Reverb for blend and size

maartenl945

Member
In this video I show a reverb technique I typically use in every mix. Do you guys have any such technique that I could learn from ? :)


Regards,
Maarten
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
I have always thought of it differently - early reflections set the size, and the length of the reverb sets the room type in terms of surface material, and complexity?
 

maartenl945

Member
I have always thought of it differently - early reflections set the size, and the length of the reverb sets the room type in terms of surface material, and complexity?
Yes I get where you're coming from, especially if you are talking about how you set the pre-delay for those early reflections. The larger the pre-delay, the longer it takes for the early reflections to bounce back from the walls, so the larger the room. And equally so, the tail definitely gets influenced by the material on the room's walls, etc.
Another way of looking at things, maybe even a more common one.

I didn't come up with the names blend and size though, they are from the book by Mike Senior, but I guess he assigned those names more for what each reverb is supposed to achieve in your mix. The early reflections part is meant to blend the tracks together, irrespective of room size, because that is what those early reflections do as well.
And the tail is meant to produce a reverb 'space' around the track that you're putting it on. Maybe 'space' would have been a better name for it than 'size'. Interesting discussion, thanks for that alternate view (y).
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Yes - I agree. Some of the principles put forward make sense, but I suspect his descriptions got mangled away from the usual way we think of the 'sound' of reverb.

I rarely follow 'rules', most of mine come from being wrong and fixing it. I like to add reverb depending on the actual sound. I often consider the ADSR of the sound. Lots of my stuff features 'real' but often synthesised instruments, so I like to use the reverb to emphasise the features. Like a piano type sound, I need to hear when the note is released and I need to hear the sustain pedal - BUT - I don't want the thud as it releases and hits the strings. The sort of reverbs I like are ones that really do recreate real spaces. I still have a Yamaha DSP1. Their very first digital reverb - the forerunner of all the rack mount units. However - as it was a modelling processor - the one I loved (and still do) was the programme Munster - Munich Cathedral - good job as I lost the remote years back and it has no buttons at all. It fits my music style and drops into mixes really realistically. For me - I'll solo each source and pick a reverb that suits it. Suits it in a realistic way, the eyes closed trick. Hit solo and see if it holds up as real. If hitting solo give you 'fakeness' - the choice was wrong. I then do this with every source bar the ones that don't need it. They will then fight, but as I picked the right ones, the adjustment is just on level. It's rare for me to have to change early reflections or the density or even EQ, just the amount of reverb. On vocals, when I have them, I tend to let them be a little dryer now than I did ten years ago. Maybe that's a fashion thing? Not sure.
 

TimOD

Member
"I rarely follow 'rules', most of mine come from being wrong and fixing it. " Exactly. I learned a lot of things from trying something and then realizing it was wrong, or didn't fit. As far as reverb and delay, I always have a delay, which is a ping-pong set so it's "bounce" is just barely there, but that varies with the song. The Reverb is very often a plate, adjusted to taste, according to the song. This can and does vary. Each delay and reverb are in separate AUX returns, and each Bus gets it's own 2 AUX returns for these. For example, the guitar bus gets two returns with an instance of reverb and delay, to keep the space the same as with the other buses, though that does change sometimes. I'll swap out say, the plate, for a room reverb, or a different type of hall reverb. I also almost always have a special reverb on an AUX return that is used by several buses or just one. This is very often Echobode, an interesting plugin that has some wild and crazy reverbs and delays. Otherwise, I use the reverb and delay plugins native to Samplitude, Variverb and the Essential FX Delay. Between those two, I get the kind of spaces and effects I need.
 

maartenl945

Member
Yes - I agree. Some of the principles put forward make sense, but I suspect his descriptions got mangled away from the usual way we think of the 'sound' of reverb.

