VERSION: Voxengo - Sound Delay 1.3 (32-bit)
DAW: Image-Line - FL Studio 10.5 Beta
So simple, yet so useful...
'Sound Delay' is not a traditional echo-type of delay-effect. It is something as simple as a signal-delay. Essentially, all it does is delay your audio signal with the user-specified amount of samples or milli-seconds! - and I doubt that any other plugin performs this task with as much precision, style and value-for-cash (it is freeware!). 'Sound Delay' allows you to delay a signal by up to 3 seconds, and anything in-between, be it 1 sample, 10 milli-second or 1 second.
... but do I even need a signal delayer?
The simple answer is: "Yes!". There are many creative ways to use a signal delayer. Let me give some quick examples on my main-uses: Manual mono-to-stereo-conversion. Insert a sampler-channel and load, say, a mono hi-hat audio file into it. Assign it to mixer-insert 1 and pan it 75% towards 'L'. Clone the channel, and assign the clone to mixer-insert 2 and pan it 75% towards 'R'. Go to mixer-insert 2 and insert the 'Sound Delay' plugin. Turn the "X10" knob to '1' and the "X1" knob to, say, '3'. Voila! The mono hi-hat is now in stereo because we've doubled the signal and delayed one of them by 13 milli-seconds (if my calculations are right... the results are what count, right?). Experiment with longer/shorter delay-times and more extreme panning-amounts for wider stereo-field. NB: Just remember to keep the volume and panning level of both channels the exact same levels.
Okay! What more?
More uses you say? My answer is: Humanization. If you produce songs that needs swing and live-feeling then try adding a subtle-yet-not-necessarily-too-subtle 'Sound Delay' effect on the sound's mixer-insert. It works wonders on, again, the hi-hat, the bass-line or maybe even the snare (although you can achieve better results for the snare by adjusting the 'Shift' value to unique levels for each snare-hit in your DAW). For humanization purposes the best results are achieved by delaying "background sounds" as to not push lead sound(s) which might change the song's groove - you only want to create a feeling of looseness.
Done with style!
Most of you will already know the aforementioned techniques, but it's gold for more inexperienced producers and beat-makers. Yet signal delaying is a trick forever useful to carry in your bag-of-tricks, so the 'Sound Delay' plugin is definitely a keeper! Visually, the plugin boasts Voxengo's classic GUI from most of their plugins which not only looks nice, but offers extended functionality once you learn how they work. Finally, as with most still-updated Voxengo plugins there is also a 64-bit version for the 64-bit fanatics. Cool, but I hardly see the point for this type of small effect-plugin.
Okay, so maybe a signal delayer is not the most exciting, exotic plugin-type known to man. It's a simple trick which is also why this plugin doesn't get a top-score. It is, however, very useful, and this one is done with Voxengo's usual eye-for-detail plus you can't go wrong for the price (if you missed it, it's free!), so two thumbs up! 8/10
- Ulrik Sander