The Delay Thread


It really can go beyond how tape machines would actually behave, into an unrealistic territory. I usually keep wow and flutter pretty low unless trying to get a modulated reverb & delay sound - beautiful with synth sounds. If using sound on sound, that param can wreck the loop easily if it’s too high.

What I love is that there’s quite a range of sound you can get, especially if one experiments with the secondary functions and spring reverb. Really thought I would want the Magneto at some point, but it just doesn’t appeal to me for some reason.


My plugin, Sandman Pro, might be up your alley:

There’s a free 14-day demo. It doesn’t do layered looping, but the frozen buffer can be modulated in a variety of ways. It’s as clean and neutral as possible, except for the “Tape Delay” mode which has variable soft saturation and wow/flutter.

To contribute to this thread outside of self promotion, my favorite standalone delay is the Eventide H9. It’s the only standalone effects box that I own other than the Analog Heat, as I feel that those two are different enough from plugins to justify the cost (space and money).

In Euro, Rainmaker is my favorite, although programming it can be a bit tedious. I’ve written a number of performance presets that I typically go back to. The stereo delay modes in Warps Parasite are very, very solid.

In software, outside of our Unfiltered stuff, I use:
bx_delay ( Expensive, but worth picking up on sale. I think that this is probably the cleanest delay I’ve heard, as I modulate the hell out of it with Bitwig and haven’t heard any artifacts. As an example, the multi-layered granular-sounding delay on the opening of Telemetry ( is done with one instance.

Soundtoys Echoboy: I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but we traded plugins after MixCon this year. I’m really impressed at the wide array of internal filtering options, leading to a variety of timbres.

Sonic Charge Permut8: One of my favorite plugins. There’s nothing else like it, and the alternate firmwares are a joy.

GRM Delays: I’ve been using this less since writing Sandman Pro, as the Multi-tap mode was meant to emulate how I use this. Still, it’s a killer unit for layered echoes.

u-he Colour Copy and MFM2: I just picked up the demo for CC, so I’ll see whether it enters my regular arsenal, but they did a great job on the tonality of this. MFM2 used to be my primary delay plugin, although now I find it to be a bit of overkill hahah.

I really think that Ohm Force’s OhmBoyz Infinity is going to be something special when it’s finished. It’s basically a software version of Rainmaker.


Tyme Sefari is a hell of a thing. Not great for clean and smooth looping (there’s no anti-aliasing filter and the sampling clock only goes so fast) but it’s glitch paradise.

(This is just a loop from E370/ModDemix, with the TS’s Tap Tempo output triggering a Circuit Abbey G8 clock divider which is patched into a bunch of stuff on the TS and Sound of Thunder. The noise bursts are generated by TS, and might be something that’s going to be cleaned up in the upcoming firmware rewrite.)


My current favourites.

For guitar:

  • rack Ibanez AD-230 for Pinkfloydish/Psychedelic stuff. You can put a very simple chain guitar->230->recording device and it will sounds great. very unique sound of late 70/early 80s. Hard to find, easy to buy it broken (18 BBD chips rare to find)
  • pedal analog: MXR Carbon Copy - very cheap, very dark, very good.
  • pedal analog: Memory Lane 2 - on proper guitar stack it will sound as wall of delayed sound.
  • rack digital: Axe-FX II. Pack of great delays, tons of tweaks and automation. Tape delays emulation is better that in Capistan/Magneto (don’t trust, just try)

For modular:

  • Magneto: very inspiration thing. Don’t sound (to my ears) as a true tape delay but provide a lot of musical ideas.
  • Axe-FX II (external) good for modular signal level. Very flexible delays with quite true emulation of Tape/BBD as well as vintage digital (12 bit territory) to megatap and shimmer delays.
  • Would like to try: Chronoblob. Looks and sounds interesting.


Yamaha E1010: 2U beast rackmount mono analog BBD delay with modulation. Maybe my favorite sounding delay that I’ve personally spent much time with, but I ended up selling it since it took up so much space. I sorta miss it but I like the following lil fella almost as much for similar sounds.

EHX Memory Toy: Dark-ish analog delay in a very small pedal package. Has modulation but no adjustment of it, just a switch. I thought it was “ok” when I first got it and then changed the battery (duh) so it worked how it is designed, and that’s when I decided to sell the E1010. It does make me want a more full-featured EHX analog delay like the Memory Boy or one of the Memory Men, lol.

Chronoblob: Big fan, I personally find it to be “clean” and not-dark to my ears, and as noted, the options for different behaviors when changing delay time are great! I recently discovered that I really like how it reacts to irregular pulses sent into the clock input. Having something in my rack with so much control makes it way more a part of the patch than just a end-of-chain sort of thing. If I had a bigger rack I could definitely imagine having two for stereo or different voices/treatments.

a friend has a Korg Stage Echo tape delay that is amazing, basically Korg’s answer to the Roland Space Echos of the era. His has a spring reverb, too, though I don’t think they all do. I haven’t spent much time with it but really wish I had gotten one when they were more affordable on the used market a few years back. On that note, the $1250 price of a Space Case TE-2 is too much for me at the moment, but doesn’t seem so bad compared to the used prices of Roland and similar tape delays these days.


