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Encyclopedia > Delay (audio effect)

Delay is an audio effect which records an input signal to an audio storage medium, and then plays it back after a period of time[1]. The delayed signal may either be played back multiple times, or played back into the recording again, to create the sound of a repeating, decaying echo. It is distinct from reverb, which generally provides "reflected" sound using a different technique. Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of movies, video games, music, or other media. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Audio storage refers to techniques and formats used to store audio with the goal to reproduce the audio later using audio signal processing to something that resembles the original. ... In audio signal processing and acoustics, an echo (plural echoes) is a reflection of sound, arriving at the listener some time after the direct sound. ... When sound is produced in a space, multiple reflections may build up and blend together, creating reverberation, or reverb. ...

Contents

Early delay systems

The first delay effects were achieved using tape loops improvised on reel-to-reel magnetic recording systems. By shortening or lengthening the loop of tape and adjusting the read and write heads, the nature of the delayed echo could be controlled. This technique was most common among early composers of Musique concrète, such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, who had sometimes devised elaborate systems involving long tapes and multiple recorders and playback systems, collectively processing the input of a live performer or ensemble[2]. Audio engineers working in popular music quickly adapted similar techniques, to augment their use of plate reverb and other studio techologies designed to simulate natural echo. A Sony TC-630 reel-to-reel recorder, once a common household object. ... Magnetic storage is a term from engineering referring to the storage of data on a magnetised medium. ... Musique concrète (French; literally, concrete music), is the name given to a class of electronic music produced from editing together fragments of natural and industrial sounds. ... Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a German composer, one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. ... An Audio Engineer is a person recording, editing, manipulating, mixing and mastering sound by technical means. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and mostly distributed commercially. ... When sound is produced in a space, multiple reflections may build up and blend together, creating reverberation, or reverb. ...


Analog delay

It has been suggested that Echo chamber be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
Roland RE-201 Space Echo.  It should be possible to replace this fair use image with a freely licensed one. If you can, please do so as soon as is practical.
Roland RE-201 Space Echo.  It should be possible to replace this fair use image with a freely licensed one. If you can, please do so as soon as is practical.

Before the invention of audio delay technology, music employing a delayed echo had to be recorded in a naturally reverberant space, often an inconvenience for musicians and engineers. The popularity of an easy-to-implement real-time echo effect led to the production of systems offering an all-in-one effects unit that could be adjusted to produce echoes of any interval or amplitude. The presence of multiple "taps" (playback heads) made it possible to have delays at varying rhythmic intervals; this allowed musicians an additional means of expression over natural periodic echoes. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... This article is about the technological device. ... Roland RE-201 Space Echo, image copyright Roland Corporation, from Space Echo advertisement. ... Roland RE-201 Space Echo, image copyright Roland Corporation, from Space Echo advertisement. ... It has been suggested that Effects pedal be merged into this article or section. ... A tape head is a type of transducer used in tape recorders to convert electrical signals to magnetic fluctuations and vice versa. ...


Many delay processors based on analog recording, such as the Maestro Echoplex or Roland Space Echo, used magnetic tape as their recording and playback medium. Electric motors guided a tape loop through a device with a variety of mechanisms allowing modification of the effect's parameters[3]. Thin magnetic tape was not entirely suited for continuous operation, however, so the tape loop had to be replaced from time to time to maintain the audio fidelity of the processed sounds. Roland RE201 SpaceEcho. ... Compact audio cassette Magnetic tape is a non-volatile storage medium consisting of a magnetic coating on a thin plastic strip. ... For the financial services company, see Fidelity Investments. ...


The Binson Echorec, another popular unit, used a rotating magnetic drum as its storage medium. This provided an advantage over tape, as the durable drums were able to last for many years with little deterioration in the audio quality[4]. Other devices used spinning magnetic discs, not entirely unlike those used in modern hard disk drives. Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ...


Robert Fripp used two Revox reel to reel tape recorders to achieve very long delay times for solo guitar performance. He dubbed this technology "Frippertronics", and used it in a number of recordings. Robert Fripp (born May 16, 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist and a composer, perhaps best known for his founding role in the band King Crimson. ... ReVox is a brand name of Swiss audio equipment created by Studer in the 1950s. ... Frippertronics is a system of tape loops developed by composer Brian Eno with guitarist Robert Fripp. ...


Often incorporating vacuum tube-based electronics, surviving analog delay units are sought by modern musicians who wish to employ some of the timbres achievable with this technology. In electronics, a vacuum tube (U.S. and Canadian English) or (thermionic) valve (outside North America) is a device generally used to amplify, or otherwise modify, a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space. ...


