Tips on using reverb and delay
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#1
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
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Tips on using reverb and delay

Most of my mixes sound very dry and I just need some tips on using reverb and delay for rock music.
#2
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Put your Delays and Reverbs on busses (if you knew that already, I'm sorry). It'll save CPU and you'll have much more control over them

Plates will be your new best friend. And stay away from convolution. You'll need a sound that you can sculpt.

A bit of very light ambience on a bus with different things bussed to it at their own levels will help loosen it up and create a more cohesive sound.

If your using Delay instead of Reverb on vocals, stick a Sidechain compressor after it and use the source material as the trigger and then twiddle the attack and release. This will cause the delay to 'duck' out of the way every time the vocal comes in, so you get a really solid thickening sound, but keeping all the intelligibility.
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21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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i understand putting your reverbs and delays on busses. i do this all the time if i want a entire group with the same amount on it and that specific room or plate verb. but most of the time the snare might need a different reverb sound than the bass and the vocals. so this doesn't always work for me but i try to do this when it will work to simplify things. maybe something i'm not getting i dunno, i seem to struggle with this also with saving cpu power and making my chain simple with verbs
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21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
i understand putting your reverbs and delays on busses. i do this all the time if i want a entire group with the same amount on it and that specific room or plate verb. but most of the time the snare might need a different reverb sound than the bass and the vocals. so this doesn't always work for me but i try to do this when it will work to simplify things. maybe something i'm not getting i dunno, i seem to struggle with this also with saving cpu power and making my chain simple with verbs
Other then just normal System optimization you could use your DAW's Reverbs.

I bought the Lexicon bundle for A LOT OF MONEY, but I do still sometimes use Logic's EnVerb on the snare so that it sounds more connected to the rest of the kit. DAW plugs are designed to be very efficient and in the grand scheme of the mix, they sit well too as elements.
#5
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by api2500 View Post
Other then just normal System optimization you could use your DAW's Reverbs.

I bought the Lexicon bundle for A LOT OF MONEY, but I do still sometimes use Logic's EnVerb on the snare so that it sounds more connected to the rest of the kit. DAW plugs are designed to be very efficient and in the grand scheme of the mix, they sit well too as elements.
i also use the lexicon on my bass drum and snare just a little though and i really love it and probably abuse it and use it any chance i see verb needed lol. but yeah the daw verb is a lot easier for sends and making it easier on the cpu like you said. i will give that a try on some things.
#6
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
  #6
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Hey I highly recommend the CLA effects plugin. (Comes in the Chris Lord Alge Signature Series Bundle.)

It is never easy mixing Reverbs and delays on vocals.

With the CLA effects mixing reverbs and delays is fast and efficent.

The plugin gives you access to adjust parameters such as Eq Filter, Distortion, Reverb, Short and Long Delay and Pitch.

You even have a throw button which is an automated knob which let's you delay certain words in a sentence more than others.
(Comes in handy when you only want to delay the last words of a sentence and not the whole line.)

The CLA effects makes getting a professional sound easy to achieve.
I am surprised that there is not more hype around this plugin.
As of right now the CLA effects are a secret weapon for Reverb/Delay effects. The CLA effects can also be used for instruments.

I highly recommend you demo this plugin and let us know what you think.
Good luck.
#7
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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We use external effects -- connected digitally > no taxing of the DAW ... we tweak the settings at the box and automate our sends, etc.
#8
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Plates will be your new best friend. And stay away from convolution. You'll need a sound that you can sculpt.
he he - I find this amusing. A real plate was pretty much a one-trick pony. Some were adjustable, but essentially they were just a plate of metal with transducers attached - not really something you could sculpt the way you can tweak an algorithm. Sure - you can delay and eq the sends etc. But the reality is that a good convolution impulse of a real plate is actually far more sculpt-able than the real thing.

Digital algorithms often need to be tweakable just to get them sounding ok for different source material - some frequencies can expose nasty flutters - something a real plate doesn't suffer from.

Anyway - my advice is to try mono reverb for adding depth. Most digital reverb is hard panned stereo - which can give a nice WIDE effect, but WIDE is very different from DEEP. Especially with plugin reverbs, my advice is to always check how they collapse to mono - because there are some real ugly sounding plugins that are highly embarassing when mono'd. Good hardware doesn't suffer as much from this problem - but always check. With all but the very best hardware (I love my Bricasti M7), digital verbs are often struggling with the resources to produce enough delays to create a smooth reverb. This tends to be more of a problem with drums or sharp transient material. So quite often you need to tweak the parameters for individual sources to hide any ugly resonances.

Some more random advice about reverbs:

If your algorithm gives separate Early Reflections and Reverb models, try isolating them to hear exactly what they are doing. Often I may remove the ER's and just use the Reverb - or the opposite, just use the ER's. If using plugins, you can mix and match - take a good sounding ER and apply a good sounding Reverb tail. Or use a delay plugin instead of ER's. Etc.

You can use a vibrato/flanger/chorus plugin to modulate a static convolution sample or a reverb that lacks modulation (try both send and return - slightly different effects).

Stereo width plugins can be very useful - not just for expanding the width, but for narrowing or mono'ing as required.

With delays - if you time the delay to the tempo, it becomes less obvious (the repeats get covered by drums etc), and you can create a lot of space without it being too obvious it is a delay effect.

