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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

#Musicproduction: Mixing: Delay Mistakes

A little more than in 2009, we began a series on common mistakes in mixing, covering compression, EQ, and reverb. Today, delay has its own turn. It is a directory of mistakes meant to educate, not reprimand. So when you are doing several of the following, don't worry—most of us have. Let's have advertising!

1. Not knowing why you're using delay in the first place 

Delays can offer ambiance. Delays can offer emphasis. Delays can change the perceived location in the signal, in a choice of front-to-back perception maybe in panning (the haas effect). Echoes like slapbacks can often mean genre. Timed stereo delays can reinforce the groove or help to make a new feel for the song.

These are generally many different use-cases for delay, and not understanding what kind you're trying to elicit is perpetuating an excellent disservice for your mix, because like that, sloppy accidents lie. Know why to obstruct, before knowing when and how.

2. Putting delay on every track 

A lot like putting reverb on every track, overuse of delay are a wide offender noisy . career of any mixing engineer—specifically when combined with overuse of reverb. Sometimes a track has to be dry. That's fine! It will come time for understanding the basic uses of delay: the simulation associated with an acoustic space, the ability to add feelings of direction to a proof, the evocation of any specific genre, or maybe the fortification/emphasis of a certain rhythm. 

This is simply not to convey you have to limit your make use of delay that much; Dave Pensado has repeatedly mentioned how Jaycen Joshua piles on delays that, if your mix playback stops, go on for days. Same applies to STL GLD's rapper, Moe Pope, who requested that this producer, The Arcitype, add six bars of delay to his vocals. It's portion of his sound.

3. Badly timed rhythmic delay 

The secrets to mixing is like the secret to success to comedic (timing) success (forgive the joke). Delays, which can be discrete repeats of the primary signal, are naturally rhythmical, and thus, influential in terms of timing.

Timing can be used in a number of ways here. To boost the spaciousness of any drum bus, use a stereo delay perfectly aligned to a subdivision in the drum's tempo, edged positively slightly into your mix. Conversely, to be noticeable more, an element can try a delay intentionally unaligned—a millisecond valuation on a primary number like 23, 29, 31 or 37 may be particularly helpful within this endeavor. 

But discretion is called for. If using unconventional timing, you need to take great care while using the exact value in the delay—it's essential to time it by ear, lest it feel utterly wrong. Likewise, the subdivision of any timed delay is evenly important: a triplet subdivision might, by way of example, add an excessive amount of swing to an otherwise straight tune.

4. Delaying leakage by accident

Particularly common in acoustic, live arrangements, this mistake involves besides delaying a solid source, but also delaying its accompanying ambiance—ambiance that holds the noise of other instruments. Think the drums bleeding in to a vocal mic; when the time comes so as to add delay compared to that vocal, the snare will probably echo as well. You have to try not to induce this sort of effect without intention or maybe a variety of weird timing issues can compound, becoming a muddy image, or some other negative impacts that divert attention on the song.

The way it, you have two choices to eradicate such issues: smart filtering in the delay so that only important frequencies are carried is one. You could filter the offending sound from the delay with EQ. In the event that's unattainable, you might duck it by sidechaining the delay by using a compressor, one keyed to your offending instrument.

5. Not processing delays

Preset diving will be the way a number of us learn in a digital epoch, and they often speed precludes experimentation with individual delay parameters. However, a lot of engineers forget they've the replacement for effect the delay further, to process it with external EQ, modulation, or dynamics processing. 

Using EQ for the delay will help sit while in the mix, rather then reinforce bloat. If the delay gets while in the primary source's physical space, subtle stereo chorusing for the delay can certainly help both the decoagulate. 

The dynamics of any delay are incredibly important: I've gotten a great deal of mileage when sidechaining delays to a snare or kick for a kind of staccato bounce (you may also blend this along with the very first delay to generate a straight richer tapestry, if your mix involves it). Sometimes you desire the delay to alter with regards to the dynamics of any given part, and for that, tools like iZotope's DDLY can be adept.

6. Not automating delays

Sophistication comes from a musical way of all elements, and for sophistication, unlike the bespoke, hands-on touch of automation. It always surprises me when automating an echo doesn't afflict a pal or colleague. You should speed it up as it fades out, in order to perform some scene-stealing character? You should control its fadeaway for a exact specifications with level automation? You should freeze the delay, if that parameter emerged, to develop sudden blasts appealing? You should manipulate a pre-delay EQ to vary the entire timbre of the effect?

Needless to say, none on this matters if you can't know why you have delay to start with, but toddler miss the possibility for more presents itself.

7. Not making use of manual delay 

Automating a delay is great—until it's an excessive amount of work for the simple task accessible; who here has automated a delay for a good “throw” or single-played repeat? If that is you, think about this:

Why didn't you recently mult the throw to a different track, and place/pan/EQ/render the phrase for a exact predilections?

It might appear like an excessive amount of work on the outlay, but in the long run, manual delays is usually a much quicker solution to your end goal, and can even spend less on CPU. Look at how I processed a throw manually to use own dedicated track with some EQ, as well as just a little stock plug-in delay:

8. Stereo delays that flam in mono

Raise your hand if you have ever put on your DAW's digital delay to develop a sense width—in effect, to make a stereo track out from one element. 

I not really know las vegas dui attorney fell due to this gag, because now you're raising your hand while reading content, and I would not be aware the spot where you are. But I understand las vegas dui attorney fell for the stereo delay trick: it merely works. 

Unless you monitor in mono, that is; then you certainly hear the unnatural delay slap, like bad flutter echo, or comb filtering. What was suddenly full and lush now seems like bad acoustics.

It is possible to fix here? Not with a stereo delay for panning? No! A small amount of manipulation on one of many sides are capable of doing the trick. If it's a melody, I could use a subtle pitch shifter that modulates just enough; done efficiently, it will not cause attention within the mix, and it won't have that horrid flam effect in mono. 

If I'm delaying a mono percussive element like a drum loop, there is absolutely no better tool in my box than Neutron 2's Transient Shaper, which enables me to manipulate the dynamic response of percussion with a multiband basis; maybe more sustain for the snare, or more attack for the kick, will avert the dreaded doubling.

9. Not putting delay on a reverb (or other effect)

Sometimes the most significant mistake lies not in how delay is required, but what it is not used. A good example might be a ballad which has a spacious lead vocal. Often, reverb is insufficient, since the signal clings to the middle vocal in spatial temperament. Here just a little stereo delay can go a long way to getting rid of the guts, therefore the vocal can comfortably sit in every that space.

10. Not using delays to create ambiance 

This error can frequently befall people doing work in sound design, but it also gets to music mixers aiming to evoke real-sounding spaces. Probably the most concrete indicator of a space would be the quality—and location—of its reflections. To rob an important method to obtain this indicator is usually to deprive it of the force it could otherwise display. You could look at it through these metaphorical terms: The delay provides the fundamental to your reverb's harmonics.

To make sure you're always attuned to your way sound delays in some spaces, there is absolutely no better practice than investigating these places with your own personal ears. Begin churches of numerous sizes and listen to your choirs. Hear the vocals since they balance and notice the direction they bounce around. Do this with exercise with living rooms, bathrooms, barrooms, the great outdoors, and anywhere else you possibly can think of.


Doubtless, there are far more mistakes I really could enumerate here, but this covers the usual gamut. It really is our hope that thus educated, you possibly can level up without delay.

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