Top 10 Best Digital Delay Plugins For Your DAW In 2021


We’re currently living in the age of digital audio, and in-the-box mixing within a digital audio workstation is commonplace. Plugins are, therefore, invaluable assets for the modern audio engineer. The power of digital signal processing has made it possible to create highly versatile and powerful delay effects. With so many digital delay plugins on the market, 10 stand out as being top performers.

What is the digital delay audio effect? Digital delay is a delay effect that utilizes digital signal processing to record an incoming signal and playback a delayed version of the signal. Parameters such as delay time, level, panning and feedback can be adjusted. Digital delay can also act to emulate/combine different types of delay.

In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 best digital delay emulation plugins.

The top 10 best digital delay plugins for digital audio workstations are:

  1. D16 Group Repeater Delay
  2. Valhalla Delay
  3. Native Instruments Replika
  4. Ohm Force Ohmboyz Infinity
  5. Waves SuperTap
  6. PSP Audioware 608 MultiDelay
  7. Soundtoys PrimalTap
  8. Line 6 Echo Farm 3
  9. UAD Korg SDD-3000 Digital Delay
  10. Voxengo Tempo Delay

It should go without saying that any “top X” article is subject to bias. I would expect the next person’s top 10 to be different than mine but hope that there would be plenty of overlap.

That being said, I believe these plugins to be the best digital delay plugin options today. The criteria I used to judge these plugins include the following:

  • Sonic performance: how does the digital delay plugin sound subjectively/objectively?
  • Graphic user interface (GUI): how does the digital delay plugin look when loaded in the DAW?
  • Ease-of-use: how user-friendly is the digital delay plugin?
  • Functionality: how many different functions does it serve and/or how many parameters are available for the digital delay effect?
  • Accessibility/compatibility: how easy is it to acquire the digital delay plugin, and what are the system requirements?

Let’s discuss each of the top 10 best digital delay plugins in greater detail to learn why they made this list.


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D16 Group Repeater Delay

The D16 Group Repeater Delay (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a vintage modelled delay offering a variety of classic delay options, including, of course, vintage digital designs.

D16 Group Repeater Delay

The D16 Group Repeater Delay is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

The D16 Group Repeater Delay is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 10 Best Analog Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Tape Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW

D16 Group has a wide range of excellent plugins. The Repeater Delay is one such plugin. This delay features 23 authentically modelled modes from real hardware, of which 3 are digital emulations:

  • Digital 42: one of the famous Lexicon PCM 42 with a uniquely early digital tone and a touch of graininess, and a slight scoop
  • Digital 42 x 2: double option of the Digital 42
  • Digital Delay: high-resolution digital delay

More than just a stereo delay plugin, the Repeater offers independent re-panning and dry/wet mixing for each of its two stereo channels. This effectively doubles the plugin as a double delay and stereo delay all in one effect unit. Each channel has its own controls, including all the standard delay parameters, phase inversion, audio clipping module, dual (high-pass and low-pass) filter, wet/dry mix and re-panning.

To learn more about high-pass and low-pass filters, check out the following My New Microphone articles:
Audio EQ: What Is A High-Pass Filter & How Do HPFs Work?
Audio EQ: What Is A Low-Pass Filter & How Do LPFs Work?

This plugin offers beautiful digital delay (among other delay styles). Its straightforward user interface and controls make it easy for users to dial in the perfect delay for any application.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the D16 Group Repeater Delay user manual.


Valhalla Delay

The Valhalla Delay (link to check the price at Valhalla DSP) is an incredibly versatile yet easy-to-use delay plugin. It offers 14 different delay modes, including, of course, digital delay.

Valhalla Delay

The Valhalla Delay is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

The Valhalla Delay is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 10 Best Analog Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Tape Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW

Valhalla’s Delay brings everything from the classic echoes of the past to the futuristic delay designs of modern-day DSP. Set the mode control to Digital for a superb digital delay.

The Digital Delay of this Valhalla plugin offers a cleaner, higher bandwidth digital delay with a character based on 1980s digital delay units. It’s an excellent middle ground between smoothness and harshness. The modulation controls adjust the pitch over time, while the bit-resolution can be altered via the Age control. Dial-in the frequency response and saturation style with the Era switch.

Adjust the Style control to dial in the relationship between the left and right delay channels and the number of voices in each channel. As the style is changed, only the relevant control parameters will be available, making this plugin easy to use regardless of the setting.

The immaculate sound of the Valhalla Delay can be fine-tuned even further with advanced controls such as beat sync, age and era controls, diffusion and ducking.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Valhalla Delay at ValhallaDSP.


Native Instruments Replika

The Native Instruments Replika (link to check the price at Native Instruments) is a streamlined plugin offering superb digital delay and a simple user interface.

The Native Instruments Replika is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Native Instruments’ Replika features two high-end delay modes (Modern and Vintage Digital) along with a diffusion reverb algorithm and modulation controls over a resonant filter and phaser effect. Engage and adjust these features directly from the easy-to-use interface for a detailed digital delay effect without detailed tweaking.

