Grain Delay is a powerful and creative sound design tool. It is sometimes neglected due to its unique interface and gritty audio effect. Once you grasp its features, it can be an addicting audio effect that yields surprising effects. Combining pitch shifting with a classic delay effect is one of the major functions of grain delay effects. By doing so, you may achieve very unique sounds. In the following tutorial, we’ll show you how to fill the space of your instruments with grain delay in a simple piano sequence.

As usual, we have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW that included the majority of the elements of the full mix, including a simple piano sequence. Let’s have a listen to it.

This is a picture of my full mix taken before applying the grain delay effect.
~Full Mix – Piano (Unprocessed)

It sounds like a decent mix, but this piano chord sequence could use some more movement. Let’s listen to it solo.

This is a picture of an audio channel of the piano sequence.
~Piano Sequence (Unprocessed)

To fill the empty space in the piano sequence, we’ll add Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig to the piano channel effect rack and select the grain delay effect.

This is a picture of SoundBridge sequencer with the interface of grain delay effect.
This is a close-up picture of grain delay effect interface and its control parameters.

We tweaked a few parameters of the Grain Delay effect, as shown in the image above. The pitch has been shifted by 12 semitones, and the size has been set to around 120ms. Moving forward, we have increased the Density to around 70% and Drive value to around 20%. Finally, we used the embedded low and hi-cut filters, as well as the reverse switch, to play the signal backward. Let’s hear how our piano sequence sounds now.

~Piano Sequence (Processed With Grain Delay)

Clearly, our piano sequence now has a lot more going on. For the end, let’s listen to it with the other elements of the full mix.

~Full Mix – Piano (Processed With Grain Delay)
If you liked this article, here are some more on delay effect and its use:

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