What's the deal with pre-delay?

A place for the string slingers, pedal freaks and amp snobs in our midst.

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

Post Reply
User avatar
Roge Piltoney
Common Wiggler
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:51 am
Location: Washington DC

What's the deal with pre-delay?

Post by Roge Piltoney » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:58 am

It seems to be on every reverb pedal these days, and everyone seems to love it, but I honestly can't seem to find any use for it. I generally find it unpleasant to hear an audible delay before my reverb comes in. What am I missing?

I just got a Source Audio Ventris and I gotta say I love it. They crammed a lot into the pedal without making it feel too complicated (unlike the Boss RV-500, which I found way too finicky, personally). And with all the streamlining they did with this pedal they STILL decided to have a dedicated pre-delay knob to be used on every setting. I WANT to use it, but I never like the sound past 9 oclock. There are just so many details to a reverb, why is this one so often singled out for precise control?

Granted, with the Ventris, I could have one reverb have a noticeable pre-delay, but have it be compensated for by going into a second reverb. I just got the pedal so haven't played much with this.

What do you guys use pre-delay for?

User avatar
Jason Brock
just visiting
Posts: 4190
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:32 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by Jason Brock » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:33 pm

I'd say it's great for live playing, or in a busy mix where there's a lot of other stuff going on to mask the obvious delay. It helps give separation to the notes you are playing vs an immediate huge wash of effect.

jorg
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:38 am
Location: East Coast USA

Post by jorg » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:18 pm

I've always read that you should use pre-delay. I've never liked it either. I guess it's a 90s thing.

User avatar
Navs
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4140
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:49 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Post by Navs » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:13 pm

It helps to give a sense/add to the illusion of size.

I supposed it depends on your source material and objective. But a good example is trying to mimic John Bonham/ 'Levee Breaks-style drums: it's not the same with an instant onset of room reverb.

User avatar
prscrptn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Post by prscrptn » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:19 pm


User avatar
GuyaGuy
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:49 am
Location: Brooklyn | NY | USA

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:54 am

Jason Brock wrote:I'd say it's great for live playing, or in a busy mix where there's a lot of other stuff going on to mask the obvious delay. It helps give separation to the notes you are playing vs an immediate huge wash of effect.
Pretty much this
And this

It can be distracting if soloing a track but can make things sit just right in a mix.

User avatar
black_label
Common Wiggler
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: What's the deal with pre-delay?

Post by black_label » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:13 am

I turn the predelay up when playing with distortion. A complex signal gets kind of muddy if you hit it with reflections right away. When I have a clean signal, I usually turn the predelay back down because it sounds sort of unnatural in that context to my ears.

User avatar
naturligfunktion
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:07 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: What's the deal with pre-delay?

Post by naturligfunktion » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:50 am

If you dont use it, the reverb comes directly taking the edge of the dry signal. Altogether it sounds weaker. Similar to when you compress something to hard so the transients disappear.

With a nice pre delay you can have the sharpness of the dry sound combined with the sense of space and general niceness of the reverb

Post Reply

Return to “Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX”