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Artificial Reverb - how to make it react different to soft and loud sounds?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Artificial Reverb - how to make it react different to soft and loud sounds?

As we now from the nature, soft sounds won't get as many early rflections as loud ones. Whispering will often have any. While recording classical music we hear this fenomenon because of the large dynamic differences.

Now the question.

How to configure an artificial reverb to get this as close as possibe to the natural effect? Piano (dynamics - not the instrument) on the recording does not sound as soft as in the nature, so usually reverb effect will create too much and too loud early reflections and too long tale. Is there any way to control it? Automation of the reverb aux comes to my mind, but is there any other way which you use to create it as natural as possible reverb?

Very curious about it!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
I often pre-treat the audio send: EQ, Multiband dynamics, compression, sidechaining are all options to experiment with.

Not sure if this is a direct answer as you were hoping for, but maybe gives some inspiration.
Cheers.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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I'm experimenting now with an expander/gate.
But would like to hear about other's experiances, for inspiration
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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can't see much of a problem as one normally feeds efx devices post fader and hence the amount of efx/artificial reverb/sound room 'naturally' follows the dynamics of the source track.

if for some reason this doesn't do the trick, then setting up a pre fader aux send can help.

if this still isn't enough, one can compress the aux send so efx levels are more consistent.

then there is still the option of automating (as previously mentioned)...

...and finally, one can use a combination of all above mentioned methods, say post fader into efx1 for early reflections, pre fader into efx2 for medium room emulation, compressed (pre or post) into efx3 for large hall setting and maybe an automated send into efx4 for adding yet another flavour of efx (say hall with more modulation or a delay or a pitch shifter for subbass enhancement etc.)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
That's another trick you reminded me of: setting up a short delay, long delay, short reverb, and long reverb. You can mix and match for good vibes (also, sending delays subtlety reverb can help.)
Cheers!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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A compressor on the send to the effect would seem to be intuitively right....so that quieter sounds will allow more reverb to pass, and as the instrumental sound gets louder, you might want progressively less being allowed into the effects send ?

However, it's an "it depends" scenario....!

If you are recording in an already ambient setting, with room reverb present, then the instrument will naturally excite more of the room reflections as it plays louder & becomes more present in the mix (and hence, you'd want progressively (inversely ?) less to go to the effects send when this happens.

If you're talking about adding effects to a spot mic, to make the spotted instrument sink into the fabric of an ensemble (eg orchestra) then you would want less of it coming in via the reverb chain when it's playing loudly, as it would be reaching the main pair unaided when loud.

So you might want to clamp down (limit) its send level to the main mix (and to the reverb also) when it gets louder, and to boost it when it becomes less audible.

However, I'd tend to ride this manually, rather than leaving it to automation, or to preset thresholds, to do the work for you.

If you're talking about a dry studio scenario, then you probably would have to accentuate/exaggerate the above sends situation, as you'll be lacking any natural room/hall ambience assistance ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Interesting point of view.

My feeling is pretty much the opposite, that artificial reverbs and delays usually follow the dynamics of the source too closely. When a source gets very, very quiet, I don't want to hear it bone dry. And when I get caught by surprise with something crazy loud, I don't want the fx to compound the problem.

So I usually compress the sends a little, and I ride the returns a lot.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Interesting point of view.

My feeling is pretty much the opposite, that artificial reverbs and delays usually follow the dynamics of the source too closely. When a source gets very, very quiet, I don't want to hear it bone dry. And when I get caught by surprise with something crazy loud, I don't want the fx to compound the problem.

So I usually compress the sends a little, and I ride the returns a lot.
Yes I think that's the action I'm hoping for too...so that the spot (or 'object of reverb reception') is never exposed as being either overly dry nor overly wet, and thus doctoring or massaging the send levels to achieve that impression is crucial.

Setting attacks and releases appropriately would be be highly relevant in achieving this card trick/sleight of hand...but more as a safety net adjunct to doing most of this manually, rather than via automation
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
(...) I usually compress the sends a little, and I ride the returns a lot.
this, except that i prefer to ride the sends and not the returns: for me, it's easier to go with the tempo of the dry tracks so i don't need to adjust to how the reverb might ebb up and down. and results imo feel a bit smoother but i'll do whatever does the trick (one if which is compressing the efx returns a bit which of course yields different results than the compressing the sends)...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
I've been playing around with the inverse of what Brent described: leaving the mains at a consistent level (relatively speaking), and putting compression on the reverb send which *is sidechained to a critical spot*, eg. soprano. The spot tends to have the spikiest overall level level, since they are both relatively near the source and are often directional, so when that soloist gets loud, the spot all of a sudden starts to poke out of the mains... this is desirable aesthetically, but my (psychoacoustic) impression of hearing a strong crescendo live and in-person is that the ear kinda clamps down on 'peripheral sounds' (verb etc) as something of a protective measure, letting me focus on just the one thing that got loud. By sidechaining my loud bits to the reverb it simulates that phenomenon, and the effect is cool, it's a sort of 'cue' that the loud (in absolute/dbfs) tutti sections should be interpreted psychologically as really-and-truly loud, since the ear recognizes "that feeling".

