Review: Applied Acoustics Systems Objeq Delay

Transporting classic effects to previously unheard worlds
Image placeholder title

I’ve long been fascinated by unique effects, especially when they require specific hardware or software. Objeq Delay, from Canadian developer Applied Acoustics Systems, is one such plug-in. Combining a two-stage delay processor with a physical-modeled resonator, high-and low-cut filters, and LFO modulation, Objeq Delay opens up new timbral realms to explore.

The uncluttered GUI is divided into five functional modules—LFO, Filter, Object, Delay, and Mixer—with a stereo level meter on the right. Each of the first four modules can be turned off, helping you conserve CPU cycles. Other than the browser, the plug-in’s user interface is a single panel you can’t resize.

Audio input passes through the Filter module first, if it’s enabled. It combines high-cut and low-cut filters and lets you dial in cutoff frequencies across the entire audible spectrum, with 1-, 2-, or 4-pole rolloffs.

The Object module emulates four acoustic resonators—Beam, Drumhead, Plate and String. Each has its own tonal signature resulting from its spectral response to an input signal. Along with a menu to select resonator type, the Object module’s Frequency and Decay knobs control the resonant pitch and the resonant effect’s duration. The Material knob determines how partials decay in relation to the fundamental, making low partials decay more quickly than high partials or vice versa, producing a more or less metallic sound. Formant models how close the signal is applied to the resonator’s center or edge.

The Delay module supplies two stereo delays—a single delay and a feedback loop—each with a maximum 8-second delay time. They can be linked and independently synced to host tempo. The First and Echo knobs adjust the delay time of the two delays, respectively, with a Feedback knob to control the second delay’s number of repeats.

Fig. 1. With Objeq Delay, you’ll make sounds that defy easy analysis. It combines two delays with physical modeling, an LFO, and dual-band filtering.

Image placeholder title

An alternate means to set delay time uses popup palettes that specify precise rhythmic values or apply a multiplier that multiplies the selected duration by its value (Figure 1). Selecting the multiplier’s ⅔ and 4/3 values can generate complex rhythms. The Delay module also has High Cut and Low Cut sliders that affect only the repeats and a Ping Pong button that alternates repeats from left to right to create an illusion of width.

The LFO module offers five shapes, bipolar or unipolar modulation, and the ability to lock to tempo in subdivisions or multiples of note values. Choose from 13 mod destinations such as filter cutoff, formants, or just the wet portion of the output. Assigned to the Echoes parameter, LFO produces wild variations by dynamically changing delay time. I just wish it could modulate multiple destinations simultaneously.

The Bank Manager displays banks and programs, along with other information. It’s also where you move, rename, copy, and delete banks and programs. You get more than 200 factory programs, some musically useful and others just plain bizarre. You can alter some of them quite radically simply by changing the LFO rate and destination, Object frequency, and delay times.

Interaction between the two delay lines lets you create innumerable rhythmic variations, but what makes Objeq Delay unique is the interaction between the modules. Applying LFO modulation to parameters such as Object frequency, material, or formant can generate effects difficult to reproduce with other processors. For a delay plug-in that takes your sounds to new places, at the very least, download the demo.

Unique and versatile effects. Eight seconds of delay. Ample tone-shaping parameters. Easy to use.

Only one modulation routing. GUI isn’t resizable.


Editor-at-large Geary Yelton has been writing about gear for Electronic Musician for almost half his life.