Choose between crystal-clear repeats with Modern, saturated gritty echoes with Vintage Delay, or blend digital delay and reverb with Diffusion. The quality, low-cut/high-pass and high-cut/low-pass filters are all easily adjustable via virtual knobs.

As with all delay plugins worth considering, the Replika features dedicated Mix, Feedback and Time controls. It also has a selectable Ping Pong setting.

Engage the Modulation section to increase the sonic interest of the delay effect by adding a flexible phaser or high-class resonant filter to the delay effect.

To learn more about the phaser effect, check out my article The Complete Guide To The Phaser Audio Modulation Effect.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Replika at Native Instruments.

Native Instruments is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best MIDI Controller Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Virtual/Software Instrument Plugin Brands


Ohm Force Ohmboyz Infinity

The Ohm Force Ohmboyz Infinity (link to check the price at Ohm Force) is a highly versatile and powerful delay plugin with the flexibility of a multi-FX unit.

The Ohm Force Ohmboyz Infinity is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Ohm Force’s Ohmboyz Infinity is a multi-tap/multi-FX delay plugin. Users have access to up to 8 distinct taps to create complex, evolving rhythmic delay patterns. These taps can even be used for timing unique early reflections before the delay effect is even introduced.

Each tap can be affected by its own set of effects, including EQ and pitch-shifting. In fact, there are filters and EQ and every stage of the routing for incredible control over the resulting delay.

To learn more about EQ, check out my article The Complete Guide To Audio Equalization & EQ Hardware/Software.

In addition to the multi-tap delay section, Ohmboyz Infinity offers modulation for chorusing and flanging and a sequencer-style section for repeating, beat slicing, sample mangling, and more.

To learn more about chorus and flanger effects, check out the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Chorus Modulation Plugins For Your DAW In 2021
Top 9 Best Flanger Modulation Plugins For Your DAW In 2021

Link any number of parameters to one of four macros². These virtual knobs will then afford users quick and effective control over the immense power of the Ohmboyz Infinity delay plugin.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Ohmboyz Infinity documentation.


Waves SuperTap

The Waves SuperTap (link to check the price at Waves Audio) is another multi-tap digital delay plugin, though it is thoroughly inspired by tape and analog delays of the past.

The Waves SuperTap is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Waves’ SuperTap can provide the sound of analog, tape, or digital delay. Though the sonic possibilities of the SuperTap are virtually endless, the plugin will perform in one of two basic processing modes. More specifically, the mode is dependent on whether modulation is engaged or not.

Users can choose between 2 or 6 taps (with or without modulation) and whether the plugin outputs mono or stereo audio. The gain, panning/rotate and delay time are adjustable on a per tap basis. Each tap also has its own EQ section with a single selectable and adjustable filter.

When engaged, the feedback and modulation can be dialled in from subtle repeating and movement to full-blown overmodulation and positive gain feedback loops.

Whether we want a clean multi-tap digital delay or something approximating analog or tape, the Waves SuperTap will provide the results we’re after.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Waves SuperTap user manual.

Waves is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World.


PSP Audioware 608 MultiDelay

The PSP Audioware 608 MultiDelay (link to check the price at Sweetwater) is straightforward yet highly versatile delay plugin.

PSP Audioware 608 MultiDelay

The PSP Audioware 608 MultiDelay is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU, VST and RTAS formats.

The user interface of the 608 Multidelay features all the digital aesthetics from the virtual LED screen to the small digital displays/indicators on each of its 8 taps.

This versatile digital delay plugin works in two modes:

  1. Multidelay: each tap has its own feedback buffer
  2. Multitap: the Master Feedback operates on one (user selectable) tap

Each tap has selectable feedback, stereo image and position, delay time (up to 8 seconds), multimode filter, modulation, drive/tape saturation, and reverb. Set the feedback and drive modules before or after the delay line for improved control over the sonic performance. Control the modulation effects via an LFO and/or an envelope follower.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the 608 MultiDelay at PSP Audioware.

PSP Audioware is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World.


Soundtoys PrimalTap

The Soundtoys PrimalTap (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a “retro” digital delay plugin modelled after the Lexicon Prime Time Model 93 Digital Delay (originally from 1978)

Soundtoys PrimalTap

The Soundtoys PrimalTap is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, AU and VST formats.

Soundtoys’ PrimalTap gives us the gritty character of old-school digital delay in a modernized audio plugin. It offers a hybrid of analog and digital sound with a distinctly vintage character.

The Multiply control is reminiscent of the early days of digital audio, for each doubling of the delay time halves the sample rate, which in turn degrades the audio quality. This feature is but one way the plugin is authentically vintage.

Users can engage the VCO section to add variation and motion to the effect and even border on chorus and flanger modulation effects. Even ring modulation effects can be had by dropping the rate control of the VCO to audio frequencies.

To learn more about ring modulation, check out my article The Complete Guide To The Ring Modulation Audio Effect.

The Freeze button allows for a new level of experimentation in lo-fi pitch warped loops and delays to unique soundscape productions.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Soundtoys PrimalTap user manual.

