What's The Difference Between Reverb And Delay Effects In Music Production?

What's The Difference Between Reverb And Delay Effects In Music Production?

The main difference between reverb and delay is that we can think of delay as a repeated signal that's held in the audio buffer for a few milliseconds and finally mixed with the original signal.

On the other hand, reverb is an ambiance of a room made up of a numerous echoes packed closely together or loosely together which are reflected from the walls of a particular environment you are in.

For example, when you shout in a canyon or a cave you can hear distinct and very clear repeats of your voice and that is a clear example of an echo or delayed sound.

Alternatively, when you shout inside a concert hall you will very fast reflections building on top of each other and eventually decaying until they are completely attenuated in amplitude. Now that is what we refer to reverberation.

In other words, we can also define delay or an echo effect as individual copies of your original sound, whilst we can define reverberation as a mass of grouped copies of sound which continuously building on top of each other up to the point were they start to loose energy thereby reaching their decay stage. And finally the sound becomes gently inaudible to the human ear.


When Should You Use Reverb or Delay?

Without getting too complicated about audio engineering or sound design you should use delay if the intended sound is meant to have an upfront and more importantly a sound that is close to be dry.

However, if you want to give your sound a little bit of space and ambiance then reverb is the way to go so long as you keep in mind that reverb has a tendency to push your sound a little further backwards in the mix.


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