6 Creative Ways to Use The VKFX Delay – Free with SONAR X3 Studio or Producer

SONAR X3 Producer’s ProChannel comes loaded with great effects for every channel like Compression, EQ, Saturation, and Reverb. Now, for a limited time, if you purchase SONAR X3 Studio or Producer before November 30th, 2013 you will also get Overloud’s incredible VKFX Delay ProChannel Module for free. Here is a description and some creative ways to utilize this wonderful new tool.

Overloud’s VKFX Delay Module is a rendition of a classic tape delay with an incredible set of parameters that virtually allows you to get just about any sound you please.

The Parameters

Feedback adjusts the amount of repetitions of the delayed signal. This has varying tonality as you increase or decrease it.

Tone adjusts the brightness of the delayed signal. Sometimes it’s important to taper off the high end of a signal so that it does not get in the way of itself. Bright acoustic strumming or picking could become engulfed by a series of shearing delays if your tone is not adjusted correctly.

Time is a crucial parameter on any delay unit. This determines the intervals of time between each delay repetition. When the time parameter is not synced to SONAR, the intervals of time range between 0.0 – 2.7 seconds.

When the sync button is enabled the VKFX Delay syncs to musical denominations ranging from 1/32t to 4 based around the tempo set within SONAR.

Mix controls how much of the delay effect makes it into the actual passing signal. Increasing this to 100% would produce the delayed effect only.

Lastly, the 8 different Modes within the VKFX Delay module control two sets of settings.

  • The panning scheme for each repetition
  • On what beat each repetition falls on

As seen in the figure, the first five different modes repeat within the mono spectrum and vary with each beat they fall on. Settings 6, 7, and 8 spread the repetitions from Left, Center, and Right making for an intense panning/delayed effect.

1. Chorus Effect

Chorusing is a very short delay and can be quite effective on Vocal tracks. In the example I’ve set the parameters to the following:

With the Feedback and Time set to barely anything and the mode set to a stereo setting, the second voice begins to fall just short of the source signal. This creates a very short delay effect with almost no decay, or repetitions. This use case can be applied to guitars, bassist, backing vocals, or even horns.

2. Mono Drum Enhancer

Creating beats and interesting grooves out of stock material is an easy way to customize your own sounds for writing music or backing tracks. Throwing a Delay across a drum set may raise some eyebrows, but when done correctly the outcome is very pleasing.

Selecting a mono mode that repeats on 2 and 4 at 1/8th notes enhances the each snare hit every time it passes. Since the tone of the Snare differs with each hit the repetitions mix under the rest of the kit and create ghost note effects. Setting the mix parameter somewhat halfway makes this effect quite present in the mix of the drums.

3. Stereo Drum Enhancer

The same sort of logic applies to this example except the selected mode differs. Picking a stereo mode makes it a more complex effect. The saturated repetitions pan from left, to right, to center creating a hypnotizing effect. This is busy and probably best used for drum breaks and simpler tracks. Use at your own disgression!

4. Harmonizing With Yourself

A clever way to quickly harmonize a  lead or section of a song is to use a delay. The setup is quite simple and requires only the following:

  • Source track panned hard left
  • Bus inserted on source track panned hard right
  • Delay effect inserted on the bus

Parameters are set to the following:

The Delay effect is setup in a way where it only repeats the entire sections previously performed for one interval. I was able to achieve this by syncing the delay to “1”, the Feedback to virtually nothing, and making sure that the mode I was in only repeated on the downbeat for every idea that passed by.  Since the effect is the only sound wanted, I turned the Mix parameter all the way to 100% on the bus. This completely isolates the delay effect. Add more delay units and you could have an entire choir of leads soaring behind your lead.

5. Pitch to Percussion

I personally always look for some of the most creative ways to mangle and corrupt perfectly good drum loops. The VKFX Delay Module delivers a wonderful flutter-verb effect the more you increase the Feedback parameter. This settings starts to sum the average pitch of the drum hits and creates actual pitch. Using short bursts of percussion and the tune parameters within  Session Drummer 3, I was able to have the kick and snare generate a rather crunchy bass line in the key of A. You can see the parameters here:

To get the most of out this I filtered out the top end of the loop with the Quad Curve EQ and added in the Tube Saturation ProChannel Module.

6. Play like “The Edge”

The Edge branded his sound over the last 3 decades with the delay effect. Some would argue that he is one of the only people to do this with delay. His most incredible sounds come from the poly-rhythmic effect that is created when playing guitar passages in 4/4 with a delay effect repeating behind it in a 3/4 feel.

Setting your delay unit to dotted 1/8th notes and choosing a mode that exhibits wide panning will get you started. After that it’s a matter of playing several variations of suspended chords to bring out that epic sound U2 revolutionized over the years.

Learn more about the ProChannel and SONAR X3 here.

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