In the tradition of everyone’s favorite studio gear, Imperial Delay gives you maximum sonic possibilities with a minimum of knob twiddling. While the GUI of Imperial Delay is simple and straightforward, it offers far more creative options than its streamlined front panel suggests. Since Imperial Delay can function as both a delay and multi-effects processor, it’s designed to draw minimal CPU power, which enables multiple instances—something that will come in very handy if you want to dedicate its various capabilities to specific applications such as a lead vocal delay, stereo widening effects, modulation and color, and detune and chorus effects. You can also use it as a distortion generator, or throw caution to the wind and create effects previously unheard by human ears.
Imperial Delay—Unique Features:
- Drive, Feedback, Duck, Color, Smear, Modulation, and Chorus controls with on/off buttons and Advanced Section editing controls with presets
- “Drive” adds distortion and harmonics to the input signal
- “Duck” compresses the delayed output letting you have more extreme delay settings allowing your original dry track shine through
- “Smear” softens the sharp edges of the delayed signal enabling it to functionlike reverb, putting it more in the background
- “Offset” delays the right channel; setting becomes a fixed rate relative to the main delay value
- “Color” tone-shaping control adds more color to the feedback signalas it repeats
- “Dynamic Feedback” changes feedback value via threshold (like a gate)
- Advanced section presets let you save individual modifications without changing other settings
Imperial Delay—Just the Facts:
- Dual layer architecture with main and advanced controls
- Independent wet and dry level controls
- Sync mode offers three options: Free, Sync, and Tap
- Delay range of 0.1ms to 10s in Free mode
- Six delay modes
- On/Off for left / right mono channels and center (stereo)
- Feedback with polarity controls to add width or ringing effect
- Presets can be organized into submenus and shared across platforms and Mac/PC operating systems without changing functionality
The Delay knob is where the royal edicts of Imperial Delay are carried out. Delay modes include Sync, which tracks your DAW project tempo displaying note values (including triplets); Free lets you dial in a delay value from 0.1 to 10s; and Tap lets you tap in a value in the absence of a DAW tempo setting. There is also independent L-C-R channel activation with a mode display. If you click on the mode display, it offers six options, including standard stereo mode; left/right swap; two mono modes; and two ping pong modes.
Rather than split the interface into two sections with duplicate controls when you select stereo or ping pong modes, Imperial Delay has a simple Offset control that, as its name implies, lets you offset the left and right channel delays (right channel only). Once set, the offset maintains at the same ratio regardless of the main delay setting. For example, with the delay knob set at 344ms with a 10ms offset (354ms right), if you change the main delay setting to 244ms, the right channel will be 254ms, maintaining the 10ms offset.
Controls for sound design and effects include:
- Drive, which adds distortion and harmonics to the input signal, along with a 20dB overdrive boost.
- Feedback sets how the delay is fed back into itself, along with a secondary feedback value that activates when signal drops below its threshold setting
- Modulation, which is a short-modulated delay within the feedback loop
- Smear, which softens the delayed signal, rounding off the sharp edges of echo to act more like reverb,which can be very useful for instruments with pronounced attacks
- Color, which is a tone-shaping control that adds more color with each feedback pass. It also has a slant filter that enables drastic tonal changes without significant volume changes
- Chorus is a stereo chorus effect that occurs within the feedback loop, that can create higher timing variation between voices
- Duck is a compressor that prevents delays from overwhelming the dry input signal
- Width is a straightforward control for stereo widening
- Dry and Wet knobs provide independent control of input signal and effect levels
While the main control display is easily discernable to those who prefer to forge ahead without reading manuals, there are some hidden gems in the advanced settings windows, which appear at the selection of button labeled “e.” Advanced settings are available for Drive, Feedback, Modulation, Smear, Color, Chorus, and Duck. When the edit button is selected, the relevant controls appear along with a presets button that gives you an idea of the possibilities the advanced section can give you, along with the ability to save your custom presets in submenus. There are also some hidden gems in the advanced modes, such as the ability to select a chorus effect with 2, 4, 8, or 16 voices. (So break with tradition and read the manual.)
The Pitch function of Imperial Delay also gives you the ability to independently detune left and right channels. It can create interesting effects, as well as doubling. In subtle amounts, it enhances stereo width without phase issues. In fact, when used with the Chorus effect, you can duplicate the Stereoizer* effect found on the tc electronic System 6000 mastering reverb (saving you around $13,000).
Where do we go from here?
The obvious next step is to download a demo version and hear for yourself why Imperial Delay is going to become your go-to delay/multi-effects plug-in processor (and get ready to sell your hardware, you won’t need it anymore).