Solid state delay units using analog bucket brigade delay circuits became available in the 1970s and were briefly a mainstream alternative to tape echo before being superseded by digital delays.


Digital delay

Ibanez DE-7 delay pedal.
Ibanez DE-7 delay pedal.

The availability of inexpensive digital signal processing electronics in the late 1970s and 1980s led to the development of the first digital delay effects. Initially, they were only available in expensive rack mounted units but eventually as costs came down they became available in the form of foot pedals. The first digital delay offered in a pedal was the BOSS DD-2 in 1984. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (900x727, 60 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Delay (audio effect) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (900x727, 60 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Delay (audio effect) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Digital signal processing (DSP) is the study of signals in a digital representation and the processing methods of these signals. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A digital system is one that uses discrete numbers, especially binary numbers, or non-numeric symbols such as letters or icons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display, rather than a continuous spectrum of values (an analog system). ... Look up boss in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Digital delay systems function by sampling the input signal through an analog-to-digital converter, after which the signal is passed through a series of digital signal processors that record it into a storage buffer, and then play back the stored audio based on parameters set by the user. The delayed ("wet") output may be mixed with the unmodified ("dry") signal after, or before, it is sent to a digital-to-analog converter for output. An analog-to-digital converter (abbreviated ADC, A/D or A to D) is an electronic circuit that converts continuous signals to discrete digital numbers. ... A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor designed specifically for digital signal processing, generally in real-time. ... In computing, a buffer is memory used to temporarily hold output or input data. ... Audio mixing is used in sound recording, audio editing and sound systems to balance the relative volume and frequency content of a number of sound sources. ... In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device for converting a digital (usually binary) code to an analog signal (current, voltage or electric charge). ...


Many modern digital delays present an extensive array of options, including a control over the time before playback of the delayed signal. Most also allow the user to select the overall level of the processed signal in relation to the unmodified one, or the level at which the delayed signal is fed back into the buffer, to be repeated again. Some systems today allow more exotic controls, such as the ability to add an audio filter, or to play back the buffer's contents in reverse. An audio filter is a type of filter used for processing sound signals. ...


Digital pedals remain the most popular delay effects for electric guitarists today because of their ease of maintenance, durability, and relatively low cost. Digital delays have been criticized as sounding "unnatural" when compared to genuine echoes or analog delays, but some more recent units have made progress toward answering these concerns by adding audio filters. As digital memory has become cheaper, modern units have been able to offer rapidly increasing amounts of storage, some as large as the 16-second delay and looping machine offered by Electro-Harmonix. Left: Rosa Hurricane, a heavy metal-style solid body guitar. ... The Electro Harmonix logo Electro Harmonix are a company that makes electronic sound processors based in New York. ...


Computer software

Steve Harris' Delayorama software
Enlarge
Steve Harris' Delayorama software

A natural development from digital delay-processing hardware was the appearance of software-based delay systems. In large part, this coincided with the popularity of both professional and consumer audio editing software. Software delays, in many cases, offer much greater flexibility than even the most recent digital hardware delays. Abundant system memory on modern personal computers offers practically limitless storage for the audio buffer, and the natural efficiency of audio delay algorithms has made the implementation trivial for delays offering shifting or random delay times, or the insertion of other audio effects during the feedback process. Many authors of software plugins have added functionality to emulate the sounds of the earlier analog units. Image File history File links Screenshot-Delayorama. ... Image File history File links Screenshot-Delayorama. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Physical memory. ... Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of movies, video games, music, or other media. ... A plugin (or plug-in) is a computer program that interacts with a main application (a web browser or an email program, for example) to provide a certain, usually very specific, function. ...


Software-based delays are most popular today among musicians in electronic genres or those who prefer to audition the effect in a digital audio editing and mixing environment. Electronic music is a term for music created using electronic devices. ... A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. ...


