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50's & 60's Reverb/Ambience
Old 9th November 2009
  #1
50's & 60's Reverb/Ambience

Hi All,
Been fussing with vocal processing lately. Never been a vocalist, but the singer is the song in most cases, so figured I should figure out how to arrive at various vocal sounds.

One sound I'm really intrigued by is the "wet and large but you can't hear the room exactly" sort of sound.

Some examples that come to mind:

Riders on the Storm - Doors
Unchained Melody - Righteous Bros.

Curious about the same idea for instruments as well.

Is it me or do digital reverb plugins just not do this sort of sound? Or is there some other processing to go along with the 'verb, etc.?

Or does maybe the bad parts of room sound just get covered up in these kind of mixes?

Your thoughts?
Old 9th November 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Well, for The Doors, I think they just ran Jim`s voice out into an echo chamber and/or an EMT plate and fed it back onto the tape as they were recording it.

Unless you have a nice room to record in,or can afford to build an echo chamber, I guess you might be better off using convolution reverbs. Some of them sound pretty close to the real thing.
Old 9th November 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

I have been really interested in that reverb sound as well (Jim Morrison's vocal sound in particular). For my band that I'm mixing at the moment, we wanted a reverb along a similar line, but much less prominent and slightly more 'garage' sounding. We got a good result out of an old valve spring reverb. It sounds totally, twangy, unatural and very old school!

Regards
Old 9th November 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 
chess999's Avatar
 

best thing to try is to make your own plate reverb. Plenty of DIY suggestions out there. Nothing quite replicates that sound like the real deal but I would have to say that the UAD EMT 140 plug comes very very close. If you do use other reverb plugs try a simple technique to "warm" them up. Route the wet verb signal out to a tube preamp and pull it back into your DAW, or route the wet signal to a PA/Guitar amp and mic the speaker. Sounds crazy I know but almost anything mic'd sounds more "real" to me even if the fidelity is compromised. Also gives that older darker sound I think your after.
Old 9th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
kludge's Avatar
 

As much as I hate to say "use this plug-in for that vintage sound", try the Redline Reverb. Poke through the presets until you get something in the ballpark of what you want, then start twiddling knobs. It's all well-labeled and easy to understand. You can also run a "colorful" eq after it for further manipulation. Put your reverb on its own fx buss and get vocals to it with a send, rather than trying to do it inline, or you'll pull your hair out messing with wet/dry ratios.
Old 10th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
everythinglouder's Avatar
Bruce Botnick once told me he used to use spring reverbs on Jim's voice. On Riders on the Storm it sounds like that may be what's going on...
Old 10th November 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Johnny Favorite's Avatar
 

Quote:
"wet and large but you can't hear the room exactly"
Vacuum sound poor plate. It`s free, sounds amazing. Just make sure to save your presets.

(( vacuumsound ))
Old 10th November 2009
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by everythinglouder View Post
Bruce Botnick once told me he used to use spring reverbs on Jim's voice. On Riders on the Storm it sounds like that may be what's going on...
Wouldn't be surprised.

I had a Fender Pro Reverb blackface amp that had a spring reverb in it. Granted I used it for guitar, but at about 2-3 on the reverb knob it had that sort of vibe, to be sure.
Old 10th November 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Favorite View Post
Vacuum sound poor plate. It`s free, sounds amazing. Just make sure to save your presets.

(( vacuumsound ))
Thanks much. I'll be trying those out this eve. :-)

Can't believe there's a free reverb plug out there I hadn't found yet! LOL!
Old 10th November 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 
dub3000's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Favorite View Post
Vacuum sound poor plate. It`s free, sounds amazing. Just make sure to save your presets.

(( vacuumsound ))
that's a really great plugin. that, ambience vst and epicverb vst are all very good.
Old 10th November 2009
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dub3000 View Post
that's a really great plugin. that, ambience vst and epicverb vst are all very good.

Just tried Poor Plate. It's another verb that has that oil can sort of "reflectory" sound going on that you just don't hear on classic recordings.

I've tried EQing it out, gating it out, etc.

Tried the same with half a dozen other software verbs. Can not figure out what I'm doing wrong.
Old 10th November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

Maybe consider the actual audio going in? Are you close miccing and dowsing with reverb to sound distant, or distant miccing it and getting the room sound? Band recorded track by track or all at once with bleed between mics?

