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View Full Version : Reverb vs. Delay


NatDeroxL7
09-02-2007, 12:22 PM
So I've never bought any effects before, ive always just been a guitar--amp guy, but all my past amps have had a built in reverb. my XTC does not, but I'd still like to create some 'space' in my sound sometimes.

What are the differences between delay and reverb pedals? maybe I'm retarded but when I've been looking it seems there is some gray area where their functions cross over.

thanks

Sniper-V
09-02-2007, 12:36 PM
Reverb:
Ambient effect added to your guitar tone to give the feel and tone of playing in a type of "room".
Great for fixin' up a dry signals and giving more ambiance thats pleasing to hear.
For example, room, hall, concert hall, church, ect...

Delay:
Essentially adds an echo effect to your guitar tone that can bet set to different types, tempo settings and repeats.
Great for adding size to your tone or just a "cool" effect to with limitless options.
Many kinds of echo such as, digital, analog, tape, revese, modulation, ect...


Sorry for the elementary explanation if it wasn't needed.

I personally use both effects, but if I had to choose only one, I prefer delay.
I can actually set up my delays to sound similar to the effect of reverb if needed.

But I rather have both, so thats what I do.

NatDeroxL7
09-02-2007, 01:07 PM
yeah thats good...i think what you were saying...how you can set up your delays to sound like reverb..is what was confusing me.

Danke Schon!

6789
09-02-2007, 05:27 PM
yeah thats good...i think what you were saying...how you can set up your delays to sound like reverb..is what was confusing me.

Danke Schon!

You can't make a delay sound like a reverb. A delay repeats a sound - once or many times. the repeated sounds can stay at the same volume or trail off getting quieter with each repeat. Like yelling in a canyon or cave. HELLO..HELLO...hello..hello. a delay has distinct repetitions of the sound.

a reverb typically has a bit of a pre-delay and then the sound becomes a "wash" of elongated sound trailing off to be more quiet. the sounds become blurred together without the distinct repetitions the delay has.

years ago I was in a band with a guy who seemed to buy whatever the store wanted yo sell him. He bought a bad sounding bass amp to use with his guitar. it had no reverb. he wanted reverb. then they sold him a delay pedal and told him he can get a reverb sound from it. he couldn't. he always has horrible sound from his amp/pedal set up.

EataPeach
09-02-2007, 06:28 PM
No you cant make delay sound like reverb


I can actually set up my delays to sound similar to the effect of reverb if needed.


I used to do the same thing with a delay I had...It added depth,and fill...enough to get the 'ambient' job done...Not exactly reverb ,but it accomplished the basic requirement for the time...I think that was intended

Sniper-V
09-02-2007, 08:19 PM
No you cant make delay sound like reverb

I can actually set up my delays to sound similar to the effect of reverb if needed.


I used to do the same thing with a delay I had...It added depth,and fill...enough to get the 'ambient' job done...Not exactly reverb ,but it accomplished the basic requirement for the time...I think that was intended

Thank you and yes that was what I intended.

I just mentioning that in the event that I had to choose one of either delay or reverb, I'd choose delay because I can get away with a SIMILAR effect to cover MY reverb needs.

Again, in the event I had to choose one effect.

But,

By no means does not take the place of an actual real reverb effect.

StompBoxBlues
09-03-2007, 02:14 AM
Thank you and yes that was what I intended.

I just mentioning that in the event that I had to choose one of either delay or reverb, I'd choose delay because I can get away with a SIMILAR effect to cover MY reverb needs.

Again, in the event I had to choose one effect.

But,

By no means does not take the place of an actual real reverb effect.

I'm with you. I love reverb, but like you...if (and sometimes it is so) I can only have one I'd also go with delay.

When you set a delay with several repeats, short delay time, and keep it very low in "level" it sounds similiar to Reverb. It isn't as complex, and I wouldn't do try and substitute it ofr recording...

