8 Free Delay Plugins | Download links

Delays may seem simple, but they’re indispensable tools in music production.
If I were stuck on a desert island with only two effects (let’s hope that never happens), I’d choose a Filter and a Free Delay plugins because, believe it or not, with just these two simple tools, I could still achieve tons of stuff.

When manipulated just right, delay techniques can shape-shift into a chorus, a flanger, or a phaser. They ingeniously substitute reverb, adding depth without overwhelming the mix. They can expand the stereo field, assist in setting up extensive sound systems, and act as exceptional tools for creative sound design.

Nearly every major DAW boasts one (or more) native delay effects, emphasizing their fundamental importance. While native DAW effects cover the basics well, some functionalities demand nuanced tweaking or more complex routings to truly shine.

In today’s article, expanding on our recent Instagram post, we’ll delve into essential concepts, tips and practical use cases involving delays.

Then, get ready as we introduce you to 10 Free Delay plugins that offer unique features, all without costing you a dime.



Delay types replicate incoming signals, creating echoes. In real-world spaces, echoes occur when sound reflects off distant surfaces, resulting in distinct repetitions.

When identical sounds follow closely with a delay of 1ms to 30ms, they merge into a singular, fused sound. Beyond 30ms, the delay resembles a separate echo.

Reverb, flange, and chorus effects stem from delay-based techniques. Alterations in delay parameters or signal modulation yield diverse sonic outcomes compared to straightforward delay effects.

Despite variations, all delays create the effect by recording or buffering the signal and playing back copies later.


Here are the basic parameters you can encounter on a delay effect, whether it be a plugin or a hardware gear.

  • Delay Time: Determines the length of the delay applied to the input signal.
  • Feedback: Controls the amount of output that is routed back into the input, influencing the number of repetitions. A 0% feedback equals to a single repetition.
  • Wet/Dry Mix: Balances the intensity between the original (dry) and delayed (wet) signals for desired effect strength.

Of course, there can be much more than just these.


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Roland Space Echo_640 free delay plugins


Renowned for its warm, vintage sound reminiscent of classic analog recordings

Example: Roland RE-201 Space Echo
Also available as a plugin via Universal Audio


Delivers a rich, organic delay effect, often associated with warmth and distinctive character.

Example: Electro-Harmonix Memory Man

EH Memory Man_640 free delay plugins
TC Electronic Flashback_640 free delay plugins


Offers pristine, clean delay repetitions, providing precise and crystal-clear echoes of the original signal.

Example: TC Electronic Flashback series


Tips & Use Cases

Delay techniques in music production offer an array of advanced techniques and use cases:

  • Slap-Back Delay: A technique dating back to the ’50s and ’60s, frequently used on vocals, synths and guitars. Set your delay time between 70ms and 120ms to complement the dry sound.
  • Doubling Delay: Similar to slap-back delay but with a shorter delay time (around 20ms to 50ms), creating an artificial double-track from a single sound.
  • Ping-Pong Delay: Utilizes dual delay taps, creating a call-and-response dynamic between channels, great for enhancing space and movement in mixes.
  • Stereo Widening-Thickening Delay: Utilizes short delays between similar signals played back in left and right channels, spreading the sound across the stereo field and introducing subtle chorus-like effects.

How to use Delay in music production MORE DELAY TECHNIQUES

  • Dotted Eighth Note Delay: Involves setting the delay time to a dotted eighth note, creating rhythmic echoes that complement vocal rhythm, introducing dynamics and movement to the sound.
  • Slapback Echo for Leads or Vocals: Adds a vintage touch to leads or vocals using shorter delay times (70ms to 120ms), delivering depth without overwhelming the mix.
  • Pre-Delay for Reverb: A technique commonly found in reverb plugins; if not available, consider employing short delays (10ms to 30ms) before applying reverb. This creates spaciousness and clarity, avoiding muddiness in the mix.
  • Harmonizing Delay: Generates harmonies by utilizing different delay intervals (e.g., 200ms and 300ms), crafting ethereal textures alongside vocals.
  • Tempo-Synced Delay: Syncs delay time to the song’s tempo, crafting rhythmic patterns that align with the music, emphasizing vocal phrases for a cohesive effect.
  • Automated Delay Throws: Enhances specific words or phrases in the vocal track by using automated delay effects. This technique dynamically ‘fills the gaps’ without overpowering the dry signal, adding emphasis and movement to the vocals.
  • Processing Delays: Adding color, movement, or gloss to delays is possible through effects like chorus, flangers, phasers, or even saturation.
    Check out our dedicated article about processing reverbs—these techniques can be applied to delays as well.

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While both delay and reverb contribute to spatial depth in a mix, there are times when choosing delay over reverb can offer distinct advantages:

Excessive reverb can lead to a ‘washed-out’ mix, muddying the sound. Using delay instead maintains clarity and adds space without overwhelming the mix.

For instance, employing a slap-back delay with a single repetition on fast vocals introduces space without sacrificing clarity.

Similarly, excessive reverb might distance guitars and synths, reducing their impact. Utilizing delay enhances their presence, making the track more spacious without losing the original signal’s impact.

