Plugins We ❤ By The Function! (Time-Delay)
In the third installment of “Plugins We Love”, we continue pointing out the select few we reach for frequently. This list is dedicated to our favorite Time-Delay plugins. If you haven’t tried some of the ones on this list, I highly recommend you do so. I hope the time-delay installment sheds a little light on why we like the plugins we do and how they help us create better mixes. We encourage you to chime in through our forum to tell us why you like the tools you use, and what you think about our opinions on the plugins we list. Here goes…
The Waves Super Tap is probably one of the best third party delay plugins around to me. I haven’t found many plugins that are easier to setup great results with. My favorite thing to do is just tap where I want each delay. You can select one delay while the track is playing just tap the TapPad to set it and repeat for the other delays. As you can see in this photo you have six taps to choose from. You have access to a feedback loop control where you can set the time for feedback to start, as well as, set a low pass filter on the loop. When you first get started working with it you may want to start from a pre-set that gets you in the “ballpark” of the sound you are looking for and the SuperTap has some great pre-sets you can manipulate to your particular track. You’ll notice, there are also EQ options for each Tap which is a great feature to be able to EQ each Tap differently. Delays lose high frequency content as they dissipate so you’ll want to EQ with that in mind. Last but not least the pan graph (in the upper left) allows you to set specific spatial settings so you can create some really interesting ear candy with this plugin. Great to have.
You will see this plugin on the majority of every “Inside the Mix” article if you are a Sound on Sound magazine reader. There’s a reason. This is the most famous SoundToys plugin I can think of. This Sound Toys plugin is the “character” unit of the bunch we’ve listed here. As you can see, it picks up where the others have left off with Saturation controls (this is a tape emulation feature). You’ve got your tap tempo feature in the middle with different modes to select from. Your EQ section is on the left along with some more sync features and style functionality. In my opinion, the Echoboy is really the delay plugin that imparts the “coolness” factor. You’ll notice with some of the other selections on the list we are only looking to improve the existing signal with little in the way of hearing the delay on its own, while I’m sure you can accomplish that with the Sound Toys unit, I always look to the Echoboy as my “featured” delay.
Logic Sample Delay
Logic’s Sample Delay is awesome, because it does one thing really well in my eyes. It’s great at being simple and adding width to thin mono recordings. I only really use the sample delay to thicken vocals, but it does an amazingly inconspicuous job. As you can see, there isn’t much to it. You have the same delay controls for Left and Right signals and you have the option of linking those with a selection button. I love to have my lead vocal soloed with a send to an aux track with the Sample delay on it. Then I turn the sample delay fader all the way up I’ll set whatever delay sounds correct, then I pull the fader down until I can’t hear it, and only really notice a thicker “mono” vocal. It’s a great tool for those that have thin mono vocal tracks, and it’s really simple to use.
Logic Tape Delay
The Logic Tape delay is great when you want all the control you can get from a stock D.A.W delay. The vast majority of the time my delays are on their own aux tracks and I mix them in to taste. This Tape Delay plugin is one of the more advanced stock options and works well in the way I use delays. Notice the feedback control, you’ll love that when you want control over the style and repetitions of the delay character. Like I said earlier, delays lose high frequency content as they decay so you have the low cut/high cut feature that is great for making things sound more realistic. I also really play around with the tempo sync and the flutter controls that mimic analog tape delays. It’s a great plugin that comes free with Logic Pro and still allows you wide functionality. It’s not going to have the analog character you may be used to if you use specific tape emulation plugins, but it will give some “analog tape like” features to your delays.
I hope we didn’t leave out too many of your favorites in this installment. In certain genres where reverb is scarce (hip-hop) delays are really where you create your “ear candy” factor, and if you haven’t settled on your “go to” plugins yet, this list will certainly help you find which ones work best for you. I hope I was able to articulate why we reach for these plugins first. Be sure to let us know if we missed anything, or just let us know your thoughts in the forum. LATER!
**Did we miss anything? What are your Favorite Time-Delay plugins? Let us know in the forum!**
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