Web Analytics

FL Studio Delay Effect Tutorial + Advanced Tips & Tricks

Using delay effects in music production can transform a simple track into a rich, dynamic composition. This tutorial will guide you through the process of using the Delay 2 plugin in FL Studio to improve your mixes.

We’ll cover the basics of delay, why it’s important when to use it, and provide a step-by-step guide to implementing it effectively.

What is Delay?

In music production, delay is an audio effect that creates repetitions or echoes of a sound signal. These repetitions occur after a specified amount of time, often measured in milliseconds, and can be used to add depth, dimension, and rhythmic interest to a track.

Delay can be applied subtly to create a sense of space or ambiance, or it can be used more prominently as a creative effect to enhance musical phrases or add texture to a mix.

Why is Delay Important?

Delay is crucial in music production because it adds depth, creating a sense of space and ambiance in a mix. It enhances rhythmic patterns, contributing to the overall groove and complexity of the track.

Additionally, the delay effect provides unique textures and effects that make a track stand out by adding character and dimension.

The Delay effect can be applied in various scenarios, such as on vocals to make them sound more spacious, on guitars to create atmospheric and rhythmic patterns, on synths and pads to add movement and texture, and on drums to enhance the groove and add a sense of space.

How To Use Delay 2 in FL Studio

1. Setting Up Your Project – Open FL Studio: Start by opening FL Studio and create a new project by going to File > New From Template > Empty. Assign your vocal or instrument track to the playlist.

2. Configuring the Send Channel for Delay – Open the Mixer: Press F9 to open the mixer.

Right-click on Insert 1 and select Assign to the new audio track(s). Alternatively, right-click a track in the playlist, select Track mode > Audio track > Insert 1.

FL Studio Delay - Asign vocal track to a mixer channel

If you chose to record your voice or instrument directly in FL Studio, then you have already gone through this step.

In my example, I will show you how to apply delay on a vocal track, but all the techniques will work for any other instrument, as I said before.

Also see: How To Record Vocals in FL Studio

Create the Send Channel – In the mixer go to another empty channel and name it “Vocal Delay”, or “Vocal Effects”. Now route the main Vocal channel to this new channel.

Be sure you are on the Vocal channel, then click on the bottom arrow on the “Vocal Delay” channel, or right-click on the small arrow, and choose “Route to this track”.

FL Studio - How to create vocal delay routing send channel

If you see a thin green wire between the two channels, know that you are on the right way!

Using a send channel ensures a consistent effect across multiple tracks. When multiple vocal tracks share the same delay settings, they blend more naturally, creating a unified space in the mix.

Send channels provide greater flexibility in adjusting the effect level for each track by directly moving the Send volume slider (fader). You can control the amount of signal sent to the effect, allowing for fine-tuning and creative mixing.

3. Applying Delay with Fruity Delay 2 – Load Fruity Delay 2: In the mixer, select the track assigned for delay and load Fruity Delay 2 from the plugin list.

FL Studio Fruity Delay 2 Tutorial

Adjusting Settings:

  • Dry: This knob controls the balance between the dry (original) and wet (delayed) signal. When using Delay on a send channel as we do, dropdown the Dry knob to 0%.
  • Pan: Adjust where the delay sits in the stereo field. Usually, you leave it in the center, but you can play with panning as you like.
  • Volume: Controls the input signal level to the delay effect.
  • Time: Set the time between delays. Use the formula 60000 / BPM to calculate delay time in milliseconds for different tempos.

Here are some examples of delay times for some common tempos:

    • 90 BPM: 666.67 ms
    • 100 BPM: 600 ms
    • 120 BPM: 500 ms
    • 130 BPM: 461.54 ms
    • 140 BPM: 428.57 ms
FL Studio Vocal Delay Time Calculation
In my example at a tempo of 140 bpm, a delay time of 4:30 is best.
  • Feedback: Controls the number of delay repetitions. Turning this knob right increases the number of delays.
  • Cut: Filters the delayed signal, allowing for a smoother fade-out.
  • Invert and Ping Pong: Experiment with these settings for creative effects. Invert swaps the stereo channels of the delay, and Ping Pong pans the delay back and forth.

EQ Tuning The Delay Effect

FL Studio EQ Tuning The Delay Effect

In the “Delay Send” channel, add an EQ plugin after the delay effect. You can use Fruity Parametric EQ 2 and apply a high-pass filter to cut the low frequencies. This prevents the delay from adding unwanted low-end rumble to your mix. Set the high-pass filter to cut frequencies below around 200 Hz. Adjust as needed based on the specific context of your mix.

Next, apply a low-pass filter to remove high frequencies. This helps in creating a more natural-sounding delay and prevents the delay effect from clashing with other elements in the high-frequency range. Set the low-pass filter to cut frequencies above around 8-10 kHz.

Use the mid-bands to fine-tune the frequency response of the delay. For instance, if the delay sounds too muddy, you might want to cut some frequencies around 300-500 Hz. If it needs more presence, you can boost around 2-4 kHz.

Use Sidechain Compression on Delay

FL Studio Sidechain Compression On The Delay Effect

Using sidechain compression on delay allows the delay effect to duck (reduce in volume) when the main signal (such as a vocal or lead instrument) is present.

This helps maintain the clarity and prominence of the main signal while still benefiting from the depth and ambiance that delay provides.

When the main signal stops, the delay effect will come back up in volume, filling the gaps and adding a rich, dynamic texture.

In the “Delay Send” channel add and open the Fruity Limiter interface and switch to the Compressor tab by clicking on the “Comp” button. Set up the sidechain input to “Vocal” (in my example).

Adjust the compression settings to achieve the desired ducking effect. Here are some typical settings to start with:

  • Threshold: Set this to a level where the compression kicks in when the main signal is present.
  • Ratio: Set a high ratio (e.g., 4:1 or higher) to ensure noticeable ducking.
  • Attack: Set a fast attack time (e.g., 1-10 ms) so the compression starts immediately when the main signal comes in.
  • Release: Set a moderate release time (e.g., 100-300 ms) to allow the delay to gradually return after the main signal stops.

Also see: What Is Sidechain Compression – Why Use Sidechain Compression

By following these steps, you can effectively use the Delay 2 plugin in FL Studio to add depth, dimension, and creativity to your mixes. Don’t hesitate to tweak the settings and experiment to find the perfect delay effect for your music.

You can also apply these techniques for the Reverb effect, you can even add a Reverb directly to the channel where the Delay is, or you can create a separate Send channel for more control.

Feel free to reach out if you need more help with your mixing and mastering, and don’t forget to check out our FL Studio Vocal Mixing Presets

Disclaimer: Any references to any brands on this website/webpage, including reference to products, trademarks, brands and companies, are provided for description purposes only. We don't have any association with or endorsement by these brands or companies. Some of the links on our blog may be affiliate links. This means if you click on these links and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Need Professional Mixing & Mastering?