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How to use delay - the echo effect

Achieve any type of echo effect with our syncable Delay.

  • With Delay
  • Without Delay

What is a delay effect?

The easiest way to explain how a delay sounds is it’s just like an echo. Imagine yelling something into a cave and hearing it distinctly bounce back at you in even intervals. A delay creates that effect and gives you the power of adjusting the time between the echoes, the clarity of them, and how long it takes for them to fade out.

Historically (back in the 50s) analog delays were in fact referred to as tape echos or tape delays, with Roland Space Echo being one the most iconic audio effects of its time. The tape part of the name comes from an actual tape in the box. Feeding a dry signal into it would record it and play it back as soon as the tape looped around. As technology advanced, several digital delays came out on the market and today most of us use the effect in our DAW.

How can a delay be used?

Delays often give you the choice to lock in and sync them to the tempo and timing of the music or adjust the timing freely, independent of your song’s rhythm. This gives you a wide range of options creatively including enforcing certain rhythms, making special sound effects, or even making a channel sound wider through auditory illusion with short delays.

One example of using it as a cool effect is by tweaking the delay time as it’s played back, causing a pitch shifting effect. There are also different names for types of delays typically such as slapback and doubler most of which depend on delay time and feedback settings.

A slapback echo is a delay that is timed long enough to bounce back at you rhythmically with each syllable, but is only repeated once due to its short feedback. A doubling echo or doubler is so short that you barely notice it's an echo, making the sound (typically the singer's voice) sound thicker. A delay set to double also has a very short feedback. Read more in this great article.

    How to use delay in Soundation

    Quick delay [Beginner]

    1. 1
      Open Soundation and create a project
    2. 2
      Double-click the channel to which you want to apply the delay, this will open up the bottom panel
    3. 3
      Press "+ Add effect" and select Delay in the drop-down menu
    4. 4
      In the upper right corner, you can now select one of the pre-made settings
    5. 5
      Adjust the Wet knob to configure the volume of the delay being heard

    Editing delay parameters [Intermediate]

    Let's have a closer look at each setting on the Delay to become better friends with it.


    These buttons toggle between synced and free delay time. Set to Sync, it allows you to set the delay time in tempo-locked units measured in beats. Set to Free, it lets you set the delay time in milliseconds (ms).

    Time (Left and Right)

    Time left and right governs the delay time of their respective stereo channel.


    Feedback governs how much of the delayed signal is routed back through the buffer, thereby creating feedback.


    Filter governs the cutoff of the low pass filter on the delay.


    Wet governs loudness of the generated delays, Dry governs loudness of the original sound.

    Advanced delay use [Pro]

    Insert vs. Send

    What we did in earlier steps was insert a delay as an effect directly on a channel. That's fine in most cases but as with reverb, or any other effect of which we want more control over when and how much gets processed, it's considered best practice to place the delay effect on a separate channel and use it as a send effect.


    1. 1
      Click FX Channel under "+ Add Channel", press "+ Add Effect" in the bottom panel and choose Delay
    2. 2
      On any channel you want to send to the reverb channel, press "+ Add Effect" in the bottom panel and choose Send
    3. 3
      In the drop-down menu of the upper right corner, select the FX channel you made in step 1
    4. 4
      On your FX Channel, make sure it’s set to 0% Dry and 100% Wet. We don’t need the FX Channel to play the original unprocessed sound back - that could cause phase issues
    5. 5
      Send controls how much of the original signal you want to send to the delay, Pan controls the stereo balance of the delay and Output controls how much of the original signal you hear
    6. 6
      Adjust the send volume of the original track and the overall volume of the FX Channel to get the results you want

    Start using the Delay effect

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