A nifty side bonus is that by clamping down on the reverb during the spot swell, my overall levels are somewhat more controllable!

This is surely not at all an original thought. I hear this effect (or something less crude than this?) all the time on the Abbey Road classical-crossover type stuff.

EDIT: Also Floating Earth, on their modern repertoire & ensembles! What I wouldn't give to sit down with THOSE guys and talk about their FX chain in post...

EDIT: OK One more reason I like the sends-compress approach: PP-mF sections often sound lovely and swimmy when washed in some reverb.... but from mF to FFF a proportionally great of reverb can be less like swimming and more like dynamite fishing - a cacaphonous mess!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this, except that i prefer to ride the sends and not the returns...
If it's automated multitrack mixing in the studio, I do too. But I do quite a bit of live-broadcast stuff (and just recently, a bit of FOH in clubs) and for that, the right hand pretty much lives on the returns.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Very interesting! Thanks!

Actually I thought that expander will work like the automation (and more less nature), so taming or better not exagerate the loud unnatural verb reflections on the softer sources and give louder ones while the music gets louder.
But I need to rething my point of view it look, since all of you are advicing just the opposite
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stradivariusz View Post
Very interesting! Thanks!

Actually I thought that expander will work like the automation (and more less nature), so taming or better not exagerate the loud unnatural verb reflections on the softer sources and give louder ones while the music gets louder.
But I need to rething my point of view it look, since all of you are advicing just the opposite
It's all subjective, really. Please yourself. But those of us who do this for money get paid to please others, and those others tend to be "conventional."
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If it's automated multitrack mixing in the studio, I do too. But I do quite a bit of live-broadcast stuff (and just recently, a bit of FOH in clubs) and for that, the right hand pretty much lives on the returns.
this - or a dca on the sends and assign it to the right hand side...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this - or a dca on the sends and assign it to the right hand side...
Easy for you to say, Mr. Digital. :-)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Stradivariusz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's all subjective, really. Please yourself. But those of us who do this for money get paid to please others, and those others tend to be "conventional."
Being unconventional was not my intension at all
Just wish to find a right way and since I started myself to look for the answers and found I was not getting there yet, I thought to ask question.
Thanks a lot!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Easy for you to say, Mr. Digital. :-)
digital bliss... - in any case, it's gotta be on the right hand side!


(i've been setting up my dynamics on my left and the efx devices on my right side for ages - seriously, i get confused if i'm forced to work the other way round!)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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I send to reverb and reverse field on return
I also compress very mildly
This is an old Decca trick.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
I send to reverb and reverse field on return
I also compress very mildly
This is an old Decca trick.
Could you please outline the 'reverse field' aspect Roger....do you suggest you swap left/right on effects return feed, and then mildly compress that same feed ?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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Yes Dear Boy
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
I send to reverb and reverse field on return
I also compress very mildly
This is an old Decca trick.
Why didn't I think about it
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Yes Dear Boy
Just wondering if this would apply equally to reverb on spot mics...or is it largely used on reverb applied to a whole mix ?

With spots, one is generally trying to fudge or cloud the precise positioning/location aspect somewhat....and this approach could help, although I'd still tend to want the reverb return to appear in the same quadrant the spotted instrument occupies...rather than the opposite side of the stage ?

Somewhat different for a whole mix, where such field reversal would help to give a sense of filling the soundstage the way reverb does naturally in a large space.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
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Only the whole mix
I heard Wilkie do it on The Art of the Prima Donna and was hooked
Its great spatial technique

Roger
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Maybe not a super natural sound but a hard panned mono reverb sounds great with an oppositely panned mono spot mic. In a dense mix this technique really gives you a sense of space without crowding the center of the soundfield .
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
Visconti achieved this on the vocals for "Heroes" by setting gates to open to extra distance microphones at certain thresholds - easy enough to achieve with gates on sends - or use Eventide's TVerb which is a plugin emulation of Visconti's "heroes" method.

Last edited by Scragend; 2 weeks ago at 12:34 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Only the whole mix
I heard Wilkie do it on The Art of the Prima Donna and was hooked
Its great spatial technique

Roger
I agree, it sounds that way with an AB main pair plus Omni outrigger/flankers...the opposite wall bounce. Wilkie was just replicating real concert hall nature
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
I adapted an old Motown technique mentioned by Bob Olhsson in another thread: I use 2 identical (ITB) reverbs and send (or pan) the left channel to the right on the first reverb and the right to the left on the second. I experiment with routing, panning, compression/EQ and width/panning of the returns.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I agree, it sounds that way with an AB main pair plus Omni outrigger/flankers...the opposite wall bounce. Wilkie was just replicating real concert hall nature
Yes!!! Works marvelous!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Just wondering if this would apply equally to reverb on spot mics...or is it largely used on reverb applied to a whole mix ?

With spots, one is generally trying to fudge or cloud the precise positioning/location aspect somewhat...
i almost never apply reverb to the whole mix; maybe to the mains but then much different reverbs than to spots or ambis - and i'm using spots not to blur but to solidify the image...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
An Aphex 612 Expander will do this.
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