Why finding the right pre-delay and decay time is so important to your mix!
Setting the correct reverb Pre-Delay time can be the difference between having lush rhythmic clarity or the reason your mix is being washed out in a reverberant clutter. Many professional audio engineers set their reverb according to the tempo of the song they are working on. Doing so makes the reverb vibe with the cadence of the track allowing us the control to make the source sound closer or further away from the listener. So we went ahead and made you, your own personal Pre-Delay and Reverb Time Calculator, which makes it easy to find out which pre-delay and decay time settings are appropriate for the BPM of your song.
Just think about how reverb affects us daily
Pre-Delay is a natural phenomenon that takes place around us everyday. Humans naturally hear a specific delay before they hear a reverb in most, if not all environments. The space (delay) is defined as the pre-delay of your reverb. In the calculator above you can find commonly used values for the pre-delay and the decay time. Use the calculator to adjust your reverb parameters for a more natural reverb feel.
Lets do an easy example
1/64 delay time: 31.25 ms –> pre-delay time: 31.25 ms
1/2 delay time: 1000 ms –> decay time: 1000 ms – 31.25 ms = 968.75 ms
Let me tell you how this works
The second column will shows you the pre-delay lengths of different note values, this will provide you with a good starting point for your pre-delay and decay time. In the example above, we used the 1/64 notes delay time as my pre-delay. Should the pre-delay be too long you can also take the 1/128 notes delay time. If it is too short you can also try out the 1/32 delay time.
Next, you might want to adjust the decay time to fill the gap between the pre-delay and the total reverb time. Lets say you chose the delay length of a half note to create a small room. Now you just have to subtract the pre-delay from the total reverb time to get the decay time. Which in this example is 968.75 ms.
Using The Wav Monopoly Reverb Pre-Delay Calculator
We understand that doing the above calculations can be extremely dreary but that’s the exact reason we made this tool for you. It’s as simple as putting in your BPM value and we will do the heavy lifting of calculating the pre-delay and decay time for you. Just keep in mind to always adjust your reverb values by ear once you’ve locked in your BPM. The reason you should do so is simply because no song is the same. There are many different aspects to each song, from the groove to the feel or even a certain swing that can’t be felt in just a calculated number. So our sincere words of advice would be to use the calculator than allow your ear to make the final decision that feels right for that track.