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Thread: question about using reverb for stereo image

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    question about using reverb for stereo image

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    Alright, so I'm new, and I'm trying to figure out how to use effects for the life of me.

    What I want to do is simple. I just want to understand how to create a stereo image and understand how I should be using my reverb plug in.

    So, panning is left to right. And what is front to back? That would have to do with reverb right? Or is it delay? Or are reverb and delay the same thing.

    Let me use an example of what I need to figure out:

    I have a rock song recorded. It has vox, acoustic guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums.

    So, I want the vocals kind of up front, the guitars to the sides and the keyboards and drums in there too. I want this to be a straight forward common sound, nothing special at all.

    I am using send effects, so first of all, would I want a different reverb for each instrument? Like a reverb set up for the drums seperate from the vox? Or do I just use the same settings, with a different amount of reverb on the 2 different parts??

    Now, what happens if I want the vocals to sound very reverberated, do I need to add even MORE reverb to the rest of the tracks than I would have done before??

    Help me out on this, I've played around for a long time and the more verb I add the more muddy everything sounds, and if I don't add it...it sounds like it needs it, I just need to understand some basics and then can figure it out from there!

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    It would kind of help out a bit if you told us what software you are using. Personally (for example), I use Cubase. So, depending on how many different reverbs you would want to use, load up that many FX tracks, and set them all 100% wet, which I believe is the general rule when using send effects, because you control them differently. Then, to determine how much or how little reverb you want on a track, just set it with the send level on each track.

    Now, as far as a stereo image is concerned, keep the vox around center unless it's backup vox, and use the pan to set everything else around that. I generally keep the bass near center as well, but keyboards I don't ever do so someone else needs to help me on that one. Once you get it panned out, adjust the reverb to your liking and that should (hopefully) take care of it for you.

    I hope someone else comes along and chimes in on this, 'cause I'm still a little wet behind the ears on all of this. I try different things on every song I record, but that's a basic outline of what I try to follow when mixing. Hope it helps a little bit.
    Intel i5 3.1ghz, Win7 Home Premium 64 bit, 16gb RAM, focusrite saffire pro40, Cubase 7.5, lazy pit bull (gets it from her mother).

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    Front to back is a sense of distance, reverb has a huge effect on this but you're missing the obvious one, VOLUME! Pull the fader down, it will seem further away as will washing it with reverb.

    I'd pretty much agree with Pilkingrin on panning but any bass sources (bass guit, kick drum etc.) will nearly always be straight up the middle in a mix. Whatever sounds good is the only 'rule' though.

    I quite often use two reverbs on a lot of sources and one of those can be the same send effecting everything in the mix. For example I might have a fairly tight ambient verb on a vocal and a bright plate verb on acoustic guitar then a room or hall verb set up as a send effecting both to varying degrees. I used to spend ages (like hours) playing around with reverbs on various things, after a while you get more of a feel for what's going to work. It's also really important to become familiar with what all of the parameters do.

    Overuse of reverb is probably one of the most common and obvious traps for people new to recording. Obviously it depends on the sound you're going for but I usually set it so it's obvious and then cut it back a bit. The reverb shouldn't usually be overt (unless you're recording an 80's ballad ) but when you bypass it you'll notice that little bit of gloss or 'openness' (or whatever) going.
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    OK, now I'm getting somewhere.

    So, volume has as much to do with front to back, or more than reverb.

    Is reverb and delay the same thing? Reverb is like how big you want the room to sound like, and delay is like the tail at the end of the sound right?

    So, I understand that usually you want the bass and kick drum to have no reverb, just dry and up front right? Then what about the rest of the drum kit? I'm using dry sampled sounds by the way. Similar to BFD for example, but just dry drum hits. So, I find a reverb I like, and then apply it equally to the rest of the kit? Or does each drum have to be verb'd differently if I want it to sound good?

    OK, what about ambiance? Is that different than reverb? How can I create ambiance on the drums if I didn't record with an ambiance mic?

    So, if I apply a certain amount of reverb to drums, and those are suppose to sound a little behind the vocals, should I be applying a lesser amount to the vocals? Or not necessarily because the volume brings the vocals up front?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikijapan
    Is reverb and delay the same thing? Reverb is like how big you want the room to sound like, and delay is like the tail at the end of the sound right?
    Delay is like an echo. Reverb is a bunch of echoes so close together you can't identify individual echoes.

    Note that some reverbs have a pre-delay. That's to simulate the time it takes between the live sound and the onset of reverberation in a room.

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    What sampler are you using for the drums? Just curious 'cause in BFD you can adjust the "mic placement" and make things sound a lot different, even though the sources were recorded dry. I think the "do what sounds best" rule really applies on this one, because it all depends on how you want it to sound sitting in the mix.

    As far as ambience goes, pull up your reverb plugin and it should have a rough preset for an ambient reverb effect. Those tend to be (to my ears) not as noticeable as say, a large hall effect, but they do add a little "something" to it. But yes, pull up the preset (if it has one), and play with it from there.
    Intel i5 3.1ghz, Win7 Home Premium 64 bit, 16gb RAM, focusrite saffire pro40, Cubase 7.5, lazy pit bull (gets it from her mother).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pikingrin
    What sampler are you using for the drums? Just curious 'cause in BFD you can adjust the "mic placement" and make things sound a lot different, even though the sources were recorded dry. I think the "do what sounds best" rule really applies on this one, because it all depends on how you want it to sound sitting in the mix.

    As far as ambience goes, pull up your reverb plugin and it should have a rough preset for an ambient reverb effect. Those tend to be (to my ears) not as noticeable as say, a large hall effect, but they do add a little "something" to it. But yes, pull up the preset (if it has one), and play with it from there.
    No, it's not BFD. Sorry that was a bad comparison, I was trying to remember what we are using. It's a roland edrum kit, like a TD12 with a TD20 brain or something like that. Played by a real drummer, but just sampled sounds or whatever they use on those roland drum machine brains.

    Here's what I'm really trying to do with that: On the brain it has like full kits with processing and everything when you play it, but when you record through the direct outputs it takes off the effects so that you can use your own effects to customize it to your taste.
    The main effects it uses are called "Reverb" and "ambiance", but you lose those by recording.
    I cannot for the life of me recreate those effects. The reverb doesn't sound right, and I don't even know how to create "ambiance".

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    I posted those files I was referring to in the mixing section, hopefully someone can take a look at those.

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