What Budget Delay is Good For Me? We picked the very best!

Nothing brings your music to life quite like a good delay. We picked some of the very best - featuring delays from BABY Audio, Cherry Audio, D16 Group and Wavesfactory ( demos available for all plugins mentioned )

By Eimear O SullivanMusicngear Editor

Article photo - What Budget Delay is Good For Me? We picked the very best!


Comeback Kid - BABY Audio  / $49

Article photo - What Budget Delay is Good For Me? We picked the very best!

This is an analog-modeled delay from US-based company BABY Audio; which will add a dyed-in-the-wool character to your music, instantly infusing anything you use it on with warmth, fullness, and life.  

The flavourful sound arises from the algorithms written for this plugin; which possess qualities that are primarily prevalent in analog gear ( e.g altered frequency response, coloration, other sonic qualities that would not otherwise occur in a digital processing scenario). 

One common issue that can arise with delays, is the mix getting overcrowded and too busy; however, due to the level of control that Comeback Kid allows the user over every part of the delay, this will never present itself again and help you get the sound you have always desired.

In addition to being an incredible delay, it adds a fullness to any instrument it is added to, ( I find this plugin to be far more powerful than any stereo widener plugin I have used in the past). For example, I had a vocal take that felt like it was just missing something, and upon adding the preset 04 ANTHONY Rich Vocal Slap, and playing around with the attack, I had a nice, full, vocal with a lot of clarity, which had a healthy presence in the mix. It also provides additional controls with which you can alter the character of the sound ( this being the Flavor section). The ‘Swirl’ option within this section adds a cool housey effect on synths, pads, piano, etc (which could be used as an effect just on its own). 

Comeback Kid also syncs to your DAWs tempo and not only allows the user exceptional control over crafting over every part of the delay; it allows you to select from 4 different modes ( straight, triplet, dotted, and free) all of these syncing to your DAWs tempo ( there is also a ping pong mode toggle). 

This delay plugin is incredibly powerful and will bring your mix back to life by drenching it with its sonic magic. Go on, treat yourself, you deserve it. 

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Stardust 201 - Cherry Audio /  $29

Article photo - What Budget Delay is Good For Me? We picked the very best!

Sounds as divine as the name suggests.

Stardust 201 is an interpretation of the Roland Space Echo Tape Echo, with features from the RE-201 and RE-301 units, with some new additions. This is not just a delay, in fact, there are multiple effects within this plugin - a chorus, echo, reverb, and tone-setting section.

This plugin makes instruments sound like they are being played through an old TV from a memory in the 70s - with lush warm textures, inducing the emotional response of nostalgia ( the preset Altered Space sounds amazing on synths and pads). It also sounds fantastic on strings, giving them that coveted Old Hollywood feel ( the preset Distorted Reality is divine). However, its powers extend beautifully to the rhythmic sections of the mix; and it also sounds great on percussion ( especially hi-hats), building rhythmic anticipation, in a way that doesn’t overpower the mix. 

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Repeater Vintage Modelled Delay - D16 Group / $89

Article photo - What Budget Delay is Good For Me? We picked the very best!

Repeater is a stereo delay powerhouse; allowing you full control over the left and right channels of the delay; also featuring 23 different delays, authentically modeled after 23 different delay units ( some examples of these being an 80s Japanese cassette tape, and a delay from the 70s made from a garden hose, and more)

You can select the sync mode of the delay; which allows you to input a personal new tempo for the delay, or sync it to the host tempo. The top dial section is for controlling the left channel, the bottom being for the right channels (in addition to the dials, there is a digital screen in which you can put in the exact time of your delay) You can also choose between analog or ping pong delay. 

Repeater comes with an enormous library of presets and allows you to select the specific model it is to emulate ( e.g Tape Delay Ancient - 1940’s style tape delay and a Tape Delay Vintage ( a 70s style tape tone), which will affect the tone.

This sounds incredible on strings - turning them into a lush bed with a warm vintage flavor ( without them losing their impact). This is another delay that allows you immense control over the delay itself, so you can fine-tune the delay until it sounds exactly as you imagined it would in your head. they simply possessed a warmth and life, gently swelling to fill the stereo field.

This could make a whole song sound like it was recorded on tape, from another time. 

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Echo Cat - Wavesfactory / $79

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Echo Cat is a tape delay, based on the tape echo unit WEM Copicat ( designed by Charlie Watkins). This allows you to create dreamy, full textures, and in some cases almost wholly transform a sound ( check out some of their demos here). The warmth this plugin brings is due to the tape simulation (some of the controls being wow and flutter, tape age, and more). In addition to this, it has three playback heads and also features some additional modern features that mix the best of both worlds. This is a highly versatile plugin that can be used across the board.

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Which one of these is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and don't forget to take the What's Good For Me? test to find the best music gear for you!

About Eimear O Sullivan

Eimear Ann O Sullivan is a multi-genre music producer, audio engineer and vocalist. After receiving a Masters in Music Technology from the CIT Cork School of Music, she went on to operate as a producer under the name Blakkheart. Her releases have received critical acclaim from Ireland's biggest music publications, such as District Magazine and Nialler9, alongside receiving heavy commercial radio airplay. She currently works in Cork recording studio Flashpoint CC. Previous clients of hers include the likes of Comedy Central’s Dragony Aunt star Candy Warhol, rapper Darce and Outsider YP. (Photo credit @Fabian Boros)

Contact Eimear O Sullivan at eimear.o.sullivan@musicngear.com