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Delay and echo effects

Adobe Audition has three echo effects with different capabilities. All delay effects store audio in memory and then play it back later. The time that elapses between storing it and playing it back is the delay time.


Delay simply repeats the audio, with the repeat’s start time specified by the delay amount.

  1. Choose File > Close All. Don’t save any changes. Choose File > Open, navigate to the Lesson04 folder, and open the file Arpeggio110.wav.
  2. Click an Effects Rack insert’s right arrow, and then choose Delay and Echo > Delay.

  3. The Mix slider sets the proportion of dry and delayed audio. Set the Right Channel to full Dry and the Left channel to full Wet. This makes it easy to hear the difference between the delayed signal in the left channel and the dry signal in the right channel when the delay effect is enabled.

  4. Set the left channel Delay Time slider full right (500ms). You’ll now hear the left channel arpeggio delayed by half a second compared to the right channel.
  5. Set the left channel Delay Time slider full left (-500ms). You’ll now hear the arpeggio start half a second earlier in the left channel than in the right channel.
  6. Set both Mix sliders to 50%, and experiment with different delay times. You’ll hear a mix of delayed and dry sounds in each channel. Leave the project open for the next lesson.

Analog Delay

Before digital technology, delay used tape or analog delay chip technology. These produced a grittier, more colored sound compared to digital delay. Audition’s Analog Delay provides a single delay for stereo or mono signals and offers three different delay modes: Tape (slight distortion), Tape/Tube (crisper version of tape), and Analog (more muffled). Analog Delay simply repeats the audio with the start time of the repeat specified by the delay amount. Unlike the Delay effect, there are separate controls for Dry and Wet levels instead of a single Mix control. The Delay slider provides the same function as the Delay effect except that the maximum delay time is eight seconds.

  1. Choose File > Close All. Don’t save any changes. Choose File > Open, navigate to the Lesson04 folder, and open the file Drums110.wav.
  2. Click an Effects Rack insert’s right arrow, and then choose Delay and Echo > Analog Delay.
  3. Set Dry Out to 60%, Wet Out to 40%, and Delay to 545ms. Feedback determines the number of repeats as they fade out. Start playback. No Feedback (a setting of 0) produces a single echo, values moving toward 100 produce more echoes, and values above 100 produce “runaway echoes” (watch your monitor volume!).
  4. With feedback at 40, set the Trash control to 100. Change the different modes (Tape, Tape/Tube, Analog) to hear how each affects the sound. Vary the feedback, being careful to avoid excessive, runaway feedback.
  5. Spread at 0% narrows the echoes to mono and at 200% produces a wide stereo effect. Play with the various controls, and you’ll hear anything from dance mix drum effects to 50s sci-fi movie sounds. Keep Audition open for the next lesson.


Audition’s Echo effect allows for tailoring the echoes’ frequency response by inserting a filter in the delay’s feedback loop, where the output feeds back to the input to create additional echoes. As a result, each successive echo processes each echo’s timbre to a greater degree. For example, if the response is set to be brighter than normal, each echo will be brighter than the previous one.

  1. With the Drum110.wav file open, assuming the Analog Delay effect is still inserted and Audition is still playing, click its insert’s right arrow, and then choose Delay and Echo > Echo.
  2. Compared to the previous delay effects, Echo has yet another way of setting the echo mix; each channel has an Echo Level control that dials in the echo amount. The Dry signal is fixed. When you’re using the echo effect, enter the following values for the left channel: Delay Time 545ms, Feedback 90%, and Echo Level 70%. Enter the following values for the right channel: Delay Time 1090ms, Feedback 70%, and Echo Level 70%.

  3. Bring all Successive Echo Equalization controls all the way down (-15dB). By doing so, it will be easier to hear the effects of moving each slider.
  4. Raise the 1.4kHz control to 0 (values above 0 produce runaway echo), and note how the sound is more “midrangey.”
  5. Bring down the 1.4kHz slider, and raise the 7.4kHz slider to 0. Now the echoes are brighter.
  6. Return the 7.4kHz slider to -15dB, and raise the 172Hz slider to 0. The echoes are now bassy.
  7. You can vary more than one slider at a time to create a more complex equalization curve, as well as enable Echo Bounce to bounce each channel’s echo between the left and right channels.

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