Soundtoys is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World.


Line 6 Echo Farm 3

Since 2001, Line 6’s Echo Farm delay plugins have been used in professional and amateur productions around the world. The Line 6 Echo Farm 3 (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a compilation of 12 fantastic hardware delay units (including a few digital options) modelled with precision in an outstanding plugin.

Line 6 Echo Farm 3

The Line 6 Echo Farm 3 is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

The Line 6 Echo Farm 3 is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 10 Best Analog Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Tape Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW

Line 6’s Echo Farm 3 is fully programmable and automatable and sounds incredibly authentic in any of its 12 models. Of the 12, 5 models are emulations of digital delay effects.

  • Low Res Delay: based on the Low Res Delay digital delay mode of the Line 6 DL4
  • Digital Delay With Modulation: based on the Digital Delay With Modulation mode of the Line 6 DL4
  • Ping Pong: based on the Ping Pong digital delay mode of the Line 6 DL4
  • Reverse: based on the Reverse digital delay mode of the Line 6 DL4
  • Dynamic Delay: based on the TC Electronic 2290 digital delay

Choose from the diverse options above and enjoy the sound of classic vintage digital delay along with the additional effects that come along with each model. Whether we’re after dark, saturated tones with Low Res, chorus-like vibes with the DD w/ Mod, stereo panning back-and-forth with Ping Pong, eerie FX with Reverse, or dynamically alterable delay with Dynamic Delay, the Echo Farm 3 has us covered (and offers much, much more).

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Line 6 Echo Farm 3 user manual.

Line 6 (and TC Electronic) are featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Effects Pedal Brands To Know & Use.


UAD Korg SDD-3000 Digital Delay

The UAD Korg SDD-3000 Digital Delay (link to check the price at Universal Audio), as the name suggests, is a plugin modelled after the Korg SSD-3000 Digital Delay, which was first introduced in 1982.

UAD Korg SDD-3000 Digital Delay

The UAD Korg SDD-3000 Digital Delay, like all UAD plugins, requires UAD hardware to function with your DAW. UAD hardware is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS, and the plugins are available in AAX, AU and VST formats.

UAD’s plugin version of the renowned SDD-3000 is expertly modelled and fully endorsed by Korg itself. The colourful tone of the original 13-bit processing has been brought forth the modern DAW.

The wonderfully old-school user interface presents the key controls of this digital delay plugin. We see that the controls are fairly standard with phase inversion and hold function buttons, feedback control (with low-pass and high-pass filters), a modulation section with LFO and envelope control and intensity and frequency dials, level and output balance, and input and output controls (attenuation and gain).

This plugin offers a veriety of mono and stereo channel routings and a beautiful digital delay tone. Dial in the perfect settings on the clean interface and have yourself a delay setting suited for The Edge.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the UAD Plugins manual.

Universal Audio is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Audio Interface Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Microphone Preamplifier Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Audio Compressor Brands In The World

Korg is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best MIDI Controller Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Synthesizer Brands In The World


Voxengo Tempo Delay

The Voxengo Tempo Delay (link to check it out at Voxengo) gets “top freebie” in this list. It’s a straightforward digital-style delay plugin with versatile controls and great sound.

Voxengo Tempo Delay

The Voxengo Tempo Delay is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Set the proper tempo and enjoy free delay that can be set as clean or dark as you like. Adjust the wet and dry gain independently for the optimal mix after dialling in the ideal stereo delay.

The left and right stereo channels of the Tempo Delay are controlled independently of one another. In addition to the Delay & Gain sections (with delay time, repetition period, feedback, panning and gain controls), this Voxengo plugin offers channel-dependent Tremolo and Filter sections to allow users to hone in on the character of this otherwise clean digital delay plugin.

From clean to dirty, straight to ping pong, the Voxengo Tempo Delay does it for free!

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Voxengo Tempo Delay user manual.


Other Top Audio Plugin Articles

Here are additional My New Microphone articles regarding the best audio plugins by type:
Top 11 Best Distortion Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Saturation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Digital Equalizer/EQ Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Digital Parametric EQ Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Dynamic EQ Plugins For Your DAW
Top 8 Best Graphic EQ Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Linear Phase EQ Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Parametric EQ Emulation Plugins For DAWs
Top 8 Best Passive EQ Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Digital Compressor Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best FET Compressor Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Optical Compressor Emulation Plugins
Top 10 Best Multiband Compressor Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Variable-Mu Compressor Emulation Plugins
Top 11 Best VCA Compressor Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Limiter Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Channel Strip Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Chorus Modulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 9 Best Flanger Modulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 9 Best Phaser Modulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Tremolo Modulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Analog Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 10 Best Tape Delay Emulation Plugins For Your DAW
Top 12 Best Reverb Plugins (Spring, Plate, Algorithmic, Convolution)
Top 9 Best Stereo Imaging Plugins For Your DAW
Top 11 Best Guitar Amp Simulator Plugins For Your DAW
Top 7 Best Noise Reduction Plugins For Your DAW

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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