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My friend and enemy: mr. Reverb
Old 3rd April 2011
  #1
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My friend and enemy: mr. Reverb

I used to like a lot reverb. On everything in different doses.
I used to like long tales and not care for e/r .
I used to like the highs of reverb cutting.

Then I saw the light.

My tales become shorter and shorter, e/r start to appear, the beast is born.
Reverb loses both high and lows and become in the midlow range, if it has to be.

Dry mixes sound better everywhere.

Then again I started to like middle settings.

What are your preferences in reverb?

I usually tend to like plates and use them on voice, snare and toms, that's it. Sometimes in a solo guitar.

What about other user? I know what magic reverb does but I find that if you can create that magic without reverb the song sounds better. A little can help here and there but...

Which settings are usual in modern productions?
I use to have tales in about 300 to 600 ms depending on song...

How about you?

Is reverb an essential tool in your arsenal?
Which is your to-go reverb in plug ins and rack?

Thank you!
Old 3rd April 2011
  #2
Quote:
What are your preferences in reverb?
it varies on the sound I'm going for and the placement of that instrument.
I use reverb and a series of short delays to place instrument sin the stereo field, so i dont have a preferred setting. Ill use whats needed for that track and song.

Quote:
Is reverb an essential tool in your arsenal?
Which is your to-go reverb in plug ins and rack?
Dont have a go to. I have about 7 software ones and 2 hardware ones tha i use when seen fit.
Cj
Old 3rd April 2011
  #3
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XKAudio's Avatar
 

something i like to listen for besides the obvious change in distance when adding reverb is to think about how its changing the attack and release of the sound... and i always try to balance long and short sounds in my mix... gives it separation....

for example if i have some sustained sounds that are close up and some short drums, adding reverb to the drums will increase their release and therefore have less separation from the longer sounds....it could be desirable... just something i try to keep in mind.

my 2cent .

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Old 3rd April 2011
  #4
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tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

I totally understand where u are at. When I first started it was "reverb up everything". Now I try and keep it subtle.

I'm a big fan of 90's rock. Always will be. But my one big gripe is the lack of reverb on vocals. The mix will have a nice sense of space, and then the vocal will drop dry as hell. Always bothers me. Usually, as the song progresses, they add reverb at some point, but lots of those songs started with no vocal verb.

I have several good friends out in Nashville and they are always telling me how the trend down there is to keep everything reverb free. More oftren then not they record live ambience. I'm sure not everyone is Nash is like this, but its a growing trend for sure. When I listen to stuff coming out of Nashville, I'm hearing some reverb, but its pretty minimal.

The best thing about reverb is how it helps to sit things in the mix, but the downside is a lack of clarity. Its about balance.

I'm a big fan of plates for vocals and guitars. I like rooms and halls on drums and percussion. I will use springs on electric guitars. I pretty much taylor the verb tail or decay time to fit the tempo of the song. I'm not using very large spaces. Nothing bigger then a medium size. I roll the lows to 250Hz and the highs somewhere between 8k and 15k. Reverbs that have lots of highs just don't sound real to me.

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Old 3rd April 2011
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
When needs it's usually subtle in my world, or TOTALLY obvious. I like sorter and neutral sounds in reverb. Often I'll only use one and anything in the mix that seems to need a little reverb goes to that one reverb in varying amounts. I think that helps things sound cohesive and not separated by each thing having it's OWN reverb.
Old 4th April 2011
  #6
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Often I'll only use one and anything in the mix that seems to need a little reverb goes to that one reverb in varying amounts.
Ah yes, space....the final frontier.

I am generally a one and done guy as well. My lead vocals may get some special treatment, including a verb as an insert that has the wet/dry mix automated for effect.
Old 4th April 2011
  #7
Reverb is such a dangerous thing, it's so nice yet also it's such a horrible cheat quick fix to fill out the sound, I can't help myself and keep on doing it, and it's also horribly overused to make things sound "haunting" when they're not really.

Listening to records that I love I've found they use reverb with a pretty light touch, with maybe one or two heavy elements at specific points because it tends to mush out and push that further back, and instead depend more on the songwriting, playing and arrangement to fill out the sound. Up to a point drier = better.

