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Adding Reverb on Classical Recording, Done not Done?
View Poll Results: Add (Artificial-) Reverb to 2 track Classical Music?
Adding Reverb is ok
52 Votes - 91.23%
NO, maintain the original recording
5 Votes - 8.77%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

Old 22nd April 2008
  #1
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Gaston69's Avatar
Adding Reverb on Classical Recording, Done not Done?

Recently I am recording live classical music concerts in small rooms (big living rooms for example) with an audience which causes that the recordings are very dry i.e. almost no reverb.

Is it done to add reverb or shall I maintain the original sound?
Old 22nd April 2008
  #2
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adamcal's Avatar
 

I have no problems adding reverb when I need too, I do whatever it takes to make it sound the way I and/or the client wants.

people will hear the cd over and over again, thats what they remember, long after they have forgotten the actual event.

of course you have to do it well, so that sounds real. if its spotted as fake, thats worse than not doing it at all.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #3
Incrementally add verb to your mix - maybe try smaller room programs to closer match the venue and try a tiny amount of pre-delay as it helps separate verb from the source, giving better over-all definition.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #4
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Last resort for me - only if you can't get the natural reverb by mic. positioning.

But you need to have a very natural reverb just to "open up the walls" so that it does not sound artificial - and don't use too much.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #5
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Corran's Avatar
 

As long as it still sounds natural...go for it thumbsup
Old 22nd April 2008
  #6
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Gaston69's Avatar
What type of effect processors do you use?

I do own a Lexicon 300 and a Logic Pro Convolution Reverb.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #7
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bongo's Avatar
Absolutely!

Isn't it your job to make the recording sound as good as possible?

I'll do what I have to do to get there.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #8
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Corran's Avatar
 

I use software reverb. I would like a dedicated reverb processor but the funds aren't there right now.

The ones I have are pretty good, but I wouldn't overdo it with them because they start sounding unnatural pretty quick. So I just "augment" the reverb already in the recording a little.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #9
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jnorman's Avatar
tommy makes a good point. when recording in a small, dry space, it can often sound very odd to come back and put large hall reverb on it - it generally works better to somewhat match the reverb to the actual space you recorded, so some kind of chamber, or large room, or maybe a warm plate might work best for you in this kind of situation.
Old 22nd April 2008
  #10
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Remoteness's Avatar
There werre very good points made in this thread.

IMO, if your mics could not capture the proper room tone adding (artificial) reverb is okay in my book.

For me it's about extending the sound of the space a bit (but only) when necessary. Just do not over do it.

Finding and modifying similar reverb setting as the room the instruments were recorded in is the key to opening up the sound. Long reverb times in short room doesn't work for me. It must be as natural sounding as possible.
Old 23rd April 2008
  #11
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just.sounds's Avatar
I use Altiverb. But be carefull Altiverb behaves like "outriggers" If you want a more stereo reverb you have to make impulse responses for it with a less spacing between the mics.

It sounds so much more natural to my ears than synthetic reverb. Although the quantec yardstick or the bricasti should be very natural either. But i can't comment on them.
Old 23rd April 2008
  #12
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Sound Sorcerer's Avatar
 

IMO the original natural reverberation of a concert hall should be used & achieved by the positioning of microphones. A natural reverb is always best. Just ask the guys at the Capitol Records building

Old 24th April 2008
  #13
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Melodioso's Avatar
 

Hello Gaston,

I had the same issue on a recording recently, and used a modified IR from Altiverb to give some depth to the tracks. I didn't overdo it, but just a little bit can already make a big difference. Check this thread, there's a mp3 excerpt to listen to
Old 24th April 2008
  #14
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d_fu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodioso View Post
I had the same issue on a recording recently, and used a modified IR from Altiverb to give some depth to the tracks.
Same here, my recordings from Italy need the reverb... Nothing wrong with extra reverb, IMO.
Old 24th April 2008
  #15
There's nothing wrong with it, but I would steadfastly deny it if a customer asked... kind of like being a Communist, eh?
Old 24th April 2008
  #16
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dbssound1's Avatar
 

Using a natural sounding convolution reverb can be very useful when the hall doesn't live up to your expectations. I use Altiverb when I have to add verb. The nicest thing about that is if I walk into a situation where the hall isn't that great, I can put the performers in one of the great halls I have recorded in.
Old 24th April 2008
  #17
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Omicron_9's Avatar
 

Nothing wrong with it at all. Especially if you're using a Bricasti M7. thumbsup

Regards,
-0.9
Old 24th April 2008
  #18
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bongo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omicron_9 View Post
Nothing wrong with it at all. Especially if you're using a Bricasti M7. thumbsup

Regards,
-0.9
Or,
Attached Thumbnails
Adding Reverb on Classical Recording, Done not Done?-yardsick-.jpg  
Old 25th April 2008
  #19
In general, I prefer to use the actual room sound when possible. I do sometimes add reverb, but one needs to do it very carefully. Remember that the players weren't hearing the added reverberation when performing, and if the room had actually sounded like that, they might have played very differently. So there's a danger of misrepresenting the performers' artistic intent. Now if the recorded sound is simply too dry because you put the mics too close, then the thing to do is try to match the room acoustic. If the result sounds as though it might have been heard at a more distant point in that same room, then you're on the right track. But I've heard less careful "sweetening" that made the recording sound beautiful, and the players sound stupid. We don't want to be doing that!

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 25th April 2008
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
In general, ...there's a danger of misrepresenting the performers' artistic intent...

