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Not enough reverb Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 15th July 2014
  #1
Gear Addict
 
takka360's Avatar
 

Not enough reverb

I never seem to have enough verb in my mixes.
I mostly send everything to a room verb then other stuff like guitars and keys etc onto a plate and sometimes delay but when I listen to my final mix they seem too dry. I try not too push verb too much to the point of nasty so I really don't know where to go from here.
Old 15th July 2014
  #2
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I lot of times this issue is not enough pre-delay on the reverb. You turn the reverb up and it starts to sound muddy and starts getting in the way of your mix cause there are too many early reflections. Try experimenting with different pre-delay lengths and turn the reverb up and see if you can find something you like.

Good Luck!
Old 15th July 2014
  #3
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takka360 View Post
I never seem to have enough verb in my mixes.
I mostly send everything to a room verb then other stuff like guitars and keys etc onto a plate and sometimes delay but when I listen to my final mix they seem too dry. I try not too push verb too much to the point of nasty so I really don't know where to go from here.
Hmmm.. you feel you don't have enough verb, but you try not too push verb too much... that's odd. Why not just push it more, so there IS more? Add more verb to your instruments, and then see how the entire mix sounds.

A few things to keep in mind:

Great verbs vs. subpar verbs won't make or break a tune, but they can and will make a difference.

How a verb sounds is largely dictated by what is feeding it, and how the source is compressed/eq-d/etc.

Sometimes when you add verb to something, it may sound like too much when that instrument is solo-d, but in the context of the mix, it really isn't too much.

Cheers.
Old 16th July 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takka360 View Post
I never seem to have enough verb in my mixes.
..so I really don't know where to go from here.
Add some
Old 16th July 2014
  #5
Have you tried a larger sounding reverb like a hall instead of a room?
Old 16th July 2014
  #6
Old 16th July 2014
  #7
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brojaysimpson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Korbin View Post
I lot of times this issue is not enough pre-delay on the reverb. You turn the reverb up and it starts to sound muddy and starts getting in the way of your mix cause there are too many early reflections. Try experimenting with different pre-delay lengths and turn the reverb up and see if you can find something you like.

Good Luck!
Couldn't you just reverb then high-pass if you're coming across muddy reverb? Not challenging what you're saying, but genuinely curious. I too am a newbie!
Old 16th July 2014
  #8
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There are many factors with a "muddy reverb" And it's really common with reverb or a dry signal when mixing and hearing muddiness to "brighten" the components. This to a certain extent is fine but usually ends up in a very harsh sounding mix. Lots of mid-high and high frequencies. This happens a lot actually. People start mixing...kick sounds good snare sounds good bass sounds good bring in the guitars and suddenly the snare isn't heard very well...so, after battling back and fourth raising the level of the snare then the guitar then the snare again and so on...people usually try adding a ton of top end.

Back to the reverb. The muddy sound isn't necessarily from too much low or mid range, it's often from things occupying the same space and time which is why using a stereo reverb spread wide while the vocal is occupying the center and delaying the verb a bit can give the voice and other instruments their own space to live in within the mix.

When I say pre-delay, this isn't something audible as a fully separate reflection...we are talking milliseconds. Enough that the reverb and instruments can have a little breathing room but not enough that our ear can recognize it as a new transient.

This is how all those great 80s reverbs are. I always listened to those tunes and would think man I can hear sooooo much reverb, but the voice doesn't sound completely wet. pre-delay is the solution for being able to saturate the mix with a bit more reverb without it over taking the actual recording.

I will agree though that messing with the high pass and low pass filter on the reverb will/can also help with this. If the low pass is set at too high a frequency...the reverb becomes very apparent and all the hiss or "S" sounding words strike the reverb harder than the rest of the frequencies. If that's the sound you like then of course go nuts! That's what music is all about...if it sounds right do it...even if you shouldn't...I think there is a Sloan song that goes something like that haha.
Old 16th July 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
at 0% wet, there is only the input signal. at 50% there is half input signal and half reverb output. at 100% there is only the reverb output. so at 100% all your hearing is the reverb, you dont even hear the original signal flow.
Old 16th July 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inversound View Post
at 0% wet, there is only the input signal. at 50% there is half input signal and half reverb output. at 100% there is only the reverb output. so at 100% all your hearing is the reverb, you dont even hear the original signal flow.
That's correct but it's also missing a lot of information which makes it a bit incorrect.

