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Creative Vocal Effects: Delay Into Delay

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Creative Vocal Effects: Delay Into Delay
Creative Vocal Effects: Delay Into Delay - youtube Video
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Hey folks, Matthew Weiss here — weiss-sound.com, theproaudiofiles.com.

We’re going to be talking about delays. Now, I recently did a full length video called, “Mixing With Delay,” the link to that is in the description below, and the concept behind that video is to take what is basically sort of a rudimentary concept and signal processor, and really start to think about it dynamically and creatively, and I want to show you an example of we can do that — take a really cliché, basic effect, and make it much more interesting given its own little sauce to it, and really elevate the record overall.

So I recently mixed a cover of the song, “Yummy.” I’m going to play that, I’m going to play the section that we’re really focusing on, and then I’m going to break down what I’m doing, why, and how I make it a lot more interesting.

Alright, let’s check it out.

[mix]

So I’m going to setup a delay throw, which means a delay that’s triggered to happen on certain moments. In this specific instance, it’s going to be on the, “Yeah, babes.” I’m going to create a quarter-note throw, which is going to create this sort of quarter-note reply, so it’s going to go, “Yeah, babe, yeah, babe.” Right? It’s a pretty typical effect, you hear it a lot in a lot of records, and it sounds like this.

[mix]

Now, it works, it’s definitely doing what it’s supposed to, it’s more interesting with it I think, although not much more interesting with it, because leaving the blank space is not bad either, but it’s really very, very basic. It’s very dry, and it’s meant to be, because we’re going to setup for a more interesting effect in a moment, but all this is is the Slate Repeater, which is a really great delay unit, and it’s set to quarter-note, there’s no feedback on it, there’s no ping-ponging, no artificial wideners, nothing really particularly unique happening. The digital delay setting does have a little bit of its own flavor, but it’s pretty modest, it’s pretty transparent overall.

Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to couple that with a second delay. We’re going to chain our delay into another delay, and that’s where things are going to get interesting.

Alright, let’s check it out.

[music]

So now we start to get a sort of more scattered, ethereal, strange effect, and it’s because my second delay has all the crazy stuff that’s going on. It’s got a more colored sort of sound to it using this Plexi-Echo setting, which gives it a slight mid-range bump and some interesting harmonics right in the 1-2kHz range, which I think is really cool for delays in particular, and then it’s set very fast. We’re doing a 32nd note, and a dotted 32nd note to make it feel kind of scattered, because I want it to feel a little bit loose.

If I change it just to straight 32nd notes, to me it still sounds a little bit too basic.

[song]

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Actually, it sounds pretty cool, but let’s go back to the dot for now.

[music]

I kind of like that sort of scattery effect, where it’s kind of going, [mimics vocals]. It sort of has that little rippley thing going on and I kind of like that. It’s set to ping-pong, so it’s going back and forth. Now it has stereo width. We’ve got the feedback way up, so it’s going to be a little washier, and then we’re pushing the color setting here to give it a little bit more mojo and saturation, and the idea here is that now, this effect, this sort of wash of delays is there, but instead of it being off of the initial sound, which would sound like this…

[mix]

Which is cool, but doesn’t create the effect of that reply. Now what we do is we get this quarter-note reply, but it just has this really interesting, unique effect on it.

[music]

So I want to just show this as an example of the thought process that goes behind crafting something that isn’t just serving the purpose of the mix, but really taking it further than where it started, because I can certainly have just done your basic quarter-note throw, and if I turn it down a little bit, it sounds good, you know. Nothing wrong with it.

[mix]

But I feel like once we throw this extra effect on, it just becomes way more interesting, it becomes way more of a moment, and that’s going to create more interesting textures, more musicality, more involvement for the listener, and more stuff that they can kind of latch onto and feel enchanted by.

[song]

So that’s chaining a delay into another delay. A cool little technique, something that you can play around with, try different speeds, see what happens if we move it up to something like, say, 16th notes instead of 32nd notes. We’re going to get less of a wash and we’re going to get more of specifically timed delay. Let’s turn the feedback down a little bit more.

[music]

Alright so for this purpose, it’s not quite as effective I don’t think, but you know, definitely something worth playing around with. Let’s go back to where we were, and take this idea and move it into your own mixes. Not necessarily exactly what I’m doing, but the concept.

Alright guys, thanks for checking out this video, if you’re watching it during the Coronavirus, then we’re in the same boat here, we’re stuck at home, we’re doing the best that we can, but it’s a perfect time to be checking out these tutorials. If you want to get really in depth like I said before, I’ve got the link to the for sale tutorial in the description. If you dig what I’m doing on this channel, hit that like button, click that subscribe with the bell so that you get notifications. Catch you next time. Stay safe out there.

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Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is the recordist and mixer for multi-platinum artist Akon, and boasts a Grammy nomination for Jazz & Spellemann Award for Best Rock album. Matthew has mixed for a host of star musicians including Akon, SisQo, Ozuna, Sonny Digital, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development and 9th Wonder. Get in touch: Weiss-Sound.com

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