Analog delay?

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HUBA
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Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:32 am

Hello
I need a device for time aligning my speakers and subs, and wonder if there are analog delay units that would behave like the DDL-1 digital delay line in Reason, in the sense that if feedback is set to 0 and dry/wet to 127, the sound signal would be delayed alone with no echo.

It would have to be adjustable down to as low as possibe. Preferably round 3 ms. With decimals if possible.

If there are such things around I'd love some tips about transparent, good sounding divices.

The idea is to delay the signal to my speakes, as they are sounding much better when placed about a meter from the wall into the room, and the sub sounding awful when not placed in the corner.

I want to try analog time alignment, if it's doable, before giving up and buying a digital box, but if there are no such devices sounding remotely as good as or better than a digital, I'd like to know.

I'm into trying different vintage preamps to color the sound, and I'm experiencing loss of sound quality when I play them through my soundcard, where I have time allignment and crossover functions, as opposed to playing with my PC/soundcard as source directly to the power amps. Then I can time align and crossover, and that works fine, but the preamps are not involved. Using PC/soundcard as source, playing through the preamps works fine too, but then the sub is hanging. Sending a delayed signal through the preamps to the speakers and one signal directly to the sub is not sounding very good, so I figure analog delay between the preamps Y-split and the speakers amps and one signal from the preamps Y-split directly to the sub is the way to go.

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by Mr Knesh » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:04 am

Based on what you are describing it sounds like you need a sonic maximizer of some sort.
http://www.bbesound.com/products/sonic- ... /index.htm
Their purpose is to delay the high frequencies enough so that they will hit your ear at the same time that the lows do, as well as providing some attenuation of the bass as well.

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:51 am

Thanks for the info! Will check these maximizers out. So am I able to do as described in Reason with an analogue delay unit, or are these maximizers my only way out?

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by pflosi » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:39 am

every delay with controls for dry/wet and feedback should work for that, but they're not really made for that. with an analogue delay, you can make much cooler stuff ;)

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:15 am

Besides any concerns about the apropriateness of it as a solution, I know of no analogue delay that will go as low as 3ms (that's in the flanging zone) or that can be set so accurately.

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:13 pm

Ok thanks for the answers. So a conclusion would be that in principle it will work if I can find a unit with ms accuracy that goes down to about 3ms and has a sound quality that would justify its use. How about frequency bandwith and timing stability? It would have to have a pretty straight sound and quite solid timing. Seems maybe not very likely to find or..?

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by steveman » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:08 pm

Seeing as this is your monitoring chain, the last thing you need in there is an analogue delay. TBH you really shouldn't have any extraneous processing in there.

Really don't understand what you're trying to do, why exactly do you need to time align the sub? Moving your head around is likely to have as much effect as doing that. Is the room properly treated? That's far more important IMHO.

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:08 pm

Analog delays have severely reduced bandwidth, that's one reason for the "warm" sound. That's fine for echos, but for time alignment purposes you want a digital unit.

I am also confused as to why you think you need time alignment in the first place and why you want to place preamps between your soundcard and power amps. KIS dood!
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Re: Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:01 am

It's not my monitoring chain. I use my PC/soundcard as source whithout any preamp for that. The preamps is more of a hifi hobby thing, and I'd like to be able to try different preamps for their contribution to the sound, and I'd like to see how they sound when running the sub as well, whithout having to place my speakers into the wall, and whithout having to involve a second AD/DA converter, as I find that to degrade the sound quality. Especially when in the midle of an analogue chain. Analog equipment may add more fog than digital in that situation I guess, but adding digital processing after the preamps makes them sound really dead. Maybe it's my soundcard that's cheap or maybe it's me turning too much into a hifi geek. I don't know and I'm not an engineer at all. That's why I post in forums. I just don't like what my soundcard does with the sound when placed after the preamps and figure that's because it's another AD/DA in the chain, and because of that I'm sceptic to digital time alignment and crossover if there are analog alternatives that could work.

I'm trying out different preamps because they have individual sound and rhythmic character, and that I like. Be it correct or not. To give an example, I'm after a less in your face, more laid back sound, and by that I mean rhythm wise, more than just warmer frequency balance.
My poweramps are actually quite clear and sweet sounding with good dynamics and no problems with listening fatigue. Very neutral whithout being harsh at all. But they paint with a big brush, and I'm after a more refined sound and microdynamics if that makes any sense.

As for the time alignment, the sub sounds way better when played 2.6 ms before the speakers. More tight and solid, less muddy. That should be because the sub is placed about a meter behind the speakers, right?

Don't see how room treatment can do the same.

So, my question is:

Given that I could find something that goes down to 3ms, will any analog delay box give reduced bandwith or in any other way degrade sound quality to the unacceptable in a hifi setup? Is it likely that if I could set it to 3ms, that it would be perfectly stable all the time and not wander?

Thanks for helping!

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by desotoslo » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:11 am

where is your sub positioned? try moving it around. You can put the sub in a corner. that's a viable place. i agree about the room treatment. it doesn't make sense to me that you are experiencing this. how far away from the sub are you? do you have room treatment? bass traps of thick fiberglass/rockwool (owen cornings 703) will significantly improve the bass response in the room. there's a ton of info about this on gearslutz. in fact, you should post this question in the acoustic treatment forum. there are plenty of people who utilize subs and do not speak of this delay problem...

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by cartesia » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:51 am

what sub is it?
maybe your sub is just crappy and can't keep up?

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by cornutt » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:58 am

You do realize that analog delays are sampling devices? The sound going through an analog delay is not a continuous signal; it's chopped up into samples just like a digital delay. And analog delays have all of the same concerns related to Nyquist frequency, clock jitter, etc., that digital delays have.
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Re: Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:17 am

cornutt wrote:You do realize that analog delays are sampling devices? The sound going through an analog delay is not a continuous signal; it's chopped up into samples just like a digital delay. And analog delays have all of the same concerns related to Nyquist frequency, clock jitter, etc., that digital delays have.
No I didn't realize. Bummer. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Re: Analog delay?

Post by adamstan » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:13 pm

You do realize that analog delays are sampling devices? The sound going through an analog delay is not a continuous signal; it's chopped up into samples just like a digital delay. And analog delays have all of the same concerns related to Nyquist frequency, clock jitter, etc., that digital delays have.
That's right (unless we're talking about tape units). The only difference between BBD and digital delay is that in BBD signal level is not quantized.
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Re: Analog delay?

Post by HUBA » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:24 pm

Yeah I guess there's no appropriate analogue way for time alignment then. That was my impression too, after searching in google, before I thought of these delay units. Too bad they can't do what I was hoping for. Guess I'll just have to look for a digital unit with a good converter.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help here

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