And it totally depends HOW you use reverb. Some guy trying to recreate some 60's song dripping in reverb is not going to have it very easy trying to get a delay to do that, but for "normal" use...yeah they are in the same ballpark. Add the rest of the band, and it is pretty hard to hear a difference.

mikelaw
09-03-2007, 07:02 AM
i think reverb and delay are BOTH needed.!!!!!

BluezNotez
09-03-2007, 11:42 AM
Lately, I've been using reverb before my delay. I have reverb available before and after the delay.

Just a hint of Lexicon Hall reverb into my Nova Delay set for dynamic with some modulation. Sounds messy, but used sparingly, I think sounds pretty good. Now, when I turn off the reverb, I really feel like something is missing.

I'm not sure what the "politically correct" order is for delay/reverb, but I'm liking what I hear.

Sniper-V
09-03-2007, 05:45 PM
Lately, I've been using reverb before my delay. I have reverb available before and after the delay.

Just a hint of Lexicon Hall reverb into my Nova Delay set for dynamic with some modulation. Sounds messy, but used sparingly, I think sounds pretty good. Now, when I turn off the reverb, I really feel like something is missing.

I'm not sure what the "politically correct" order is for delay/reverb, but I'm liking what I hear.

I prefer delays going into reverb.

That just makes more sense to me.

BluezNotez
09-03-2007, 06:58 PM
I prefer delays going into reverb.

That just makes more sense to me.

This may sound wacky, and I am in no way suggesting I am right or wrong and am certainly open to any order if the end result sounds musical.

Here it goes...

I always imagine the natural occurance of the real thing.

For delay/reverb happening naturally, it's the last thing to happen -> so it goes last in the chain.

But, in a hall, wouldn't you hear reverberation first and then when sounds bounce around make it back to your ear, you would hear them as they occur? But really, delay and reverb are happening simultaneously, right?
So, should they be running parallel to each other?

But then the bottom line is, what sounds good.

OK, how about playing in a hall with an amp that has only reverb. You would get echo's back similar to using a delay. That would put the reverb first.

JoshuaLogan
09-03-2007, 07:17 PM
delay into reverb is more natural...

other way around can be cool too for some things though.

anyways. both are must haves for me. and I'd actually love to have more than one of each ;)

StompBoxBlues
09-04-2007, 01:59 AM
This may sound wacky, and I am in no way suggesting I am right or wrong and am certainly open to any order if the end result sounds musical.

Here it goes...

I always imagine the natural occurance of the real thing.

For delay/reverb happening naturally, it's the last thing to happen -> so it goes last in the chain.

But, in a hall, wouldn't you hear reverberation first and then when sounds bounce around make it back to your ear, you would hear them as they occur? But really, delay and reverb are happening simultaneously, right?
So, should they be running parallel to each other?

But then the bottom line is, what sounds good.

OK, how about playing in a hall with an amp that has only reverb. You would get echo's back similar to using a delay. That would put the reverb first.

I used to think this too...but the more I think about it, I am not sure that the two actually HAPPEN in reality.

Think about where you really hear "echos". "Hello.........hello.....hello....hello" in caves, outdoors in mountains...grand canyon, etc.

Even if you were in a "reverb" room...the reverb would not be making it out strongly enough to make the echo. Delay.. in nature is just a short echo.

I tend to use it delay into reverb. If I did move my portable room up to the edge of the Grand Canyon, and yelled HELLO, and stayed in the room I would be hearing the echo IN the room and it might have enough to make some reverb...

But, again...this is not something we are experiencing in nature, at least not most of us, so neither setup seems "unnatural" to me.

Generally, we have a LOT more experience with reverb than we do echo or delay anyway.

BluezNotez
09-04-2007, 01:11 PM
I used to think this too...but the more I think about it, I am not sure that the two actually HAPPEN in reality.

Think about where you really hear "echos". "Hello.........hello.....hello....hello" in caves, outdoors in mountains...grand canyon, etc.

Even if you were in a "reverb" room...the reverb would not be making it out strongly enough to make the echo. Delay.. in nature is just a short echo.

I tend to use it delay into reverb. If I did move my portable room up to the edge of the Grand Canyon, and yelled HELLO, and stayed in the room I would be hearing the echo IN the room and it might have enough to make some reverb...

