Today I want to show you an amazing delay trick that I’ve used on vocals for almost every album I’ve mixed over the last 5 years. The cool part about this is there are 3 steps to get it. It is not a traditional delay trick, that you’re using automation, or anything like that, and you do need the 3-part combo to do what it does.
The song we are working on today is a song that I mixed about a year and a half ago for the artist Daniel Doss called “Anchor of My Soul”. The cool part about this track is its an incredibly emotional, very ambient track and it needed to have a unique vocal effect on it that wasn’t just reverb, and wasn’t delay. I didn’t want to hear the repeats on the vocal. For this song, the main challenge was to create this depth in the vocal that didn’t sound wet, but at the same time felt very in your face, because Daniel’s voice is incredibly strong, but still without feeling overpowering. I wanted to soften it and I wanted to keep it in an ethereal kind of space, but I didn’t want to be too cliché in using presets that are out there that do these ping pong things that I don’t like to hear.
So, in order to get the effect that I wanted, I created this template that I do with sidechaining, a delay, and reverb. What those three things do, when they are all combined, is it create this ambience that lets me get the very punchy vocal that I want out of the vocal take, and then when the vocalist is done, the blooming of the delay comes up into the reverb and sends it in, and it’s this really dense, really over the top kind of reverb that doesn’t sound like it is too much.
Follow along with the video below as Marc Daniel Nelson outlines this secret vocal trick!