Computer Music - - Make Music Now -


Mono or nar­row el­e­ments can sound lack­lus­tre in a mix, but de­lay can help with that. For im­per­cep­ti­ble stereo width, I like to use ‘Haas’ de­lay: call up a stereo de­lay plugin, set the feed­back to 0%, then pull both the left and right de­lay times back to 0ms. This’ll only make the sig­nal louder – un­til you off­set the de­lay time of ei­ther L or R by a few mil­lisec­onds (up to around 15ms), where­upon the source sig­nal will ap­pear to spread out to the sides of the mix. I then blend the dry sig­nal back in, and sum to mono to check for phase can­cel­la­tion.

Stereo de­lay can also be used to add more flavour­some stereo con­tent, or even re­verb-style am­bi­ence. To do this, I’ll ex­per­i­ment with longer de­lay rates and feed­back set­tings for the left and right sides. Oh, and try over­driv­ing your de­lay re­peats to give that width more vibe and ‘push’.


When cre­at­ing drums from scratch – es­pe­cially when pro­gram­ming one-shots alone – it can be tricky to find that magic ‘sweet spot’ that gets your head nod­ding to the groove. An in­spir­ing so­lu­tion I’ve dis­cov­ered is to ap­ply echo to dif­fer­ent per­cus­sion parts at dif­fer­ent points within the loop. For ex­am­ple, in­stead of pro­gram­ming me­chan­i­cal ghost notes or shuf­fles as MIDI or au­dio, I throw my main snare through a cre­ative de­lay plugin and ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous de­lay times and feed­back amounts.

In­stead of keep­ing echo time reg­i­men­tally clocked to host tempo, un­sync those re­peats and try to set the de­lay time by ear, as you would with an old-school ana­logue de­lay – you’ll prob­a­bly stum­ble upon a groovier pat­tern this way. And ex­per­i­ment with the de­lay plugin’s fil­ter and mod­u­la­tion op­tions to shape the tim­bre and char­ac­ter of your de­layed per­cus­sion.

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