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In this course, author Bobby Owsinski reveals industry tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on any digital audio workstation. He offers recommendations for setting up an optimal listening environment, highlights the most efficient ways to set up and balance a mix, and shows how to build a powerful sound with compression. The course also explains how to master the intricacies of EQ; incorporate reverb, delay, and modulation effects; and generate the final mix.
Just like Reverb, there's no rule for where or how Delay is added to a mix. In some mixes, a single delay can work for every instrument vocal. That's what they did on all those great hits in the 50s, 60s, and 70s when the Delay came from a tape machine. Another mix might sound better with the separate delay for every mix element. Here are a few examples that will allow you to hear each scenario. So we have our three delays set up. We have a Haas Delay which is a delay of 40 milliseconds or less. We have a Short Delay, this is somewhere between 50 and 150 milliseconds, and we have a Long Delay that's somewhere around 300-400 milliseconds.
In this case, everything is timed to the track. If we look at our Haas Delay, it's at 36 milliseconds timed to the track, Tempo is at 104 BPM. If we look at our Medium Delay or Short Delay, it's at 216 milliseconds and that's a dotted 16th note delay. We look at our Long Delay. It's a 8th note delay at 288 milliseconds. So let's hear how we can use just those three delays to layer a mix. First thing we'll do is, listen to what a Delay does to a Snare Drum.
Now you might think that you would only add Reverb to snare, but sometimes you would be surprise that what a little bit of delay can do. So let's move down here to our Snare Drum and Solo it up, have a listen -- (Music playing) And let's listen with the Delay. And this one now is going to our Short Delay which is 150 milliseconds or thereabouts. (Music playing) Okay, by itself it doesn't sound too good.
Let's listen in the track. (Music playing) You can hear it's very subtle, but you can hear that the Snare suddenly gets a lot bigger in the mix and you don't hear the delay because it's timed to the track. So we'll leave that there for now and let's go over and look the most important part of our mix which is the vocal.
It's always the focal point and let's get a delay. Solo it up first and listen -- (Music playing) That's a Long Delay. I don't know if that's going to work for the track. Let's go to the Short Delay and have a listen. (Music playing) Let's listen in the track.
(Music playing) Now you can hear what's happening here. You barely hear the Delay itself, but yet you can hear as soon as you turn it off, as soon as that Delay is muted, suddenly the vocal sounds naked.
When you put the Delay on, it just sounds bigger and there's a sense of space and depth. And that's what we're trying to do. We're not necessarily trying to call attention to the Delay itself. We're just trying to put the vocal into an environment, just give it a sense of specialness, and the Delay does that. So let's leave that right there for a second. Let's go to the background vocals. Let's have a quick listen to them on their own -- (Music playing) Let's listen in the track.
(Music playing) What might work really well, is to spread those out and put the Haas Delay [00:03:56.24 on it. Let's solo it up and that's on Bus 19. Let's listen as we put the Haas Delay in the track. (Music playing) Now the cool thing about this is it makes this sound like there are more singers than there actually are.
It actually beefs up the sound of the background vocals. Let's listen in the track. (Music playing) Now the other thing we can do is stereolize this. Already the Haas effect is panned at 45 to the right. Let's take our main background vocal and we'll pan that about the same. Have a listen now.
(Music playing) You can hear suddenly there's a sense of space, there's also a space just for the lead vocal up the middle. When we pan the background vocal suddenly, we never have to worry about them stepping on the lead vocal, and that's the beauty of using the Haas effect. Let's go to our guitars and see what it sounds like with the delay on a guitar. Let's go to our Guitar number 1 first of all, have a listen, Solo it. (Music playing) Now this is Bus 16.
Bus 16 is the Long Delay. Let's hear what it sounds like. (Music playing) That's pretty good. Let's listen what it's like in the track. (Music playing) Now again, it doesn't call attention to itself, but all of a sudden, the electric guitar sounds just a bit more special, there's some space around it. It feels good.
All of a sudden, there's a sense of polish that you feel not only on the guitar but on the mix as well. Let's go the other guitar and have a listen to that as well. Solo it up. (Music playing) Let's try a different delay on this one. Let's go to the Short Delay which is on Bus 15, have a listen. (Music playing) Now let's listen in the track.
(Music playing) Now same thing happened. All of a sudden, there's a sense of polish that comes over the track. We don't necessarily hear the Delay and that's what we're actually trying to achieve by timing it to the track. One more track that we can work on, and that's the Hammond Organ, the B3 track. Let's listen just by itself -- (Music playing) This is obviously recorded in a small room.
What we want to do is put some space around it. So what we'll try to do is put the Long Delay on it and the Long Delay is on Bus 16. Let's hear what it sounds like. (Music playing) Let's have a listen in the track. (Music playing) The other thing that might sound good is to try the Haas Delay on it.
Let's go to Bus 19, have a listen. (Music playing) Let's hear in the track. (Music playing) I think that actually gets in the way of the background vocal. So let's go back to the Long Delay which is on Bus 16 and have a listen.
And what I'm going to as we listen, I'm going to mute the Delays just so you can hear what it adds to the track. (Music playing) You can hear there's a sense of polish that the delays add, and that's what we're trying to achieve here. By combining the three delays with three reverbs, all of a sudden, you have not only the sense of polish and space that they'll bring to the mix, but all of a sudden, the mix sounds complete.
It sounds full, it sounds real. And as compared to the way it sounds now where it's flat, all of a sudden there's a sense of specialness and that's what we're trying to do by adding Delay and Reverb. So that's how we layer a mix by placing different mix elements in different environments with the Delay. As with Reverb, try to visualize if an instrument is in front of, behind, or with another instrument to determine which layer the instrument should be in.
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