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Just thought Id share a tip with you guys regarding delays.


Sure using delays is an easy way to extend the decay/sustain of a sound, however it can also cause frequencies to overlap, messing with your db levels and balance. With many plugins you will have a cutoff knob which will filter out high frequencies on the delay making it fade out gradually. Still it would be uncontrolled.


Music is organized sound, so having control of each element is key when producing digital music. You can quantize everything but your fx may still mess up the flow in the music.

Rather than using delay plugins, you can cut up your sample into repetitive blocks, then automate the low-pass on the EQ to gradually fade out.


You get many benefits from this.


One: with the low-pass automation you can bring the high-end back at the end of the bar or in the middle, fully controlling the presence of the sound. You also get the option to high-pass or band-pass (automating the Q)


Two: You can cut the repetitive blocks up into smaller parts through time ( 8th or 16th notes ) creating more interest.


Three: Shifting the blocks around at the end of each 4 or 8 beats. This will give the impression that the sound has a delay but hey, it changes within the delay. Showing control and keeping it synchronized. With this you can also create rhythmic patterns, locked to the bpms.


Four: Nothing overlaps, each block ends where the other one begins.


Five: The delay can be as long as you want it to be, and end it without extra background delays which are inaudible.


I use delay plugins as a preview and then break up the sound in synchronized blocks afterwards.


Cheers guys

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gonna continue it ;)


The "liquid delay":

Sample you favorite synthshot and reverse the sample.

Now put a delay onto it (ping-pong works very well for this) and sample the result.

Reverse the result again.

Now you have a synthshot sample, with a delay on it, although the delay doesn't play a after, but before the shot.

If you combine it with a delay on the original sample you get a flow-in-flow-out effect.. just try it ;)


This also works very well with reverb-fx, especially on voice samples.

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General delay tips?

Unsynced delays could be used to explore a range of rhythmic options.

A tape delay emulator can achieve pitch shifting by automating change in the rate of the delay line.

Also there is a whole synthesis method called Karplus strong based applying very short delay lines to short bursts of noise to produce pitched sounds and more. Just convert frequency into period and apply the period length as the delay line + some filtering and you'll achieve plucked string sounds.


I personally use fabfilter's timeless which has some cool feedback, filtering, and routing options within the plugin.

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for the purposes described in the original post, i'd use logic's delay designer. you can do almost all of these things and it's less work to set up.



but something i do more often is build my own delay using a simple delay plug on a send that feeds back on itself. on this send channel you can then add eq, reverb, flanger or any other effects. this way you can fade out the delay extra nicely into a lush reverb, make it progressicely weirder as it fades, ...

if you're feeling adventurous, you can set up multiple such delay channels with different effects that feed into each other (or back again). with that technique you can have a synth stab trigger a percussion sequence or the delay of a percussion hit turn into evolving atmospheric background sounds. just be careful not the set the feedback parameters too high and mute your output quickly if such an accident happens ;)

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