I reviewed two new iOS audio effects apps from developers Timothy Barraclough and Paul Mathews a few weeks ago on the blog – Cactus Chorus and Phlox Phaser – and the team followed up with the equally floral themed Buttercup Bitcrush soon afterwards. Surprise, surprise, these are chorus, phaser and bit reduction effects respectively. All three apps are universal, require iOS7.0 or later and are supplied with Audiobus and IAA support… and, for the budget conscious, all are currently priced at UK£0.79…. that’s probably less than the price of your favourite chocolate snack bar.
Tim and Paul are obviously on a roll, however, as a fourth instalment in the ‘flora’ theme arrived on the App Store yesterday. As it’s name suggests, Dahlia Delay is a delay effect. And as with the previous apps, what you get is a no nonsense user interface and a minimum of fuss as a front-end to what is a virtual recreation of a tape-style delay with filter and ‘warble’ (tape flutter) options.
All the controls sit on a single screen and large chunky sliders so the app is easy to operate. As with the other apps in the series, this is a pretty minimalist approach though; what you see is what you get and anything else…? Well, you don’t get it :-) In terms of what’s missing, it would be great to see an IAA ‘quick switch’ button and it a preset system would all be welcome… and maybe a landscape option would be nice (although the controls are so straightforward that this isn’t really an issue)… but these are very minor quibbles given that the price is so low and that the processing does such a good job at its intended function.
Having put Dahlia Delay of repeat both via Audiobus and IAA (using Cubasis as my IAA host), the performance seems very solid indeed. You can create some very nice, simple – and suitably warm – delay effects that are great for vocals or solo instruments. The combination of the Filter Cutoff, Resonance and the three different filter types, actually allow to create a surprisingly wide range of tonal character. And, while I’m not sure of the exact maximum length of the delay, it is suitably flexible so that you can go from slap-back style repeats all the way up to ‘mountain-range’ repeats.
And, if you want to push things a bit harder for something that is a touch more ‘special effect’, then just wind up the Flutter control and your repeats will take on a suitably wacky amount of de-tuning. No, Dahlia Delay will not be the most versatile delay effect app you might find on the app store, but it is easy to use, has a very nice character to the sound and is very low impact (in terms of price, space requirements and CPU load).
Anyway, at UK£0.79, like Cactus Chorus, Phlox Phaser or Buttercup Bitcrush, Dahlia Delay is not going to stretch your budget too far so don’t overthink it :-). If you fancy the occasional bit of analog-style tape delay, Dahlia Delay is a low cost, low fuss, means of getting it. Oh, and there is another app on the way – Saffron Saturator – due to be released soon. Keep your eyes peeled :-)