Is it possible to have too many delay effects? It has to be said I have a number of them already and I have reviewed several favourites on my blog already. But when I saw PluginBoutique have an exclusive sale on this one until July 29th for only £1 (Normal price £35.95) I couldn’t resist…
Audified STA Effects
STA Delay by Audified is one of a number of STA effects designed to be used as insert effects because they use a tube summing process. That said they can be used as parallel send effects as long as you enable the wet only mode. There are a number of other STA effects – phaser, flanger, chorus, enhancer and preamp.
The tube summing process takes a processed signal and an unprocessed signal and mixes them on a vacuum tube. There are 5 modes that change the tube circuit and hence the tonal qualities:
P (Presence) – the higher amount of mid-high frequencies allows better cutting through the mix;
V (Vintage) – has smoother highs and more even harmonics;
B (Brown) – has an almost flat response with only light high frequencies roll off and nice higher harmonics punch;
W (White) – has higher amount of higher frequencies and the ratio between the even and odd harmonics is balanced;
L (LoFi) – contains less low and high frequencies.
The GUI has the look of a classic hardware unit and has clearly laid out controls that are easy to use.
On the left hand side is the level in control and the corresponding level out control is located on the right hand side of the display that also features VU meters, in/out meter display option and effect bypass.
It’s a single delay effect with a handful of controls:
tempo – you can use the dial to set it manually, use the tap to tempo button or sync to your host DAW tempo;
decay setting controls the decay time of the delayed signal repetitions, or the amount of time it takes the delayed signal repetitions to fade from full to inaudible volume (0 – 20 seconds);
Intensity adjusts the phaser effect and wet to dry signal ratio;
The ping pong mode button alternates the delayed sound between the channels. When enabled, the stereo parameter expands or contracts the stereo image from 0 – 100%. When the ping pong mode is off the stereo parameter controls the panorama (left, centre or right).
HPF and LPF are the high pass and low pass filter controls for the delayed signal;
A wet only button;
The five different STA modes with a tube display that fades out when you bypass the effect and fades back in when enabled. It’s good to see attention to detail.
Saturation drives the tube circuit into saturation.
The strip at the bottom of the delay shows the value for each of the controls that you can also click on and enter a manual setting. This is where the sync option can be found with a range of values – 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/4T, 1/8, 1/8T, 1/16, 1/16T along with load / save presets and settings.
There are only a handful of presets but to be honest you don’t really need them. As with a lot of delays the best option is to adjust settings to your requirements, it’s easy to learn the basics and then you can fine tune the sound.
This is a very impressive delay. It has a great tone and can produce a range of echo and dub type effects. The combination of the tube summing process, saturation, intensity and filters really help shape your sound and produce great results.
It also offers scope for creativity, for example manually setting the bpm gives the option of a more analogue feel if you set it a few beats higher or lower or you could even automate some movement. You could use two instances with slightly different bpm settings panned left and right.
I’ve used it extensively on the album embedded at the top of this review. I’ve used a number of samples from the Chimera pack by Glitchmachines (you can read my review here) processed with multiple instances and configurations of STA delay. The album was recorded live in Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock 3 using the in-built UDrone sampler, several instances of the joggle sampler and Palindrome VST also by Glitchmachines.
I set up a controller so that I could trigger and adjust the controls of the joggle samplers as well as various parameters of some instances of the delay. The only other effects used were Blackhole and Ultrachannel by Eventide, all songs subsequently mastered in MuLab 7 using Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Stage (Fiedler Audio) and Elevate (Newfangled Audio).
I realise I haven’t answered the question at the start of the review yet. I would say that you can’t have too many delays. If you need special or unusual effects or modulation then delays such as Outer Space, Incipit, Ultratap or SphereDelay would be better suited to those specific tasks. But if you want a great sounding delay that you can use as a workhorse then STA Delay more than fits the bill, it’s especially a bargain whilst on sale.