Best Free Delay VST in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

  • James Parker
  • January 21, 2022

We know the feeling of wanting a VST that you can count on. But finding a VST that’s worth your time and energy is challenging. There’s a ton of Free Delay VST plugins, and typically speaking, all offer something different. So there’s a lot of information to go through, no doubt. And to be honest, most people don’t have time to sort through it, nor should they have to. 

But to make sure that you can get to creating sooner rather than later, we made this list to introduce you to the best plugins available. We focus on criteria such as sound quality, editing capabilities, ease of use, and many other vital factors. You’ll see where their faults and benefits lie in a pros and cons list for each of the products mentioned below. All this is so you can have the best information to base your decision on.

Remember that needs often vary from person to person, so keep a close eye on these VST plugins’ benefits! 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
tal 1. TAL-J-8
  • Beautifully good sound.
  • Use the calibration section for powerful resonance and filter the overdrive.
  • Easy to use.
CHECK PRICE
reaxcomp 2. ReaDelay
  • Support for Windows 98 (in case that’s your thing).
  • Highly configurable.
  • Portable (copy installed files and run).
CHECK PRICE
3. Valhalla SuperMassive
  • It’s free
  • A bit of reverb and delay.
  • Excellent sound quality with a range of effects.
CHECK PRICE
hysteresis 4. Hysteresis
  • Feedback-based delay effect with tempo sync.
  • Reversible stutter effect in the feedback path.
  • Lowpass filter.
CHECK PRICE
delay_render 5. Kilohearts Delay
  • Controls are nice and basic to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
  • Delay display.
  • Mix knob.
CHECK PRICE

1. TAL-J-8

tal

Available on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

The TAL-J-8 is an emulator of the very popular 80’s hardware synthesizer and calibrated from TAL software’s Jupiter 8 device. The sound is exceptionally faithful to its older brother (which is a great thing). 

Every sound is created in real-time with no use of any samples. At the same time, keeping the endless modulation possibilities like the hardware and valuable additional features like the calibration section can make the filter reverberate beautifully.

PROS

  • Beautifully good sound. 
  • Use the calibration section for powerful resonance and filter the overdrive.
  • VCO-based (Virtual Controlled Oscillator) UNISON with stereo spread option and a full stereo signal path. The single VCO modulator allows the user to modulate specific waveforms (pulse width & frequency).
  • MPE support (allowing digital instrumentation to behave like acoustic instruments).
  • Micro tuning support (tun file import and MTS Client). (micro tuning description here).
  • More than 300 factory presets by Solidtrax, Emptyvessel, Electric Himalaya, and others. (have a listen to some presets here).
  • Easy to use.

CONS

  • Demo restrictions: the plugin produces a rising white noise sound every minute.
  • USD 80.

The overall rating is 10/10, aside from the $80.

2. ReaDelay

reaxcomp

Available on Windows.

ReaDelay is a highly versatile accessible delay and echo VST plugin developed by Cockos. It’s a multi-tap delay with no practical limit on tap count. It’s an excellent plugin for anyone on windows with high accessibility and great reviews across its years on the market. 

As mentioned above, it was developed by Cockos, who have several plugins to take a tour of the website.

PROS

  • Support for Windows 98 (in case that’s your thing).
  • Highly configurable.
  • Portable (copy installed files and run).
  • Multi-tap delay, no practical limit as mentioned. 
  • Stereo width per tap and Volume/pan per tap. 
  • Low CPU and RAM use.
  • It’s free (so why not?).

CONS

  • No compatibility outside of Windows.
  • The UI leaves something to be desired. 
  • No copy protection.

The overall for this one? 9/10. It’s completely free, so if you’re on Windows, then it’s worth the shot, in my opinion.

3. Valhalla SuperMassive

Available on macOS and Windows.

Designed from the ground up for Massive delay and reverbs. Its initial launch in mid-2020. The creators have said that developing the plugin during Covid time has helped them overcome many struggles and that this inspired them to make the plugin free. 

Valhalla SuperMassive is fantastic at creating otherworldly sounds that don’t mimic reality but create a beautifully unique effect. While still producing the sounds you’re accustomed to. 

Sometimes not mimicking reality can be a fun breather, and I imagine it was just what they needed during quarantine times. 

PROS

  • It’s free (again… Why not?)
  • A bit of reverb and delay.
  • Excellent sound quality with a range of effects.
  • Appealingly simple UI.
  • Excellent at every delay effect chorus, flanger, and reverb.

CONS

  • It can be challenging to use.
  • It shouldn’t be used as a go-to but more as creative inspiration.

Overall, it’s super cool and a lot of fun. With a spotless and modern look while being able to create some wild sounds. Why not? 9/10.

4. Hysteresis

hysteresis

Available on macOS and Windows.

Put best by GlitchMachines, the creators of the plugin. “Hysteresis is a free delay geared toward creating artifacts and musical malfunctions.” In other words, you can easily inject your projects with abstract sounds and textures that will bring a new life. Don’t mistake this for SuperMassive; these effects are more glitchy in nature. Now, if this sounds like something up your street, then consider checking them out!

PROS

  • Feedback-based delay effect with tempo sync. 
  • Reversible stutter effect in the feedback path. 
  • Lowpass filter.
  • Over 100 factory presets.
  • Free.

CONS

  • It appears to be aimed at sound designers more than anything else.
  • Tough to tame when trying to achieve classic delay effects.

Overall it’s pretty awesome; I can’t lie. But focusing mainly on sound designers rather than musicians leaves a little to be desired. 8/10

5. Kilohearts Delay

delay_render

Available on macOS and Windows.

This delay works as a stand-alone plugin. It can be free-running and temp-synced with various stereo and feedback options. Notably, the duck feature optionally only allows the echoed sound through when there is no dry input signal.

This plugin is very user-friendly as it offers a manual online and gives tooltips as you hover over controls inside the plugin. It comes with a handful of presets that can be handy and gives you a randomizer switch that can be a lot of fun and an easy way to switch it up. 

PROS

  • Controls are nice and basic to avoid any unnecessary confusion. 
  • Delay display.
  • Mix knob.
  • Ping-pong. Swaps the left and right channels of the delayed sound when it is fed back into the delay.

CONS

  • It can’t handle single/double discrete repeats.
  • Basic UI.
  • Pretty simple overall with some restrictions.

Overall it’s a user-friendly experience, but without too many ways for expansion, it feels lacking in many parts. 7/10.

Conclusion

That’s the list! What do you think? Be honest here; we’re friends. 

Listen, whether you pick one or try multiple plugins on this list. From the highly complex to the surprisingly simple, these can make the difference you’re looking for! I wish you the best of luck finding your voice with these plugins! I know that you’ll have what you need to get started or continue experimenting with your sound.

So focus up, you’ve got this!