One other thing I've noticed is a lot use delay instead of reverb, and when you want that big sound but not the mush it's often so much better to hit up a delay which is much easier to control and pull forwards or backwards and still keeps the punch up front, so that's the area I've been playing around with more recently, and leaving reverb purely to add in some controlled "room" sound instead.
Old 4th April 2011
  #8
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Mr. Reverb and Mr. Microphone are gonna have a grudge match. Lock the cage and only the winner walks away. Could get ugly.
Old 4th April 2011
  #9
007
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
One other thing I've noticed is a lot use delay instead of reverb, and when you want that big sound but not the mush it's often so much better to hit up a delay which is much easier to control and pull forwards or backwards and still keeps the punch up front, so that's the area I've been playing around with more recently, and leaving reverb purely to add in some controlled "room" sound instead.
+ 1.

I've also opted for short delays lately with some degree of success.
Reverb is lovely but admittedly, still something I struggle with - to get it right - after many years. I often listen to some records and sit there simply in awe of that 'sense of space' they achieve without hearing the smudge of modern ITB reverbs, ie: 60's-70's psych rock stuff, Scott Walker, Serge Gainsbourg, Os Mutantes, Lee Hazelwood, to name but a few.

Many wil say that the room + plate and spring reverbs that were used in those days are mostly responsible for that gooey and lush verb that you feel more than hear. I wouldn't disagree one bit, and while I'd love to have a Bricasti or better yet, an EMT Plate, I have to do the best with what I have (Logic + Space Designer).

For styles where excessive reverb is actually part of the sound/aesthetic, the job gets much easier (ie: Jesus and Mary Chain, etc..), but for a nice vintage reverb vibe, it's still a tough one to get right, but I keep trying. I have the Space Designer with the Bricasti impulses yet still have a hard time getting things to feel right, lol....so any advice is of course welcome.
Old 4th April 2011
  #10
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

I keep trying reverb, and keep coming back to delays.

20-40ms and no feedback, instant depth and space.

90-200ms and little to no feedback, instant energy.

400-800ms and tons of feedback, instant lush.

Timed just ahead of the beat, instant push.

Timed just behind the beat, instant groove.

Eq the return to control placement and blend.

Some guys just seem to 'get' reverb; I am jealous of all of you. Meanwhile, I seem to be able to get what I need from simple repeats. C'est la vie!


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 4th April 2011
  #11
007
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I keep trying reverb, and keep coming back to delays.

20-40ms and no feedback, instant depth and space.

90-200ms and little to no feedback, instant energy.

400-800ms and tons of feedback, instant lush.

Timed just ahead of the beat, instant push.

Timed just behind the beat, instant groove.

Eq the return to control placement and blend.

Some guys just seem to 'get' reverb; I am jealous of all of you.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Brilliant, I'll give that a shot.
Thanks Gregory!
Old 4th April 2011
  #12
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OceanMan's Avatar
 

I like to put a reverb high passed at 200 and low passed at around 5k for toms, and the only long tail verbs I use nowadays are on certain types of vocals.
Old 4th April 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 

I use delay, echo and small room settings for ambience but I just recorded an artist who liked her tune with lots of reverb. It goes against my tastes in general but keep the artist satisfied!!!!
Old 4th April 2011
  #14
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souldeep's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I keep trying reverb, and keep coming back to delays.

20-40ms and no feedback, instant depth and space.

90-200ms and little to no feedback, instant energy.

400-800ms and tons of feedback, instant lush.

Timed just ahead of the beat, instant push.

Timed just behind the beat, instant groove.

Eq the return to control placement and blend.

Some guys just seem to 'get' reverb; I am jealous of all of you. Meanwhile, I seem to be able to get what I need from simple repeats. C'est la vie!


Gregory Scott - ubk

I'll try it. Thank you Greg.
Old 4th April 2011
  #15
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I keep trying reverb, and keep coming back to delays.
See? Here we go again.

Why can't we have a simple discussion of our beloved reverbs without all of the darned 'reverb snobs' coming out of the woodwork?