Automate - keep it moving.
#9
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
he he - I find this amusing. A real plate was pretty much a one-trick pony. Some were adjustable, but essentially they were just a plate of metal with transducers attached - not really something you could sculpt the way you can tweak an algorithm. Sure - you can delay and eq the sends etc. But the reality is that a good convolution impulse of a real plate is actually far more sculpt-able than the real thing.
Sorry, I meant Plate Plugins, I know about Hardware Plates, but with a plugin plate, you can get a good reverb sound without dictating a type of space, of course, only with a bit of tweaking.
#10
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Automate - keep it moving.
#11
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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For delays I use Samplitude's own or PSP608, PSP84 or hardware.

MY TRICK:-

Seperate buss with delay of choice - put after it Sonalksis UBER compressor and select preset BROKEN - (be careful as this can blow your speakers - you will need to trim) - then add a filter plug-in I use Sonalksis (select LPF crunch) and automate the filter cut-off according to taste. Finally, send whatever you want, I like piano and vocals, just send a little the effect is dramatic. Anything from subtle ambience to big and powerful. The trick is the UBER compressor from Sonalksis - it's a bomb and there's nothing like it. Their "creative pack" is one of the best packs of plugs out there.
#12
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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The problem with effects, is the intelligability of the vox for sure. Verbs not only create a sense of space, they also create distance from the listener, so be careful. What sounds good in a mix can also be bumped up by final mix compression too...may not be a bad idea to set a compressor to flick on/off on the whole mix to test as you go.

Because good reverb ain't cheap or easy, I tend to get better results from delays...

A pretty simple trick that adds depth is to use a stereo delay with different settings for l/r. As an example, a guitar panned to 50% left will get a 1/8 delay on the left channel, and a 1/4 delay on the right. It's a more realistic sound that way. You can also have a master reverb send to blend to.

What you are asking for is hard to describe though, as I find some arrangements sound deep even before effects so there is no general rule for reverb use.
#13
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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I use slapback delays often... helps make a a vocal "bigger."

I find it's best when send fx on vocal feed eachother...


Typical setup for lead vox:
slapback delay (maybe 1/64th note dep on bpm) ---> reverb (plate or hall)
rhythmic (usually 1/8th) delay ---> same reverb (ducked by vocal)
reverb

It really helps thicken the tail to have them feeding eachother.




It usually takes two kinds of reverb to make drums work. First is a relatively small room or chamber... this gets them to "sit" together, and gel a bit. The second is a larger verb (I usually use a hall) to give them the size you want... then I generally put a plate to ring out the snare a bit.


Predelay is important... generally, the shorter the predelay, the more the reverb blends into th original soundsource. So, if you have something you want to wash out into the background, zero predelay and heavy verb... then the opposite for things you want forward... like lead vocal gets longer (I try to keep it in multiples of bpm) predelay and less verb. This works up to a point, but around 50ms or so, you start perceiving the reverb as a delay, so just be aware of that.


Nothing really gives a classic sound to guitars and electric pianos like a good (or sometimes a bad) spring reverb. I likes 'em thick and juicy.


Rhythmic delays can do wonders for thickening things up, getting parts to blend into the background, etc... but when using them on things in the foreground, be careful not to wash them out. Lead vocals usually need some ducking or automation with rhythmic delays if they're gonna be turened up.



Don't forget about the eq portion. Different opinions here, but you can eq the verb, or the send to it.... One example is de-essing the SEND to a vocal verb... keeps all the natural sibilance, lets you have a nice airy ring, and avoids harsh over emphasis in that range. Another is rolling out the lows so you can get a good kick drum sound without a big dark cloud following it.
#14
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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I tend to treat mixing as if I were cooking something.
All your instrument and vocal takes are the ingredients
required to make it all come together and your verb and delay are the herbs/spices that you add a pinch of
to make the mix/meal psycologically pleasing.
However,too much can ruin it!
#15
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
The problem with effects, is the intelligability of the vox for sure...
Can be, for sure, and I agree with most of what you said.

But a measure of the appropriateness of the effect, IMO, is whether it seems to increase intelligibility - not just of words per se (though that does matter) but also of the emotion of the track. Sometimes a slight reduction in one is offset by an increase in the other.

For me, it has to be a net gain or else I try something else. There are enough blurry recordings in the world already.
D K
#16
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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I'm just learning and trying to get better at it but right now my template looks something like this:

My general mix reverbs;
1 Room - Hardware Kurzweil rumor tweaked to taste
1 Hall - AD Eos ( used to be a behringer but it crapped out - surprise, surprisetutt) - tweaked to taste


Specialty or Task Verbs:
1 Plate - Snare - I still like CSR's Plate for this
Another Plate - Vocals - UAD EMT 140 - I like this one to be a little darker so i eq to taste


Delays: 3 - all with my brand new favorite plug - Echoboy - Unfreaking real delay plugin!!!

1 single echo - 1/8 note
1 single echo - 1/2 note
1 stereo - 1/4 - ambient style

Normally pan the 1st two hard right or left depending on the source - I find myself liking to pan these opposite the track a lot..

the stereo one really just gives me a little bit of a sense of dimension

I'm working on it - seems to be getting a little better everyday i work with it....
#17
21st June 2010
Old 21st June 2010
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In a DAW it's no problem having one verb on a bus that can be used differently. Instead of sending each device directly to the reverb bus, send it to another bus which is then routed to the reverb bus. Then you can put any EQ or compression or wahtever on it before it hits the reverb. So you can tailor the reverb response of every instrument even if using a single reverb if you want. That's one of the good sides to have having unlimited tracks and buses, so take advantage of it. Same goes for other types of effects as well.
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