Deep Dive into the Effects of the POD HD Multi-Effects Processors: Multi-Head Delay

It’s amazing how many classic, groundbreaking delay effect models are loaded into the POD HD multi-effects processors. In my previous blog posts in this series we’ve already touched on a few of these great delay effects and this week is no exception.

The Multi-Head delay effect loaded into the POD HD multi-effects processors is inspired by* a true gem: the Roland® RE-101 Space Echo.


Roland was founded by a gentleman named Ikutaro Kakehashi in 1972. Prior to the creation of the Roland Corporation, Kakehashi owned an electronics repair shop named “Kakehashi Musen” which he later changed the name of to Ace Electrical Company. In those early years, Kakehashi designed a few musical gadgets including guitar amplifiers and rhythm machines. In 1972 Kakehashi became a minority share holder in his own company and decided to break away and the Roland Corporation was born.

Two short years later Roland released perhaps their best known delay effect series, the Space Echo. There were a few different models of the Space Echo including the RE-101 and famous RE-201 among other later models. The Multi-Head delay effect in the POD HD multi-effects processors is inspired by the RE-101 model.


The Multi-Head delay model is named as such because the original RE-101 model was a delay unit that recorded an incoming audio signal to a loop of magnetic tape. That signal would then get played back through several play heads, in this case four. Each play head can be turned on or off completely in the POD HD multi-effects processor, resulting in a vast combination of echo sounds. For example, you can leave all of the play heads on and have a consistent level of delay repeats with no decay. Or, you can turn one tape head off, say head three, and as a result, your signal level will remain consistent as it passes through heads one and two, and then drop off or decay, only to bounce back again when it hits tape head four.  Couple that with the other parameters including Time (including note values), Feedback, and Mix and you’re in for a world of creative tweaking. As I mentioned before, this is a true gem of a delay effect.

Here are some tones for you guys to give a whirl. All of my tones can be found on Custom Tone at Line 6 Miller’s Tones. You won’t find any POD HD300 tones in this week’s blog simply because the POD HD300 does not include the Multi-Head delay model.

Missile Crisis

In 1992 a band by the name of King Missile released an album entitled “Happy Hour.” The band had a modest hit single about the singer (John Hall) losing a certain, ahem, body part after a night of partying. If you have no idea what I’m talking about just Google the band and you’ll get it. I actually stumbled across this tone by accident while trying to build some other tones for this blog. It’s a simple crunch amp sound with a fairly long time signature Multi-Head delay effect. I threw an Overdrive effect before the amp in the chain and capped the signal chain off by adding a 4 Band Shift EQ. I actually think I came pretty close with this one and if you play the riff right you can see for yourself.

Multi Duel

This next tone will only work with the POD HD500 multi-effects processor because I actually have two delays running in the signal chain.  You can really hear all four heads from each Multi-Head delay in action. I’ve got radically different time signatures going on in each delay, which illustrates some off-time, quirky delay effects.


For some reason this tone reminds me of breaking glass hence the name. It’s probably because I used a Class A-30 TB amp model with the drive dimed out to 100% and the treble and presence parameters tweaked fairly high as well. There are quite a few FX going on in the signal chain with this tone but nothing too radical. I added a noise gate in front to tame the inherent buzz of this amp model (something the real amp does) and boosted the signal a bit after the Multi-Head delay effect. I finished the tone off with a slightly tweaked Graphic EQ in the chain.

Ragga Drops

This is my first official attempt at creating a reggae tone in this blog series. I’m using the Blackface Dbl Vib amp model with the drive parameter turned down quite a bit. One nice sounding Multi-Head delay model is all you need here and I’m only using the first tape head on the effect. The time, feedback, and mix parameters are dialed in fairly conservatively. That’s all there is to it! Try playing some simple reggae chords with this one and let me know how close you think it is!

In the next blog we’ll talk about, you got it, ANOTHER classic delay model you get with the POD HD multi-effects processors. The Echo Platter delay effect model which is inspired by* the Binson EchoRec is a staple delay effect for several legendary bands including Pink Floyd. Until next time!

*All product names used in this webpage are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Line 6. These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied during Line 6’s sound model development.