Small Studio Secret: Haas Delays
What is a Haas Delay?
Haas Delay is the idea that by altering the opposing channel of a panned sound, we can achieve more convincing depth. To do this, simply create a send stemming from your panned source track, preferably pre-mix. Now pan that send bus to the opposite side, and delay the track by 1-30ms. An easy way to do this is to use the Ableton simple delay. Make sure that you link the channels, and then set the ms delay to the desired length. I have found 7-15ms delay to be effective for hi-hats, 10-20ms for snares, and 10-30 for more ambient sounds. There’s always a sweet spot, so sweep the delay around until something just sounds right. I would refrain from using the Haas Delay for any kind of kick and bass wideness, and would instead suggest using a multiband imager. I say this because the areas 0-100hz are sensitive. More often than not, everything below 80hz will be mono in the final mix, and trying to add too much depth in those lower ranges can mess up your sound and add weird phase issues. You don’t want phase issues. Trust me. By using a multiband imager, it’s possible to just give 400-800hz some width, and keep the rest of the spectrum mono.
Next time you mix, try using a Haas delay instead of a bunch of reverb. You might find a valuable new tool to add to your toolbox.