While yes 100% wet = no original dry signal and all reverb...that is only what the reverb is doing. It doesn't take into account any routing at all.

If he is putting a reverb on an entire mix as I believe he is (as well as individual tracks)...I doubt he is using multiple instances of the exact same reverb with the exact same settings on every single track.

He is likely sending every track to a buss and placing the reverb plug-in (assuming it's a plug-in) on that buss or aux fader. In this situation you certainly want the reverb to be 100% wet as all the dry original signal is still there in the mix. You would then just adjust the buss or aux fader containing the reverb plug-in to mix your wet and dry rather than doing it in the plug in.
Old 16th July 2014
  #11
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takka360's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Korbin View Post
That's correct but it's also missing a lot of information which makes it a bit incorrect.

While yes 100% wet = no original dry signal and all reverb...that is only what the reverb is doing. It doesn't take into account any routing at all.

If he is putting a reverb on an entire mix as I believe he is (as well as individual tracks)...I doubt he is using multiple instances of the exact same reverb with the exact same settings on every single track.

He is likely sending every track to a buss and placing the reverb plug-in (assuming it's a plug-in) on that buss or aux fader. In this situation you certainly want the reverb to be 100% wet as all the dry original signal is still there in the mix. You would then just adjust the buss or aux fader containing the reverb plug-in to mix your wet and dry rather than doing it in the plug in.
Thanks for the reply.Yes I am doing just as you said bus-aux wise.This is a great forum people are very helpful here.
Old 24th July 2014
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takka360 View Post
I never seem to have enough verb in my mixes.
I mostly send everything to a room verb then other stuff like guitars and keys etc onto a plate and sometimes delay but when I listen to my final mix they seem too dry. I try not too push verb too much to the point of nasty so I really don't know where to go from here.
In the 20 years that I've been engineering, producing and composing, so much has changed - with regard to the implementation of reverb (the decrease in the use of hardware reverbs and the increase in adoption of plugin reverbs and the sheer breadth of options available in plugin reverbs out there from bedroom studio owners to large commercial operations).

Even in the early 90's, before plugins became mass-market, owning a hardware reverb unit that offered really high quality results was often only available to prospering commercial studios. I've often thought the reason reverb was slathered over everything during the 80's and early 90's was a status symbol in itself: a track bathed in luxurious reverb. Those involved in music production knew that units like the Lexicon 480L (costing as much as a decent car during the late 80's / early 90's) were exorbitantly expensive and the liberal use of reverb was almost a way of saying "hear how expensively produced this track sounds!"

The quantum leap in reverb quality in plugin form over the last 8 years, combined with a precipitous drop in the cost of accessing such a wide range of different plugins, from convolution reverb, digital reverb and latterly modelled reverbs based on the legacy "mythical beasts" of reverb units has been a blessing, but it's also meant that many engineers/producers etc don't learn to use these plugins with the same rigour as they might have done when people were lucky if they had one reasonable sounding reverb or multi fx piece of hardware.

Outside of dynamic processing plugins such as compressors, I've probably spent more of my income on reverb plugins than any other kind of plugin. Yet the reality is that using a miasma of reverb plugins on a track can sometimes lead to less cohesive results than sticking, or limiting oneself to one or two reverb plugins.

To my mind, the function of reverb has subtly changed because many genres of music these days aren't employing the old habit of reverb-ing everything to death; it's more about creating subtle spaces, and using reverb or ambience to "bed" sound sources into the material.

All aspects of music production are to some degree subjective in terms of taste, but I've learnt a couple of things that help me to make the most of reverb as an effect. One of these I've already mentioned - I tend not to use, at the absolute most, any more than three different "types" of reverb for the "meat & potatoes" of a track. As an example I might use three separate busses with a short, transparent, unobtrusive ambience reverb, and, say, a tempo-synced plate, and finally a lusher, hall or chamber reverb: basically three reverbs with short, medium and long-ish tails.

I've often found this works extremely well, because each track can have one reverb or a combination of all three with varying amounts of send level.

Using "in your face" dense reverb I've often found useful if it is applied sparingly, and I often automate it to add definitions in different parts of a track. Our ears quickly get used to the spaces that sounds inhabit, and an interactive rather than static use of prominent reverb can often render results that keep the ear interested.