Seriously, though..........if I have two verbs up I'm bound to have four or five different delays. I tend to use much shorter ones, although I sure do love a very long timed and automated delay to stretch a phrase out with some drama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Reverb is such a dangerous thing.................................I can't help myself and keep on doing it
I swear that I'll only use it on weekends.......but I find myself sneaking into the studio in the odd hours of the night.
Old 4th April 2011
  #16
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Guitar Zero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
...Timed just ahead of the beat, instant push...
Gregory Scott - ubk
OK please explain this method. How do you time a delay ahead of the beat? I know, I'm dense.
Old 4th April 2011
  #17
So much of the music I love is actually fairly sparse, by modern standards anyway, but is sounds a lot more dense than it is because reverb is providing a lot of the backdrop. When the composition is sparse, you can have substantial amounts of verb and it doesn't get messy. Not necessarily on everything, but often it's on a lot of stuff. If you watch the Dark Side of the Moon Classic Albums DVD, listen to the enormous plate reverb on the vocals on some of those songs. Its huge, but it doesn't sound messy and in fact it's pretty easy to not even notice it. But if it was removed it would be a massive difference.

Or, on Money I guess it is, when the reverb is completely turned off for a bit, it really shows how huge an amount of reverb is being used, and it has to be artificial verb, not natural space, in order to turn it off like that.

The Stones multi-tracks that someone posted a while back were just drenched in ambience, but the songs don't really sound like everything is dripping wet at all. There's just a lot more room in them than modern records, and those tracks that are there are probably often more frequency constrained than is common today, particularly drums and bass, which would also leave a lot more space down there in that reverb density land to fill without getting messy.
Old 4th April 2011
  #18
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Reverb = Herbs.
Delay = Spices.

(The Two can be equally Interchangeable).

The Space around the Notes is as Important as The Notes Themselves. The Interaction and Resonance of The Room Secretly Shapes the Feel, The Tempo and The Outcome of the Music.

Songs are like Dishes from a Kitchen where there are only a few MasterChefs. Taste is accumulated by Preparing and Tasting A LOT of Dishes. Some are born with more aptitude, feel or Luck than others, while for those others, it comes down to Failures, Hard Work and Practice.

Plate, Spring, Chamber, Digital. Convolution? 12-Bit? 16-Bit? Different Rules apply for each. It takes Years to Master the Art of Knowing "Which one?" And "How Much is Enough?" Each Genre of Music has it's own Unwritten Laws. Whole Genres of Music are BUILT around Reverb.
Old 4th April 2011
  #19
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Avening's Avatar
 

It's funny ... way back in audio school, a very wise (and very old school) guest instructor told my little class of 5 or 6 students that "reverb separates the men from the boys". It's actually amazing how accurate that statement was!
Old 4th April 2011
  #20
Hate reverb these days. Cannot get it to do what I want, especially on drums. No matter what settings or how much sculpting I do out of the mid range it just seems to come back as a mess. So no delays or verbs for drums. Vocals I like it just a tad but used very sparingly.
Old 4th April 2011
  #21
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Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 

Man... some reverb haters in this thread. Personally, I like to get nekkid and just roll around in reverb.

Big, thick, stinky trails, and lots of 'em. It's like I have a fever, and the only prescription is...


... more reverb.
Old 4th April 2011
  #22
I realized I also hate reverb, unless it's my M7. I sent it out for a repair and had to use all the 'other' reverbs. They all sound like crap next to the M7.

Give me M7 or give me dry.
Old 4th April 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 
rjacobsen's Avatar
 

Great info, thanks for sharing everyone.

rjacobsen
Old 4th April 2011
  #24
Something I'm doing now is to have separate sends for each element being sent to the verb or delay. In other words if I have 4 tacks of drums being sent to a verb,I'll send each tack to it's own send track and then feed the verb from that send track only. That way you can EQ or compress the send without touching the reverb. Looks messy but allows for all the control you need to sculpt the send to the verb.
Old 4th April 2011
  #25
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I've all but abandoned digital reverbs in my mixing these days. I usually track a room mic as well as a close mic with most sources. Sometimes they go to separate tracks, sometimes (if I'm pretty sure what I'm after) they get bussed to 1 track. I'll often leave the room mics in the same place place for the whole tracking session and position the overdubbing players in the room so they appear where I want them in the L/R, front/back image.

