Chapter 17: Mixing With Delays
AUDIO FILES (To download all WAV examples at once: 189MB ZIP)
- Blend & Size Delays: Here are four versions of the same basic mix: a completely dry version (Ex17.01:WAV/MP3 ), a version with blend delay applied (Ex17.02:WAV/MP3 ), a version with size delay applied (Ex17.03:WAV/MP3 ), and finally a version with both delays at once (Ex17.04:WAV/MP3 ). Compare these files with the corresponding reverb treatments (blend Ex17.05:WAV/MP3 ; size Ex17.06:WAV/MP3 ; both Ex17.07:WAV/MP3 ) to get a feeling for the differences, and also have a listen to what all four effects can do together (Ex17.08:WAV/MP3 ).
- Overall Reverb & Delay Effects Balances: Here are some examples which demonstrate the overall reverb/delay effects balances for several different mixes. The first is from this Mix Rescue, where I used three reverbs and a delay for the final remix (Ex17.09:WAV/MP3 ). Here's what it sounds like without those effects (Ex17.10:WAV/MP3 ). In this Mix Rescue, I used two reverbs and three delays for the final remix (Ex17.11:WAV/MP3 ), but this file has all of them muted (Ex17.12:WAV/MP3 ). There's a more detailed example in this Mix Rescue, where the final remix (Ex17.13:WAV/MP3 ) used blend reverb (Ex17.14:WAV/MP3 ), size reverb (Ex17.15:WAV/MP3 ), sustain reverb (Ex17.16:WAV/MP3 ), size delay (Ex17.17:WAV/MP3 ), and ping-pong delay (Ex17.18:WAV/MP3 ). Check out the corresponding article link for more detailed information on the effect settings used in each case.
- Ducking Delay: Let's say I want to add a strong echo effect to this vocal part (Ex17.19:WAV/MP3 ). Using a traditional delay effect clouds the vocal delivery itself (Ex17.20:WAV/MP3 ), whereas a ducking delay allows the vocals much more space, while still delivering the same obvious echo tail (Ex17.21:WAV/MP3 ).
- Pitched Resonators: On page 257 I mentioned using short high-feedback delays to emphasise pitched resonances. However, I should have added that there is also a family of specialised effects that supply this kind of effect in a more controllable way: pitched resonators. Using pitched resonators is very similar to using sustain-enhancing reverb/delay patches, except that you can specify the exact pitches sustained more easily and accurately. It's best to use such effects as sends, not least because that lets you control the tone of the resonator harmonics better, and to apply them during balancing if they're going to considerably change the timbre of the instrument(s) they're applied to. In a subtler role, they can be particularly handy for trouble-shooting individual 'dead' notes in acoustic-guitar recordings.
- Affordable Delay Plug-ins: I use Cockos's freeware ReaDelay for all my general-purpose delay effects, but there are some other affordable plug-ins I use regularly for more specialised applications or coloristic tonal/sustain treatments. For a start, there are a number of emulated tape/vintage delay plug-ins: GSI's freeware WatKat32-bit and affordable GS-20132-bit; Smartelectronix's donationware Analog Delay32-bit; Tweakbench's freeware Maelcum32-bit; Variety Of Sound's freeware Nasty DLA32-bit; The Interruptor's freeware Tape Delay32-bit, Bionic Delay32-bit, and Echomania32-bit; Bluenoise Mountain Echo; Retro Sampling's freeware Vintage Tape Delay32-bit; Meesha's freeware Echo Master32-bit; E-phonic's freeware TapeDelay32-bit and RetroDelay32-bit. Then there are two simple delays with useful additional features: Kjaerhus Audio's freeware Classic Delay32-bit, with its switchable ping-pong mode, and GVST's freeware GDuckDly, with its built-in ducking facility. Another freeware ducking delay is available from MDSP: MdspDuckDelay32-bit.
- Affordable Pitched Resonator Plug-ins: I first came into contact with pitched resonators via the Resonant Chords patch of Lexicon's studio effects units, and although this effect is now available in software form as part of the PCM Native Effects bundle, it's quite an expensive option if pitched resonance is all you're looking for. Stillwell Audio's cross-platform Tinman provides a much more affordable alternative, although you'll need to use multiple single-pitch instances to achieve a similar level of functionality. Finding pitched resonators in freeware form isn't easy, especially because it's difficult to find a reliable download source for either of my two favourite examples, arcDev Resomatic32-bit and Oli Larkin's Dronebox32-bit. If you can't find one of those somewhere through Google, then try Mutagene Macomate 8832-bit, which is also pretty good once you work out how to make sense of the slightly cryptic user interface.