The delay effect is a sound reinforcement device used by musicians and sound engineers to add an echo to sound channels. It just repeats its input signal one to infinite times in a (time) interval of some milliseconds.

Although in my opinion the delay effect for PAs (Public Address systems) should be used only sporadically (because it's quite a strong effect and most of the time it just adds noise to your signal), it's important to know how to set the parameters well. The following are some ways to achieve this I have learned by doing.

The delay time must be synchronised with the band's drum. On some effect processors you can do this by tapping twice on a button (this function is more often on old processors — don't ask me why) or by directly entering the song's bpm (beats per minute), if you know it. But frequently you'll have to know the actual delay time in seconds(s) or milliseconds(ms). This delay time t can be calculated with the formula below:

60 * TS / bpm = t

TS beeing the time signature fraction's (like 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, etc.) numerator (3, 4, 6, resp.) and bpm beeing beats per minute; e.g. for a 3/4 piece at 90 bpm the delay between beats would be:

60 * 3 / 90 = 2s = 2000ms

It might be useful to save this value as a preset, but often you will need to adjust it during performance (rock/pop musicians seldom use metronomes on stage). Obiously this is done by comparing the PFLed (solo) input and output signals to the delay EFX.

See also 'stereo delay'.

De*lay" (?), n.; pl. Delays (#). [F. d'elai, fr. OF. deleer to delay, or fr. L. dilatum, which, though really from a different root, is used in Latin only as a p. p. neut. of differre to carry apart, defer, delay. See Tolerate, and cf. Differ, Delay, v.]

A putting off or deferring; procrastination; lingering inactivity; stop; detention; hindrance.

Without any delay, on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat.
Acts xxv. 17.

The government ought to be settled without the delay of a day.


© Webster 1913.

De*lay", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Delayed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Delaying.] [OF. deleer, delaier, fr. the noun d'elai, or directly fr. L. dilatare to enlarge, dilate, in LL., to put off. See Delay, n., and cf. Delate, 1st Defer, Dilate.]


To put off; to defer; to procrastinate; to prolong the time of or before.

My lord delayeth his coming.
Matt. xxiv. 48.


To retard; to stop, detain, or hinder, for a time; to retard the motion, or time of arrival, of; as, the mail is delayed by a heavy fall of snow.

Thyrsis! whose artful strains have oft delayed
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal.


To allay; to temper.


The watery showers delay the raging wind.


© Webster 1913.

De*lay", v. i.

To move slowly; to stop for a time; to linger; to tarry.

There seem to be certain bounds to the quickness and slowness of the succession of those ideas, . . . beyond which they can neither delay nor hasten.


© Webster 1913.

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