Logic’s bundled delay plug‑ins might be the only delays you’ll ever need.
Logic’s arsenal of delay plug‑ins are a staple of my productions. And, while I own a basketful of third‑party delays, I find I keep coming back to the dependable workhorses that I know so well. In spite of the fact that I’m able to get reliably outstanding results with Logic’s delays, I realised recently that I wasn’t as familiar with all of their parameters as I thought I had been. With that in mind, let’s reacquaint ourselves with the basics.
A delay is an echo effect where the delay time is the spacing between echoes, and feedback sets the number of times the echo repeats. And for the most part, that’s how it appears to work. But to truly become adept at using this tool, a few distinctions need to be made.
The first of these is to understand that the effect is not creating an echo, per se. It’s delaying the incoming signal before playing it. Think of it as buffering a signal, holding it for a spell, and then letting it run free. The reason we perceive this as an echo is because we usually hear the original source sound in addition to the delayed version. In fact, if you set up a pre‑fader send from your track to a delay (100 percent wet, zero feedback), turn the source track’s fader all the way down, and press play, all you would hear is your track... albeit starting a bit later. Essentially, it’s as though you copied your track, slid the regions backwards and muted the original.
So what makes it sound like an echo? Well, firstly, when the delayed signal is combined with the dry source, we can now hear a call and response. To make the response sound more distant, we adjust its volume and tone.
And what about the number of repeats? Shouldn’t there be a dial that says “Repeats 1‑10?” That would make sense, but doesn’t reflect what’s going on behind the scenes. The delay only has one function: delay the incoming signal before playing it. That’s where the Feedback control comes into play. Quite simply, it feeds the output back into the input. If you turn up the feedback to 100% in Logic’s Stereo Delay, it will repeat the source track indefinitely in an endlessly annoying way. As you back the amount down, it sends less of the source back in, resulting in the classic dreamy effect we’ve all come to recognise. The feedback control is often underestimated, but with...