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
misrepresenting the performers' artistic intent is great motivation to crank up the verb...
Old 25th April 2008
  #21
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Sound Sorcerer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy_asakawa View Post
misrepresenting the performers' artistic intent is great motivation to crank up the verb...
Good Point Tommy... Why not then just use sound replacer (plugin) & add reverb to the (fake) tracks... I mean for the sakes of "good sound" someone's deciding to add unnatural reverb to a classic recording? Do you think the musicians are going to be happy with that? Jeeezzz!!!
Old 25th April 2008
  #22
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Sorcerer View Post
IMO the original natural reverberation of a concert hall should be used & achieved by the positioning of microphones. A natural reverb is always best. Just ask the guys at the Capitol Records building

Ummmm......

are you serious?

or are you referring to the reverb chambers at Capitol?

Old 25th April 2008
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Sound Sorcerer's Avatar
 

My point is:
Classic Reverb chambers are REAL rev chambers, or real Plate Rev rooms, etc... Classical music trained musicians would certainly be offended if their performance is altered by electronic means. It's like using an autotune plugin to correct the pitch on a singer's performance... Maybe Britny Spears wouldn't care much... but care to ask Diamanda Galas if she would be okay using auto-tune's!
tutt
Old 25th April 2008
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Sorcerer View Post
My point is:
Classic Reverb chambers are REAL rev chambers, or real Plate Rev rooms, etc... Classical music trained musicians would certainly be offended if their performance is altered by electronic means. It's like using an autotune plugin to correct the pitch on a singer's performance... Maybe Britny Spears wouldn't care much... but care to ask Diamanda Galas if she would be okay using auto-tune's!
tutt
Oh come on, lets get back to the real world.
If the recording is done in a less than optimal space or the space needs a little help, then it is absolutely appropriate to apply some reverb. The best reverb is the reverb that you don't even realize wasn't at the session. I mix and master about 75 classical projects a year and some of the best sounding ones are ones that I added reverb. As far as the players go, I'm sure they get just about as offended as when I edit out all their wrong notes......
WRT pitch correction, don't fool your self. I've corrected pitch on some of the greatest classical singers in the last 20 years. I did one record for Philips about 10 years ago with arguably the most famous soprano of the time where I manually edited in about 400 re-pitched notes on a large orchestral session (Long before autotune). It happens all the time and it's not the practice that's bad, it's when it is poorly executed.
All the best,
Mark
Old 25th April 2008
  #25
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3rd&4thT's Avatar
 

It can be difficult putting a room on top of another room. If the early reflections conflict between the original recording and your superimposed reverb, they'll chatter at each other; before you even get to the decay you have a problem.

I can think of two alternatives that are worth exploring - 1) to add a touch of appropriate reverb by itself with no additional early reflections, keeping the original room intact and avoiding chatter, or 2) using a light setting of something like the Waves Shuffler, to bring in more of the room's air without changing the room's size or decay time.

In fact, you could argue that air is more important than length of decay. Some of the most reverberant classical recordings ever were made by Decca/London in rooms with short decay times. They just had enormous air, and a lot of it out of phase.

But there's no one-size-fits-all prescription for this one. Experimentation will give you the answer.

And those live echo chambers like the one under the parking lot at Capitol Records can be misused like any other tool.

I happen not to like the chamber behind Tony Bennett's Columbia's, even if he did. Recording in a church, then adding a delayed chamber on top of it I find a bit of a muchness.

3rd&4thT
Old 25th April 2008
  #26
Gear Nut
 
Sound Sorcerer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Oh come on, lets get back to the real world.
If the recording is done in a less than optimal space or the space needs a little help, then it is absolutely appropriate to apply some reverb. The best reverb is the reverb that you don't even realize wasn't at the session. I mix and master about 75 classical projects a year and some of the best sounding ones are ones that I added reverb. As far as the players go, I'm sure they get just about as offended as when I edit out all their wrong notes......
WRT pitch correction, don't fool your self. I've corrected pitch on some of the greatest classical singers in the last 20 years. I did one record for Philips about 10 years ago with arguably the most famous soprano of the time where I manually edited in about 400 re-pitched notes on a large orchestral session (Long before autotune). It happens all the time and it's not the practice that's bad, it's when it is poorly executed.
All the best,
Mark
Good for you...
Old 25th April 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
 
Sound Sorcerer's Avatar
 

I worked at the conservatory of Music for seven years & and all musicians found it shameful to get digitally altered...
I'm happy to be an exception...
dfegad
Old 25th April 2008
  #28
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
IMHO, the most important point of all this is whether it sounds realistic or not.

Whatever it takes to make it sound as sweet as possible without it sounding artificial or contrived should be the real concern or criteria.
Old 25th April 2008
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Melodioso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Sorcerer View Post
My point is:
Classic Reverb chambers are REAL rev chambers, or real Plate Rev rooms, etc... Classical music trained musicians would certainly be offended if their performance is altered by electronic means. It's like using an autotune plugin to correct the pitch on a singer's performance... Maybe Britny Spears wouldn't care much... but care to ask Diamanda Galas if she would be okay using auto-tune's!
tutt
You probably have no idea what is being done on world-class CD release of top classical musicians... Funny. And I'm not talking of autotune.
Old 25th April 2008
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound Sorcerer View Post
... would certainly be offended if their performance is altered by electronic means...
You mean... like setting up a microphone that's hooked up to a tape deck? Like that?
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