Alter the BPM and you will directly see fitting reverb settings and also delay lengths for different note values.
Some ways on how to use the delay times are explained below the calculator.
Reverb Size Pre-Delay Decay Time Total Reverb Time
Hall (2 Bars) 62.5 ms 3937.5 ms 4000 ms
Large Room (1 Bar) 31.25 ms 1968.75 ms 2000 ms
Small Room (1/2 Note) 15.63 ms 984.38 ms 1000 ms
Tight Ambience (1/4 Note) 3.91 ms 496.09 ms 500 ms

Delay lengths for different note values in reference to your BPM

Note Value Notes Dotted Triplets
1/1
(1 Bar)
2000 ms / 0.5 Hz 3000 ms / 0.33 Hz 1333.33 ms / 0.75 Hz
1/2
(2 Beats)
1000 ms / 1 Hz 1500 ms / 0.67 Hz 666.67 ms / 1.5 Hz
1/4
(1 Beat)
500 ms / 2 Hz 750 ms / 1.33 Hz 333.33 ms / 3 Hz
1/8 250 ms / 4.00 Hz 375 ms / 2.67 Hz 166.67 ms / 6.00 Hz
1/16 125 ms / 8.00 Hz 187.5 ms / 5.33 Hz 83.33 ms / 12.00 Hz
1/32 62.5 ms / 16.00 Hz 93.75 ms / 10.67 Hz 41.67 ms / 24.00 Hz
1/64 31.25 ms / 32.00 Hz 46.88 ms / 21.33 Hz 20.83 ms / 48.01 Hz
1/128 15.63 ms / 63.98 Hz 23.44 ms / 42.66 Hz 10.42 ms / 95.97 Hz
1/256 7.81 ms / 128.04 Hz 11.72 ms / 85.32 Hz 5.21 ms / 191.94 Hz
1/512 3.91 ms / 255.75 Hz 5.86 ms / 170.65 Hz 2.6 ms / 384.62 Hz

Find the right time settings for your reverb!

Many professional audio engineers set their reverb according to the tempo of the song they are working on. The reason for this is to make the reverb vibe with the pulse of the track. With this handy Pre-Delay and Reverb Time Calculator, you can easily find out which pre-delay and decay time settings are likely to go with the BPM of your song. If you want to detect the BPM of a song check out the BPM Calculator.

A natural sounding reverb brings more life to your music

To get a natural sounding reverb the pre-delay is crucial. Humans are accustomed to hearing a specific delay before they hear a reverb. This gap is defined by the pre-delay of your reverb. In the calculator above you can find commonly used values for the pre-delay and the decay time. Adding or subtracting a few milliseconds from these timing values can create a pushing or pulling feel to your groove.

How to calculate the pre-delay of your reverb

If the above settings do not fit your needs you can of course also use different settings. As long as you use values that divide into the total reverb time, you can create a variety of different room sizes and audience distances while sounding groovy and musical at the same time. The total reverb time or reverberation time is the time it takes for the sound pressure level to reduce by 60 dB. It is also referred to as RT60. 
 
To make it easier, here is a small example of how you can calculate the pre-delay of your reverb.

BPM: 120

1/64 delay time: 31.25 ms  –>  pre-delay time: 31.25 ms

1/2 delay time: 1000 ms –> decay time: 1000 ms – 31.25 ms = 968.75 ms

The second table shows you the delay lengths of different note values, which are a good starting point for your pre-delay and decay time. In this example, I took the 1/64 notes delay time as my pre-delay. Should the pre-delay be too long you can also take the 1/128 notes delay time. If it is too short you can also try out the 1/32 delay time.

Next, we want to adjust the decay time to fill the gap between the pre-delay and the total reverb time. I chose the delay length of a half note to create a small room. Now you just have to subtract the pre-delay from the total reverb time to get the decay time. Which in this example is 968.75 ms.

Reverb Depth Infographic
Using multiple reverbs to create depth in your track

You can use different reverb settings for different instruments in your track to create depth. Strings, for example, can sound amazing with a long reverb tail while the kick drum maybe should stay up front (it all depends on what you want to create). But use this technique cautiously, as many reverbs can also destroy your mix. Especially if you only have instruments that would normally play in the same room. If this is the case, you can use the same room reverb on all instruments to create the feeling that all instruments are playing in the same place.