But, again...this is not something we are experiencing in nature, at least not most of us, so neither setup seems "unnatural" to me.

Generally, we have a LOT more experience with reverb than we do echo or delay anyway.

So we're pretty much down to what sounds good and musical.

I will have to experiment some more.

I've been using primarily the dynamic delay on the Nova which may possibly be the reason it sounds OK (reverb -> delay). I'm not an over-the -top delay kind of guy. Just enough to provide a natural, subtle echo.
That's why the dynamic fits in so well. Now with a guitar part heavy in delay (which I have a couple that I do), it may not sound so good.

There are some caves near by, I wonder if they have power outlets?:NUTS

Thanks for your take on this.

quackattack
09-18-2007, 08:26 PM
Being a pedal steel player, I've been a reverb junkie for years until recently. Now I think that reverb kills initial note attack while delay can be set up to preserve attack.

That said, I still use reverb w/ my steel, but hardly ever on guitar.

Semitone
10-07-2013, 10:36 AM
I was searching on the topic and found this thread in the archives.

The following videos were helpful to me in understanding the difference. Thought I would add them to this thread for others that may come here in the future.

http://www.waves.com/reverb-and-delay-tutorial

http://www.waves.com/reverb-and-delay-tutorial-2

Faldoe
10-07-2013, 12:28 PM
reverb leaves a bit more presence which can cause the playing to get all muddy. The same can be said for delays - depending on the feedback level, but delays seem to work better for playing where more notes are involved and articulation and clarity is needed.

For chords or notes with space in between, slow passages, reverb is great.

cubistguitar
10-07-2013, 01:13 PM
My money is on delay. Love reverb, but many locations have plenty without fix. The delay is endlessly fun.

sanhozay
10-07-2013, 01:22 PM
for me, both are essential effects for electric guitarists, with delay being the more useful ambient that i utilize.

JeffOlson
10-07-2013, 01:40 PM
Isn't reverb nothing more than a wash of indistinct, reflected sound waves? Isn't delay nothing more that a distinct, specific, reflected (or echoed) sound wave? If so, then delay is part of reverb, with reverb being the sum of all possible reflections or echoes.

Personally, I always start with reverb as my primary effect. It occurs so frequently and naturally around us in enclosed spaces. If I need something more, I add delay/echoes.

buzzp
10-07-2013, 01:57 PM
Reverb is amazing, but like others have stated, it can make things muddy fast... especially in a band mix.

ramonovrki
10-07-2013, 02:16 PM
Holy necro bump.

Delay >>>> Reverb to me, here's always pre-delay too.

bricel24
10-07-2013, 04:12 PM
Love reverbs! On my POD I always have it on, minimally, on any patch. Delays are switched on/off as needed.

GovernorSilver
10-07-2013, 08:52 PM
I used to think delay into reverb was always better than the other way around... until I heard a couple of David Torn tracks in which the order was the opposite.

I'm with the crowd that says experiment, and see what you dig...

suparsonic
10-07-2013, 10:08 PM
Adding reverb has the effect of distancing your sound. A dry signal will have the effect of being right in your face or up front of the band. Adding reverb will set your guitar into the back ground. Reverb is usually best for cleaner tones where delay is better on a solo tone. No rules though both have multi uses.

JDre19
10-07-2013, 10:13 PM
In general:

For ambient rock music in a band setting, delay is the way to go.

For ambient soundscapes and large washes of sound, reverb is the way to go.

Reverb is more ethereal and textural, delay is more melodic and rhythmic.

62Tele
10-07-2013, 10:18 PM
I say use them both sparingly. Honestly, I just don't understand the degree of delay and reverb fascination that has been going on for awhile now. Of course that's another conversation.

For me either one is as much about setting as anything else. In a full band context, I find delay sits better in a mix. In a quiet duo/trio kind of setting, delay can be too distracting and I prefer reverb. But I can make either work in both settings, just as long as I remember to turn the thing off more than on.