Is there any way on iOS to gate a delay so only the last word of a phrase has echo/delay?

Guess the topic says it all -

Context is reggae/dub, in some songs I trigger little bits of movie dialogue/funny words during dub breaks.

To do this, use BM2 through AUM, with either AUFX:Dub or more recently, the Audio Damage Dubstation 2. (Both very cool effects for this purpose, by the way).

Of course the cool Dub thing to do is crank up the amount of delay/feedback at the end of the phrase, so you get the trippy thing going on. However, that requires I pay attention when in the given phrase I have to, well, err, crank up the delay/feedback.

Not surprisingly, if you do this too early in the phrase, the whole things gets swamped out and nobody realized you just played a clip of "You're clothes - give them to me", or "I have detailed files on human anatomy".

So, a gated off delay that only kicked in on the last word of the phrase/sentence would be ideal. In a DAW, this is trivial to do. Live, haven't figured out a way to do it easily (which I need to, as I'm also the keyboard player, which means I'm supposed to be doing more important things than amusing myself with dubbing out movie dialogue bits.

Seems like in theory it should be doable, since technically what I am doing is not "live", if the "magic method" could do look ahead on the file/clip to be triggered, and just back calculate to "turn on" 1 sec or so before the end, I would have the effect of a gated-on delay.

Anyway, thought I would throw this out there for discussion, there are smarter folks than I on this forum.

Thx in advance,

Roy

«1

Comments

  • 35 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • Don't have an answer, but very excited to see where this goes.

  • Somewhat tangential, but I've always wanted a delay pedal that allows you to set the precise number of repeats you want.

  • edited August 11 Vote Up0

    I did this in my last song. Basically, I used one track for the effect, sliced the sample down to one word and placed it in the right place in the effect track. This also means you have extra control over the repeat volume.

    Edit - oops, I see you mentioned live. But still, it could be a one word/phrase sample triggered on its own track.

  • Could you not have another delay pedal setup and have a foot pedal that could be triggered on that word??

  • A ducking delay might get close.

  • Yeh, I feel like the answer lies with ducking. Repeats are going to be supressed as long as there is more sound to come. That last word should then repeat since nothing is following it.

  • @jakoB_haQ is my favorite ios dub master. Maybe this is what you want https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HlfYooEvOiU

  • edited August 11 Vote Up0

    customizable gated sidechain/compressor

    https://youtu.be/WUtiJzwCJoA

  • How is this trivial to do in a DAW? Can't you then do the same in an iOS DAW?

    I send audio to a Bus in AUM with a couple of echo apps but I'm not so keen on exacting timing, more about feeling.

    Listening to a lot of classic dub reggae will demonstrate that perfection is not as interesting as the unexpected.

  • Live- do you mean as in a live show or live to a recording? Either way, if you have a send to the delay, just raise and lower it manually, raise it when you get to the word you want to repeat.

    As for a delay that goes the exact number of times you want, you can do it with the feedback control, just learn where the spots are on your particular delay.

    In auria, I did it on this track, but I did it the way it was mentioned - by putting a word on a separate track that I wanted to be delayed. I had a few different tracks to go to different delays so that the delays were not all the same.

    https://shutterwax.bandcamp.com/track/disappointment-2

    Not saying this is the be all end all of delay throws, but it does what you asked (I think).

  • edited August 11 Vote Up0

    Pretty sure I did this with BM2.. just using the Delay on/off envelope really quickly.. same sample different parts echoed...? Not sure abut BM3 still alien tech to me at the mo...

  • Hi Guys

    Thanks for the many suggestions - sorry I wasn't more clear - I mean during a live performance.

    That's what makes this relatively challenging - as several have noted before, on a DAW its easy, you can either have a separate isolated track, or use a ducking delay.

    The problem with live is how will the ducking delay know when the end of the sound is about to happen, and then go back in time and start the delay before the end? Maybe it can, if so, any suggestions for one that will work for LIVE performance? (Live shows in front of semi-live people).

    However, since I am playing samples, which are files, I was thinking there might be some way computationally for the "sample player" to read-ahead, and thus calculate when to start the delay/feedback.

