In this post, we will be comparing two interesting units: AAS Objeq Delay vs W.A. Production Mutant Delay. They are certainly not your regular stock delay since they achieve specific sounds.
Despite being great plugins, they are both very different in terms of what they can offer. Because of that, we will be focusing on their features and what they are most suited for. Each of them has its own characteristics so I’ve processed different kinds of sounds that made both plugins deliver their full potential.
While Objeq Delay aims at creating interesting delay sounds (and more) with a wide array of possibilities, Mutant Delay has cleverly packed a delay and a compressor into a handy plugin that excels at ducking vocal delays.
Let’s get into the details.
|AAS Objeq Delay||W.A. Production Mutant Delay|
|Character & Sound||Versatile and innovative. Its core characteristic is its acoustic resonators to process the signal.||Pretty straightforward, it will mostly work in vocals. Although not very versatile, it delivers nice features for its job.|
|Trial Available||Yes||Yes, but with noise over a couple of seconds.|
|Value For Money||Good. It is not a cheap plugin but it offers a lot of possibilities.||Great. This plugin is a must, especially for those producers working with vocal tracks.|
Applied Acoustic Systems presents this plugin as a “creative delay that goes beyond traditional delay duties”. They don’t lie. Of course, you may use it as a conventional delay but its unique engine is what makes it stand from the rest.
Although it works great as a standard delay, we will be focusing on sound design creativity because of its unique capabilities. I’ve processed synths, drum machines, and electronic sounds for this review.
This module lets the user modulate any parameter from the plugin by selecting the destination on the properly labeled menu. I found it very versatile. It can make your sound do crazy stuff by modulating parameters from the object module, especially those who modify its tonal characteristics.
We can click on the grid icon to access the Multiply switch, which multiplies the value that we set in the knob. The plugin shows the selected multiple at the left side of the rate knob.
Below that, there is a wave-type selector. You can choose between sine, triangle, square, random, and random ramp. The last one goes up and down, but it delivers random values in between. The polarity switch integrated into this module is something that should not go unnoticed. I enjoyed creating multiple combinations between this switch and the wave selector. You can create interesting rhythmic patterns by setting a square or random wave and automating the value of the switch in your DAW.
The filter section is pretty standard. It can modify the tone of the input signal by using a low cut and a high cut filter before it reaches the other modules. You can choose in between 6 dB, 12 dB, and 24 dB per octave slope for the filters with the values 1, 2, and 4.
The Object module is the most interesting part of this plugin. This is a groundbreaking feature since it uses acoustic resonators to modify the input signal’s tone before it arrives in the delay. At the top of the module, the object selector allows the user to choose the type of resonator. You can choose between Beam, Drumhead, Plate, and String. I could get some really nice tones from this. If you close too much the high cut filter you practically get the same sound from any of the resonators. This could be helpful when creating bass reminiscent sounds. However, in their upper frequencies, you start to get different kinds of articulations. I think drumhead is the more musical of them all. The other objects can get uncontrollable in terms of overtones, especially when setting high values in the material and frequency knobs.
The frequency knob establishes the first part of the resonator. If you are processing a synth, setting up this knob correctly can result in some really nice harmonies. By dialing this knob, it shows the value in Hz so it should be easy to tune the right frequency for your sound. Also, you can modulate it with a really quick rate in the LFO to get this laser type of sound. It is capable of creating melodies too by setting a short feedback value and automating the knob in your DAW.
The decay knob determines the duration of resonances that are generated by the module. It can produce drone and pad sounds if you crank up both decay and feedback knobs. I found the best results for this kind of sounds by using the drumhead object and low-pass filtering the signal.
The material knob adjusts the decay time of the partials, depending on where we set the knob. At its lower values, lower frequencies will have a longer decay time than the higher frequencies. The opposite happens if we dial the knob to its higher values. Very interesting feature when it comes to making the coloration of your sound smoothly evolve through time. You can do this by modulating this parameter with the LFO at a slow rate.
Last but not least, the formant knob controls the amplitude of the different partials that are generated by modifying where the resonator is stroke. Dialing the knob to higher values corresponds to striking the object at its center while dialing it to lower values corresponds to striking it at its outer border.
There are two delay lines, the first one being a simple delay and the second one being echoes controlled by the feedback knob. As found in the LFO’s rate, you can click on the grid icon to set the subdivision and the multiply value of each delay.
Sound capabilities and presets.
Objeq Delay is capable of generating a vast palette of sounds. From classic echoes to wacky marimbas, this plugin is a powerful tool when it comes to creativity. What I loved the most is that it is not hard to use at all. The interface is very friendly, and every control is within hand’s reach.
As you may imagine, it comes loaded with tons of presets. You can choose between eight different banks that contain around twenty to forty-four presets each. It features two signature banks, one made by Richard Devine and another one made by Martin Walker. They are both worth checking out as much as the others.
I gave it a try on electronic instruments, and it worked wonderfully for designing exciting layers to my sounds. You can make bass lines and synth riffs from your existing drum beat by setting the LFO to a square wave and use it to modulate the main frequency of the resonator. To create drones, I would avoid the string mode. Of all the four objects available, it is the one that has a more defined attack. You can also generate new colors for your rhythmic patterns.
