Transients too prominent in delay

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JerGoertz
KVRAF
2370 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:34 pm

I've got a keyboard track that I want to make sound ethereal/spacious. Using a reverb gets me partway there, but it still doesn't sound "big" enough, so I add a delay beforehand in the chain.

Often it sounds pretty good this way, but some hard key-hits have a really prominent transient that creates an obvious "doot-doot-doot" sound from the delayed signal. I want the delay to blend in with the original signal to give a sense of space, and not have this prominent "I'm using a delay" effect.

Things I've tried:

1) Turn down the delay wet/dry mix. This seems to often work, at the expense of the track sounding less spacious.

2) Compressing the delay input/output. Seems like squashing the transients would be good here, but I haven't gotten it to sound right.

Any tips?
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an-electric-heart
KVRAF
1790 posts since 13 Jun, 2008 from Napier,New Zealand

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:52 pm

I pretty much always put delay at 100% and put it on a send, then you can compress or eq or whatever and use other effects to play with the delayed signal rather than just the few options you've got inbuilt in the delay plugin.

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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
5801 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:07 pm

JerGoertz wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:34 pm
I've got a keyboard track that I want to make sound ethereal/spacious. Using a reverb gets me partway there, but it still doesn't sound "big" enough, so I add a delay beforehand in the chain.

Often it sounds pretty good this way, but some hard key-hits have a really prominent transient that creates an obvious "doot-doot-doot" sound from the delayed signal. I want the delay to blend in with the original signal to give a sense of space, and not have this prominent "I'm using a delay" effect.

Things I've tried:

1) Turn down the delay wet/dry mix. This seems to often work, at the expense of the track sounding less spacious.

2) Compressing the delay input/output. Seems like squashing the transients would be good here, but I haven't gotten it to sound right.

Any tips?
You could try a delay which has a reverse setting. Psychedelay in Guitar Rig springs to mind here, but no doubt there are others. Also, as above, try putting the delay on a send and using it in conjunction with other effects- reverse reverb before a delay is always a marvellous combo....

JerGoertz
KVRAF
2370 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:09 pm

an-electric-heart wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:52 pm
I pretty much always put delay at 100% and put it on a send, then you can compress or eq or whatever and use other effects to play with the delayed signal rather than just the few options you've got inbuilt in the delay plugin.
Yeah, that's what I'm doing. It certainly gives you more options that way.
donkey tugger wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:07 pm
You could try a delay which has a reverse setting. Psychedelay in Guitar Rig springs to mind here, but no doubt there are others. Also, as above, try putting the delay on a send and using it in conjunction with other effects- reverse reverb before a delay is always a marvellous combo....
Thanks, I'll give that a try.
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justin3am
KVRAF
10757 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:29 pm

You might also look for a delay which has a control over diffusion (EchoBoy, Sandman Pro, UberMod, Replika). Or as DT suggested, put the delay on a send and follow the delay with a reverb of some kind.

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Benedict
KVRAF
2824 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:45 pm

Diffusion can help, but not necessarily with the first Tap (echo). Filtering off the highs (and lows) is probably the best solution.

Unless you want to get into Grain Delays - which I rarely feel are that great but some people love em for the sort of things you are talking about.

Another approach could be to break up the parts of your sound and spread them across several instruments (great if you have a system in your Host like Combinator in Reason) so your Piano doesn't have the Echo but the pads do.

:-)

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ATN69
KVRAF
1971 posts since 5 Oct, 2015 from Swedish / Living in Hong Kong

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:46 pm

I got a couple of transient shapers like SPL or the one from IL for FL Studio. Both have a posibility to reduce transients as well as enhance transients. A compressor with very short attack time might also do the trick.
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sirmonkey
KVRist
165 posts since 26 Sep, 2014

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:50 pm

One more idea: Automate the wet/dry mix for the delay. If you find a level that sounds good most of the time, you could draw a few dips where it pokes out too much.
Same for delay time, if you can automate that.
P.S. What DAW are you using? And are you using fx sends, or are the effects straight on the tracks?

mitchiemasha
KVRist
232 posts since 15 Aug, 2011 from teesside

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:02 pm

Put the delay on an FX track, put a compressor before the delay, sidechain the compressor with the same sound you are sending to the FX track, fast attack and release.

The usual trick is to put the sidechained compressor after the delay, to not smear your sound, however, having one before is done for exactly the reason of removing transient smacks continuing in the delayed signal.
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s28
KVRist
249 posts since 9 Aug, 2017

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:25 pm

Before turning to compression or any other dynamic effects I would look at low passing, level and automation.

Have the delay on a send and low pass it. I usually roll the top end of my send fx off to blend them into the background.

If the transient is still prominent just record automation of the send amount with more of the tail of the piano feeding the delay and none, or less of the initial hit.

Experiment with filtering pre and post the send fx. The simple answer is low passing.

JerGoertz
KVRAF
2370 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:31 pm

Lots of great info here, much appreciated. :)
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dentnile
KVRist
158 posts since 4 Apr, 2013

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:22 pm

On the send, put a de-esser before everything.

legendCNCD
KVRian
775 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from there

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:44 am

U-He ColorCopy is fantastic for this as it can affect the transient inside the delay. Before that I used Elysia Nvelope to kill transients from delays.
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BertKoor
KVRAF
11119 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:51 am

Or put the delay after the reverb instead of before...
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Butwug
KVRist
255 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Transients too prominent in delay

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:31 am

Not sure how it works on other DAWs but on Bitwig, would simply drop in transient control fx onto the delay unit.

Load any delay unit, native device or not, doesnt matter. On fx section, put transient control. Turn down transients. Done in 1min.

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