Become a member
Become a member
Continuer avec Google

or
Log in
Log in
Se connecter avec Google

or
learning

How to Use Pre-Delay

A guide to mixing music - Part 67

Now that you've chosen the best reverb presets, the time has come to tinker with the parameters so you can adjust them to best fit your needs. In this article, we'll focus on a very important reverb parameter: pre-delay.

View other articles in this series...

Keep your distance

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the short version: pre-delay is the parameter that determines the elapsed time between the direct and reverberated sound, usually expressed in milliseconds. Do note however that, depending on the plug-in, this setting adjusts the time between the source signal and the reverb as a whole or only between the source and the diffused sound field. But there's no need to rack your brains about it, since this difference will have only a very slight impact on the end result.

Why is pre-delay so important during mixdown? Well, among other things, pre-delay provides information to the listener about the size of the room. Thus, a long pre-delay suggests a large room while a shorter pre-delay hints at a smaller space.

On the other hand, this setting directly affects the sensation of distance between the listener and the signal producing the reverb. But be careful, contrary to what you might think, the longer the pre-delay time, the closer the signal seems to be. Although it seems a bit counterintuitive, if you think about it, it's pretty logical. Indeed, if a sound is emitted close to you, the time difference between direct and reverberated sound is bigger because it obviously takes more time for sound to reach the walls, be reflected and get back to you. So, to make an element of the mix seem farther away, make its reverb pre-delay shorter and if you want to make it seem closer, make the pre-delay longer.

Here are some warnings regarding the use of this parameter. First of all, a pre-delay above 50ms will harm the natural character of the reverb. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you should keep it in mind. On the other hand, a very short pre-delay can have disastrous results, like the loss of intelligibility (which can be extremely disturbing for vocals) or the alteration of the timbre, considering that the mix of direct and reverberated sound can lead to comb filtering (something I already I told you about here. https://en.audiofanzine.com/recording-mixing/editorial/articles/understanding-phase.html)

Also note that a pre-delay time set according to he tempo of the song will help the reverb blend into the mix more naturally, since it breathes in rhythm with the groove of the song. This is especially true for purely rhythmic elements, like drums, percussion, bass or even rhythm guitars, but also for rap vocals, for instance.

Next week we'll tackle another parameter that is just as crucial, namely reverb time.

← Previous article in this series:
A Handy Rule for Choosing Reverb Presets
Next article in this series:
It's Reverb Time →

Vous souhaitez réagir à cet article ?

Log in
Become a member
cookies

We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.