Regards
Old 10th November 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCummins View Post
Maybe consider the actual audio going in? Are you close miccing and dowsing with reverb to sound distant, or distant miccing it and getting the room sound? Band recorded track by track or all at once with bleed between mics?

Regards
Just basically taken a sung or spoken track and running it through.

But this is something I've noticed with digital reverb used on electric guitar as well.

Closest thing I've heard to a smooth emulation of a spring reverb is the one in Amplitube, on guitar anyway.

It'll sound silly to say this, but the problem is, it always has a "room sound" not a "pro" sound, know what I mean? But in a bad way, like being in a gymnasium or something. Sounds cheap. Sounds unfortunately, like a garage band recorded sound, LOL!

So folks might say, "well then turn the 'verb down". Thing is, it's one of those situations where, if the verb is low enough to not hear the "reflectory" sound, it's also too dry, LOL! Or put another way, about the time is sounds wet enough, the undesirable sound comes in too, LOL!

I'm listening to "Unchained Melody" over on YouTube as I write, it doesn't have that sound, but yet it's wet and sounds like it's in a large ambient space.

In the guitar case it makes playing EVH style a bit unworkable as palm muting doesn't sound right.

Anyway, been looking for "the right reverb" in the box on and off for years.

I'm beginning to think it's either a mixing trick, or digital reverb algorithms just aren't there yet.

I do think source has something to do with it, but not sure what...

I have some tracks that I put together with synthfont... basically all soundfonts. They are *way* to wet, but yet it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem... but with my actual guitars or voice, it's terrible.

Best guess is the soundfonts, by virtue of how each not has been leveled does something different.

That's the frustrating thing... these soundfonts mix fine... my real instruments are always the least "pro" sounding tracks going.

Let's see, here's a guitar example, basically "Fly by Night" with a corny Line 6 inspired name for the track ("Flight") from a few years back, but it's illustrative:

Start Player

The only track that sounds like it is truly "garage band" is the rythm guitar track. The one that wasn't programmed/syntfont, LOL!

(Pisses me off royally, LOL!)

Way to wet everywhere, but yet none of that "room" sound that the "real" track has.

BTW, the lead was programmed, just be clear. Again, a sound font, through way too much verb, but none of that "room reflection sound".

Reverb was Ambience in this case, Vic Plate patch, Dry at 0 db, wet at about -12.5 db, IIRC. (Been 4-5 years).

Anyway, even this isn't as bad as the issue on vocals. Especially when using Bono, or other similar type vocalist tracks as a reference.

(I'm afraid my voice sux so bad, I don't have the courage to post a track of it just yet, LOL!)
Old 10th November 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

Unchained Melody sounds like huge use of plate reverb to me. Listening to the flight with line 6 clip, the problem is that the reverb doesn't have that 'wash' sound, but is merely defined echoes of the original sound, closer to a delay almost. If there is some way of damping the reflections on your reverb program you might want to experiment in just smearing the reverb as much as possible. Definitely look into building a plate reverb!

Regards
Old 10th November 2009
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCummins View Post
Unchained Melody sounds like huge use of plate reverb to me. Listening to the flight with line 6 clip, the problem is that the reverb doesn't have that 'wash' sound, but is merely defined echoes of the original sound, closer to a delay almost. If there is some way of damping the reflections on your reverb program you might want to experiment in just smearing the reverb as much as possible. Definitely look into building a plate reverb!

Regards
Any experience comparing a real plate to an impulse? Are they comparable?
Old 10th November 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

It sounds like you might have to compromise somewhat. Try incorporating a hardware reverb unit before the signal gets into the computer or re-amp the signal later. I sometimes use an Ibanez AD-9 guitar pedal or Fulltone TTE.


You might also want to check out Demeter Amplification and look for the The RVB-1 Real Reverbulator.
Old 10th November 2009
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Any experience comparing a real plate to an impulse? Are they comparable?
I'm afraid not, only comparing my virtual emulations to recordings with real plate reverb. However I have extensively compared my own valve spring reverb with software emulations and found that with software, the idea is there - the basic reverb characteristics are all present and the sound is a decent replica, yet it is obvious to me that it is a collection of algorhthyms and mathmatics designed to bounce the sound around similar to how it behaves in a spring reverb. In the spring reverb, the sound is so natural that it is unmistakeably the 'real deal', but that is not to say I won't use software spring reverbs for convenience from time to time. I imagine this applies to every other type of reverb, be it plate emus, or room sounds.

