New Toys: FabFilter Timeless 3 Delay Plugin

Timeless 3 is FabFilter’s latest version of its delay/modulator plugin—a completely different processor compared to the previous Timeless 2. The now larger interface has been redesigned and de-cluttered but somehow includes all the controls for creating intricate delay effects far beyond your imagination.

The dual delay lines provide delay times anywhere from 5ms up to five seconds with host tempo sync and panning. There are controls for: cross feedback, inverting phase, ping pong modes, and pitch/time stretch effects just like old-school tape recorders when changing speeds.

Seemingly infinite delay coloring is possible by way of six different multimode filters that are the familiar color-coded nodes you can drag into position just as in FabFilter’s Pro-Q3. The real fun starts with modulating nearly any plugin parameter using host synched modulation sources such as: XLFO—a way to create custom waveform shapes; then there is an ADSR envelope generator and envelope follower triggered by MIDI or audio; incoming MIDI data also can be used; plus X/Y controller data (mouse) inputs.

Unique to Timeless 3 are the five single-knob feedback path effects. There are: analog-modeled saturation, digital-distortion with the Drive and Lo-Fi controls; the Diffuse knob will soften/smear the delays with a reverb-like effect; compress or gate using the Dynamics control; and the Pitch control—a way to shift feedback pitch up/down by up to an octave.

I liked that the delay taps are easily programmed with this very visual GUI. Modulated parameters are also easy to see what’s going on too with “trails” flowing from modulation sources and going to modulation targets. Like all FabFilter plugins, this is a beautiful and compelling processor to look at and use! Anything you can do with delay is possible with Timeless 3! Super highly recommended!

FabFilter Timeless 3 sells for $129 for Macs and PCs.