Reverb vs. Delay

If you are new to the music lingo, then reverb and delay might be two confusing terms that may have you in a fix. Getting the hang of such terms can get overwhelming. But, not when you have access to the right guide. Whether you have just started on your journey into the expansive and intricate world of music, or are an avid instrument player who wishes to dive into new avenues, Musician Authority has got your back.

To learn more about what reverb and delays are and what sets them apart, read ahead. By the end of this article, you are sure to be well-versed with the basics, allowing you to get a head start in your music career in no time.

What is a Reverb?

Reverb has been used by famous guitar players, including Jeff Buckley. He has been at the forefront of using reverb to add depth and dimension to his playing. David Gilmour too has had a touch of reverb in his music. So, what exactly is reverb, and what does it do? To put it in simple words, reverb is the reflection and amplification of sound waves as they get produced.

Originating from a sound source such as a guitar, the soundwaves then expand by reflecting off the surfaces and objects present. This works best in larger rooms as there is more space and area for the soundwaves to reflect. As a result, the listener can seem to hear the sound even after the source has stopped producing any tunes. The reverb comes to decay as the reflection gets exhausted, and gets absorbed by the objects and surface around. To get this desired effect, a reverb pedal is used. This can be attached to your guitar equipment and used as per your desired preference.

You might be wondering how this is the same as an echo, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. The reverb is quite different from an echo. Here’s how – while the reverb seeks to allow the sound to persist even after the source has been curtailed, the echo on the other hand leads to the sound being heard twice.

When To Use A Reverb

  • When the song being played is slow
  • When you wish to produce consistency in your music

To learn more about how to use a reverb using simple techniques, click here to watch a video.

What Is a Delay?

Now, coming to what a delay is – we can further simplify it as follows. A delay, just like reverb, is produced via a pedal. Here, however, a stomp box effect is produced. What this does is play back any music that you feed into the stomp box. It is however quite fast – reacting and playing back the sound within milliseconds. This creates atmospheric landscapes such as the slap back effect, cascading effect, and the lead guitar boost.

When To Use A Delay

  • When you want to improve an existing groove, or create a new one
  • If using the reverb is rendering your music as unclear and muddy
  • To create depth in your music and make it sound wide
  • To add rhythm to your music

To get an idea of how to use a delay on an acoustic guitar, watch a detailed video here.

Can Reverb & Delay Be Used Together?

Yes, you can use the reverb and delay together, however, getting the desired effect depends on the technique used. If you use the delay before the reverb, you are sure to get a longer delay effect for the reverb.

To get a better idea of how both work, you can experiment and play around with different tunes using the reverb and delay. In this way, you can explore your creative side and come up with unique and innovative mixes that can help you stand out when performing on stage.

Songs Best Played With Reverb

Here are some popular songs that are played with reverb.

  • Shinedoe “Cosmic”
  • Grimes “Venus In Fleurs”
  • King Tubby “Dub You Can Feel”
  • The Drums “Down By The Water”
  • Joe Meek “I Hear A New World”
  • Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight
  • Led Zeppelin “When The Levee Breaks”

Songs Best Played With Delay

Below are a few tunes you can play while using a delay. If you give them a try, be sure to record your performance and compare it to the one played by Brian May in the video attached here. Watch this video to learn more.

  • Pink Floyd – Run Like Hell
  • Queen – Brighton Rock
  • Chet Atkins – Blue Ocean Echo
  • U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name
  • The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

The Final Verdict

So, now that you know all about how reverb and delays work, you can make your decision about using this technique. It is a great way to sharpen your eye for complicated tunes and can add value and depth to your performances. If you want, you can even head on over to your nearest music store and give it a try. Moreover, if you wish to learn more tips and insights on musical instruments such as guitars, pianos, and ukuleles, then check out Musician Authority! Here you are sure to find a wide range of articles, blogs, and more that can help add value to your knowledge about music. Click here to access our latest blog on the most popular music genres.

If you have further questions, you can even get in touch by dropping us a message. We shall get back to your queries as soon as possible. Till then, keep practicing and learning new and unique skills in the realm of music! you can even share this article forward to a friend or peer who may be struggling to find the right online resources related to music.