I rarely follow 'rules', most of mine come from being wrong and fixing it. I like to add reverb depending on the actual sound. I often consider the ADSR of the sound. Lots of my stuff features 'real' but often synthesised instruments, so I like to use the reverb to emphasise the features. Like a piano type sound, I need to hear when the note is released and I need to hear the sustain pedal - BUT - I don't want the thud as it releases and hits the strings. The sort of reverbs I like are ones that really do recreate real spaces. I still have a Yamaha DSP1. Their very first digital reverb - the forerunner of all the rack mount units. However - as it was a modelling processor - the one I loved (and still do) was the programme Munster - Munich Cathedral - good job as I lost the remote years back and it has no buttons at all. It fits my music style and drops into mixes really realistically. For me - I'll solo each source and pick a reverb that suits it. Suits it in a realistic way, the eyes closed trick. Hit solo and see if it holds up as real. If hitting solo give you 'fakeness' - the choice was wrong. I then do this with every source bar the ones that don't need it. They will then fight, but as I picked the right ones, the adjustment is just on level. It's rare for me to have to change early reflections or the density or even EQ, just the amount of reverb. On vocals, when I have them, I tend to let them be a little dryer now than I did ten years ago. Maybe that's a fashion thing? Not sure.
It is nice to find a way that at least works for yourself. Thanks for sharing as it might also work for others :).
For my other reverb types I do tend to gravitate towards the same kind of reverbs on certain instruments because I know it worked for me before. It probably also makes a difference that I mostly only mix my own band, so same style and same people playing. I guess these mix choices have become part of the sound of the band now ;).
 

maartenl945

Member
"I rarely follow 'rules', most of mine come from being wrong and fixing it. " Exactly. I learned a lot of things from trying something and then realizing it was wrong, or didn't fit. As far as reverb and delay, I always have a delay, which is a ping-pong set so it's "bounce" is just barely there, but that varies with the song. The Reverb is very often a plate, adjusted to taste, according to the song. This can and does vary. Each delay and reverb are in separate AUX returns, and each Bus gets it's own 2 AUX returns for these. For example, the guitar bus gets two returns with an instance of reverb and delay, to keep the space the same as with the other buses, though that does change sometimes. I'll swap out say, the plate, for a room reverb, or a different type of hall reverb. I also almost always have a special reverb on an AUX return that is used by several buses or just one. This is very often Echobode, an interesting plugin that has some wild and crazy reverbs and delays. Otherwise, I use the reverb and delay plugins native to Samplitude, Variverb and the Essential FX Delay. Between those two, I get the kind of spaces and effects I need.
Sounds like you've found a way that works for you as well. I've never heard of Echobode, must check out that one, in particular if it sounds a bit different.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I tend to use the IR files from the Bricasti M7 that were put out about 10 years ago. Lots of different types, and they sound pretty good to me. I've also found that I tend to use lower levels of reverb that I did some years ago.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I tend to use lower levels of reverb that I did some years ago.
Why do you think that is and do you find a perceivable difference ?
I also very deliberately use lower levels of reverb ~ for me, that has much to do with my progression in recording and mixing {such as it is}. For 10 years I slathered stuff in reverb {and, come to think of it, other effects} because it felt like I couldn't hear it when it was applied subtly. Then on later listens, I really could hear it ! That's how I knew it was too much but by then it was too late. Now, unless I actually want to hear the reverb as an effect, I'm very sparing.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Grim, that's kind of the way I've moved. Early on, I wanted to hear the reverb. It seems to cover a myriad of sins. As I've listened closely to more music, and some of the "deconstructed" songs out there, I've realized that the reverb is there but doesn't draw attention to itself. What it does add is some space. It's a bit like having a salad. Some people like a little dressing with their salad. My daughter likes a little salad with her dressing!

I also found that it works best with a dry signal. Adding a reverb to something with echo already on there (usually a bad sounding room) really mucks up things. Unless you've got a nice big, good sounding room to work in (which hasn't been the case in a long time) it's better to just start with as dead of a space as possible and add a consistent reverb. You get the space you want.
 
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