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Which reverb trends were prominent in the early nineties? Multi-Effects Processors (HW)
Old 13th May 2016
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Darius1's Avatar

Which reverb trends were prominent in the early nineties?

Still a 480? Or natural room reverb? Plate?

Old 14th May 2016
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Drumsound's Avatar
Old 14th May 2016
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no way minimal, at least in pop. the early 90's were basically a slightly darker and more realistic version of the 80's. I think the 480 played a big role, actually a huge role as it was the main and most popular digital reverb at the time. Gated rooms were still huge so was the rmx.

Listen to early Mariah Carey albums, tons of verb. TONS. Same with whitney. Due to new jack swing and Minneapolis funk there was a heavy emphasis on huge but tight snare verbs the gated type.

Just in general I think decades work more half to half. Meaning 1992 is closer to 1988 than 1988 is to 1982. So to me the 80's was sort of split into two sound wise early 80's which was it's own thing, then you had like the second half of the 80s which blended into the early 90's until like 95 or 96 or so when things started to get super dry with the rising popularity of r&b and hip hop. Again, using Mariah carey as a reference her stuff was very reverby until the album with "always be my baby" and "one sweet day" which weren't "dry" per se but had darker and tighter verbs. That can be reflected in rock also. Look at something mainstream like the "black album" or RHCP "bssm" or Aerosmith "get a grip" tons of huge drums but tight gated verbs... same with Grunge. "ten" and "dirt" and "core" all had a ton of huge tight verbs. Then when you get into the 90's decade split (1995ish) something like Soundgarden or Pearl Jam or Alice In Chains got pretty dry all of a sudden. hell soungarden "superunknown" (which I love btw) has a very 70's room sort of vibe. Same with rage against the machine and all pop. Big hits like seal "kiss from a rose" also again started to get very dark and less reverb and more "space" as opposed to "hyper space". Mid 90's alternative rock was pretty dry in general, as well as r&b and hip hop and subsequently pop.

So that's why you can't really say the early 90's were anything but SUPER WET like the late 80's it was just better refined I think mainly because of the 480L and how at the time it was the most high fidelity thing there was.
Old 14th May 2016
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music STYLES changed a lot, as welk as music format, the use of verb changed naturally in accordance with the changing times, luckily in a more tasteful direction. a dryish sound is always better, but we had saccharine productions that required a ton of verb, Mariah being a good example (not my cup of tea...). i like the sound of artificial verb summed in analog, it sounds more organic. a great period for music history aficionados.
Old 14th May 2016
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Drumsound's Avatar
You're right on pop records. I don't listen to much pop. On rock records of that time there was a lot less reverb than the decade before. I was pretty into things by produced by Mitchel Froom and Tchad Blake at that time, and the reverb was minimal. Even Brendan O'brien seemed to be using more room micing than artificial verb. The Weezer Blue record has NO reverb what so ever and only has drum room mics on "Only in Dreams." Nevermind is fairly dry, Cake records don't have a ton of obvious reverb. Those are the things I instantly think of for that era.
Old 15th May 2016
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we're talking about the EARLY 90's here and even in rock it was super big just a bit darker and more room ish. In conjunction with nice rooms, a lot of it has to do with the 480, just admit it haha.

RHCP, Black Album, Aerosmith, GNR Illusion 1/2 are all very big and wet albums. hell even in prog with Dream Theater Awake and that was 94 so the tail end of the "early nineties"

pearl jam - ten = wet
stp - core = wet
aic - dirt = wet
pantera = cfh/vdop = wet
hell even slayer suddenly used reverb with seasons in the abyss.
Old 15th May 2016
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Drumsound's Avatar
Fine, I'm wrong. The 90s had totally wet reverbs and I don't know ****.
Old 15th May 2016
Gear Addict

the trends and the movements. the culture and subcultures.

Whatever became pop prominent in the late nineties was already a movement in the early nineties. Sure the establishment continued their big reverb in the early nineties, but the subcultures of minimal reverb would eventually spread throughout the lame-pop establishment.

There was actually quite an antagonism going on throughout those decades. It swang back and forth like a pendulum, and it cycles back and forth between romanticism and classism. People sort of disliked the period before it, 80's/70's, 90's/80's. These decades made strong statements followed by strong reactions.

However you want to exactly break down the periods, they tended to oppose each other on these matters. Once you factor in the punk influence into the nineties, you can see how attitudes could become strongly militant. Here you began to really hear some of the anti-digital ethic.

In the "90's," there was a trend against big reverb and that sort of production value.

The specifics? Well whatever...some bands got big enough, then they could use a plate.
Old 15th May 2016
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nednerd's Avatar

To my knowledge the 480L was the pro standard for artificial reverb from the late 80s onwards and through the 90s.
The style and usage of it changed as musical styles evolved.
Surely real plates were still used but I doubt they defined the reverb sound of that period.
The 480 has plate programs and they were used.
Old 15th May 2016
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drezz's Avatar
it's a question without one kind of answer.

depends entirely on the style of music we're talknig about.

pop and rock is one thing, but the really exciting thing thing to happen in the 90s that blew everything apart was the arrival in force of electronic dance music.

guns and roses might've still been harping on with the big snare reverb, but the reall innovation and the thing that was gonna change the world was happening in bedrooms all over the place with inexpensive alesis midiverbs, yamaha spx90's and the dodgy old spring tank out of that old guitar amp..............

as ever horses for courses.
Old 15th May 2016
One of the finest examples of early 90's FX uses in pop music IMO would be Crazy by Seal.. loads of automated FX going around the vocal making it sound pretty modern to this day:

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