I’ve spent time with a few different delay pedals: memory boy deluxe - timeline - carbon copy - some others, but by far my favorite is the Empress Echosystem. Especially in the dual serial or dual parallel modes. So fun.


had a strymon el capistan for a long time, which I loved. Now I have a magneto, which captures that very particular sound, in its way. I also have an audio damage dubjr mk2 which does very simple short delays pretty well.


has anyone gotten a TC Electronic TC2290-DT yet?
The promo video is obviously there to sell but it does sound lovely and I keep thinking about getting one|en)


Mungo d0 and c0 for me. These things are excellent both for experimental, glitchy, happy-accident territory as well as flexible, clean, repeatable stuff. Just wonderful.


didn’t even think of including this! love it, incredibly unique and awesome delay/time effect. everyone should give it a shot.


Any love for the Akai Headrush? The separate outs of the four “tape heads” seems like a really cool and interesting idea.


Hardware wise, Rainmaker is fab. Acustica Audio’s Lemon is a phenomenal vst delay, my first choice for spatial and tonal shaping.


I saw this thread and was honestly suprised I hadnt already replied!

delay is probably the effect that I use the most, it’s a key part of my sound with either guitar or synths. I think I’m always (conciously or not) trying to sound like flying saucer attack -

right now I’ve got a DOD FX90 analog delay (sub-1 second walls of feedback), a DOD FX94 (1-4 sec layering delay + looper), and a Line 6 DL4 (currently broken of course). lately I’ve been using my reel to reel (an Akai 4000DS mk2) for tape delay as well - live I have my analog delay on aux 1 panned to the left, and the reel to reel on aux 2 panned to the right, with a long tape loop. setting reel to reels up for delay is pretty trivial as long as it’s a 3 head (seperate play / record / erase) machine with tape monitoring capabilites.

euro wise I also have an echophon which is a ton of fun - I like to describe it as a disassembled boss ps-2. for guitar I’ll hook an lfo up to pitch / echo time for wavering delays, for synth or euro stuff I’ll make the pitch shifting much more drastic to spread sounds out and get interesting doubling effects, sometimes complementary and sometimes dissonant.

part of me really wants a magneto or el capistan…but then I look over at my actual real-life reel to reel and I can’t justify it. :sweat_smile:


Akai Headrush never leaves my pedal board. Love it!


Any experienced BIM users out there?
I just got mine and almost sent it back after the first day with tap tempo and midi clock seeming chaos. Switching divisions created all sorts of changes in timbre, some very extreme… some very unmusical… But today I tried the same type of things with an FM synth sequence and nothing sounds unmusical… everything sounds lovely.
But I’m still not sure what’s going on.
What is the relationship between the tap tempo / midi clock and the divisions and the delay knob?


The Vortex is the one effect I bought when Lexicon was blowing them out and it’s the only one I own. Love that box to bits.


Longtime delay fan myself (pun intended). In outboard form my one constant has been the Ibanez AD9, and I usually run that alongside a Boss DD3 and Malekko Ekko 616. Really wish they’d put that in eurorack! But I do have the little WMD/SSF DPLR which does some great things, especially the crosstalk.

I’ve been trying out a lot of iPad apps for delays but I haven’t found one that really hits the mark. I keep wanting to try the Audio Damage Dub Station app but put off purchasing it. Anyone have thoughts?


I had the VST version of DubStation 1, and used it with some regularity – though that was before there were some better options among plugins. When I upgraded to DubStation 2 it felt like a step down to me, in terms of character, and I found myself not using it that much.

I don’t know what else is available for iOS, though.


The delay I’ve been using for the longest time is the Boss DD20, excellent (delay-based, obviously) looper and full of interesting little tricks. It only lacks proper sync but you can sort of get there using triggers in the tap tempo pedal input. I have quite a few other pedals but the ones I use the most after that are probably my Boss PS3s (I have three :slight_smile:), but not always as delays…

Another old Boss pedal worth checkingvis the DSD-2/DSD-3 (same pedal with different names), the trigger input can be nice with a modular and using it that way with a constant drone-type sound and high enough feedback can be great to generate evolving rhythmic droning patterns.

I also have an old Ibanez DL-5 (actually my first delay ever) that I tweaked so that the max delay time is about twice as its normal 512ms and when the delay times are long there us some nice and crunchy aliasing going on. I used that a lot to transition between tracks live.

In eurorack I have a Chronoblob, which is really good and easy to use while still being full of nice features, and I sometimes use my PicoDSP in one of its delay modes…


Love delay processors and pedals!

I’ve gone through quite a few analogue delays and my favourite (by far) is the Fairfield Circuitry Meet Maude. It’s like some weird cousin of the DMM… but better :grin: (built in compressor and random walk modulation give it a real character).

I used it a lot in this track (piano type sound right at the beginning):

The other analogue delay I really like is an old Guyatone Dual Time.

My favourite digital delay is my old Korg SDD1000 that I acquired. Really versatile, simple to use, and it has a built in hold function which is great fun.


For plugins you can’t go wrong with Soundtoys EchoBoy and PrimalTap.

My dream delay would be someone doing a modern hardware interpretation of the Lexicon Primetime (with the sample rate multiply/divide control).