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Golden ratio delays

GlennO

Inspired
Just to amplify on Leon's comment about why it sounds so good: as he hints at, it is indeed the same reason the golden ratio is a good rule of thumb to use when choosing the length and width of a room for recording. The primary reflections in a golden ratio room do not coincide, so you avoid the build up of resonances and instead get a pleasing diffusion of echoes. (there are improvements you can make on the golden ratio, but it is still a good rule of thumb.)

It's the same principle with delay effects. Echoes that coincide tend to make the delay effect less pleasing than if they are diffuse. So if you want a lush David Gilmour sound, stay away from ratios that are related by integer pairs (25%, 33%, 50%, 67%, 75%, etc.) and instead use the golden ratio :).
 
Interesting concept. Before I saw how you were applying it, I first thought it might be using the golden ratio to set time differences on two delay blocks. I searched and found a youtube video that discusses this and will save us some brainpower, but I think that the gist of it is that the longer of the two delays would be 1.618 times longer than the shorter one in reference to the original signal. For example:

First delay: 180 ms
Second delay: 180 ms * 1.618 = 291 ms

Note that it would also be beneficial if the amplitude of the delays also decreased in proportion with the golden ratio (Also known as "phi-damping")... Whichever delay blocks you use, the 1st repeat should be 38% amplitude of the initial, and the second one 15%.

Check out around 6:50 for an audio example:
 
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Kamil Kisiel

Veteran
Note that it would also be beneficial if the amplitude of the delays also decreased in proportion with the golden ratio (Also known as "phi-damping")... Whichever delay blocks you use, the 1st repeat should be 38% amplitude of the initial, and the second one 15%.
That can achieved by just setting the feedback to 38%.
 
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