reverb heavy vocals
hadden
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#1
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #1
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Thread Starter
reverb heavy vocals

So I'm having trouble getting the vocal sound I want. I want a sound that is very, very reverby, but I can't get it to sit right. Either I can't hear the reverb enough or it completely takes over the track and makes the vocal muddy. Is it the type of reverb I'm using (I've been using a plate and a spring)? Is it the decay? Any and all advice would be very welcome.

Here is an example of another band that has a similar sound.

YouTube - The Black Angels - Bad Vibrations
#2
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #2
Gear nut
 

Could you post an example of what your reverb sounds like in the mix so we know what problems you're having with it?
#3
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

reverb heavy vocals

Big hall reverbs tend to mud up a dense mix in my experience. I like to stack reverbs as well. A plate with noticeable pre-delay on the vocals and then some medium chamber thing over that on the 2 bus.

If you want a big wet sound, I would mess with delays on top of things. Even use a delay to feed a shorter verb.

Doing live sound I found that reverb is often lost in the mix. I would use a plate on outdoor gigs but seldom any verb inside unless they really asked for it and it was really part of their vibe. More often it was a medium slap delay (~120ms) followed by a med (180-220ms) delay. You could turn up the effect with less mud.
hadden
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#4
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
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I don't have the song with me right now but as soon as I do I will upload it. its too bad you can't load songs off of ipods onto your computer.
#5
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #5
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reverb heavy vocals should be lower in volume and setting in the background...the heavy reverb will bring out the vocal sound...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hadden View Post
I don't have the song with me right now but as soon as I do I will upload it. its too bad you can't load songs off of ipods onto your computer.
hadden
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#6
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimsi View Post
reverb heavy vocals should be lower in volume and setting in the background...the heavy reverb will bring out the vocal sound...
really? it seems like when i do that the vocals get buried by the reverb.
#7
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #7
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post a sample so we know tones, do you have an eq on your reverb to control freqs ? a plug or hardware? a fantastic vst reverb plug thats free is ambience reverb, has an eq built into it...,
Quote:
Originally Posted by hadden View Post
really? it seems like when i do that the vocals get buried by the reverb.
#8
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #8
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If you want a big reverb - the sound of space - you have to create big spaces in the mix first. It's never going to work in a busy mix.

Quite often I pass reverbs through EQ: high pass filter to knock out the low frequency reverberations which just cause mud and a low pass to cut out the excessive top end you often get with digital reverb. That sometimes lets you add more reverb but you can still hear individual instruments clearly.
#9
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #9
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and if using plugs and some reverbs otb, you have possibility a built in eq to lesson the low end mudd from bouncing all over the place...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgruff View Post
If you want a big reverb - the sound of space - you have to create big spaces in the mix first. It's never going to work in a busy mix.

Quite often I pass reverbs through EQ: high pass filter to knock out the low frequency reverberations which just cause mud and a low pass to cut out the excessive top end you often get with digital reverb. That sometimes lets you add more reverb but you can still hear individual instruments clearly.
hadden
Thread Starter
#10
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #10
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Thread Starter
yeah im gonna upload the song as soon as i can. i never thought about eqing the reverb. I'm using a MX200 and I have just the stock pro tools verb. i don't think i can eq the MX200 and the sound of the pro tools reverb sounds pretty fake ill have to check out that free reverb you mentioned. the mix doesn't have a ton going on in it. most of the song is just 1 guitar, bass, drums. the whole mix is a little eh so when i do upload it any and all constructive criticism/pointers is very welcome. thanks for the help so far.
#11
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #11
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Uad 250?
And good technic is compress reverb bus signal very hard and low cut EQ, right before reverb.
#12
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #12
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I send the vocal to 2 auxes ITB and use mono verbs or delays. That way panning the aux returns L/R keeps the center of the stereo image clearer for the vocals. I'll do 120ms Left and 130ms right for delays and experiment from there.


Via Gearslutz iPhone app
#13
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgruff View Post
If you want a big reverb - the sound of space - you have to create big spaces in the mix first. It's never going to work in a busy mix.

Quite often I pass reverbs through EQ: high pass filter to knock out the low frequency reverberations which just cause mud and a low pass to cut out the excessive top end you often get with digital reverb. That sometimes lets you add more reverb but you can still hear individual instruments clearly.
this...... +1
hadden
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#14
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
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Thread Starter
now that im thinking about it I did cut a lot of the lows and highs off the vocal before i sent it to the reverb cause I was kind of going for a lo-fish sound so I'm not sure if the eq is the problem, maybe i cut too much? i rolled 12db off everything below like 120, made a 4db boost around 1k and rolled like 8db off everything above 6k.
#15
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #15
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reverb heavy vocals

Are you sending to the reverb on a bus and returning it on a separate track? Or just using it as a plug in insert? Returning it on a separate track let's you mess with it apart from the primary sound.
#16
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
  #16
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You need to spend a lot of time with your verb of choice to really understand all of the parameters. EQ is one thing but there are so many factors that need to be just right for a particular song.

Find a spot in your vocal track where you can stop the roll and listen to what the verb is really doing. Hang out there for some time while you work all of the parameters until you really hear what they are doing.

hadden
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#17
17th May 2011
Old 17th May 2011
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
Are you sending to the reverb on a bus and returning it on a separate track? Or just using it as a plug in insert? Returning it on a separate track let's you mess with it apart from the primary sound.
im sending from my tape machine to a mixer. then im using a ART Pro Channel as an insert and the MX200 as an aux send, and then mixing the dry and aux signals into a stereo track come out of the master outs and sending it to protools. i wish my mbox had some aux sends but it doesn't so this is the only way i can use the MX200.
#18
18th May 2011
Old 18th May 2011
  #18
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the eq i was reffering thats included with many plugs and otb units like lexicon mx300 and mx400, alesis quadraverb , is not for the voice's eq, it just targets the freq reverb tail making it brighter or darker, not to alter your vocal tones...
#19
18th May 2011
Old 18th May 2011
  #19
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when placing bigger reverbs arrangement has to be taken into account.

i.e. there has to be room for it in the first place. if there's not, no amount of tweaking will overcome the problems you're experiencing.

hadden
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#20
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
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Thread Starter
i have the track now but for some reason it wont let me attach it to the post. does anyone know why that might be?
hadden
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#21
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
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Thread Starter
oh ok i got it to work. here is the song. any and all criticism is welcome.
Attached Files
File Type: m4a hay kid.m4a (6.28 MB, 249 views)
#22
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #22
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I think I hear what you're trying to do. I like the idea of using reverb to get a kind of flat, emotionally empty, "voodoo" sound but I didn't think the way it was done here worked (or in the Black Angels track you posted either).

The vocals could come up louder in the mix. That would help to make the reverb effect more prominent.. except that you need to alter the wet/dry mix drastically. Cut the reverb length as well. Try experimenting with delay, or delay and reverb, to see if you can do the same kind of thing with a tighter sound.

Another thing I might try is using the effect only on some sections of the song. That could be quite effective. Or not. A cloned vocal track in reverse phase might get you another kind of empty sound. Or not.

If you can make the tracks available would be fun to try a mix.
#23
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #23
Gear addict
this sound is easy to get - set up an aux for reverb, it should be a good plate or spring reverb, not too long tail. the aux should be pre fader.

a little predelay, and then use a saturation/distortion plug on the aux after the reverb.

make sure the vocal is compressed hard before it goes to the verb. if you want, compress the reverb as well, roll off the highs and the lows.

then turn off one of your monitors, fold your mix down to mono, and set the level of the vox to be about even with the rest of the music.

when you turn both monitors back on and go back to stereo, the vox will kind of soft. check it through headphones, see if it sounds right 'up front'. check it in your car. etc.....

-----

on your mix and i mean all of this in the most constructive way- i dont like the way the first guitar is panned hard right, feels disconnected and unbalanced. just put it all in the center, and then the second guitar spread it out in stereo somehow. the vocalist doesn't quite have the pull of either the black angels vocalist, or say - the guy from crystal stilts, but that might be fixed by unmuffling it a little. it needs more presence. i dont think the vox are too soft at all, just needs more highs.

but you are on the right path RE: reverb, and overall a pretty good mix. who are these guys?
#24
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #24
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guitar down, vox up.
and if you could make the guitar a little "smaller" with eq, you'd have more room for the verb yet.

imo and all that.

you're not to far off though.
#25
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #25
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Core's Avatar
 

I think a space echo type of delay would work much better than a reverb for this particular track.
#26
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giraffe View Post
guitar down, vox up.
and if you could make the guitar a little "smaller" with eq, you'd have more room for the verb yet.

imo and all that.

you're not to far off though.

vox up no! vox are fine, just make them a little more airy
hadden
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#27
19th May 2011
Old 19th May 2011
  #27
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Thread Starter
yeah i did cut the highs a little too much, i'm going to go back and do it again with more highs in the vocal. i am thinking about using a delay/spring reverb for a kind of space echo sound. maybe ill run the vocals through my twin.

my band is called The New Highway Hymnal.

also if anyone else has any comments/criticisms on the over all mix of the track they would be very much appreciated. keep in mind the drums were recorded to one track in mono. i personally think they're a little bit low mid heavy so i think im going to cut 120-500 a little bit on them. im also having trouble with the bass. ill repost it when i do the next mix.
#28
20th May 2011
Old 20th May 2011
  #28
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you have some talent for sure and I actualy was hearing what you was trying to accomplish and liked it, it takes pratice on reverbs and what they can and would do...keep up the cool music...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hadden View Post
yeah i did cut the highs a little too much, i'm going to go back and do it again with more highs in the vocal. i am thinking about using a delay/spring reverb for a kind of space echo sound. maybe ill run the vocals through my twin.

my band is called The New Highway Hymnal.

also if anyone else has any comments/criticisms on the over all mix of the track they would be very much appreciated. keep in mind the drums were recorded to one track in mono. i personally think they're a little bit low mid heavy so i think im going to cut 120-500 a little bit on them. im also having trouble with the bass. ill repost it when i do the next mix.
#29
20th May 2011
Old 20th May 2011
  #29
Gear addict
careful messing with the drums low end with eq too much, if you want to rein in the lows use a compressor to just even out the whole kit. let the guitars/vox fill in the highs, you really dont want to pull energy away from the kick snare if anything boost the highs for more definition, then compress.

as for bass, make sure it's compressed correctly, then use eq to find places to boost or cut depending on what you want-but listen to it in the context of the whole mix-don't solo the track.

i dig it though, good work
hadden
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#30
20th May 2011
Old 20th May 2011
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimey1 View Post
careful messing with the drums low end with eq too much, if you want to rein in the lows use a compressor to just even out the whole kit. let the guitars/vox fill in the highs, you really dont want to pull energy away from the kick snare if anything boost the highs for more definition, then compress.

as for bass, make sure it's compressed correctly, then use eq to find places to boost or cut depending on what you want-but listen to it in the context of the whole mix-don't solo the track.

i dig it though, good work
thanks. ill repost the tune when its been remixed a little to see what you guys think.
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