Uses

The most familiar use of delay processors is by electric guitarists in popular music, notably Queen's Brian May, U2's The Edge, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who frequently employ delay as a means to produce densely overlaid textures of notes in rhythms complementary to the tempo of the overall piece. Electronic musicians use delay for similar effects, and less frequently, vocalists and other instrumentalists use it to add a dense or ethereal quality to their playing. Extremely long delays of 10 seconds or more are often used to create loops of a whole musical phrase. Bill Smith, playing with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is known for playing his clarinet through a long delay to create cascades of quick scales that repeat subtly against the sounds of the ensemble. Queen are an English rock band formed by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor in London, England in 1970 from the remains of Smile, with John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. ... Brian Harold May CBE (Born July 19, 1947) is the guitarist for the English rock band Queen. ... U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland, featuring Bono (Paul David Hewson) on vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica; The Edge (David Howell Evans) on lead guitar, keyboards and vocals; Adam Clayton on bass guitar; and Larry Mullen, Jr. ... The Edge is the moniker of David Howell Evans (born August 8, 1961), the lead guitarist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. ... Pink Floyd are an English rock band noted for philosophical lyrics, classical rock compositions, sonic experimentation, innovative cover art, and elaborate live shows. ... David Jon Gilmour, CBE (born March 6, 1946 in Cambridge, England) is a guitarist and songwriter best known as a member of the band Pink Floyd. ... William O. Smith (b. ... Dave Brubeck (born December 6, 1920 in Concord, California) is an American jazz pianist who wrote a number of jazz standards, including In Your Own Sweet Way and The Duke. ...


Echoplex is a term often applied to the use of multiple echoes which recur in approximate synchronization with a musical rhythm, so that the notes played combine and recombine in interesting ways. In fact, it was the name of a particular delay unit, the Maestro Echoplex[5].


A "slapback echo" uses a very short delay time (seventy-five to 250 milliseconds) with little or no feedback. The effect is characteristic of vocals on 1950s rock-n-roll records, by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and many others. It is also sometimes used on instruments, particularly drums and percussion, as with many of Phil Spector's works, or bass guitar, as with Tommy James's 1971 hit "Draggin' The Line". The source of this effect is a second tape recorder recording and then playing back the signal to the main tape recorder a fraction of a second later (the time it takes the second recorded tape to leave the record head and reach the same recorders playback head). This method was used on many hit recordings made for Sun Records in Memphis. (Redirected from 1950s in music) 1950 in music Music of Afghanistan The beginning of radio broadcasting leads to the beginning of Afghan popular music Music of Argentina Astor Piazzolla begins to fuse traditional tango music with jazz and classical music Music of Algeria Rai singers like Bellemou Messaoud add violin... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), often known simply as Elvis and also called The King of Rock n Roll or simply The King, was an American singer and actor. ... Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), better known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer, songwriter, and a pioneer of Rock and Roll. ... Carl Perkins Carl Lee Perkins (April 9, 1932 – January 19, 1998) was an American pioneer of rockabilly music, a mix of rhythm and blues and country music that evolved at Sun Records in Memphis in the early 1950s. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... The Phil Spector anthology album, Back to Mono. ... Martin EB18 Bass Guitar in flight case. ... Tommy James (born Thomas Jackson on April 29, 1947 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American pop-rock musician and singer. ... See also: 1970 in music, other events of 1971, 1972 in music, 1970s in music and the list of years in music // February 8 - Bob Dylans hour-long documentary film, Eat the Document, premieres at New Yorks Academy of Music. ... Label of the fourth Sun Records Sun Records has been the name for four 20th century record labels. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The River City, The Bluff City, M-Town Location Location in Shelby County and the state of Tennessee Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Tennessee Shelby County Mayor W. W. Herenton (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 294. ...


In audio reinforcement, a very short delay, often of only a few milliseconds, is used to compensate for the relatively slow passage of sound across a large venue. The unmodified signal is not played, and the delayed signal is set to leave the speakers at the same time as the sounds passing from the stage. This technique allows audio engineers to present the same signals to audience members at the back of the room at roughly the same time as they arrive from the instruments on stage, providing a listening experience with more clarity. A public address system, abbreviated PA system, is an electronic amplification system used as a communication system in public areas. ...


Samples

  • Delay effect (1) ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
    • A short spoken passage, followed by the same passage processed using various delays
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.
  • Delay effect (2) ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
    • A short passage on flute, before and after the application of a multi-tap, multi-channel delay
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links Echo_samples. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Image File history File links Flute-delay. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ...

References

  1. ^ Lehman, Scott. "Effects Explained: Delay". 1996. Retrieved on June 30, 2006.
  2. ^ Gehlaar, Rolf. "Leap of Faith: A Personal Biography of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Prozession. 1998. Retrieved on July 30, 2006.
  3. ^ "RE-201 Space Echo", Vintage Synth Explorer. 1997. Retrieved on July 30, 2006.
  4. ^ Studholme, Richard. "History of the Binson Echorec". Retrieved on July 30, 2006.
  5. ^ "Maestro Echoplex tape delay". Retrieved on July 30, 2006.

 
 

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