Should you require additional space or find the delay too pronounced, complement it with a touch of reverb after the delay for a balanced alternative.

delay vs reverb free delay plugins



by Soundtoys

Echoboy by Soundtoys is renowned for its versatile emulation of classic analog delay units, offering a wide range of vintage echoes, choruses, and more.
Although being a paid plugins, It remains one of our all-time favorite delay plugins.

Echoboy_640 free delay plugins
H-Delay_640 free delay plugins


by Waves

H-Delay by Waves is an industry favorite for its intuitive interface and hybrid analog/digital sound, delivering warmth and precise control over delay effects.


And finally here’s the part you’ve been waiting for: Our curated list of the best free delay plugins available out there !


by Variety Of Sound

The updated mkIII version of NastyDLA by Variety Of Sound brings highly requested upgrades: Under the hood, it refines signal processing, enhancing compression, gain staging, and cross feedback delay modes, while now including oversampling and VST3 support

Its built-in ducking feature ensures clear signals amid echoes, while the Aged mode adds a vintage touch.

Available for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) and compatible with VST2-supporting software, this plugin offers a wealth of possibilities for creative audio production.


by Valhalla DSP

Valhalla‘s Freq Echo generates vivid, psychedelic delays and echoes. With just five interface controls, it prioritizes ease without sacrificing quality.

In addition to standard Mix, Feedback, and Delay settings, Freq Echo incorporates a frequency shifter and filters, creating captivating, detuned tones.

Perfect for rapid slap-back delays and intentionally unstable echoes, it’s ideal for sound design. Compatible with Windows and macOS, it offers a unique sonic palette for creative explorations.


by Baby Audio

Baby Comeback by Baby Audio is a straightforward VST delay with a charming retro vibe, the free version of BABY Audio’s acclaimed Comeback Kid plugin.

With four FX modules (Analog, Saucy, Cheap, and Wide), this free plugin allows versatile sound manipulation.

Its modern UI streamlines sound design workflow, featuring a built-in ducker and ‘ping pong’ delay mode for intricate stereo effects.

The Flavor section offers four tools—Widen, Analog, Saucy, and Cheap—infusing a vintage feel into the delay, adding retro charm.

Chow Matrix_640 free delay plugins


by Chow DSP

CHOW Matrix by ChowDSP is a uniquely flexible node-based delay plugin. With each node contributing complexity to the delay chain and offering nine adjustable parameters, it provides extensive customization options.

Unlimited in node count, CHOW Matrix allows both simple and intricate delay setups. Despite its depth, it remains user-friendly through intuitive GUI shortcuts that streamline workflow.

Compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux, CHOW Matrix stands out for its unparalleled flexibility among delay plugins.

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by Sixth Sample / Integraudio

Deelay by Sixth Sample and Integraudio is a standout favorite among free delay plugins for macOS and Windows. It features a finely synced Delay Time knob with Normal, Triplet, and Dotted modes, along with Ping Pong and Mono switches.

Controls range from Diffusion for reverberant effects to basic Low Cut and High Cut filters, including an Fdb Filter for pre-delay signal adjustment. It offers Tape emulation for analog warmth, varied Distortion options, and a customizable Duck feature for wet signal control using Attack and Release settings.

Modulation Amount and Rate enrich the Delay Time modulation, alongside Feedback, Spread, Dry, and Wet controls, providing a comprehensive feature set in an organized layout.


by GSI

Valhalla‘s Freq Echo is a plugin that generates vivid, psychedelic delays and echoes

Boasting just five controls on its interface, Freq Echo prioritizes ease of use. Its focus isn’t on flexibility but rather on delivering a distinct “pitched” delay sound, which it excels at.

In addition to standard Mix, Feedback, and Delay parameters, Freq Echo incorporates a frequency shifter and filters. The pitch shifter imparts the plugin’s characteristic “unstable” delay effect, creating captivating, detuned tones.

Freq Echo can be used for rapid slap-back delays and deliberately unstable echoes which makes it a perfect choice for sound design.

Compatible with both Windows and macOS, Freq Echo offers a unique sonic palette for creative and adventurous audio explorations.


by Valhalla DSP

Valhalla DSP‘s Supermassive is a fascinating freeware VST plugin that defies categorization, delivering an otherworldly depth effect by blending delay and reverb features. Offering fourteen delay algorithms, each named after galaxies and constellations, it provides distinct tonal characteristics.

The interface offers control over various parameters like Delay Time, Warp, Mix, Width, Feedback Density, Modulation Rate, Density, Low-pass, and High-pass filters, boasting a user-friendly design.

Supermassive spans a spectrum of sounds across its delay modes, varying in complexity, size, and ambiance. It’s a versatile tool for sound designers, offering unique delay effects and lush reverbs for crafting captivating soundscapes. Despite being free, it continuously updates to include more algorithms, expanding its capabilities for creating expansive spaces.


by Togu Audio Line

For those seeking the saturated delay sound heard in dub tracks, TAL Dub 3 is your go-to choice. It captures this unique delay signature without emulating tape delay, offering alias-free saturation, adaptable filters, and doubled delay per channel.

With up to 4 seconds of delay and adaptable 6dB Low-Pass and 3dB High Pass filters, this intuitive device ensures precise saturation control via the input drive knob. It also facilitates synchronized delay times for rhythmic precision and offers MIDI Learn for seamless parameter mapping. The optimized feedback knob enhances creative potential, allowing for nearly infinite delays.


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