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Using the three-delay setup

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Using the three-delay setup

Just like with reverb, many mixers will use multiple delays during a mix. In this setup, we'll use three different delays. One set up for a very short delay. Another is medium and another long. Let me show you how to set them up and what they sound like. The reason why we are going to do this is three delays cover most of the possibilities that might arise during the mix. It's also possible that one of the delays will be dedicated to just one mix element, like a solo or a lead vocal. So our very first delay is going to be the Haas delay, and as we said in another movie, this is a very, very short delay of 40ms or a less. Let's set that up.

Using the three-delay setup

Just like with reverb, many mixers will use multiple delays during a mix. In this setup, we'll use three different delays. One set up for a very short delay. Another is medium and another long. Let me show you how to set them up and what they sound like. The reason why we are going to do this is three delays cover most of the possibilities that might arise during the mix. It's also possible that one of the delays will be dedicated to just one mix element, like a solo or a lead vocal. So our very first delay is going to be the Haas delay, and as we said in another movie, this is a very, very short delay of 40ms or a less. Let's set that up.

So what we are going to do is go toward Delay. I always use the Long Delay and the reason why is it gives me a lot more flexibility. If I decide that I want to go to a lot longer than 36ms it's very easy to do that. One of the big problems with some of these other delays like the short delay or the medium delay is they have a finite length on them. And if let's say you want to go beyond that finite length, you can't. You really have to put another plug-in in and so that's why I always use Long Delay.

So since we know that the BPM of this track is a 104 and that equates to 72 ms for an 8th note, what we want to do is set this at 36 and the reason why is 36 is below 40. 40 is the magic number there because what ends up happening is anything above 40ms will sound like a discrete delay. Anything below 40ms will sound like it's blending in with the original sound, and we use this for thickening more than anything else.

So let's set this at 36 and let's set up the next one. This one is going to be a short delay and it can be anywhere from a 50 to a 150ms, with the couple of repeats in time to the track. So once again we use our Long Delay plug-in. And the beauty is we already know that the tempo of the song is at 104. We can see it here. And if we click on any of these notes here, it actually gives us the delay value. So in this case, we can see that an 8th note is 288ms.

That's longer than we want. We want something shorter than that. And let's try this. 144ms. It actually might sound better little below that but let's use that as a starting place. And this is more for a slap. Delay number three is set as a Long Delay and that acts more like the glue for a track. So we want to shoot for a time delay that goes anywhere between 250 to about 400ms with a couple of repeats. I like to use a triplet or a dotted note value here but experiment to see what works best for the song. If you want to delay to stick out, sometime the 350ms untimed delay works great.

But we are going to time it this time. So we will go to Delay, we will say Long Delay, and so it says 288ms. What I am going to do is put it in as a dotted note value and that comes out to 432. It's a little bit longer than what we would want. Let's see what it's like when we go to 16th note. Oh it's not. We won't either. So a quarter note triplet might work and like I said, I like dotted notes and triplet notes because they actually blend in with the track very nicely.

So let's try that and see what happens. And first thing we will do is we will bring up the vocal, solo it. Let's listen first to our Long Delay. The Long Delay is on Bus 16 so let's go to Bus 16. Have a listen to what it sounds like. (Music playing) Let's listen into track. (Music playing) Now we can hear it, but it blends in with the track.

Well now if we bring it back so we can just barely hear it, listen to what happens. (Music playing) You can hear when it's in the track, where it adds a little bit of an ambience that you wouldn't get any other way. And what ends up happening is it sounds different from reverb and that reverb tends to sound a little more washy than a delay.

Delay makes everything a little crisper sounding and that's why I like to use them a lot. Now let's try another reverb. Let's try the short one. And this is setup more as a slap, so we are going to go to Bus 15, solo it up, have a listen. (Music playing) So let's listen with the track. (Music playing) That actually works better for this track.

And you might find that the Long Delay, which doesn't work on the vocal, works great on guitars, works great on keyboards or something else. The last one to try is the Haas effect which is a very, very short delay. And the first thing we have to do is assign a signal path to it. So we will go to a bus, and we will say Bus 19. And the other thing we have to do is we want to put it in what's called Solo Safe. And solo safe means that no matter what we solo, this channel will always stay on. And what we do is hit Command and click on the Solo button and now it's in solo safe.

It's a good little trick. Let's assign this to Bus 19. This is the send we are assigning. Let's solo it up and have a listen. (Music playing) Let's listen to it in the track. (Music playing) You can hear it thickens things up, yet it doesn't sound obtrusive. It doesn't sound so in your face.

It doesn't sound discrete. Lot of times this works better on things like guitars, works really good on saxophones or bass. Less so on vocals but you can hear what it does there nonetheless. So these delay settings are just a starting place and they will be tweaked as you go along in the mix. Sometimes you might find one of delay times unnecessary while other times you may need more than what we have here already. The three delay setup covers most of your delaying during this mix. It consists of a very short delay of less than 40ms, a short delay of anywhere from 50 to a 150ms.

It's used for a slap or a double. And a long delay that will act as your glue which is a time delay that goes anywhere from 250 to about 400 ms.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 19837 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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