All About Reverb

Reverb is probably the most common guitar effect, but it's a naturally occurring thing, not just an artificial effect. In this video lesson we look at Plate, Spring and Hall reverbs (and some others) and listen to the differences and explore the available settings in the Boss Tone Studio. You might not have all these parameters on all pedals, and you might have even more - but this should explain the basics and give you plenty to get started with!

Note that in this lesson we'll just be exploring reverb but 'slot 3 knob' on a Katana can control reverb and delay (or either) but we set the 'mode' to just reverb for all 3 slots - I suggest you spend some time listening to and exploring reverb on it's own!

Reverb Types

The available types of Reverb in the Katana are: Plate, Room, Hall, Spring and Modulate. They each have their own character and you should listen to each and learn how they sound.

Please note that in the video I thought that the Hall and Room sounds had been confused somewhere along the way and so I emailed the Boss team to ask and got a reply from the programming engineer himself who said "Both Hall and Room reverb works correctly what we intended. But reverb character of Room is more brighter than Hall and it sometimes cause misleading impression that Room is bigger and longer than Hall.".

I also got a reply about the strange spring swell that was coming through seemlingly randomly and the reply was "Spring reverb on KTN detected attack of guitar play then add spring sound." so it's down to the guitar volume, but I'm not so sure that's how it felt to me!

For more details on the types of reverb (Plate, Spring, Hall, and more) please see the Reverb: What, How & History lesson.

Reverb Time

This controls how long (in seconds) the reverb 'tail' will last - it will gradually fade out over this amount of time. Be wary of making this too long, especially if you are playing a lot of notes of have fast chord changes and the notes will bleed into each other - can be a cool effect - but make sure you stay aware of it!

Pre Delay

This is the amount of time between when you play a note and when the reverb sound will start. I don't use this a lot myself, if I do it's set very low. It can add clarity when there are lots of notes going on, but that's not my thing, hence not using it a lot. By delaying when the reverb starts you are in effect making the room seem 'bigger' as the time for the initial sound to reach the reflective surface and come back is longer... perhaps like you are sitting next to someone playing in a large hall, rather than being at the back of the hall.

Effect Level

This controls how loud the reverb is and you would adjust this to taste - but be careful with making it too loud and 'swamping' the sound in 'verb. I love a lot of reverb and I'm guilty of overdoing it, but when recording it's a lot easier to add more reverb later and impossible to turn it down or off - so always err on the side of too little reverb than too much. Adding more reverb will make the sound more 'wet' and less reverb will make it sound more 'dry'.

Direct Mix

This is the volume of the direct 'dry' guitar signal - the pure sound of the guitar with no effect. Unless you're after a kooky kind of effect then this would most commonly be all the way up. Try turning it off and playing with no direct signal and you'll hear what the reverb sounds like very clearly which might be helpful in learning about how the different reverb sound and how they work.

Low Cut

This parameter allows you to cut out the bass frequencies for the reverb, which to my ear usually make it just sound 'muddy', especially in a band setting - on a solo instrument you might like to set it 'flat' (no cut) but I usually set this quite high - up around 400hz - so I get very little low reverb effect. Experiment for each song of sound you are sculpting and see what works - but do try to remember the context too - in a studio mix with a band a sound can be very different to how it sounds on your own at home!

High Cut

I like my reverbs to have a lot of 'zing' the high end 'sizzle' is what I like - so I don't tend to use much high cut, but there are times where the frequencies might be getting tangled up with other instruments (cymbals) and so be aware that you have the option of 'darkening' the reverb but cutting the high end.


This is a hard one to describe with words - you just need to listen - best I can describe it as is the name 'density' - it's adding more reflective surfaces, more reflections, and so a 'thicker' reverb.

Spring Sens

Spring Sensitivity controls how sensitive the springs are (surprise!) and again it's a hard one to verbalize - much better to just listen to it. They 'react' differently depending on how hard the input is. Maybe it controls that strange random spring 'swell' you see hear in the video.






Boss Katana