The reverb on a lot of music is often not even noticeable, and many tracks that sound "dry" sound positively arid once reverbs like ambience or short plates are removed. I tend to think about reverb in the main as "glue" that helps the sonic integrity of a track. Something else that is commonly done is to gate reverbs on vocals so they immediately cease once the vocal has stopped. This can help to give depth without clutter, and maybe because it suits the style of music I write, I often use this technique.

It isn't difficult to put a long plate or hall reverb on everything for the entire duration of the track in question, but the old cliche of "less is more" particularly comes into play when employing reverb. A very simple example would be to have a fairly dry verse, and then add a lush reverb for the chorus - a really common technique. This is almost like creating rooms within tracks at different points, almost as though one is moving from one space to another and can enhance the sense of reverb really "hitting" and be used as a highlight, rather than something that stays unchanging throughout the track.

I'm sorry if the post sounds a bit counter-intuitive, as it sounds as though I'm suggesting less reverb, where I guess what I'm trying to say is that reverb can become more dynamic if used in a more transient manner.

Last edited by Miffytherabbit; 24th July 2014 at 05:23 AM.. Reason: Addendum.
Old 24th July 2014
  #13
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miffytherabbit View Post
In the 20 years....

...in a more transient manner.
Excellent post! Especially the first three paragraphs.
Old 24th July 2014
  #14
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kite's Avatar
Miffytherabbit, thank you for your great post!

Some great producers/mixers don't use reverb at all. In my understanding Daniel Lanois uses lot of delays (particularly in vocals). In an interview he said he used delays on Bob Dylans, Bonos and Neil Youngs vocal mixes ect.

Is that true? And why? He mentioned slap delay.
Old 24th July 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kite View Post
said he used delays on Bob Dylans, Bonos and Neil Youngs vocal mixes ect.
He uses delay on them probably because they are such bad singers he probably uses a doubling effect to fatten them up and to make their perpetual flatness less apparent. No offense to those 3 guys because they have written some amazing songs and have had great influence on the rock music industry, but they are very below average singers technically.
Old 24th July 2014
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miffytherabbit View Post
In the 20 years that I've been engineering, producing and composing, so much has changed - with regard to the implementation of reverb (the decrease in the use of hardware reverbs and the increase in adoption of plugin reverbs and the sheer breadth of options available in plugin reverbs out there from bedroom studio owners to large commercial operations).

Even in the early 90's, before plugins became mass-market, owning a hardware reverb unit that offered really high quality results was often only available to prospering commercial studios. I've often thought the reason reverb was slathered over everything during the 80's and early 90's was a status symbol in itself: a track bathed in luxurious reverb. Those involved in music production knew that units like the Lexicon 480L (costing as much as a decent car during the late 80's / early 90's) were exorbitantly expensive and the liberal use of reverb was almost a way of saying "hear how expensively produced this track sounds!"

The quantum leap in reverb quality in plugin form over the last 8 years, combined with a precipitous drop in the cost of accessing such a wide range of different plugins, from convolution reverb, digital reverb and latterly modelled reverbs based on the legacy "mythical beasts" of reverb units has been a blessing, but it's also meant that many engineers/producers etc don't learn to use these plugins with the same rigour as they might have done when people were lucky if they had one reasonable sounding reverb or multi fx piece of hardware.

Outside of dynamic processing plugins such as compressors, I've probably spent more of my income on reverb plugins than any other kind of plugin. Yet the reality is that using a miasma of reverb plugins on a track can sometimes lead to less cohesive results than sticking, or limiting oneself to one or two reverb plugins.

To my mind, the function of reverb has subtly changed because many genres of music these days aren't employing the old habit of reverb-ing everything to death; it's more about creating subtle spaces, and using reverb or ambience to "bed" sound sources into the material.

All aspects of music production are to some degree subjective in terms of taste, but I've learnt a couple of things that help me to make the most of reverb as an effect. One of these I've already mentioned - I tend not to use, at the absolute most, any more than three different "types" of reverb for the "meat & potatoes" of a track. As an example I might use three separate busses with a short, transparent, unobtrusive ambience reverb, and, say, a tempo-synced plate, and finally a lusher, hall or chamber reverb: basically three reverbs with short, medium and long-ish tails.

I've often found this works extremely well, because each track can have one reverb or a combination of all three with varying amounts of send level.

