October 2018 Martin Header Leaderboard (HLB)

Acoustic Guitar

Reverb Pedal Knobs, Switches & Parameters

October 2018 Martin Header Leaderboard (HLB)

Hey guys, on the last article we discussed what reverb was and how it has changed over the years. In this article, I am going to share with you a cheat sheet on how to use reverb. You don’t need to be a sound engineer to use reverb properly and hopefully this will help you find the tone you’ve been looking for.

What do all these knobs do?

Below are a few common settings you will see on both simple and complex reverb pedals. Pedal companies might call these parameters something slightly different but the principles of what they do are the same.

Mix

This is probably the most common setting and if you’ve mastered the delay pedal, this should not be difficult to grasp. But just in case, the mix is the balance between the effected signal and the dry signal of your guitar. 100% Mix means there’s no clean guitar and 0% means there is no affected signal. So the name of the game here is to blend to taste. Most people will not want 100% wet signal but who says they have to be right. Sometimes this setting will change throughout your set list depending on the song.

Decay

The decay setting is also commonly called length. This setting is how long it will take for the reverb to resolve. Some reverb pedals can add up to 20 seconds. Others can add an infinite decay setting which means you can have a never-ending decay which can be useful for pad effects. Long and lush spreads can be achieved via this knob and the sky is actually the limit. Short decay gives a small sense of space that can give your guitar tone a little bit of a slap back effect. This setting can also change throughout your set list depending on the song.

Size

Often referred to as depth, this knob determines how big or deep your reverb can sound. Low settings can sound like a small studio room while high settings can sound like a deep cave or cathedral. Depending on your needs you can get very creative with this setting.

Pre Delay

While this delay is not exactly like the traditional delay pedal it does carry some of those characteristics. While some Reverb pedals might have a built in delay effect like Eventide’s TimeSpace or ModEchoVerb algorithms, Pre Delay is the distance between your clean tone and the wet signal. At 0% this knob will make your reverb sound play immediately when you play, adding more makes that reverb signal play up to 2 seconds after you plat a note. Why is this useful? Adding a little delay helps your reverb cut through dense reverbs. So if you feel like your playing is getting lost in the reverb signal, try adding some pre-delay. This is also really cool to use in those instances when you really need an out there tone and want your reverb to echo a second or two after you play.

These are the most common settings you’ll find on most reverb pedals. In the next article I will share with you some cool ideas for different reverb tones. I will also be sharing some of my favorite audio examples and Eventide H9 and Space pedal presets. Thanks for reading and until next time, Godspeed!

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