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Old 22nd November 2002
Re: Reverb -- too much, too little...

Originally posted by Mike Jasper
I'd like to hear more about reverb and how you guys use it. My tendency is to use too much. It'll sound fine on individual vocal tracks and the acoustic guitars, but when I combine them in the mix, it's too much.

It seems to me that I hear less reverb in today's music than I have in the past. But that might be because I used to get stoned and listen to Pink Floyd when I was a kid.


You are right about less reverb!!(I think you can either thank or blame Nirvana for that).

The secret to a lot of todays vocals is multitap delays. Sometimes the summation of a couple of multitap delays is much clearer than the decay of a reverb.

A quick trick is to use a pre delay to trigger the reverb. If you want to get even fancier, EQ the pre delay differently than the track which is triggering it. This will give your reverb a different color which may blend better with track.

If you must use reverb on vocals, than the important factors are:
1)Diffusion- use a short diffusion on vocals(imagine someone having a conversation with you at a close range, you don't hear reverb all around right?)Use longer one's on brighter instruments(percussion and brass)
2)Pre delay- gives your vocal a chance to stand out before the reverb tail kicks in. This can be timed to the track or not.
3)Try a reverb return in mono sometimes for vocals- pan it off center(mono listening works great for this) and check it out!!!

You will thank me later!!lol

And finally, learn to mix as a whole not as individual instruments and your mixes will have the cohesiveness you want.