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Why pre delay?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jmm22, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I see pre delay in some reverb plug ins, but cannot quite understand the concept, as I cannot form an image of how pre delay might exist or be manifest in a real room. Can anyone exlplain what it is meant to do?
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    When a sound is made it takes time for it to travel to the boundaries from which it reflects and then back to the listening position. Pre-delay simulates that lag between the original sound and the start of the reverberations.
  3. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Got it. So by that reasoning, there are pre-delay settings that could be considered unatural or impossible in the real world, say having a really long pre delay (thus equivalent to huge room) with very rapid decay (as would occur in a small room). Is this logic sound?
  4. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    From an artistic point of view, pre-delay is sometimes used to preserve clarity in the mix. Faster songs sometimes get muddy when reverb is used, but a pre-delay on the reverb causes the 'verb to kick in later than the original sound*, thus preventing the reverb from stepping on the original.

    * hair-splitting fact: all reverb occurs after the original sound anyway. This is just "even more" delay than otherwise.

    Keep in mind that one could still ruin things by using too much reverb. Good taste is always in style.
  5. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Great insight into strategic use of pre-delay. Thanks

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