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Thread: How to set pre delay and decay times for reverb

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    How to set pre delay and decay times for reverb

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    Using reverb, how do you set the predelay and decay times to the tempo of the beat? Also, if reverb is used to create depth, pushing sounds backward/forward, how the there be an illusion of depth if all sounds have the same predelay and decay settings?

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    You can match the decay time to the tempo by dividing 60 000 by the tempo, that way you will get the length in milliseconds of a full beat. Then, you can further divide this by 2, 4, 8 (or multiply it) or whatever matches the groove best. Example: 60 000 / 120 bpm = 500 ms / 2 = 250 ms and so on.

    The predelay can be set to taste: if you imagine closer surfaces which will generate early reflections - shorter to no predelay, if you don't imagine closer surfaces - longer predelay.

    The illusion of depth can be exaggerated by filtering the high frequencies of instruments that you want to sit in the background. That's the natural way sound loses its high frequency content in air.

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    Thank you

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    Reverb in general is a “to taste” effect (of course, best not overdone). Calculating delay repeats/rhythms to a specific tempo is more in the domain of delay, rather than reverb. And, to add more confusing vaguery, pre-delay is normally used to “delay” the onset of the reverb effect; it adds a designated amount of time/space between the original/“dry” signal and the on-set of reverberated sound. This can be good for bringing clarity to a mix. But again, imho, not something you’d use a calculator for (ears work better).


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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