Some additional tips: Often a room reverb for a song is adjusted to the snare. The goal is that the reverb of one snare hit dies just before the next snare hit. While the snare most often comes on upbeats the half note delay is always a good starting point if you are in a 4/4 time signature, and your snare hits on the 2nd, and 4th beat. If your snare hits on the 3rd beat, you can try out the whole notes delay time as a total reverb time. To further clean up your mix try a low- (600Hz) and a high cut (ca600Hz) on your reverb. You can also put a compressor on your reverb send and sidechain it to the audio source so the reverb gets ducked when your instrument plays. You can find more information on how to mix reverb in this blog article by iZotope.

Delay Calculator to determine the right delay time for your song

You can use a delay to make your tracks more interesting by adding movement, and also depth. Timing the delay to the tempo of your track will create depth while the delay is not noticeable. But sometimes you also want the delay to be noticeable. For example, when you want to add movement. The Delay and Reverb Time Calculator can help you with both.

While most modern delay effects can be synchronized to the projects BPM some are not capable of doing this. The delay calculator helps you to find the right settings for your delay. For depth, just try out different delay times out of the normal notes list.

A great way to create movement is by adding multiple delays, with different timings. It even gets more interesting if you use triplets or dotted notes. For example, you can try using three different delays with three different delay lengths and pan them to the right, the center, and the left.

Furthermore, the delay calculator is very useful if you use guitar pedals, that allow you to enter a delay in milliseconds. 

Tune your LFO to the tempo of your song

A low-frequency oscillator (LFO) is an electronic device (or software) which creates a rhythmic pulse or sweep that usually is below 20 HzThis pulse is often used to modulate synthesizers, delay lines and other musical gear to create effects like vibrato, tremolo and phasing for example.

In addition to the milliseconds, the delay calculator also shows you the respective Hertz values for the various note values. Try some of them with your LFOs to create great effects that vibe with your tracks.

Use the Pre-Delay & Reverb Time Calculator wisely

I think the Pre-Delay & Reverb Calculator is great if you want to add subtle enhancements to individual instruments with delay or reverb. You can glue instruments together with the beat of your track and create depth and interest while keeping the groove of your song. As music is an art, and each song needs different treatment you should always use your ears to evaluate your adjustments. The Pre-Delay & Reverb Calculator can be a helpful tool but the delay times it returns might not always be the best choice. In the end, it only matters that your song sounds good. There are definitely other ways to use the delay times than I did in my examples. Get creative and let me know how you use them!

I hope you enjoy using the Pre-Delay and Reverb Time Calculator. If you know another musician that the calculator could help, feel free to share it with him.

Pre-Delay Calculator & Reverb Time Calculator

This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    cant find the calculator? is it gone? i use this almost every day.
    can you please make a simple software for win?

    1. Another Producer

      Hey man,

      I’m glad you enjoy the calculator that much! It also should be working again.
      Yeah I could make a simple software with some of these tools. Maybe I do when I have some spare time 🙂

      Cheers,
      Phil

  2. Anonymous

    Why did you take the calculator away? I used it daily!

    1. Another Producer

      Hey man,

      I did not remove it intentionally. It should work now again.

      Cheers,
      Phil

  3. Anonymous

    The calculator isn’t showing anymore 🙁 I’d love if you fix it, thank you very much for your help with this tools, I share them as much as I can with my colleagues.

    1. Another Producer

      Hey man sorry for the inconvenience! Is it still not showing?
      I have tried it with Chrome, Opera and Firefox and it worked again.

      Cheers,
      Phil

  4. CB

    Hi. You must do an application for iphone and osx about reverb&delay calculator. I would pay for it. ??

    1. Another Producer

      Haha, maybe when I have some spare time I will develope a small delay calculator app 😀 Thank you for your support, though! 🙂

  5. Viljem

    Hallo, eine wrikliche gute Idee. Danke!

  6. AktivX

    Just this calculator alone has made everything I’ve done in the last year sound 30% better. I had so much reverb all over the place.

    1. Another Producer

      Hey man,
      I’m so glad that the reverb calculator helped you that much!
      Cheers,
      Phil

  7. Anonymous

    thaks : ) from turkey .

  8. So.Lo

    Hey man, why don’t you make an app with this. I would buy it, for sure. 😉

  9. Little G

    it’s a pleasure to read this article, my temporal effects will be much more precise with this tool.

    Little G

  10. Coco

    This is awesome! Thanks for doing this. Is there a way to download this for offline use? I like to turn the internet off when I’m working

    CHEERS!

    1. Another Producer

      Hi Coco,

      for now, you could save the website (Ctrl+S/Cmnd+S for Chrome) locally. Then you can open the site with your browser even though you do not have an internet connection.
      I might actually create an app as some other commenters have suggested. However, that depends a lot on how much time I have for it and it’s not my main priority at the moment.

      Cheers,
      Phil

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