Despite its experimental nature, it also works as a traditional delay unit. I could reach a nice chorus effect on an acoustic guitar track by setting the delay to a low value and turning on the ping pong mode. Then, with a proper amount of echoes I had a perfectly widened guitar that could fit into any pop/rock situation.
On the other side of the table, we have a unit that is not supposed to be a sonic madness as its competitor. Instead, W.A. Production claims it to be suited for vocals and similar applications in the studio due to its built-in ducker.
Let’s take a look at the features of this one.
Although it may seem not as exciting as the other one, Mutant Delay holds great power underneath its interface. Since it has different features than the Objeq Delay, we will be reviewing this plugin by processing mostly vocals and keys. It can generate texture and depth to your tracks but also generate nice delay effects due to its compression controls.
This is a useful feature that lets the user see the behavior of the dry signal and the delay signal in real time. Dark pink color shows the dry signal while light pink shows the delays.
The interesting part of this module is its filtering stage. You can shape the delay signal thanks to its high pass and low pass filter. You can change the behavior of the filter by clicking the button connected to the filter. Mode A will work as a standard filter, while mode B will modulate through time the color of the signal. This is a nice feature since it lets the user shape the behavior of the delays.
You can change the value of the left and right subdivisions to be straight, dotted, and triplet notes by clicking the letters connected to each knob. The arrows button is a toggle between ping pong and keeping both channels separated.
I found it to be very effective on vocals. It really stood out on those tracks that had silences in between the performance of the singer. You can use it in busier vocals but you will not be reaching all its potential. I used it on a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ vocal track and I could not do Anthony any justice. The vocal sounded bigger with some presets but the result I got by browsing was nothing out of this world. Don’t get me wrong: it sounds good and it works great but don’t expect it to be as fun as its competitor.
The same goes for keys and synths. Although it certainly adds depth to the sound, I wasn’t that keen on its limitations for processing this kind of instrument. It does what it does, it is not supposed to work as a sound design machine.
This section is pretty self-explanatory since these are the same controls you can find in a regular compressor. The idea behind this is to free the user from having to create a complex audio routing to duck the delayed signal.
I could control the delays with millimetric precision thanks to this module. As I’ve said before, this plugin shines when the vocal track lets it resonate. You can create some really cool dynamic effects that will benefit the overall perception of your tracks when used correctly.
Sound Capabilities and presets.
In contrast to Objeq Delay, Mutant Delay has a more straightforward application. Although it can be used in a variety of instruments, its main goal is to maintain the clarity of the original signal by controlling and preventing delays to get in the way of it.
I think it is a great tool for shaping the behavior of your vocals. It can control in a surgical way how the sound evolves through time. The B Mode of the filter is what made it shine in my opinion since I’ve not seen similar plugins capable of doing this kind of process.
It has just a few presets, the right amount you would expect from a plugin of these characteristics. It is not meant to be a sound design tool. It is sophisticated, yet easy to handle. Every producer should have this in its arsenal. I would use it for vocals oriented to modern pop, trap, R&B, and beyond.
I’ve found both plugins very useful, but it is clear that each one has its own applications since they are aimed at different audiences.
The only thing that they have in common is their filtering capacities. Beyond that, we are talking about two different devices. While Objeq Delay is most suited for sound design work, Mutant Delay’s goal is to achieve a perfectly ducked delay for vocal lines mostly.
It would not be fair to compare their sonic potential. Objeq Delay is a beast when it comes to generating new coloration to your delay signal. The inclusion of the object module based on physical modeling synthesis is a game-changer since it offers a vast palette of sounds depending on the quality of your input signal. Not only you can modify the type of resonator you will be working with, but you can also set where the resonator will be excited and control with precision the partials that it will generate. This results in a great way to shape the processed signal. All of this is combined with an LFO serving as a modulation stage with lots of parameters to work with. Although it can be overwhelming in terms of its vast sound-design potential, it is surprisingly easy to handle with a flexible, hands-on workflow.
On the other hand, Mutant Delay excels at doing this popular parallel compression technique. If you ever tried to make this work with hardware you know it can be a bummer to set up. W.A. Production found the perfect solution for this kind of problem in an easy-to-use tool that can work for any producer. This is very helpful because it can introduce the concept of parallel compression and its applications to beginner producers in a packed format.
The internal ducker section shows standard compressor controls and can fine-tune the delay signal by setting up properly its attack, hold and release times. It can also generate atmospheric delays by setting higher values in its release time. The other feature that stood up is the B mode in the filter section, which can increase its damping over time. You can’t go wrong with this plugin. Also, it costs way less than its competitor.
Objeq Delay is the way to go if you want to expand your palette of sounds, although it can also work as a standard delay. Instead, if you want an easy-to-use delay that quickly delivers good results for your vocals go for Mutant Delay.
I’m a music producer, composer and drummer. I’m an Ableton Live trainer with expertise in electronic music and sound design. I’ve also studied electroacoustic music at Universidad Nacional de Quilmes.