Using "in your face" dense reverb I've often found useful if it is applied sparingly, and I often automate it to add definitions in different parts of a track. Our ears quickly get used to the spaces that sounds inhabit, and an interactive rather than static use of prominent reverb can often render results that keep the ear interested.

The reverb on a lot of music is often not even noticeable, and many tracks that sound "dry" sound positively arid once reverbs like ambience or short plates are removed. I tend to think about reverb in the main as "glue" that helps the sonic integrity of a track. Something else that is commonly done is to gate reverbs on vocals so they immediately cease once the vocal has stopped. This can help to give depth without clutter, and maybe because it suits the style of music I write, I often use this technique.

It isn't difficult to put a long plate or hall reverb on everything for the entire duration of the track in question, but the old cliche of "less is more" particularly comes into play when employing reverb. A very simple example would be to have a fairly dry verse, and then add a lush reverb for the chorus - a really common technique. This is almost like creating rooms within tracks at different points, almost as though one is moving from one space to another and can enhance the sense of reverb really "hitting" and be used as a highlight, rather than something that stays unchanging throughout the track.

I'm sorry if the post sounds a bit counter-intuitive, as it sounds as though I'm suggesting less reverb, where I guess what I'm trying to say is that reverb can become more dynamic if used in a more transient manner.
You can't really compare reverb techniques from tape era 20 years ago to today. Modern Digital has way better frequency responses and dynamic range which inherently provides more depth due to extended bandwidths, and naturally so. As a result it requires less artificial spatial enhancement.

One of the things I hear with most noob mixes is they slam everything to the hilt with tape plugins and limiters which puts everything right in your face and then they cry about how their mixes have no spacial element. So then they flood everything with reverb to place everything back in the mix.

It's pretty simple, use dynamics plugins sparingly and you will find you don't need nearly as much reverb.
Old 24th July 2014
  #17
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themadboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
You can't really compare reverb techniques from tape era 20 years ago to today. Modern Digital has way better frequency responses and dynamic range which inherently provides more depth due to extended bandwidths, and naturally so. As a result it requires less artificial spatial enhancement.

One of the things I hear with most noob mixes is they slam everything to the hilt with tape plugins and limiters which puts everything right in your face and then they cry about how their mixes have no spacial element. So then they flood everything with reverb to place everything back in the mix.

It's pretty simple, use dynamics plugins sparingly and you will find you don't need nearly as much reverb.
I completely agree regarding reverb technique from twenty years ago. Also, your observations about the urge to "slam" dynamics processors on everything made me chuckle - I did this myself as a "Noob" with hardware in the early 90's.

I think I guess I was expressing my amazement as to just how much reverb application, proliferation & technique has moved on so far. I for one never envisaged, back in 1990-1993 when the computers we used during my sound engineering training were Atari ST's running Notator, that twenty years on, such high quality processing would be available from, for example, a handheld device such as an iPad or an inexpensive desktop.

Also, I'm often gob-smacked when I hear music from back then when Lexicon was Emperor, as to just how much reverb was slathered on certain kinds of music; particularly stuff like ballads.
Old 24th July 2014
  #18
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themadboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kite View Post
Miffytherabbit, thank you for your great post!

Some great producers/mixers don't use reverb at all. In my understanding Daniel Lanois uses lot of delays (particularly in vocals). In an interview he said he used delays on Bob Dylans, Bonos and Neil Youngs vocal mixes ect.

Is that true? And why? He mentioned slap delay.
Falling At Your Feet - the Daniel Lanois and Bono single is, I feel, a wonderfully produced track (and just a beautiful song too). I don't have it to hand to listen to at the moment, but I think you are right - "In my understanding Daniel Lanois uses lot of delays (particularly in vocals)" - this Lanois track sticks in my head because the vocals are so intelligible and it certainly sounds as though there is little or no reverb - especially on Bono's verses. You've reminded me as to just what a talented musical polymath Daniel Lanois is, both as musician and producer.

