Saturday, May 19, 2012

My favorite Delay - Kjaerhus Classic Delay

Because of todays of good weather, I want to do a a bit shorter feature today. So I want to feature once again a very simple but wonderful VST effect plugin: The Kjaerhus Classic Delay, by the Kjaerhus company which passed away much too early. I personally use this delay in most of my productions, and you will, if you know my music, surely recognize the sound immediately. With few exceptions, I actualy use no other delay effect. This is because of a bit of lazyness and on the other hand it is because of the quality and the sound of this plugin. The Classic Delay is quite easy to use, because, as with all products of the Kjaerhus Classic series, ease of use is a key feature. You really don't have to fiddle around a lot to achieve superior results. However, this delay comes with some surprising functionalities, which are usually only found in commercial products.

From left to right one finds the following:
  1. an input level control, which determines the panorama of the input signal. TIP: This is especially important for the Ping-pong mode described under 7.
  2. an often-overlooked little button by which you can convert the input signal into a mono signal. Sometimes this is quite a useful thing.
  3. a switch for delay simulation types. The are three choices:  tape, analog and digital delay.
  4. two numeric fields, which you can change by clicking them with the left mouse button, holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse up and down. The values set here apply only if the sync button described below is set to ON. In this case, the tempo of the VST is synchronized with the host application. The upper field specifies how many beats a cycle of the delay covers. The second field now indicates how many "echoes" are to occur within the period set in the upper field. I want to be honest and say that these very precise and easy to set up parameters are, in combination with the superb sound of that plugin, the cause for making it my favorite delay VST. Below those fields, there is a small button that determines whether the settings made in those fields are determining the effect and the tempo of the VST is synchronized to the VST host application, or whether the tempo of the effect is asynchronously to the host application. In the latter case, everything is determined by the Time(s) control, described under 5.
  5. a Time (s) controller, which only works if the sync button, described under 4. is set to off. Then the tempo of the VST is not synchronized with the host applications tempo and the the settings  of the fields described under 4. are absolutely obsolete. The purpose of the Time (s) controller is to set how long a Delaycycle is. If the controller is set to the lowest level, every 0.05 seconds, an echo is generated, which is too fast to hear it at all. It only leads to an amplification of sound. At the highest setting of the controller every 5 seconds an echo is generated. TIP: If you need accurate echoes, make sure the sync button is on and leave the time(s) control alone ;)
  6. a feedback controller that indicates how long the delay will be heared. Sorry, I'm not an expert in electronics. Therefore, I can not tell you much about how it all theoretically runs. One thing is clear: At the lowest setting, the effect stops somewhat immediately. At the highest setting, the sound echoes almost forever and will overlap. NOTE: Sometimes very loud signals are generated by setting this control to the highest value. Danger of clipping!
  7. a ping-pong button which sets the pingpong mode on and off.
  8. a control to set the sampling quality of the effect. If your computer is not too antique, you should set this to "HI", because the Kjaerhus Classic Delay is really programmed to be not too CPU load intensive.
  9. a low cut knob that allows you block out low portions of the sound from the effect.
  10. a high cut knob that allows you block out high portions of the sound from the effect.
  11. a controller that determines how the relationship between the effect signal and the original signal on the output is. Turning the knob to the left, you get the pure original signal, turning it fully clockwise, you get only the output of the effect.
  12. a controller for the volume of the output signal. TIP: The Classic Delay makes the sound a little more quiet. Therefore, if one wants to rehash the original volume of the signal, turn the knob a little higher.
Ok, that became somewhat  extensive ;) So we get straight to the quality: The sound is even superb if you set the "Quality" knob to the lowest setting. As with all products made by Kjaerhus, much attention has been paid to resource-friendlyness. The VST has been working, even with multiple instances simultaneously, already on my Pentium II 233 Mhz with 16 MB of RAM back then in 2004. So you really don't have to worry that your computer might be too old. Crashes, freezing the DAW and other problems? NEVER happened since 2004!

Conclusion: One of the truly essential and most used VST effects in my arsenal. Especially for dub reggae this VST is absolutely wonderful. A must have!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE Kjaerhus Classic Delay!

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