Developed in collaboration with Sixth Sample, Integraudio’s Deelay is a free delay plugin with a plethora of features geared for modern producers.
The delay effect is bread-and-butter for any music producer. Practically every DAW comes with a delay plugin, and usually, you can get by with them without issue. However, once in a while, you might face a need to use something geared towards sound designing.
And the all-new Deelay is a completely free delay effect that allows you to achieve a variety of sounds.
Deelay provides five modes of operation and a distortion stage with many types. Similarly, you can find various other parameters that you rarely see in free and paid plugins.
These allow you to customize the way the delay behaves. Furthermore, it features a vast array of presets assorted over multiple categories to help you discover what Deelay can do.
Deelay provides a coherent user interface with color coding for various delay modes. You can also resize the user interface.
The plugin offers an astounding number of features for a free delay plugin. And while some of the features could see some improvements, Deelay is undoubtedly one of the most original free delay plugins currently available.
While adding features like tape effect, distortion, and diffusion makes the plugin fresh, it also invites harsh judgment for its sound. However, despite the relatively uninspired tape effect, I must applaud the smooth diffusion and many distortion types.
Deelay features a modern user interface, which is fully resizable. You’ll find the main delay parameters in the middle section of the user interface, whereas the rest of the controls allow you to add filters, distortion, modulation, and more.
At the top left of the UI, you’ll find a Randomize button to change all the parameters, resulting in unexpected sounds.
Similarly, the A-B switch next to the Randomize button allows you to toggle between two configurations, each with a different color scheme. You can even automate the button to change the delay effect mid-song.
It’s especially handy for vocals that need a different effect for each section. Finally, you’ll find the preset dropdown menu with a user section for custom presets.
While many free delay plugins tend to be either too simple or too complicated, Deelay finds a rather good balance. It provides many features that would require you to use multiple plugins with track routings.
Similarly, it includes classic features like ping-pong mode, mono switch, millisecond mode, and sync mode with triplet and dotted timing. So, it saves time and effort while you explore experimental features.
Diffusion smears Deelay’s echoes to make the effect sound like reverb. You can add a small amount of diffusion to make the delay sound less distinct.
Furthermore, the plugin allows you to change the diffusion amount, size, and quality. The diffusion quality slider changes how smeared and smooth the diffusion sounds.
Deelay provides five modes of delay: normal, reverse forward, pure reversed, chaos, and reversed chaos. The ‘reverse forward’ mode reverses the delay sound before it is fed back into the delay for the feedback system.
So, it produces a reversed echo every other time. Conversely, the ‘pure reversed’ mode reverses all the echoes.
The ’chaos’ mode changes each echo’s pitch interval. One of the coolest uses I’ve found for it is to change a voice into a strange, “evil” character. Furthermore, if you need even more experimental sounds, try the reversed chaos mode.
As the plugin suggests, it sounds excellent with diffusion. The result is similar to a shimmer reverb.
The plugin provides eleven types of distortions, which applies to the delay wet. These include saturation, asymmetrical, clip, tube, rectify, crackly, lightning, amp, bumpy, razor, and pixelated.
As you probably expect, most of them do what the name states. For example, the tube distortion emulates classic tube amps, and the amp distortion emulates Class A amp saturation.
However, the other distortion types do not emulate traditional distortion effects. For example, ‘crackly’ emulates jittery wires and ‘pixelated’ adds a noisy lo-fi effect at a low bit depth.
Similarly, the ‘lightning’ type adds harsh distortion alongside white noise. Further, the other types like bumpy and razor sound like they prioritize different frequency ranges.
Deelay offers a Tape knob at the bottom right of the user interface. This parameter adds the wow and flutter of a tape recorder.
Furthermore, while the plugin itself doesn’t mention it, I find the wow effect similar to a 30ips mastering tape, although the flutters can be pretty overpowering.
So, try dialing in the tape parameter without going overboard to achieve a fairly convincing tape effect. You could even use a 0ms delay, some Tape, and mild Pixelated distortion to use Deelay as a tape emulator!
The top parameter in the middle of the user interface is Duck. It essentially lowers the volume of the wet signal whenever the dry signal plays. So, it’s excellent to avoid muddying your dry signal. Furthermore, Deelay allows you to customize the duck attack and release timing.
As a delay effect alone, Deelay is perfectly transparent and provides all the features you might need. However, it adds a filter section alongside distortion that changes the feedback sound.
You’ll find a high-pass and a low-pass filter that sound like they have a 12 dB/octave slope. And you can assign them to the sidechain input or the feedback output.
Similarly, the various types of distortion are very usable. Many of them are too experimental to be called upon often, but they may come in handy while you’re sound designing. Furthermore, while I don’t find the emulations particularly convincing, I found them helpful for adding classic techniques like distorted slap-back delays.
Deelay is an excellent delay plugin that suits intermediate users who wish to explore experimental features without getting too complicated. Of course, you will find just as much use as a beginner and a veteran user.
However, I’d have loved to see a separate control over the tape speed and flutter level. The lack of enough customizability may make the plugin somewhat limiting, especially to experienced users.
Still, you’ll find useful features like echo offset, a high-pass and a low-pass filter that can filter the input or the wet output, and positioning the distortion at the signal chain’s end alongside what I listed earlier.
Hence, there are undoubtedly many uses for this plugin, which should more than justify a spot in your plugin arsenal.
Deelay is available for Windows 10 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 3,AU and AAX formats.
Plugin Version 1.0.1
- Plugin would not open when opening the same project on another operating system
- Ping pong mode drifts off sync when using the spread slider
- Decibel meter marks not accurate
Important: If you get a virus notice, don’t worry as your antivirus can detect the code in the installer as a virus/threat.
