Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation
Illustration by John Hersey
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Setting up an effects loop for delay


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Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation

with Alex U. Case

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Video: Setting up an effects loop for delay

To use the effects we talk about in this course, we need to know how to set it all up. We get delays into our mix by setting up an effects loop. The effects loop is the path our audio takes as it goes from the source track into the delay processor and back to the mix. We've got to hook this up right, or none of our mix ideas can be realized. Beginning with the track we want to process, we need a way to tap into the signal and send it to our delay. In order to hear that delay, we feed its output to the mix too. Typically, an auxiliary send and return structure is employed using bus outputs and so-called aux returns to get our signal into the delay processor and then back into our mix.
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  1. 4m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      50s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      55s
    4. Using the "Get In the Mix" Pro Tools session files
      1m 34s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. What is delay?
      2m 7s
    2. Creating delay effects overview
      1m 41s
    3. Delay time, level, and feedback parameters
      3m 0s
    4. Utilizing a low-pass filter and polarity reverse
      3m 7s
    5. Setting up an effects loop for delay
      1m 6s
    6. Setting up an effects loop in a DAW
      5m 40s
    7. Setting the delay time by tempo
      3m 25s
    8. Setting the delay time by ear
      1m 33s
  3. 31m 29s
    1. Overview of short, medium, and long delays
      3m 49s
    2. Long delays
      3m 17s
    3. Get in the Mix: Using long delay on key lyrics
      7m 2s
    4. Get in the Mix: Establishing groove with long delays
      8m 42s
    5. Get in the Mix: Creating slap-back echo with long delays
      6m 6s
    6. Advanced tape-delay effects
      2m 33s
  4. 46m 59s
    1. LFO
      2m 39s
    2. Get in the Mix: Modulation rate and depth
      7m 32s
    3. Get in the Mix: Modulation shape
      7m 43s
    4. Delay effects examples in various plug-ins
      3m 52s
    5. Medium delays
      1m 3s
    6. Get in the Mix: Chorus
      5m 54s
    7. Get in the Mix: Double tracking
      6m 23s
    8. Get in the Mix: Spreaders and thickeners
      11m 53s
  5. 16m 31s
    1. Constructive and destructive interference
      2m 16s
    2. Short delays
      1m 6s
    3. Get in the Mix: Creating a comb filter and a flange effect
      5m 34s
    4. Get in the Mix: Flanger and phaser effects
      7m 35s
  6. 19m 11s
    1. Using delays in a real-world mix
      16m 59s
    2. Course summary and goodbye
      2m 12s

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation
2h 27m Appropriate for all Jan 18, 2012 Updated Jan 31, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this installment of Foundations of Audio, author Alex U. Case explains the fundamentals of delay and modulation effects and how to apply these effects, technically and creatively, to improve the sound of a mix. The course covers adjusting individual parameters such as delay time, level, and feedback; working with long delays to create echoes, enhance groove, and add support; using delay modulation for chorus and doubling effects; and dialing-in spectral effects from delay, such as flanging. This course also includes Get in the Mix (GITM) sessions for both Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro. Exercise files are also included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the delay time, level, and feedback parameters
  • Utilizing a low-pass filter and polarity reverse
  • Setting up an effects loop
  • Setting the delay time by tempo or by ear
  • Understanding the distinct uses of short, medium, and long delays
  • Adjusting modulation rate, depth, and shape
  • Adding double tracking and spreader effects
  • Manipulating tone with constructive or destructive interference
  • Creating a comb filter and flange effect
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Logic Pro Pro Tools Waves
Author:
Alex U. Case

Setting up an effects loop for delay

To use the effects we talk about in this course, we need to know how to set it all up. We get delays into our mix by setting up an effects loop. The effects loop is the path our audio takes as it goes from the source track into the delay processor and back to the mix. We've got to hook this up right, or none of our mix ideas can be realized. Beginning with the track we want to process, we need a way to tap into the signal and send it to our delay. In order to hear that delay, we feed its output to the mix too. Typically, an auxiliary send and return structure is employed using bus outputs and so-called aux returns to get our signal into the delay processor and then back into our mix.

While simply inserting a delay directly on the track might work, we commonly set up a type of delay effect that we want to use on more than one track. Using the aux send and return approach means that when we dial up a delay-based effect we like on the guitar, we can also apply it to the piano or any other instrument by raising the appropriate additional aux sends feeding the exact same instance of the effect. In the next couple of movies, we'll take a look at how to set up an effects loop in some common digital audio workstations.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation .


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Q: This course was updated on 01/31/2014. What changed?
A: The Get in the Mix videos have been updated to the most recent version of Pro Tools. Also, the course now includes free Get in the Mix sessions for two more DAWs: Logic Pro X and Pro Tool.
 
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