Delay Effects

Delay effects store the input signal—and hold it for a short time—before sending it to the effect input or output.

The held, and delayed, signal is repeated after a given time period, creating a repeating echo effect. Each subsequent repeat is a little quieter than the previous one. Most delays also allow you to feed a percentage of the delayed signal back to the input. This can result in a subtle, chorus-like effect or cascading, chaotic audio output.

The delay time can often be synchronized to the project tempo by matching the grid resolution of the project, usually in note values or milliseconds.

You can use delays to double individual sounds to resemble a group of instruments playing the same melody, to create echo effects, to place the sound in a large “space”, to generate rhythmic effects, or to enhance the stereo position of tracks in a mix.

Delay effects are generally used as channel insert or bussed effects. They are rarely used on an overall mix (in an output channel), unless you’re trying to achieve an unusual effect.