Reverb pre-delay controls the proximity between the dry signal and the reverberated wet signal. The longer the reverb’s pre-delay time the more audible is the distance between the sound source and the reverb’s early reflections.
For the record bear in mind that for some sophisticated reverb effects don’t be alarmed when you come across separate early reflections pre-delay time, and late reflections pre-delay time parameters.
Setting The Reverb Pre-delay Time for Hip Hop Vocals
How you set your reverb’s pre-delay time for hip hop vocals is a matter of taste, the particular sound you are going for and lastly it could be for sound design purposes.
Otherwise the general rule of thumb is that for hip hop vocals you basically want a shorter reverb pre-delay time from say 5ms t0 about 15ms depending on the rapper’s delivery.
For mumble and slow rappers you can get away with slightly more pre-delay time from 15ms <= 30ms. On the other hand using a longer pre-delay time such as 80ms to 200ms can mask out the words and reduce the level of intelligibility, so pay attention to that.
All you have to remember is that if you want your hip hop vocals to be clear whilst having a sense of ambiance then simply increase the amount of your reverb’s pre-delay and play around with the decay time from somewhere around 700ms <= 1.2sec
And if you want to drown your vocals far back in the mix using reverb you can do that by tweaking your reverb’s pre-delay time from roughly 0ms to 30ms thereabouts then set decay time to 2 seconds or more.