How to Calculate Reverb and Delay Times

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Aug 16

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How to Calculate Reverb and Delay Times

  • 8/16/2014 1:36:59 AM
  • nickfever
How to Calculate Reverb and Delay Times

Reverb and Delay Times

Reverb and delay provide depth and space. Knowing how to set the timing of your reverbs and delays can help you put a mix together faster and improve the sound of your mix.  Since music is largely about timing, this technique is a necessity, not to mention it just sounds better!

Calculate Reverb and Delay Time

60,000 divided by BPM (Beats Per Minute) = delay or reverb time (quarter notes).

Delay Time Calculator

For example:
60,000 divided by 120BPM = 500 milliseconds (.5 seconds)

You can then use this result, it’s fractions, and/or multiples in your reverb and delay times.

*note – multiply by 1.5 for dotted values and .667 for triplets.
I like to use dotted values for reverb times.

For example you could set
⁃    left delay  to 125 ms
⁃    right delay to 250 ms
⁃    reverb length to 1,000 ms (1 second)
⁃    a second (short) reverb to 500 ms


Using this technique  with different reverbs, delays, and then varying send levels of the different elements within your mix will bring it together into a cohesive whole, while still giving each element it’s own space within the mix.

Using such short times as 12.5 ms can make a significant impact on your mix, and are especially useful if you want the sound to be more, “in your face.”

Some use this as a method to only calculate delay time, but using it to calculate reverb time helps sync up the timing of your whole mix. Simply it’s time calculator to be applied to both reverb and delay.

I’ve built a:

Delay Calculator – Reverb Calculator Application.