RSL devices Belay, M4L device takes delays into complex, fragmented soundscapes

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RSL devices Belay is a creative Ableton Max For Live device that takes delays into complex, dense soundscapes full of FM, feedback, and resonances.

Yesterday, I reported on the free bass Synthesizer Lode from Fors. I hope you could download it for free and were able to take a look through its awesome portfolio of synths and effects. When I posted this news, another Max For Live popped up that looked super interesting. 

It’s not hot new, but the developers recently updated it with new features. It’s perfect to put it into the spotlight again. 

RSL devices Belay

RSL devices Belay

Belay is not your usual Max For Live delay. It’s more at home on the experimental side, where you can push delays into wilder, complex directions. More precisely, it explores the versatility of delay and feedback manipulation, say the developers.

The core relies on windowing. A concept where the delayed signal is broken down into grains that are overlapped and crossfaded to maintain continuous transitions. Important! It’s not another grain delay, but it can reproduce this kind of sound. 

RSL devices use this technique to achieve more dynamic modulations of the delay time without affecting the pitch and effects such as real-time pitch shifting, reverse, and more. So in Belay, it’s all about modulating the delay in different ways to create complex effects.

Belay consists of different blocks. It starts with the core effect, the delay with controls over time, spread, and reverse. Then, it goes into a dynamic feedback distortion with a built-in stereo routing system. Next to this is an LFO with dynamic shapes, stereo spread, and smoothing.

Things get even wilder in the next few blocks. First, you can frequency modulate the signal, then pitch shift it, apply a window effect (grains…), and lastly, route it through two filters (shelf and morph).  

Update 1.1

The latest update 1.1 added some nice features, including Push compatibility and randomization for each shaping window (FM, pitch, and window). Previously, the internal LFO allowed the effects to be taken in very evolved, crazy directions. With this option on top, you can go wilder. 

The two linked videos show where Belay feels at home. Not so much with classic delay sounds but more in experimental fields. From simple FM, pitch shift, and resonator effects to complex grain delays and heavy feedback drones, promise the developers.

First Impression

It’s always remarkable what Max For Live has to offer. Often hidden deep on the internet. Belay looks like another fascinating M4L device with which you can have a lot of fun. For me, it’s a secret gem. It’s well designed, not overloaded with features but straightforward so it remains very immediate to use. .

RSL_devices Belay is available now for $29. The new update 1.1 is free of charge for existing users. Ableton Live 10/11 Suite or Standard + a Max For Live license is required. 

More information here: RSL_devices

Max For Live News

1 Comment

  1. Belay is great. One of the reasons i still open up Ableton (bitwig user). Fors plugins, bloops and Belay and the inner ocean looper. Record then take all of it into Bitwig.

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