iZotope has a new delay out, and like many plug-in developers of late, they’re using a limited time free offer to rise above the din of Internet noise. But while the new “DDLY Dynamic Delay” is free, it’s not something cut-down.

On the contrary: you might fall in love with this delay right away.

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The basic idea is, DDLY is a “dynamic” delay — as in one that responds to dynamics. Now, of course, you could essentially create this with some clever routing of a dynamics processor to a delay, but integrating the two makes the process more intuitive.

The other clever feature of iZotope’s DDLY is the dual delay lines, which see at the top and the bottom of the plug-in. The granular delay path and modeled analog path each have their own character, and you can use them both at once. (It’s not a new idea – see, Audio Damage’s superb Discord3, which also features “clean,” “vintage,” and “granular” modes. But the signal flow, UI, and details here are a bit different. I like both.)

I know I was supposed to be doing something purposeful with the thing, but I immediately wanted to go wild with the delicious “Trash” and feedback settings. Overdriving the DDLY gives you some wonderful effects.

Here’s some sonic results from doing that:

For more sound examples, here’s iZotope. They do some granular stuff with a synth, which you can hear is unmistakably granular but has some details to the sound that’ll make it clear you aren’t using an Ableton preset again (cough, yes, producers, we can hear you!):

And a really nice example from them on drums:

iZotope are advertising the results as “cleaner” — but maybe that’s the point, actually, that it’s clean enough that extreme feedback settings remain usable.

You can hear just how clean in this example with guitar (again, with iZotope playing with this properly, rather than screwing around like me):

Before I sound entirely positive, there are a couple of peculiar things about DDLY. One, there’s a sort of translucent interface that make me feel like I’m going slightly blind. I’m not exactly sure what the intention was, but the UI looks like something out of a 90s first person shooter that was then displayed on a fading monitor. That’s too bad, as the visual feedback is quite usable.

Two, you don’t get preset saving. iZotope do point you to the ability to use a PDF to scratch down settings. I’m not sure what the rationale was here, but on the other hand, it makes sense that you really shouldn’t think too much about saving settings, since the whole idea of the plug-in is meant to be responding to particular source material in different ways.

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All in all, it’s a beautiful plug-in, with that rare combination of subtle and extreme.

So, it’s free – what’s the catch?

You have to sign up with an email via iZotope. You don’t have to sign up for a newsletter, though (you can opt out of that when you register). I wound up “buying” the free download from Time & Space, which made me fill out a lot of contact info but also didn’t add any newsletters or ask for payment info. Then you get an email with a serial for authorization. You can use an iLok login optionally if you choose.

iZotope DDLY Product Page

Time + Space product page (In case you already have a login there, you can grab it even quicker)

The plug-in will go to a (still reasonable) US$49 price after the 30-day intro (mid-March 2016), with a 10-day demo.

Screenshots: CDM.

  • StanleyBrothers

    This is going to be perfect for effecting live drums!

    • Yeah, I think so! Both this and Discord3 from Audio Damage really are worth a look!

      • wetterberg

        Ronin is the beast.

  • Chris Stack

    Just downloaded it. Look forward to exploring. Sounds very good on first listen. I’m not one to complain (much) about free things, but yeah, the “peculiar” things you mention are pretty peculiar. Odd choices that leave me with an uneasy feeling about them. I expect we’ll be receiving an email after the free period is over offering to remove those blemishes for a fee.

    • Chris Stack

      Just received an email from iZotope telling me of a downloadable pdf patch sheet.

      • Yeah, I also mentioned the PDF patch sheet.

        I don’t think it’s some kind of trick. 😉 Look, UI decisions get made… and, uh, yes, I hope they reskin this one. (The basic layout and function are great, just these colors/contrast make it hard to see…)

        I’m not sure on preset saving. But the idea is to offer it free as an intro; I don’t think these things are intended to cripple it.

        And anyway, it sounds really great, and we didn’t have to pay for it. So there’s that. 🙂

        • Chris Stack

          Brain glitch on the patch sheet here 🙂

          Yeah, not really complaining. It does seem like a great plugin. Really looking forward to trying it on a number of different instruments.

        • Chris Stack

          Was curious if this was a sign of some coming trend in UI design.

  • You didn’t mention you can make a sad frog on the filter pane.

  • Nikolozi

    That Panic button totally deserves to be exposed as an automatable parameter. Works so great when pressing to reset the rising feedback and then it’s starts all over again. Tried to automate the Feed knobs to get the similar effect, but it doesn’t sound the same at all.

  • Free or paid. I want my tools to be useable.
    This interface decision is a deal killer for me….

  • James

    I happen to like the interface. The sputtering bulb effect with the 2-tone crosstalk on the delays included. It’s an effective ideation. Although I would prefer a disengage of the active waveform in preferences. Plus, I’m not going to look at it much because there’s enough symmetry to midi learn most everything on there. My only criticism is the solo, bypass, and d/a toggle colors don’t convey much definitive meaning.

    As for function, I’ve broken it already whereby the wet/dry and bypass buttons continue to effect gain, but without any functioning delays at any threshold. I generally don’t like devices in a performance setting with such a wily array of gain stages and feedback options. So this is a studio effect for me. And, yes, the panic button should be assignable.

  • misksound

    grabbed it yesterday! sooooo good!

  • Karl Sander

    It doesnt have an internal preset system, but you can save Audio Unit Presets just fine, since all the parameters are exposed properly.