Friday, 17 February 2012

Reverb Q&A

I promised I'd put some of the questions I've received into the blog so here we go.
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Reverb Questions:

How much is too much? Also any info you have on "distinctive" reverb sounds and tricks of the trade to get/avoid them would be great, so i don't end up sounding like Bon Jovi circa 1988! Thanks!

I think the two questions are one in the same. Generally speaking if you load your mix with a ton of reverb and other FX, you are stamping a big “I MADE THIS IN (add your date)!”

Let the song and performances shine through. Listen to Dylan or early Beatles.

Also if you want to have a specific type of reverb from a song you like, try and research what piece of equipment was used. You can get plug in versions of classic reverb units like those made by Lexicon, Eventide, EMT etc.

Which software plug ins would you recommend, if any?

I’ll start by saying I’m not endorsed by any company so these are my opinion and mine only.
Lexicon PCM

Lexicon PCM:
Really great if a little pricey. It comes with a bunch of presets to get you started. Lexicon is probably the best known studio reverb. Almost every large studio worth its salt has one.

TL Space/Altiverb:
Two convolution reverbs. That is they recreate real spaces. You can put your bathroom reverb into these units. Alternatively you can pick up tons of files online from people who have already done the hard work! And for no cost.
TL Space

Your default reverb:
Don’t dismiss the reverbs that came packaged with your software. They are usually quite workable and low on processing power.

What are some good techniques for mixing wet and dry signals?

If you check out the reverb part of the blog you’ll see how you should hook up the reverb in your mix. The classic “wet/dry” is replaced by a much easier auxiliary set up.

If you want something 100% covered in reverb though, the best bet is to put a reverb set to 100% wet on that track.

Why does Pro Tools reverb sound sh**e?

Back to my previous question, no DAW reverb is out and out bad. It just mightn’t be suited to what you want it for. I still use the on board Pro Tools reverb. It’s particularly interesting when you set the reverb time to infinite!

When do I not use Reverb?

There’s no hard and fast rules but generally speaking if you want a really close sounding vocal, I’m thinking about some Glen Hansard/Frames tunes for example, you would use very little or no reverb.

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