Using very small delays - discuss - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Using very small delays - discuss
Old 12th November 2002
BevvyB's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Using very small delays - discuss

Using very small delays in milliseconds can sometimes give an instrument a bit more presence in a mix mixed in with the original signal, but how far do some of you guys take this?

With the advent of pro tools and the like, it is now so easy to offset a track in stereo by a few samples, but this can also mess up the sound as well as sometimes just work, depending on how severe the delay.

How much do you guys use these kinds of techniques and do you have any special hidden secrets using delays that you consider in your arsenal of mixing? Specifically regarding 'opening up' a sound and creating a more 'placed' instrument, as well as sheer madness....

1. on vocals
2. on drums
3. on everything else

Also, which preset on what delay unit is the one you keep reaching for??

Old 12th November 2002
Gear Guru
Ethan Winer's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Re: Using very small delays - discuss


> Specifically regarding 'opening up' a sound and creating a more 'placed' instrument <

I do this all the time, but not with delays per se. My favorite plug-ins are the UltraFunk pack, and I use the reverb with short decay settings to simulate an acoustic space. To make an instrument (or voice) seem like it's right there in the room with you.

I have two instances of this reverb on two Aux busses - one set for ambience as described and the other set for a more traditional reverb. I adjust the send levels to suit, depending on how much ambience is already in the track.

A lot of my tunes combine MIDI and audio, and some samples have more built-in ambience than others. So by using an "ambience" reverb I can create a more unified sound, and make a mix of disparate MIDI and audio tracks sound more like a real band recorded in a real room.

Old 12th November 2002
Lives for gear
doug_hti's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I use delays on vocals all the time.
I may also use some on appregiated keyboard pads/leads, guitar parts, or some percusion but not usually.
(I know people do but) I don't use them on drum kit (maybe snare) or bass usually.
They are really effective with bringing out a lead vocal. They can also be a great alternative to a lot of Reverb, when people want to achieve a full yet dry sound...where it sounds dry and natural, but in fact it has been heavily processed with delays AND reverb.

And as far as timing. Where I think delays really make a difference and can help glue a mix, is when they are timed to the tempo of a song. The shortest I usually use is 1/8 note. Many times I'll also put on a 13-18% feedback level.
If I really want to bring a vocal out, I will put up the delay until I can hear it, then pull it back just to where I can't...

I'll also use 1/2 note automated delay on vocals and ride some of the tails of phrases to where they are felt and not heard.

I'll use 1/4 note usually on instruments...

Basically everything delay related (unless for a repeat effect) that I put in is more of a psychoacoustic effect, where you can't hear the delay, but you take it out and you're missing what you were hearing.
Having delays timed to the song really puts in underlying rhythmic sounds in the mix as well.

I know there are so many opinions on this, so i'm just dumping out my own and what I have learned from those I respect.
Old 12th November 2002
BevvyB's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I'll have to try the ultrafunk stuff out, good one

and welcome to gearslutz!
Old 12th November 2002
Gear Maniac
RSMITH123's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I'll give you yet another topic "small delays". The use of delays is never small and never makes anything take any longer....discuss!

umm.... sorry. I'll leave now.
Old 12th November 2002
BevvyB's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
hur hur
Old 14th November 2002
Gear Guru
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Here's a trick I use quite often. I was trying to emulate the TC2290's Chorus which I realized was only stereo because of phase.

I made a short digidesign delay plugin on an aux. I set it up to do a chorus. about 15ms to 25ms with some depth and rate. Pan it left.

Then I duplicate that aux track (Plugin and all) and pan that right. hit the phase insert on the plugin.

Now when you send your Vocal to this, it sounds wider without sounding too chorusy.

The good part is the bad part. It disappears in mono leaving it unchorused (good thing) but now your vocal is a bit lower so use just a bit of this effect.
Old 14th November 2002
Jules's Avatar
Bev post up your tricks, I know you hav em!

Old 15th November 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I'll use a short delay on a guitar to spread it out left and right. A bit of delay on vocal sometime works as a thickener.

I also like a long delay with a few repeats that is only used on certain words. I think it's best to mute and un-mute the send instead of the return. That way you can send just the words you want repeated.

A trick I havenโ€™t used in a while is a long delay where the EQ on the return is thin and odd. It gives a "sound in the singers head" vibe.
๐Ÿ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 295 views: 72219
Avatar for anguswoodhead
anguswoodhead 26th March 2013
replies: 1296 views: 178174
Avatar for heraldo_jones
heraldo_jones 1st February 2016
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump