Logic Space Designer
Old 25th September 2008
  #1
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Logic Space Designer

I've gotten so much better at recording in general over the years, yet I still struggle with getting a good natural reverb sound from a plugin. I was excited to know Space Designer would come bundled with Logic 8 when I did the switch last year, and while I like it ok, I'm not sure I'm dialing in the right presets and/or tweaking the parameters properly. Now I can't tell if it's just me or is Space Designer not cut out to be as good as I expected.

Truth is, I totally believe in the approach of a good room creating a nice and smooth ambient space, but heck, I don't have the good room, it's a studio apartment which I put through it's paces and get the most of for now, but a natural reverb sound is certainly not it's strong point. Ideally, it would be nice to never have to use a reverb, whether hardware or plugin, and just experiment with acoustic space you actually track in, but oh well. I've tried the bathroom approach, reamping a track and getting a bit of the room, but nah....it just sounded terrible.

So...
I'm throwing it out there...while everything in my mix sounds great, my reverb on vox sucks. I can just hear the reverb and it makes me go eek...!I've tried so many things, like HP and LP on the reverb return, setting a bit of pre-delay, increasing the send but scaling back on the return (someone told me that's a good trick as opposed to thinking the aux return channel should always stay at unity), etc.

I'm basically just trying to achieve a natural openness, think of a nice sparse 70's recording where the mix is thick and dense yet minimal in terms of instrumentation, and all the elements are incredibly well separated yet gel well together, you know that type of recording I'm talking about, we've all heard one at some point and thought, "wow, how did they get that sense of space!?" (Isaac Hayes, Don Cherry, some old psych-rock 70's stuff which names escape me at the moment).

Are there any tips on Space Designer you'd be willing to share, perhaps a preset that you found which worked incredibly well on vox, or even snare, and then tweaked from there?

Thanks!
Old 25th September 2008
  #2
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I'm big on IRs and I make all my own IRs sampled form rooms I go to work in. But I was never able to get Space Designer to sound very good. It just always sounded metallic and 2 dimensional to me for some reason. Some people swear by it, but for me it just doesn't sound right. I use Altiverb and am much happier. But I felt the same as you. I was so excited when space designer came out and was immediately dissapointed when I sued it. It also didn' help that when it first came out it couldn't do stereo sources, but they have since fixed that.
Old 25th September 2008
  #3
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Tip: Ride (automate) the sends. (or return)
Reverbs seem to be very "level-sensitive" to sit in the mix.
Try to put an analog-sounding delay in series before the verb.
Also try using delays with different delay-times and panning etc to blend with the reverb, to make it less "obvious".
Sorry, if these tips are to basic/standard...

Hakan
Old 25th September 2008
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
I was so excited when space designer came out and was immediately dissapointed when I sued it.
I guess you where really, really dissapointed, being so drastic.
Old 25th September 2008
  #5
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well, i lost the lawsuit, hence the disappointment.
Old 25th September 2008
  #6
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YUGA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by krou View Post
I'm basically just trying to achieve a natural openness, think of a nice sparse 70's recording where the mix is thick and dense yet minimal in terms of instrumentation, and all the elements are incredibly well separated yet gel well together, you know that type of recording I'm talking about, we've all heard one at some point and thought, "wow, how did they get that sense of space!?" (Isaac Hayes, Don Cherry, some old psych-rock 70's stuff which names escape me at the moment).
Then you need a viby algo reverb like IK Multimedia's CSR. Convolution reverbs are usually better for simulating actual concert halls etc. and not really suited for that sort of purpose, you can of course get a pretty good result if you have right IRs tho.

Also check out Audio Damage Reverence for vocal and drum plates, it's amazingly good for the price.
Old 25th September 2008
  #7
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duckoff's Avatar
 

have you tried some of the plates ? they can be a bit lighter & definitely have a 70s vibe.
Old 25th September 2008
  #8
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i went the full hog and initially got the powercore compact (which can be had for quite cheap) in which the algorithmic reverbs are amazing and superior to anything native.

i then trialled the VSS3 reverb and the difference is incredible. algorithmic reverb is where it's at since you have so much control and i think you should have 1 incredible EQ and 1 incredible comp and you too should have 1 incredible reverb and don't skimp on it

at some point you need to dig in a learn about reverb and the settings and creating space in your mix. with crappy reverbs or convolution you can end up chasing your tail.

it's complicated to get your head around at first and i still struggle with it but the most important part is to process the reverb by EQ, possibly a compressor before or deesser, etc. i use logic and i often use it's enveloper to soften the attack of the sound going into the reverb which also makes a huge difference.

an example of using the enveloper is after i've gated the toms i want reproduce the tail so i create a reverb that does that
Old 25th September 2008
  #9
Gear maniac
 

Wit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
with crappy reverbs or convolution you can end up chasing your tail.
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