In case you have a problem with downloading just send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you another link.
Note: Plugin will install automatically into your VST3 folder, and AU under the AU folder. If the folder doesn’t exist, it will create it.
You can check the latest version here including AAX format.
Deelay Platnium Edition
The versatile delay plugin by Integraudio, called Deelay PE (Platinum Edition) is a treat for sound designers.
At first glance, it may seem like any normal delay plugin, with a few extra features of adding tape effects, distortion, etc. But going deeper into it will make you realize the endless sound design and music production possibilities that you can have with the plugin. From creating basic short delay effects on vocals to LoFi effects to dreamy and ambient room effects, the plugin will inspire you to get creative with your delay choices.
Deelay Platinum Edition Review
Browsing through the presets will give you an idea of its capabilities and may inspire you artistically. There are plenty of presets classified into interesting categories like Color, Design, Non-delay, Normal delay, Platinum, and Reverb. Changing presets in the Deelay PE gives you a deck-off type of effect, sometimes in an unusual way, which you can record to create interesting transitions.
Out of all presets, Cinematic stood out to me as a delay effect in which I could completely shut off the dry signal, record or consolidate the output, and use it as an ambient effect to create atmospheric textures and wavy emotional effects in the song or the soundtrack. Another great preset is the Gentle Verb in the Reverb category. Again, you can create swells before the instrument plays by taking down the dry signal or just using it as an ambient reverse delay effect on the actual sound.
For the same Gentle Verb preset, you can take down the dry signal, increase the tape and distortion effects, use Tube distortion, and set the Low cut and High cut curves at a lower frequency. That will give you a deeply atmospheric and lush sound, which, when applied on suitable chords, layered with sub-bass on the roots, can make up for a great film background score.
Lastly, Lofi 1 under Non-delay, clean slapback under normal delays, and hi-end exciter under color categories also have unique characteristics. And if you’re looking for a clean delay sound, you can for the Hi-end ambiance preset under Reverb, Hi-End Exciter 2 and 3, and Low-end thump presets under the Color category. You can also save your presets, which will go under the User category.
It’s rare to find a free delay plugin with so many features, and it gives paid delay plugins a run for their money with its comprehensive workflow yet simple interface. In addition to basic delay, plugin features like pre-delay, EQ, feedback, and delay time, you can also add modulations with an adjustable rate and amount, diffusion effects, tape, distortion effects, changeable delay modes, and distortion algorithms, and a randomize button.
Also, it has two modes: mono and ping-pong, which could be activated using their switches, and if not turned on, the default mode is stereo. Secondly, it could work in the Mid/Side or Left/Right versions. It also has two dB meters, one for input and one for output, so you can balance the levels before and after the effect is applied. Lastly, you can pan the delayed sound to the left or right and set the delay in milliseconds (ms), normal, triplet, or dotted values.
There are seven delay modes: Reverse Forward, Pure Reverse, Chaos, reverse Chaos, Frequency, Pitch, and Normal. These are some innovative effects; for example, the Pitch mode adds a pitch shifter to the feedback loop, the frequency mode adds a frequency shifter to the feedback mode, the reverse mode reverses the delayed signal in different styles, and the chaos mode will play the delayed signal in varying intervals and pitches.
Diffusion is a parameter usually present in reverb plugins. It decides the number of directions the reflected sound travels after it hits the reflective surface, which eventually decides how close the delayed signals are to each other as they feed into each other. Hence, this will make the delay sound more like a reverb and blend the reflected/echoed sounds more.
You control the diffusion amount, which is like a mix or dry/wet knob, the diffusion size will randomly spread the diffused sound in multiple directions, and the diffusion quality will control the overall reverb-like texture of the delayed signal.
Tape & Distortion Effects
Tape delay is the classic analog sounding delay that the Deelay PE has emulated within a single knob, by which you could control the amount of tape effect in the plugin, and the distortion knob will control the amount of distortion on the delayed voice. You can select different types of distortion like a tube, asymmetric, comb, clip, and many more from the “Dist” drop-down menu on the left bottom of the plugin.
Modulation, as the name suggests, will allow the delayed and feedback signal to be modulated in pitch and volume, creating an interesting but sometimes chaotic time-based pitch, pan, and level variations on the sound. The modulation can be controlled using the mod amount and mod rate knobs.
Duck is a useful side-chaining set of knobs, which ducks down or decreases the volume of the delayed signal every time it clashes with the dry signal, so both the sounds don’t cancel each other in terms of phase and frequencies and don’t create muddy resonances. The attack time, release time, and amount of the ducking can be controlled in the plugin.
Other useful features
An important feature in the plugin is the “Fdb Fil” button that, when turned on, will allow the low cut and high cut filters to act on the delayed sound and, when turned off, will allow the entire input signal to be filtered. It’s an essential tool missing in most mainstream delay plugins and extremely useful. Similarly, the “Post Dist” button next to it, when enabled, will allow distortion to happen just before the output, else it applies the distortion effect to the input signal by default.
The interface is user-friendly, as it displays text about what every single control, button, knob, slider, etc., does at the bottom of the plugin. The Randomize button will randomly set different values of controllers, giving it a unique sound every time you click it. Further, the A/B buttons will allow you to audition two different settings of the delay to compare them and choose from.
Overall the interface is straightforward to understand, with different skins colors for each delay mode. It allows you to have complete hands-on control over the texture and tonality of the sound. In the first version of the Deelay PE, it’s hard to find any points to complain about, as it’s an expansive plugin with plenty of features. The plugin is great for experimentation, sound design, and creating unique sonic textures.