*tc electronicSystem 6000 Stereoizer effect: This effect, while widely used on records, was only known to a select few (such as Al Schmitt and Michael Wagener) who had access to the tc electronic System 6000. To duplicate the Stereoizer effect on the Imperial Delay, select Free delay, left channel on, right channel off; set delay to 11ms; detune each side ±7 cents(-7 left, +7 right), and add chorus to taste. Try it on a mono acoustic guitar or bass.
The plugin itself is very good. I’ve been looking this kind of delay for awhile. The reason why I only gave two stars is because this is sooooo freaking heavy on Pro Tools. No plugin before this has caused so much playback interuptions/errors. For example, I loaded this on one aux-channel, and now my playback stops all the time. The project was running smoothly as baby’s buttocks before I added this. When I make it inactive, everything is back to normal. I haven’t tested AU or VST3 versions on other DAW (Ableton Live) but at least AAX is way too heavy or there some bugs on the code. Like this, the plugin is basically useless. That’s very annoying.
This plugin has a hidden feature. Well, ok, maybe not that hidden, but shall we say, maybe overlooked? It’s the saturation feature.
You could if you wanted, turn the delay features of this plugin totally OFF. And you could still use that extraordinary saturation algorithm to sweeten and spice and sauce up your particular program material. Try it. I bet you’ll find it’s as good as any, when used with the right source.
But use the delay and the saturation together? Oh boy.
This thing screams and sings and sails along with anything like a TB303 source. Any kind of lead synth bassline or lead. This plugin takes on an extra dimension.
Come for the delay, but stay for the saturation algo.
I think it might be called ‘Drive’ and not ‘saturation’ as such. But it’s one of the big knobs at the top. And you know if Boz has put a big knob up there at the top, well, you probably should tweak it! Rude not to!
Oh, Imperial Delay, shall I count the ways I love you?
Well, let me count the ways I can use you first…
Nifty little features like the tempo sync lock to your DAW are nice. Expected these days, maybe, but no less useful.
Another five star rating, for a more than five star plugin.
Great delay with lots of control. A full spectrum of sound options, nicely laid out and quick to dial in. I’m a delay junkie and this is a favourite fix.
Just get it this. You go straight to the sort of musically useful delays that you need pretty much immediately TOTALLY FOOLPROOF
there are always doubts about buying another plugin, but I can recommend this one, at least it won’t bother you)
This delay is for sure in top 5 delay plugins. Highly customisable, slick interface. If you a delay guy like me, it definitely must buy! Ducking function so cool, cant live without it now. Like pitching func too, very nice for add groove on percussions.
Ducking is a brilliant feature! Boz managed to pack all the features from my three favorite delays into this one, so this is my new go-to ♥
This is a really good plugin. It sounds excellent and while the feature set is different it’s more or less comparable to something like Relayer in its scope of sound shaping possibilities, but BDL’s developers and designers have a very tasteful, pragmatic, almost ascetic approach to layout and interface design which makes it very quick and logical to use and gives it a deceptively simple feel.
Simply put, it’s got a good balance of ease, depth and simplicity to make it a strong cadidate for a go-to delay unit for simple jobs or sound design tasks. It’s up there in the top 1-3 delays I’ve used/owned.
Probably the best delay of those what I have. But the price is a bit high, so I recommend to buy it on sale 🙂
“Mom warned us”, and what the sound does, has to be the best patch name in any plugin, ever.
Well, I’ve had a LENGTHY live in with the Imperial Delay (the name should be “Imperial EVERYTHING”, IMO) and the update recently was a welcome addition.
I have instances of Imperial Delay (current version 2) permanently installed in my main recording in both my Delay and Chorus FX Busses, and for good reason. This software handles BOTH those tasks in the most musically hip way, which an incredible array of permutations.
Yes I have 2 other vendor’s software on both those busses (turned off, of course), but haven’t seen the need to switch off the ID.
I was fortunate to have purchased it for the ridiculously low introductory price. I’ll state here and now, it’s worth the listed price. More than occasionally, BDL excellent specials on their software. I’d jump on this, and most anything else they make.
Thumbs WAY up here.
It’s an absolutely workhorse…I needed something extra than a reverb sometimes can’t do. My delays weren’t capable of so much, this was just what my ears (and mix) needed. I use it on almost anything, but bass.
Rob Heaney –
Brilliant Delay control a plenty and The Ducking Feature is SO 2290 which I loved!!!!