I also set up a chamber where-ever I'm working. The chamber doesn't have to be anything special. I've used live rooms, bathrooms, stairways, hallways, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't really matter as long as it sounds good. A little chamber reverb will go a long way toward putting all the separate eliminates of the mix in the same physical space. I find it much easier to get a good sound quickly than I ever did with digital boxes. A real space sounds real right off the bat.

Other than room mics and chambers I have a home made plate reverb, a spring and a big collection of delays that get tons of use.

I'll echo what's already been said about arrangement being the biggest key to successful reverb use. If the arrangement is busy a little reverb goes a long way (small rooms and delays will work best). If there's no space to hear the reverb it just ends up clouding the mix.

A good trick is to start with the reverb return faders all the way down, inch them up until you can just barely hear it and then pull them back down a few db. Also, once you've got the reverb and delays where you want them take a lunch or dinner break. When you come back the they'll be much louder than they seemed while you were dialling them in. Turn them down again.
Old 6th April 2011
  #26
BTW, also look at those Weathervane tracks that are available for mixing. I played around with one of the tunes. When I heard the raw tracks I was like, dang Bubba, that's a LOT of reverb and delay. Some folks would say that delay isn't as messy so it's not as big a problem, but this isn't subtle delay, it's monster sized tape delay. Lots of the tracks are just drenched in ambience.

But, when you hear the mixed song, it sounds really nice and the ambience isn't nearly as obvious. Just bringing up the tracks for a basic balance makes for a fairly nice mix before doing anything.
Old 6th April 2011
  #27
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Hricco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
Man... some reverb haters in this thread. Personally, I like to get nekkid and just roll around in reverb.

Big, thick, stinky trails, and lots of 'em. It's like I have a fever, and the only prescription is...


... more reverb.

That's just priceless

Damn near spit coffee all over my desk heh
Old 6th April 2011
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayskura View Post
I used to like a lot reverb. On everything in different doses.
I used to like long tales and not care for e/r .
I used to like the highs of reverb cutting.

Then I saw the light.

My tales become shorter and shorter, e/r start to appear, the beast is born.
Reverb loses both high and lows and become in the midlow range, if it has to be.

Dry mixes sound better everywhere.

Then again I started to like middle settings.

What are your preferences in reverb?

I usually tend to like plates and use them on voice, snare and toms, that's it. Sometimes in a solo guitar.

What about other user? I know what magic reverb does but I find that if you can create that magic without reverb the song sounds better. A little can help here and there but...

Which settings are usual in modern productions?
I use to have tales in about 300 to 600 ms depending on song...

How about you?

Is reverb an essential tool in your arsenal?
Which is your to-go reverb in plug ins and rack?

Thank you!
In the late 70s/early 80s, I was sick of the 'dry 70s sound' -- but good reverb was hard to come by in a lot of the low end studios I worked at in the early 80s. Some places had a small plate or two and maybe a spring. A small handful had decent digital 'verbs.

After I got my own digital reverb in the second half of the 80s, I went nuts for a while. Everything was bat cave. But then everyone else did, too, as digital reverbs became commonplace. So, paradoxically, even as I got more digital FX options and better reverbs specifically, I found myself using less and less and finding myself thinking, Yeah, that hip dry, 70s sound...

heh


But I've tried to not box myself into a fixed approach, trying to be more responsive to the needs of a given track. Of course, that can make for some ambiance jumps between tracks as you move from track to track -- and that can make for challenges as you try to knit them together into an album project. (You all remember albums, eh? heh )
Old 6th April 2011
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Not too much verb here...
Little on snare & tom
Vox.
thats it really...

unlesss im goin for that dark distant you're about to die sound, if thats the case i run it to the ground..
Old 6th April 2011
  #30
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kid deluxe's Avatar
 

Mr Reverb and Mrs Automation are very good friends..
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