Andrew Bird is an American indie musician and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Since he started recording music in 1996, he has released 16 studio albums. His use of violins and whistling in conjunction with looping makes him a unique and interesting listen as well as a fantastic live show.
But how does he loop his instruments when he plays live shows? Well, Andrew Bird likes to use the Line 6 DL4 delay and loop pedal. More specifically, Bird likes to run two of these on his board, allowing him to mix delay and loop settings at will.
But who is Andrew Bird anyway? Why does he like the Line 6 DL4 so much, and what other gear is he famous for using? Read on to find out more about Andrew Bird and his looping effects!
Who is Andrew Bird?
Andrew Bird is quite a unique musician, and not exactly the type you’d think would be into using effects pedals. Still, they are an important part of his music, especially when he’s playing live sets. This is because they allow him to layer melodies and harmonize as a solo artist.
This is especially important as a multi-instrumentalist, as Bird plays the guitar, violin, and glockenspiel in his live shows.
Bird’s career has not only spanned a long time but has spanned many styles of music as well. Andrew Bird’s albums have covered everything from Jazz, to swing, to indie rock, to indie folk, and everything in between! He can normally be identified by his beautiful violin melodies (augmented with very smart and tasteful use of effects) along with his whistling, which is a signature in much of his music.
Bird isn’t only a solo artist, though, and has done a number of collaborations. Most notably, he’s collaborated with other indie darlings such as Fiona Apple and Nora O’conner. Bird has also won multiple awards and his 2019 album My Finest Work Yet was nominated for a grammy for Best Folk Album.
What delay pedal does Andrew Bird use?
As stated above, Andrew Bird uses the Line 6 DL4 in order to loop his melodies and harmonies. More specifically, his pedalboard has two Line 6 DL4 pedals.
This is so he can mix his loop and/or delay settings and get a more specific sound. This is also great for playing larger venues where you have more than one amp, as you can split the loop signal to come out of both amps, or have different loops coming from each.
The Line 6 is an exceptionally versatile pedal, as it gives you a delay effect as well. This is another reason having 2 is great, as you can delay the loop, or loop a delayed phrase.
Its sound quality is also great as well. The tone of the delay and loop is warm and gives color and depth to your phrases that many other delays aren’t quite able to capture.
This ability combined with its versatile looping ability, in which you can normal playback, double loop speed, half loop speed, and even reverse your loop, makes it the loop/delay pedal to have, all at a relatively affordable price point.
What other gear is Andrew Bird known for using?
Andrew Bird is known for using a number of pieces of gear.
As far as guitars go, there are two main guitars that Andrew Bird is known for using. When playing acoustic, Bird usually opts for a Martin 000-18. This comes as no surprise, as Martins are some of the best astounding, and highest quality acoustic guitars on the market.
When playing electric, Bird plays a classic indie favorite, the Gibson ES-125 TDC. This guitar’s smooth hollow-body sound is perfect for Bird’s laid-back indie guitar playing style.
Bird has a few non-loop or delay pedals on his board as well. When he needs to give one of his guitars a little extra oomph, he will kick on an octave pedal. This will duplicate whatever he plays on octave up or down, giving it a thicker and fuller sound. His preferred octave pedal is the Boss OC-2 Octave.
For a little flair, sometimes Bird kicks on a phase shifter. Again, he opts for the very reliable line of Boss pedals, choosing the Boss PS-5 Super Shifter.
Andrew Bird is quite an interesting case study in alternative ways to use effects pedals to make interesting music. His pair of Line 6 DL4s not only add a little depth and warmth to his guitar playing but also allow him to loop and delay his violin melodies and whistling as well.
All of this allows him to create a unique and full sound. If you take anything from learning how Andrew Bird uses his effects pedals, it should be that you can be extremely creative with loop and delay effects, so think outside the box!