Heard it Loved it Bought It ,Buy it!! or you’ll regret It.
just playing with the demo, but for the ducking feature alone makes it a done deal… never thought I’d be getting another delay when BF is pulling me elsewhere! Will up my rating after I spend some real time with it!
I have yet to really dig in and try all the features in depth, but I’ve used this on one mix so far, and the ease with which I was able to intuitively find the tones and effects I wanted was a pleasant surprise. The plugin is fun to use and inspires creative choices – definitely my new go-to delay plugin! Doesn’t seem to be a pig on resources either, even with several instances.
I love the plugin!
I would suggest that you link the other videos that you have for the plug here.
If I were to send a rock guy to this page (like myself), he would ignore as the only video up here is for some techno stuff. It is so much more than that stuff.
I was lucky enough to venture to Recording Review to see the sale of the plugin (I’m a moderator at HR). I must say I am very impressed and have been playing with Imperial all week. Such ability with this thing. Props man!
The marketing however is not setup well it seems. Great friggen plug tho! 🙂
One of the most flexible delays I’ve ever used. You can do any kind of delay you want. You want a classic slapback that you’d hear on something 40 years ago? Done. You want a ping pong delay? No problem. You want endless loops feeding back into itself and progressively sounds worse and worse as it loops through all the fx? No problem. You want delays that pitch shift each loop and then ducking abilities built right in? No prob. This this is nuts. The last 2 plugs Boz has put out has really changed his position in my book of great developers. I’m paying more attention to his future products now.
This is a follow up to my earlier review. I have spent much more on plugs and got much less. Apart from the layout, which is brilliant—deep but intuitive I am totally blown away by how much it sounds like hardware. I own lotsa waves stuff as well as izotope and eventide. All good stuff. There is just something about this plug that slays me sonically. I have no association with this company but I think that this is a break through plug. I also bought the extra plug (T-bone). Way more subtle. Want to go back and try some one knob remixing on some tracks. So far not blown away but for $20 ………As for Imperial Delay……absolute happiness to date
Completely trippy psychedelic if you want it. I messed around with it, so easy to get what you want. It can be subtle with a lot of control. Just listened to the video posted here, was sober, can only imagine how you can warp people’s brains who aren’t.
Not very often that I am giddy about a new plug but the sound design possibilities alone make this a a no brainer. Like Brandon, I have lots of plugs including the waves stuff . I’ve been playing with a simple loop of a baritone guitar piece I recorded awhile ago. I had bussed six aux tracks with chorus delay verb exciter etc. muted them all and just using the Imperial delay and there was the sound I had in my mind all along. A game changer. Payday is tomorrow….I,m going to get it….and so should you. Brian
Timothy Allen –
It turns out that if I just click on preset name and not folder button that the Imperial presets do in fact load, and they are some really wild and creative sounding presets.
Timothy Allen –
This is a really cool and different type of delay. There are a couple of minor issues which do not affect the performance of the plugin: 1) The on-off button does not link to the bypass button on AAX plugin (although both work independently), and (2) The presets folder opens as named presets but do not actually load the presets with the Windows AAX plugin. That being said, this is a delay unlike any of my other delay plugins–and it looks way cooler than any of my plugins (great graphic design). Boz definitely thought outside of the box with the design of this delay. The duck button is a stroke of genius for a delay plugin. Operation is very smooth with impressive sounding results.
At last a really creative delay plug-in that sounds and does things different. A no-brainer. Keep up the good work guys 😀
I just downloaded this and played with it for 15 minutes, so I haven’t used it within the context of a mix – however I can already tell that it’s going to get a lot of use. The ducking feature is fantastic – it’s a parameter that every delay plugin should include. And there are a number of other fantastic color controls for the delay. It’s a very intuitive interface that encourages experimentation. One suggestion might be to add a bit more flexibility to the “Smear” parameters. There are currently Feedback, Size, and Low Pass Filter controls, but it might be nice to have a few more options with the Smear sound (maybe some different verb algorithms, a High Pass Filter, a Density / Diffusion control that doesn’t effect the verb time). But that’s being a bit nit-picky – I really think it’s going to become my go-to delay plugin. Thank you for making this.
brandon drury –
I’m obviously biased, but I no longer have any use for the other 12 delays I own. I just don’t need ’em anymore. Imperial Delay is hyper fast at “standard” delay stuff, hyper pretty when I want it, super nasty when I want it, and solves the “small room” sound which I never found an ITB replacement for the Eventide H3000. I think it’s the delay to end all delays and I couldn’t be more excited about the thing. Stellar plugin! It’s worth $299, but don’t pay that. Catch it while it’s on sale for $59.