How to get vintage tape-echo sound using Ableton delay plugins

Did you know that the standard Ableton delay plugins have different operating modes?  

Did you know you can get the beautiful sound of an analog tape delay from a stock Ableton delay plugin? 

The trick is really simple and it's even in the manual but if you don't look for it you might never know.

All you do is right-click on the Delay plugin and select "RePitch" instead of the default Fade mode.  This works for Filter, PingPong and Simple delays, but not Grain delay.

This rearranged the furniture in my mind when I first heard it, especially when doing those sweeps that go from shortest to longest delay time -- the repetitions really capture that SLURPPPP sound and echo it in long one-bar loops.

It's almost like having a sampler that automatically makes a one-bar loop with whatever you put into it.  I remember the Korg electribe ER-1 had a delay like this too... it was awesome.

So if you're familiar with this stuff then the right-click tip is all you need to take off.

Here's a playlist of audio examples that show you the difference between the three delay modes (RePitch, Fade and Jump) using both sync'd delay time and manual milliseconds time.  

If you want to see how those audio clips were made, here's a Live Pack to take you through it in more detail.  The .ALP expands into a session where you can hear the examples, see how they were made, read a built-in lesson, then map some controllers and do it yourself.  

Last note, if you ever see a Roland RE-201 for sale cheap... BUY IT!  This thing is legendary and, as they say, it's so cool that you usually have an extra person in the studio exclusively to operate it.  

Steve Knots

Thanks for your visit! If you're new here, check out the session lessons. They're the most exciting new way to learn sound design, composition and mixdown techniques for electronic music production in Ableton Live. -Steve