  • PS - I appreciate the suggestions of raising/lowering in real time, thats what I do now. And as Klaatu Ninja notes, I could use a foot pedal.

    The problem is I am also playing a lot of piano parts, and reggae organ bubbles (which are not technically hard to do, but rythmically very challenging). Thus, it would be great if I could just hit the sample pad, and the rest would take care of itself.

    Maybe setting the samples up to already work that way would be best, but in a live situation in a bar, its usually necessary to tweak amounts/eq, etc. to deal with the sub-optimal stage conditions.

  • What about an old fashioned delay pedal?

  • wimwim
    edited August 11 Vote Up0

    @roygbiv, Ducking cuts off the delay if the input signal is above a certain threshold. So, if your phrase was "Duck this!" Then the delay from "Duck" would cut out as soon as the word "this" sounded. The delay of "this" would continue to repeat because no sound follows it.

    What I'm not sure about is whether the echo of "Duck" would be permanently cut off or whether it would only be reduced in volume temporarily during "this". Most likely this could be adjusted for using the number of repeats (feedback control), but I'd have to mess around to try that out, and can't right now.

    The problem with live is how will the ducking delay know when the end of the sound is about to happen, and then go back in time and start the delay before the end? Maybe it can, if so, any suggestions for one that will work for LIVE performance? (Live shows in front of semi-live people).

    Doesn't need to if the delay of the earlier phrase is cut off by the final word. If it's just temporarily cut off, then you have a point. But audibly, unless your feedback is really high, chances are the echo of the earlier part of the phrase will be decayed so much by then that it won't really matter.

  • Wait. You said you trigger clips that you already have??

    In that case, BM3 will do this in a cinch. You just need to pre-slice your clips so that the last word is in its own slice, ask BM3 to create a pattern for you when you save the slices, then throw in a bunch of repeats of the last slice. Draw in a quick velocity curve over the repeats. Then just trigger the pattern.

    On the other hand ... I wouldn't trust BM3 in a live situation yet.

    What I'm not getting is ... if you have the clips set up already and are just playing them back, why don't you do your trippy echo repeat thing at home in the studio and save the clips that way? Don't want the repeats on all of them? Have two versions. The less live processing tricks the better IMO.

    Context is reggae/dub, in some songs I trigger little bits of movie dialogue/funny words during dub breaks.

    Or is this meant to include stuff you're not already bringing with you, such as live voice?

  • Two ways:
    1 - an app like Echo Pad that has a ducking feature for the feedback. This way the input signal suppresses the feedback; when the phrase ends, the feedback goes up and the last bit in the delay buffer rings out. This allows realtime usage on a live signal, but you're limited to the last bit and the rise can sometimes sound abrupt.

    2- if you're using pre-made samples that you can run mono, you can:
    a- collapse to mono
    b- convert back to stereo (this is just to make sure you have the same content in both channels - you don't have to do this)
    c- in one channel silence the last phrase you want to repeat
    d- in the other channel, silence everything but the last phrase you want to repeat
    e- play the sample back into something like AUM and split the signal and process the two sides with separate delays (use an effects send to route to a bus, then collapse to mono full right, then run to a delay; in another channel that's feeding from the bus send, collapse to mono full left and run to another delay)

    You have to pre-cut your sample, but this allows a bit more control and can sound smoother than the ducked feedback. This also allows you to apply other effects to two parts of the sample.

  • Sounds like the suggestion of a delay pedal is a good one, just hit it with your foot on the last word.

  • AUFX Dub has a dry/ wet mix bypass button- I think this might do it manually?

  • @roygbiv My app Echo Pad should be able to get you pretty close to what you're trying to do in realtime by using a combination of ducking and gated mode.

    In Echo Pad's "Delay Tweak" menu you can turn the ducking sensitivity level pretty high, probably to 100%. (To access the Delay Tweak menu in Echo Pad, tap the "FX" button in the top left corner, then tap the "Delay Tweak" button.)

    Now set your desired delay time, delay mix, and feedback levels, then tap "Gated" which is located to the left of the feedback slider. Note that once gating is enabled, your feedback level is locked until you turn gating back off, so you can experiment with the right feedback amount and then lock it in by turning gating back on.

