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Reverb on Fleetwood Mac 'Dreams' Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 29th December 2010
Reverb on Fleetwood Mac 'Dreams'

I've always been impressed by the reverb on Fleetwood Mac's song 'Dreams'. Right at the start of the second verse, about the two minute mark and for just one line, all the instruments drop away except bass, drums and Stevie Nick's vocal. It's a great moment, some very smart arrangement/production.

The voice and backing is awash in reverb, lots of it, but it sounds so sweet and even though the reverb is heavy in the mix, it doesn't have any annoying characteristics that reverb can often have, e.g., ping-pong sounds.

Anyone know what reverb was used? Yes, I've searched GS but could not find.

Is something this sweet sounding at all possible to achieve ITB, perhaps with the latest big $$ plugins like the Lexicon PCM, but hopefully something more project-studio budget oriented? I'm in Logic and haven't been able to get there yet with the built-in reverbs or Space Designer -- any suggestions on settings there would be very much appreciated.

Old 30th December 2010
Lives for gear

Not a direct answer to your question, but some good info on the album sessions ...

CLASSIC TRACKS: Fleetwood Mac 'Go Your Own Way'
Old 4th January 2011
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Froombosch's Avatar

In 1976 there where only a few methods available for adding reverb. You had the 140 and 240 plates from EMT and the first digital reverb (the 250) was not available yet. There are also a few spring reverbs available (AKG) at that time. Also some studios had reverb chambers. So I guess this will narrow your search.
Old 5th January 2011
Gear Nut
arasandvolodkas's Avatar

I listened to the song, it sounds like the reverb you are hearing is from the reverse /pedal guitar or whatever it is, might be coming from the amp?
Old 5th January 2011
Lives for gear
they had natural reverb back then too
Old 5th January 2011
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Mike O's Avatar

Courtesy of VintageKing.
Old 5th January 2011
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
So it was the scratch vocal but they kept it. Some ambience was captured by the drum mics. That's interesting.
Old 5th January 2011
Originally Posted by Mike O View Post
Thank you! That was great!

Old 5th January 2011
Lives for gear

The pdf reprint also shows you how incredibly great R-E-P magazine was for we in the 70's who read it each month.
Old 28th June 2018
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iangomes's Avatar
Anybody have a link? The one above is broken :(.
Old 28th June 2018
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clump's Avatar

There's a great book available.....'Making Rumours' by producer Ken Callait......All about the making of the album.

It's a fascinating insight and a great read.
Old 28th June 2018
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The recording was apparently done at Studio 4 at Wally Heider Recording studio.

As per Wiki.

Frank DeMedio built all the studios' custom gear and consoles, using Universal Audio (UA) console components, military grade switches and level controls, and a simple audio path that used one preamp for everything in a channel. He designed the console with 24 channels and an 8-channel monitor and cue—replicated in both the Studio 3 setup in Los Angeles and the remote truck. Monitor speakers were Altec 604-Es with McIntosh 275 tube power amps.

Its dimensions were similar to Heider's Studio 3 in Hollywood—though its control room, instead of being at the end the room, was parallel to Studio C's long side. The walls were kept from being parallel with square gypsum devices that were used as mid-range sound diffusers and absorbers.
According to researchers who later explored studio history for Hyde Street Studios, the first release out of studio C was the Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, which was also the first album they recorded in their hometown. Between 1969 and 1970, many other high-profile acts followed, including Harry Nilsson, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Steve Miller Band. Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded several albums in that room, and named their record, Cosmo's Factory after the "factory" at Studio C (Cosmo's Factory was CCR's rehearsal area.). Engineers and staff of that era also included Bill Halverson, Stephen Barncard, and Glyn Johns
That makes sense when you compare the reverb on Jefferson Airplane songs like White Rabbit and Today to stuff on the Fleetwood Mac album.

They list most of the recordings done in that studio on the bottom of this page. Wally Heider Studios - Wikipedia

By the way if you want to buy one of the actual preamps from that studio you can buy one here, Wally Heider DeMedio API 312 Preamp 1971 Studio 4 | Reverb

Here's the story on the plate reverb. It was an EMT 140, same reverb used on Led Zeppelin's the Song Remains the Same live album, Aerosmith Rocks, and then on to Mick Fleetwood. headweststudio

The plate reverb is now at Exactamundo Studio in Williamsburg as far as I can make out.
Old 28th June 2018
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
The recording was apparently done at Studio 4 at Wally Heider Recording studio.

As per Wiki.
I don't think any mixing was done at Heider. Only tracking. Hence, reverb was done down here in LA at mix time... Producer's Workshop as I remember.

As a further reverb focus....I don't remember seeing it in the "Making Rumors" book or the R-E-P article, but I believe the sends to plate on several tracks were first delayed..... Richard was talking about that somewhere or other....either newly emerging Eventide (well Eventide had been around since the second Nazz album in 69 at least)....or Delta T delays as I remember reading somewhere. That alone... a sort of new procedure (as I only started hearing about really long delays to plates in 1972 started doing it myself then)... would add to some nice reverb results.

Not speaking about reverb, as an aside, the convoluted routing setup for the electric guitar on "Dreams" is one of the most ingenious I ever read about back at the time. Interesting results and I woulda never thought of creating a weird path like that.

Also, as another aside, the last minute decision by Lindsay to overdub an acoustic rhythm guitar in the spots he did was fantastic in terms of adding a very nice secondary dynamics layer for the song.... which as someone mentioned.... really hits you in the face when the acoustic guitar stops and the track is back to lots of air.
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