Regards
Old 10th November 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCummins View Post
I'm afraid not, only comparing my virtual emulations to recordings with real plate reverb. However I have extensively compared my own valve spring reverb with software emulations and found that with software, the idea is there - the basic reverb characteristics are all present and the sound is a decent replica, yet it is obvious to me that it is a collection of algorhthyms and mathmatics designed to bounce the sound around similar to how it behaves in a spring reverb. In the spring reverb, the sound is so natural that it is unmistakeably the 'real deal', but that is not to say I won't use software spring reverbs for convenience from time to time. I imagine this applies to every other type of reverb, be it plate emus, or room sounds.

Regards
Just had an interesting experience. Not sure if I'm convinced yet or not though...

I downloaded this thing called "Ferric", some sort of tape compression/saturation emulator, over at KVR.

Strangely, on it's "classic tape" setting, it seemed to fill in some of the room slaps.

Maybe some part of the old sound is the interaction between old reverbs and old tape machines?

I'm thinking the inherent distortion might have helped fill in the spaces in either time or frequency? Not really sure. Could be completely wrong.

Just a thought.
Old 11th November 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
everythinglouder's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Maybe some part of the old sound is the interaction between old reverbs and old tape machines?
Without a doubt.
Old 11th November 2009
  #20
Gear Addict
 
beanface's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by everythinglouder View Post
Without a doubt.
+1.
Old 11th November 2009
  #21
Gear Addict
 
dub3000's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Just had an interesting experience. Not sure if I'm convinced yet or not though...

I downloaded this thing called "Ferric", some sort of tape compression/saturation emulator, over at KVR.

Strangely, on it's "classic tape" setting, it seemed to fill in some of the room slaps.

Maybe some part of the old sound is the interaction between old reverbs and old tape machines?

I'm thinking the inherent distortion might have helped fill in the spaces in either time or frequency? Not really sure. Could be completely wrong.

Just a thought.
that's actually a tape-delay preset. try playing with the feedback knob if you don't believe me.
Old 11th November 2009
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dub3000 View Post
that's actually a tape-delay preset. try playing with the feedback knob if you don't believe me.
Am I missing something? I don't see a know labeled "feedback"?
Old 13th November 2009
  #23
Hi All,
A little off topic, but had a chance to listen to a patch on the Sony Oxford Reverb today called "Studio" that *doesn't* have that oilcan effect going on.

So when I got the chance I pulled out my DAW (Tracktion)... used it's native reverb in a side buss config and pretty much got the same vibe, which is a deadish studio voiceover sort of sound.

Came down to a small room size and an eq curve that declines from left to right.

Anyway, it was instructional to have a chance to listen to a patch that did something I wanted, then try to recreate it. (I.e. learn just what it is that makes that sound... that sound, LOL!)

Will report back if I ever come up with a convincing large ambience without oil can effect.

(Clearly I'm addicted to this stuff, LOL!)
Old 13th November 2009
  #24
Gear Addict
 
dub3000's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Am I missing something? I don't see a know labeled "feedback"?
oops - got mixed up, thought you were talking about jeroen breebaart's "ferox" plugin (which is a tape simulator that also has a feedback delay path). sorry about the misunderstanding!
Old 14th November 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dub3000 View Post
oops - got mixed up, thought you were talking about jeroen breebaart's "ferox" plugin
Without wanting to derail the topic - as someone who has never used tape but regularly uses Ferox, what do all of the settings mean? The only setting I feel I understand is 'saturation'. 'Hysteresis' is beyond me and I'm not sure of the function 'Record volume' unless it is just a different name for an input trim.

Regards
Old 14th November 2009
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Admiral James T.'s Avatar
 

Don't know that plugin, but in general: Hysteresis is sort of the "curve how the tape gets magnetized". Of course you could read a book about it, but in short it has a little impact on how the tape gets saturated and how the frequencies react, mainly audible on high frequencies. Record volume sounds like input trim, yes.
Old 14th November 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Admiral James T.'s Avatar
 

Plus: a tape not only gets magnetized by the musical information coming from the desk/microphone/whatever, there's a so called pre-magnetation happening by the tape machine itself, sort of like a "carrier frequency" similar to radio frequencies. That's done to push the waveforms so they'll get enough energy to magnetize the tape. This carrier frequency will be taken off when playing back, and it'll also be used on the erase heads. Of course it's much more complicated, and can cause trouble if a machine isn't properly set up. But that's also called hysteresis.
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