Home Beatmaking & Production How To Add Delay In FL Studio: Crafting Depth And Dimension In Your Tracks

How To Add Delay In FL Studio: Crafting Depth And Dimension In Your Tracks

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

Today we’re going to add delay in FL Studio using a neat sidechaining technique! We’ll utilize a limiter/compressor with it and help you integrate the effect so it sits nicely into the mix without distortion.

FL Studio’s stock plugins are great, but they sometimes need more tweaking than you’d think to sound right. We’ll cover all of that today and by the end, you should be super comfortable adding delay to vocals, audio, etc.

So let’s dive in!

I suppose it would be helpful to clarify what exactly we’re getting into.

What is Delay?

In music production, delay refers to an audio effect that creates repetitions or echoes of a sound signal.

These repetitions occur after a specified amount of time, often measured in milliseconds, and can be used to add depth, dimension, and rhythmic interest to a track.

Delay can be applied subtly to create a sense of space or ambiance, or it can be used more prominently as a creative effect to enhance musical phrases or add texture to a mix.

What is Sidechaining?

Sidechaining is a technique where the level of one audio signal, typically a compressor, is controlled by the level of another audio signal, often referred to as the “sidechain” signal.

This technique is commonly used to create dynamic effects such as ducking, where the volume of one sound is automatically lowered (or “ducked”) in response to the presence of another sound.

Sidechaining can also be used creatively to achieve rhythmic pumping effects or to carve out space in a mix for certain elements to stand out more prominently.

You may be familiar with Sidechaining a Kick drum and bass, but you can also use it with delay.

Why Sidechaining Is Important

If you were to just slap a delay on a mixer track inside FL Studio, you’d be in a world of pain like Smokey from Big Lebowski.

This is because, without a sidechain, the delay (the repeated signal) is heard infinitely and creates an awful overlapping effect; in essence counterintuitive to what we’re trying to achieve.

With a sidechain, once the compressor hears sound, it quiets (ducks) the delay so you don’t hear the intended effect (echo) until the sample/audio stops or pauses. This gives that nice trailing-off effect that we’re after.

With that, let’s dive in and learn how to do it!

How To Add Delay In FL Studio

Open up an FL project and hit F6 to bring up your channel rack.

Now we’ll assign the vocal to a mixer track by using the scroll wheel.

With that done, hit F9 to bring up your mixer.

We’ll be sending the vocal (that we just assigned to its own mixer track) to a separate mixer track.

You can see from the image below that mine are already done, but all you do is select the track that your vocal is on and then find an empty track.

Now right-click that empty track > Sidechain to this track.

It’s important to note that only the information (shape of the wave/transient information) of the sound is being sent through – not the actual sound itself.

From here, select the empty track we just side-chained to and head to the right where the drop-down menu is. We’ll be adding a Fruity Delay 2 and a Fruity Limiter.

Now we can sculpt the sound by using various controls at our disposal.

Once you’ve added the Fruity Delay 2 and Fruity Limiter, open the Fruity Limiter by left-clicking it.

Once opened, hit the COMP (compressor) tab, and right-click where it says “Sidechain.” Select the insert you used.

Now the fun starts!

My technique is to adjust the Delay first, then sculpt it to fit inside the mix by playing around with the compressor’s settings.

Fruity Delay 2

Let’s take a look at some of Fruity Delay 2’s settings and see what we can come up with.


Turning this knob all the way to the left will delay the signal. Turning it all the way to the right exaggerates the signal.

Center-clicking any of the knobs resets them to their default position.



This allows you to control where the effect is in the Soundstage.


This is the signal input of the VST itself. If no volume is fed into the VST, no effect is heard. Turning up the volume makes the effect more sensitive and pronounced.


Perhaps the most important to get right, this controls the time in between the delayed signals.

A lower number (1 for instance) means a very quick delay time. Play around with this until it matches your beat/song and sounds well integrated into the mix.

For the male vocal sample in the current beat I’m working on, a delay of 12 is about right. Because the female is speaking rapid-fire/very quickly, I have hers around 7.

This adds a nice element of extra urgency to her voice in addition to achieving the correct timing of the echo in relation to the tempo of the beat.

Feedback (Normal Mode)

This controls the type of delay that happens. Let’s start with Normal.


Have a look to the right of the Feedback section where it says “VOL.”

This specifies how many times the vocal/sample delays. Turning the knob all the way to the left results in only 1 delay. Turning it all the way to the right results in an infinite amount of delay.

Experiment and see what works best for your song.

For mine, anywhere from 40% to 55% is working well and trails off nicely.


This allows you to fade the effect more smoothly by cutting the frequency/filtering in addition to fading it. This can provide a more natural effect.

Turning this knob all the way to the right results in no frequency cut, while leaving it somewhere in the middle-ish area starts to filter it a bit.

I found that a little over halfway results in a smooth transition to nothing as the echo fades out.

Feedback (Invert)

This just takes the pan of the feedback and inverts it. For instance, if you pan to the left, the effect is heard on the right.

You likely won’t use this one all that much.

Feedback (Ping Pong)

This is a neat feature that essentially pans the delay effect back and forth to the right and left as it fades out. Just make sure to pan right or left first to achieve the desired result.


This takes a standard effect and delays the right and left channels slightly to make it seem a bit wider.

Haas Effect

This is also known as the Haas effect (or precedence effect) and is a psychoacoustic phenomenon where a listener perceives the first sound they hear as the primary source of a sound, even if additional sounds are arriving shortly afterward.

This effect occurs when two identical sounds are played in quick succession, with a slight delay (usually between 1 to 30 milliseconds) between them.

The delayed sound is perceived as a distinct echo, rather than a separate sound source, creating a perception of spatial localization and enhancing the perceived width or spaciousness of the sound.

Now that we have a good handle on the Delay functions, let’s take a look at the Limiter/Compressor.

Fruity Limiter

How To Add Delay In FL Studio

There are no hard and fast rules, but I typically like to lower the threshold and increase the ratio of the compressor to start.

You can then play around with Attack and release times to tailor the effect to the beat.


Lowering the threshold ensures the volume of the delay is ducked as the vocal sample is playing, with the actual echo/trail-off effect only happening once the vocals stop.

Play around and finesse it until it matches the beat or song.


This is how much the sound is compressed when it goes over the threshold.


The time it takes for the signal to become fully compressed after exceeding the threshold level.


This is how long it takes for the volume to go from its compressed state back to normal.

For this particular beat, I have 3 separate sidechains so far. This is because the vocal samples vary a bit and what works for one voice may not work for another.

Mess around with it and have fun!

Closing Thoughts

Using a delay effect in FL Studio is an excellent way to add some extra flair to your compositions and give them a dash of dynamic flavor, depth, and dimension.

I can’t stress it enough: tailoring the effect (and any effect, really) all comes down to the composition in question. Every beat is different. So don’t get discouraged if it’s not coming together right away like the Beatles.

More often than not, it’s simply a matter of tweaking various settings to achieve that “a-ha” moment.

Play with the levels, volume fader, Fruity Delay, Limiter/Compressor, etc. until you’re satisfied. If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m always here to help.

Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to add delay in FL Studio and gained some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Do you have a better handle on Delay? What are you currently working on? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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