains’ when played back. I’d love to have a Hologram Microcosm on my pedalboard, but can’t justify the cost. So I was thrilled to see a simple granule delay on the Timeslip.
This simple granule delay is quite flexible when you adjust the MOD knob. The above clip doesn’t do the effect justice as you need more than a short chord for the effect to shine.
Here’s the Octave delay:
This delay mixes in a signal an octave higher with the delays. It sounds great with clean and dirty guitar tones – especially soaring guitar solos.
Here’s the Sweeper delay:
The idea behind this delay is to get a classic crybaby sound with a sine wave modulation. The TONE knob is essential for dialing in the right frequency position of the sweep, then you can use the MOD knob to adjust the width and rate of the sweeping motion.
Here’s the Swell delay:
This delay can be used to create lush and atmospheric pad-like soundscapes when dialed in right. You may notice the delay trails don’t have any attack, so you end up with a very soft and smooth wash of delay.
If you’re interested in experimenting with ambient tones, you can get so many different soundscapes and effects from this pedal. Yes, you can dial in ‘standard’ delay effects, but the wide range of modulations and delay types with this pedal gives you plenty of options to experiment with.
Overall Impressions of the ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal
All four of the “Adam Adventures” pedals from ALABS have been extremely impressive.
The Timeslip Delay pedal offers a nice range of delays with a good variety of modulations that aren’t commonly found on other delay pedals.
For example, the granule delay is a type of delay that is rarely found in guitar pedals, yet it is an incredibly musical effect. I easily spent an hour just jamming with the granule delay and combining it with the ∞ mode automation.
It did take me a while to learn how to access all of the different selectable modes and features. But once I set the pedal to the modes that suit me, I didn’t have to go back to change them again (eg: I keep the pedal on Analog Buffered Bypass).
The Timeslip delay packs in high-quality effects and features commonly only found on high-end pedals. If you currently have a basic delay pedal and are looking for something a bit more, it’s worth considering the Timeslip Delay. It doesn’t come with the outrageous price tag found on delay pedals such as the Strymon Timeline, but still gives you a good variety of interesting and high-quality delays.
I’m extremely happy with the Timeslip delay and I fully expect it to stay permanently on my main pedalboard.
ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal Pros and Cons
Here are the main pros of the Timeslip Delay:
- Fantastic quality delays
- Good range of delay types
- Full stereo (two stereo modes)
- Tap tempo
- Great modulation effects with each delay type
Here are the main cons of the Timeslip Delay:
- High power draw (check your power supply before connecting)
- Doesn’t include power supply and isn’t battery compatible
- Slight learning curve to some features
- The selectable modes (eg: long delay mode, bypass modes, stereo modes) aren’t easy to change without following instructions
ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal Video Demo
I’m currently working on a video showcasing the pedal’s main features and will update this review when it is published.
You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here for notifications on new videos.
How to Get The Most Out of the ALABS Timeslip Delay Pedal
Here are some tips to get the most out of the Timeslip Delay pedal:
- Use daisy chaining to power the pedal
- Place the pedal in your amp’s FX loop if possible (read about the 4 Cable Method here)
- If you don’t have an FX loop, place the pedal towards the end of your pedalboard chain
- Experiment with combining the Timeslip with different effects and tones
Learn more about delay and all other types of effects in my Guitar Effects Course. The course is designed to help you identify different effects by ear and combine them together. If you want to combine a delay pedal like the Timeslip with other effects, check out the course to learn more.