    Once you have these parameters set, experiment with the duck release parameter to set how quickly the delay tails ramp back up in volume until you get the right feel. Hope this helps!

  • @HoldernessMedia said:
    @roygbiv My app Echo Pad should be able to get you pretty close to what you're trying to do in realtime by using a combination of ducking and gated mode.

    In Echo Pad's "Delay Tweak" menu you can turn the ducking sensitivity level pretty high, probably to 100%. (To access the Delay Tweak menu in Echo Pad, tap the "FX" button in the top left corner, then tap the "Delay Tweak" button.)

    Now set your desired delay time, delay mix, and feedback levels, then tap "Gated" which is located to the left of the feedback slider. Note that once gating is enabled, your feedback level is locked until you turn gating back off, so you can experiment with the right feedback amount and then lock it in by turning gating back on.

    Once you have these parameters set, experiment with the duck release parameter to set how quickly the delay tails ramp back up in volume until you get the right feel. Hope this helps!

    Welcome back, HoldernessMedia! Haven’t seen you here for a long time :-(

  • edited August 13 Vote Up0

    @ErrkaPetti said:

    Welcome back, HoldernessMedia! Haven’t seen you here for a long time :-(

    Ditto. Hope you're well Chris.

    @noisefan said:

    "perfection is not as interesting as the unexpected".

    I just googled this to see if it's an existing quote.

    It's not.

    Bravo! :)

  • @SpookyZoo said:

    @ErrkaPetti said:

    Welcome back, HoldernessMedia! Haven’t seen you here for a long time :-(

    Ditto. Hope you're well Chris.

    @noisefan said:

    "perfection is not as interesting as the unexpected".

    I just googled this to see if it's an existing quote.

    It's not.

    Bravo! :)

    It's a good one.

  • and hits what the original dub thing was about... B)

  • @SpookyZoo said:

    @ErrkaPetti said:

    Welcome back, HoldernessMedia! Haven’t seen you here for a long time :-(

    Ditto. Hope you're well Chris.

    @noisefan said:

    "perfection is not as interesting as the unexpected".

    I just googled this to see if it's an existing quote.

    It's not.

    Bravo! :)

    Well played!

  • This would be simple in a desktop DAW. Do any iOS DAWs offer plugin automation? One of the reasons I still use a desktop DAW.

  • I've spent countless hours tweaking music to get it just right. I've also played in a lot of improv groups where you have to play in the moment and not be too precious about the result. There are countless records that could have been more precise but is that better. Not for me to say.

    The easiest and most straightforward way to play the last part of a long sample is simply have two samples and trigger them simultaneously. Part one plays without echo. Part two has silence inserted at the beginning to the length necessary to put the final word(s) in the right place then add echo to suit your taste.

    I prefer Bus sends for the ability to add echo whenever I want. That's traditionally the standard Dub method and doesn't require much fuss.

  • @oat_phipps said:
    Somewhat tangential, but I've always wanted a delay pedal that allows you to set the precise number of repeats you want.

    You're looking for a "multi tap mode." The only one I've really spent time with is the EHX Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai, which is a total blast but somewhat lacking in the AD/DA department (minor volume drop and "plasticky" sound overall).

    Nonetheless, it's one of my all time favourites

  • Isn't this the purpose of a pre-delay function in a delay unit?

  • Hey guys

    Thanks for all the tips - sorry for the delay, been away at my daughter's soccer tournament.

    Anyway, some excellent points here - including the tips for Echo Pad (especially grateful to hear from the creator, thank you Mr. Holderness- I already have this fine app, didn't realize it could to this kind of ducking. I'll play around with this some now that I am back home).

    Also, while I would love to "just let it happen organically" (paraphrasing) - when we are playing live, I'm sometimes playing the reggae organ bubble with my left hand, and the "skank" on the piano with my right hand - thus removing one more thing to worry about (i.e. When to precisely turn on the delay at the end of a phrase) will be greatly appreciated. So thanks again everyone.

    Roy

Sign In or Register to comment.