Offset, Unison and Delay


Offset (black line is the measure)

Every instrument you play has a minute 'dead-spot'. This is the delay in sound that you hear from initiating the instrument and hearing the actual sound coming from the instrument. For instance: when playing an electric guitar string, the string will not instantly make the noise you'd expect it to make. It will make a short ['ktch!'] or distorted noise, followed by the actual string sound.

To counteract this phenomenon, all the notes on the timeline that were quantized have to be moved forward in time (offset) by about 1/64th of a second, just before the measure. This way the sound we want to hear will be at full strength at the exact moment we want it to be. If we do not make this change, the actual sound will feel 'off' or 'late'. Playing around with the position of the notes on the timeline will make the riff sound less robotic and more natural.

Digital Delay Effect


To add a sense of spaciousness, we add delay on the instrument. In this case I used two 'DDL-1 Digital Delay Line' devices on increasing amounts of delay. One was set on 4ms and the next one on 6ms. This will create two instances on which the sound will 'bounce back' like an echo. In the video below and the audio sample on the right you can hear this 'echo' quite well at the very end.

Next page (reverb)

Let's get delayed

Offset notes and delay

Example of a small offset: the notes seem to start a few milliseconds too late.

Example of a corrected offset: the notes now seem to start at the appropriate time.

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