There are a lot of delay plugins currently available and some of the new ones are super sophisticated. That’s not always good in that it could lead to a cluttered user interface that takes too much time to find your way around. One brand new delay plug that’s both sophisticated and is easy to use is the new SSL X-Delay, a 4 tap delay that has every feature you could ever want, but also gets high marks for its UI.
X-Delay is a 4 tap delay, meaning that it’s actually 4 delays in one that can be configured for all sorts of interesting combinations across a mono or stereo output. Each delay tap allows you to individually set the delay time either manually or automatically sync to the track, set the gain, and set the panning. There’s also an On/Off selector, a Sync selector and a Ping Pong button that allows the delay to move back and forth across the stereo output.
It should be noted that the delay timing is pretty versatile. There’s a master time indicator at the top of the plugin where you can either manually select the delay time, or just press the Host button to sync to the tempo of the track. What’s unique here is that there’s also a Multiplier selector right next to it that allows you to easily multiply the delay times of all of the taps at once, speeding them up (0.5x) or slowing them down (2x).
The global parameters of the plugin provide a lot of choices that you don’t normally see on a delay. For instance there are Modulate and Saturate controls, which are nice to have but somewhat common, but even better is a built-in De-Esser to help dial out some of the sibilance and harshness. Even better is a Diffuse control that blends through different room types and sizes. As you increase from OFF to MAX, the room size increases and the effect becomes more prominent.
The middle-lower section of the GUI contains controls related to the feedback behavior. As with all delays, Feedback increases the number of repeats by feeding some of the delayed signal back into the input. Freeze freezes the feedback of the delay and mutes the input, which causes the delay effect of the plugin to ‘freeze’ in place for building risers and drops. Mute silences the input to the delay and allows the tail to die off in a musical way.
The mixing section on the lower right of the plugin features both high and low-pass filters, a Width control that inserts a mid-side processor on the output (it goes from mono when fully counter-clockwise to stereo in the center to super wide when fully clockwise), and Mix control.
Yes, there are the obligatory Input and Output level controls complete with some nice vertical stereo level indicators.
The SSL X-Delay is normally $199 but it currently carries an introductory price of just $129 until March 22nd. It’s also available as part of the SSL Complete Bundle Subscription for $14.99 a month. You can find out more here, or watch the video below.