I think a lot of his music has remained timeless. Perhaps that is due to his particular production approaches.
Old 24th July 2014
  #19
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themadboy's Avatar
 

I've just realised I'm posting under my old profile. I am on a different device (an old iPad I haven't used for ages) and I had created a new profile a little while back, because I'd forgotten my old email login and couldn't remember my Gearslutz password either. I will log out and use my Miffytabbit account from now on - my apologies to staff and other posters.
Old 24th July 2014
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Sorry about that. I will ask the moderators to deactivate my themadboy profile.
Old 25th July 2014
  #21
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Reverb

Some great ideas were given on reverb......will try them all, since I'm a newbie in school trying to set up some good mixes. DAG
Old 25th July 2014
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miffytherabbit View Post
A very simple example would be to have a fairly dry verse, and then add a lush reverb for the chorus - a really common technique.
This is golden! I had forgotten about this, and it's just what I needed for a song I'm working on at the moment! Thanks
Old 30th July 2014
  #23
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Not Enough Reverb

Quote:
Originally Posted by takka360 View Post
How much Reverb is too much?
Old 30th July 2014
  #24
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need more verb

I'm just starting out mixing and i believe that the music i make needs more reverb however really don't want to over power tote sound and vibe.
Old 30th July 2014
  #25
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Reverb in a mix

I often hear from guitarists that’s just started playing or from people who just play at home that they need to use reverb or else the sound is too dull. And I’m not trying to sound like a mister “know-it-all” here…. it took me years to understand why reverb can be bad for your tone and I’m still no purist. Butl, what I always try to stress is: as a rule, you shouldn’t use reverb unless you’re using it as a specific effect.

When you plug your guitar straight into your amp’s clean channel, you’ll hear the direct signal from your guitar. When playing live, this setup should always be your basis… your fundament (whether or not you use the clean or gain channel). You’ll hear every nuance of your amp, your guitar’s pickups and your picking style. Any effects you add will colour that basic tone and add character and dynamics to your sound. When you play live, no matter how big the stage or venue, your sound will echo throughout the hall and reverberate naturally. To get to the point, – when you add reverb (spring or pedal/multi effect) you’ll be adding reverb on top of reverb. What’s being naturally blended with the ambience in the hall is already drenched in reverb. This is overkill and in most cases, your loyal fans won’t hear the neuances in the fantastic tone you’ve spent hours creating.
Old 30th July 2014
  #26
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Try messing with the kind of reverbs there are, predelay, depth, Dry/wet. Mess with all those until you're satisfied
Old 30th July 2014
  #27
Gear Head
 

Lately I've been finding the best reverb is a delay.

I'm using short reverbs to put the sources (vocals, guitars, keys, drums, etc) in a room and to give some length and space to the drums. If I need more than a hint of space on something non-percussive I reach for a delay and an EQ.

Obviously, if I'm trying to hear a specific reverb effect, I'll use a reverb. But if i'm looking for general ambience aside from "placing a source in a room" I'm grabbing a delay and EQing it.
Old 31st July 2014
  #28
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Santiago's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kite View Post
Miffytherabbit, thank you for your great post!

Some great producers/mixers don't use reverb at all. In my understanding Daniel Lanois uses lot of delays (particularly in vocals). In an interview he said he used delays on Bob Dylans, Bonos and Neil Youngs vocal mixes ect.

Is that true? And why? He mentioned slap delay.
I think he feels that reverb eats the track up and occupies too much space.

His delays are often relatively dark, with some modulation, and sometimes sligthly pitched up or down. The give a similar feeling of space as reverb, but take up far less space.

I like reverb, but I have to say his approach is quite addictive. Once you take reverb out of a mix and substitute it with delays it's difficult to go back. I started out by substituting the reverb in my mixes with delay and somehow everything sounded better (disclaimer: this may be because my use of reverb was sub-optimal!) - so I've stuck to it ever since.

I suppose a good way of using reverbs is to similarly modulate them, restrict their bandwidth, etc... at some point i should try to get back into reverb.

Here are some examples of the Lanois "vocal delay rather than reverb" type of approach:







(The last one not produced by Lanois, but by his frequent collaborator Mark Howard)
Old 31st July 2014
  #29
Gear Guru
I would try as the above poster said mix up your reverb and play with delay. Try an early reflexion verb with a room or hall just for kicks and see what you come up with, once you like the sound try messing with delay. Then try turning things off, that'll help you hear what the effects are doing, and how much you really need. It may surprise you...There are plenty of good free reverbs and delays you can play with. Try some of the "Free plug in" threads!
Old 31st July 2014
  #30
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

This record could be renamed "Delay School."

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