FabFilter Timeless 2 online help

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Delay lines

The delay lines are the center of FabFilter Timeless 2. Of course, they cause a delay in the transmission of a signal passing through. There is a wide range of effects possible with a digital delay: repeat echo, slap-back delay, chorus, vibrato, and resonant 'tunnel' echo.

There are two delay lines: one receiving input from the left channel, and the other from the right channel (except in Mid/Side mode).

You control each delay line with the following parameters:

  • Delay time
    Well, guess what... this sets the delay time! To be more precise: the time of the delay given to a signal passing through.

    The delay time can be locked/synchronized to the tempo of your sequencer host. When this is activated using the curved switch the knob controls the sub-multiples of this tempo (we call this the Delay Offset instead of the Delay Time). The small dots that appear around the knob make it easier to get precise and quick access to certain fractions that are related to your sequencer tempo.

    When the delay time is not locked to your sequencer tempo it is possible to 'tap' the tempo of the delay by clicking on the number-display above or below the knob. The display will turn into an illuminated TAP button. The next time you click here the time between the clicks is calculated and used as delay time. Just tap it a few times to get some values you want to work with.

    In case you want to use the exact same delay time for both delay lines, enable the Delay Link switch between the delay lines. This makes it easier to set up both delay lines with the same settings.

  • Delay pan
    Pans the output of each delay line to the left or right channel.

  • Feedback
    You can vary the feedback to produce more than one repeat from a single sound. All the feedback control does is to send some of the delayed output (after passing through the filters) back to the input so it gets delayed again; the more feedback, the more repeats. There are separate knobs for the left and right filter output for both delay lines.
    When a signal coming out of a delay line is routed back into the other delay line this is called "cross-feedback" hence the names on the interface. Cross-feedback is used to mix different delay times and creates beautiful stereo effects.

    The amount of total feedback determines the number of audible repeats. Higher levels will have more repeats and above a certain level feedback will cause higher volumes at every cycle and thus create sonic mayhem! Be careful with your ears and speakers, and don't use too high feedback levels.

    There is a convenient lock icon that makes it possible to set up feedback settings for both delay lines.

  • Feedback invert switch
    Very interesting effects can be achieved when inverting the phase of one of the feedback signals. The effect of this is most noticeable on effects that use a very short delay time. By inverting the phase of the signal fed back to the input, it allows different harmonics to be accentuated by the filtering process, and so gives a choice of two types of tonal coloration, one usually sounding thinner than the other. On longer delay times it might alter the stereo perception of the sound.

  • Delay style
    There are two different ways the digital delay can behave:

    1. Tape which behaves like a classic tape delay. When the delay time is changed in positive direction i.e. the delay time gets shorter, you will hear a increase in pitch of the delayed signal. Conversely when the delay time is made longer you will hear a decrease in pitch of the delayed signal. This is the way analog delays sound and makes 'playing' the delay so much fun.

    2. Stretch makes this plug-in simply unique. It means that no matter whether the delay time gets shorter or longer, the pitch will remain constant using granular techniques. This is NOT possible with an analog delay and we thought this to be a highly creative addition. Listen to some of the presets using this algorithm and you will hear what sonic possibilities this option has to offer.

  • Freeze
    The Freeze button lets you freeze the sound that's currently in the delay lines. As soon as you activate freeze, the input to the delay line is cut off, so no new sounds will be stored. The delay lines will keep playing the current sound, which you can now filter continously. Also, you can of course change the delay time which will also transform the sound in the buffers. This can really warp the sound and change it into something completely different! The Freeze option is not stored in presets because it really needs to be turned on and off dynamically.

The settings of all delay parameters can be stored as a section preset.


  • By setting a delay time of between 30 and 100 ms and adding a little gentle modulation with no feedback, you get the classic chorus effect.
  • At very short delay times (5 to 50 ms), increasing feedback will give a resonant cardboard tube or tunnel echo sound, the pitch of the resonance being set by the delay time. This effect is useful in creating new sounds or modifying existing ones beyond recognition; used with a synth, it can create the illusion of ring modulation or phase sync.
  • Short delays of between 30 and 100 ms are used to create slap-back echo effects, which are quite effective on vocals and guitar.
  • Delay times in excess of 100 ms will give you the familiar tape echo type of sound, and this is a valuable effect for warming up vocals and guitar.
  • If you are interested you can read more about delay technology on Wikipedia .

Next: Filters

See Also
Component routing

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