Working with Pre-Dly (Predelay) in Space Designer
Predelay is the amount of time that elapses between the original signal and the initial
early reflections of the reverberation.
For a room of any given size and shape, predelay determines the distance between the
listener and the walls, ceiling, and floor. Space Designer allows you to adjust this parameter
separately from predelay, and over a greater range than what would be considered natural
In practice, an extremely short predelay tends to make it difficult to pinpoint the position
of the signal source. It can also color the sound of the original signal. On the other hand,
an excessively long predelay can be perceived as an unnatural echo. It can also divorce
the original signal from its early reflections, leaving an audible gap between the original
and reverb signals.
The ideal predelay setting for different sounds depends on the properties of—or more
accurately, the envelope of—the original signal. Percussive signals generally require
shorter predelays than signals where the attack fades in gradually, such as strings. A good
rule of thumb is to use the longest predelay possible before undesirable side effects, such
as an audible echo, begin materializing.
Obviously, these guidelines are intended to help you design realistic-sounding spaces
that are suitable for different signals. If you want to create unnatural sound stages or
otherworldly reverbs and echoes, feel free to experiment with the Pre-Dly parameter.