In my article I will talk about the sound effects based on delay and his parameters. These kinds of effects consist in multiply and delay the original audio signal. In other words, various modified copies are added to the original signal, like the echo.

delay 2

The delay effect simulates how sound behaves physically in reality. Actually, our ears no difference a pure sound of his reflections, the sound is perceived as a “whole” also presents different characteristics of the original sound. Moreover, the theory says that in nature there are no pure sounds, that all sounds we perceive are altered by this process. An interesting example is the human voice, who was not surprised the first time that heard his voice on tape? The feeling is usually sounding different. The reason is to be found in our mouth. In that space the reflections occur and our ears not only collected the external sound we produce and the others listen, while perceive that signal from within and to add to the original.

These kinds of effects are different according to delay time. They can be classified in milliseconds:

Early Reflections-so

Short Delay ( <10 ms )

The effect is minimal, we cannot hear.

Medium Delay ( 10 – 50 ms )

The effect begins to appreciate, the sounds are more thick.

Large Delay ( >50 m )

The sound replays begin to be heard.

This is the parameter basic, the delay time ( ms ) but there are more of parameters:


The delay signal is again delayed, the output signal back to the input. The unit of measurement is %, if the feedback is 100 the signal never ceases to be heard.


Where the sound replays are hearing in different directions.


It allows hear the delay signal simultaneously in different ways.

The effect that we constantly hear in real life is the reverb. As I explained in the introduction, everything we hear is the sum of the original sound signal and the sound of all reflexions. Therefore, the digital effect is this. It is an artificial area where we introduce one audio signal for start to mix with the reflexion waves.



A clear example of “small scale” reverb  can be a Spanish guitar. One aspect that defines the sound of the guitar is the shape of the box, it really does sound reverberation chamber produced the ring ropes. Obviously if we vary the shape, size or material of the body of the guitar, are completely changing the sound it makes this guitar.

There are basic architectural variables that define the type of reverb that occurs in each enclosure such as dimensions and floor of the room or materials that cover the walls. These variables are basic part of the parameters of this digital effect. Let’s see them:


It’s the most basic parameter. If the area is bigger the reverb will be longer and if the area is smaller the reverb will be shorter. There are different types, the largest are the cathedral, hall or arena and the smallest are room, studio or plate.


This is the delay time between the original signal and the start of the reverb.



It is the time it takes the audio signal to reduce its 60dB amplitude.


The flanger is another effect based on delay. This kind of effect seems metallic oscillating sound. In this case, the original signal is dry and the second signal is sifted modularly.

The habitual controls of this effect are similar than the others effects:


Is the delay time from de wave between the original signal and the start of the second signal.


It is the frequency of oscillation wave.


The amount of the original sound mixes with second sound.

Finally, there are two more effects based on delay that I must explain: the wah-wah and the chorus effect. Wah-wah is like the trumpeters sound, the frequency changes its values from up to down. And the chorus effect is the most effect used especially for the singers. It consists in convert a sound source in a choir but it also works well with any musical instrument, as the famous guitars of Nirvana in Come As Your Are.

In conclusion I would say that there are no delays better than others because the best delay for your mixture should be the mix that fits the style. There is nothing worse for a sound technician that their work is appreciated, when applying an effect never expect the listener think of that great reverb you’ve inserted into the track, because must be seen as a global concept. And I advise you to sit and listen to music and hear that others have done, including what treatment have given their tracks. It is much more practical and constructive because listening is always the best creation tool we have.

What ultimately determines whether an effect is appropriate for a mixture is your judgment and your ear. The rest, as this article or any other, are mere guides or advice that might be nice and help you a lot, but what ultimately counts is what you hear when you hit the play.

Prezi – Effects based on Delay:














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