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Power App: AVID Pro Tools 11

June 30, 2014
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Create a ghost delay to give a track a wider ambience

Objective

Delay a track and pan the delayed signal opposite of the source track in a stereo mix, in order to give the track a subtle feeling of width without it seeming like an obvious “effect.”

Background

Although this effect is being demonstrated in Pro Tools 11, this technique works equally well in any version of Pro Tools, or essentially any DAW. You don’t have to pan the source and aux tracks hard left and right, although the wider the panning differential, the bigger the track will sound.

Tips
■ The combination of two parameters: Experiment with delay time and the level of the delayed signal to find just the right amount of opposite-side ambience.
 
Step 1 Create an Aux Track: Select the track you want to delay and then go to Track > New. Next, select a mono aux input and create it. The aux track will appear next to your selected track. Pan it opposite to the source track.
 
Step 2 Create and Route the Delay Send: On the source track, create a send that’s going to any unused mono bus. Here I chose Bus 13, and then renamed it “G Delay.” Then select Bus 13 as the input for your aux track.
 
Step 3 Insert a Delay Plug-in: Open a delay as an insert on the aux track (100% wet). Here I used Pro Tools’ Mod Delay III, which is the basic delay in PT11, but you could use any delay for this. Delay length is up to you, and depends on the type of track. For a lead instrument, I would recommend a relatively long delay, such as a quarter-note.
 
Step 4 Adjust the effect: Slowly bring up the bus send until the track begins to widen, but doesn’t sound like you have a delay on it. It’s often helpful to solo the source track and the delay, get a balance that way, and then put the rest of the tracks in so you can hear how it sounds with the full mix.

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