Make your own modulation
Delay isn’t just behind the overt effects you hear in a mix – it’s also responsible for far more subtle treatments that producers have been using heavily for many years. And it all started – as do most things in music production mythology – with those pesky Beatles.
Legend has it that the Fab Four had requested a method of double tracking vocals automatically. After Abbey Road engineer Ken Townsend came up with a solution – duplicating the vocal signal on tape and modulating one copy – the ‘flange’ effect was, supposedly, born, and used liberally on the appropriately titled Revolver.
Flanging isn’t too far removed from the sister effects of phasing and chorus. The three stem from the same simple process, and it’s easy to make your own with delay: set a short delay time, modulate it slightly, and make sure you’re running both dry and wet signals. Here are some recipes…
Most modulation effects have roots in delayed signals; do it yourself if you know how they’re formulated