Need input on room simulation

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by DonnyThompson, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Hi all..

    I'm doing a rocker for this next song on the album I'm engineering...

    This is definitely not a "clean / studio" sound I'm after here. I'm looking for a sort of "trashy" vibe to it, particularly on drums, but... I'd rather use just one reverb on everything to emulate the vibe of a band playing all at once in the same space.

    Is there a particular room sound, or more specifically - certain settings - that you guys lean towards when mixing something like this?

    I have Variverb - which is Samplitude's stock reverb, as well as Pristine Space Convolution ( which includes sims from Bricasti, TC, and Eventide), along with Lexicon, both Halls and Rooms.

    Here's a copy of the original track ( 1978) and I'd like to capture this vibe...but with a more modern and "open" sound...


  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The original track present a roomy drum but less obvious reverb on the rest of the band.
    Personnaly unless the artist/customer ask for an old/classic sound, I'm against trying to recreate the past. I prefer addressing today's mixing with a modern approach so the end product could blend in with what people are listening everyday on the radio and mp3 players... But that's just me ;)

    I think this rock vibe comes a lot more from the sound of the instruments and performances than the choice of verbs...

    Anyway, for what I think you want to do, you could still keep a room reverb for the drum (unless the tracking was roomy already) but to give the song some dimensions I'd put a second longer verb on everything (and tame the LF)
    You can then blend the two and see what you like the most.
  3. DM60

    DM60 Active Member

    I am not a "blast from the past" type guy either. But, if there is a sound you are going for, then that is the sound. I don't have a go to favorite, but it seems like a convolution is the best way to go and dial it in.
    pcrecord likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    No... guys... you're misunderstanding me.... you're jist not a-gittin' what I'm-a layin' down... LOL

    I'm not trying to recreate the original...

    I only posted the original so you could hear the sound that I'm after in regard to a full band recording at once, which is what Todd Rundgren and Utopia did on this track...
    When I referred to capturing the vibe, I meant I'm trying to reproduce the sound of an ensemble all playing at once in the same space - I'm thinking perhaps something like a small club or maybe even a large live room in a studio ?

    Would you look at using regular digital verbs for this, or would you look at convolution?

    Here's what I've got happening so far - this is not a final mix - not even close....I just kinda through the faders up on it, and used one verb for everything, which is a Lexicon Room (13 meters, 400 ms, )...



    Attached Files:

  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It already sounds very good. An easy mix Donny !! (for once) ;)
    I'm on cheap headphones, I'll check it in the studio tonight.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... I know, right? Finally, an easier song. :) Compared to that last one I just finished - I'm surprised I'm even still alive LOL - this one is gonna be a walk in the park. (y)

    I should be able to finish this up as soon as I get a lead vocal track and the middle-16 guitar solo.

    But ... I'd still like your suggestions for reverb/room sims. I'm pretty sure you know what I'm after for this one.... Let me know after you get a chance to listen.

    I should add that anyone is more than welcome to give suggestions for reverb. I'll take all the help I can get, and I appreciate anyone's input on this. ;)

    Here's the full version so far - again, not mixed...

    LOVE IN ACTION JUNE 7 2015.mp3


    Attached Files:

  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    What I'm going to write comes entirely from my own taste, I'm not pretending on any scientific reason ;)
    One suggestion I would make is to try to refrain the temptation to send tracks seperatly with different signal levels to the room simulator. We all have the pretend to think we can hear that kind of seperation. So we say the back vocals should be in the back so let's give them more reverb and the same with other instruments. In fact when you are in the room with a full band that doesn't happen. The best results I had with the technic of one reverb for all is when put to the simplest. 1 reverb on the masterbus or on an aux with equal levels to everything.
    Also, don't be afraid of using longer tail rooms even on fast songs. The important thing is not let the room become an instrument, when you hear it, it may already be too much.

    Oh yeah, the reverb needs to sound good alone, when in solo mode. you should hear it like if you were in the NEXT room...

    I don't know the reverbs you have access. On my part I had good results with Valhalla reverbs and Altiverb.
    audiokid likes this.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I have Variverb - which is Samplitude's stock reverb, as well as Pristine Space Convolution ( which includes sims from Bricasti, TC, and Eventide), along with Lexicon, both Halls and Rooms.

    On the audio file above - the latest version - I was using Variverb/Room/12 meters, 300 ms. And I used this in equal amounts on everything except kick drum and bass.

    So, you're saying I should use a longer trail/decay?
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The track sounds pretty darn good, Donny! I find the vocals a bit distant but that's just me. The reverb could be a bit longer tail but its so good.

  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Thanks, Chris..... Could you offer up a suggestion on what length of decay you're thinking? :)

    Right now, the decay is set for 56 ms... so when you say "longer", are you thinking double that length? More?
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The space sounds closer than the bpm. Sounds unatural to how I envision this track. Just thinking out loud, I might use that fast decay on the vocal only with an overall longer decayed reverb for everything.

    Simply put, it sounds to cut off in an untimely "less musical" duration.
    pcrecord likes this.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @audiokid @pcrecord @kmetal @Boswell @Kurt Foster @DM60

    Okay, so...

    The following audio clips are, in order, as follows:

    First clip - Backing Vox with the original reverb I was using:


    The second is the backing vox with an increased decay time, ( doubled) :

    BV ALT RVERB JUNE 9 2015.mp3

    And finally, a mix excerpt with the backing vocals as they are in the audio file directly above this one, using the verb with the extended decay time:

    MIX EXCERPT W BV JUNE 9 2015.mp3

    So... is this closer to what you guys are thinking? My feeling is that the BV's sound a bit too wet on their own, but, when they're tucked in with the rest of the tracks, it seems to sound fairly balanced with everything else.

    (Again, this is not a mix... this is strictly for backing vox reverb comparison purposes)


    Attached Files:

  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i think i like the shorter 'verb better. i'd like to hear it with the rest of the track but i suspect it will define better in the mix.
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    This room sounds better and well like a room ! But, I think it's getting too wet now ;)
    You have to imagine the band in a space and try to recreate it.
    I think I should have been more precise. I know I said longer tail room, but I ment longer reverb in general. Not necessairy a room.
    You know Donny, when I listen to a song, I like when I can picture myself in the same space with the band and believe it. As soon has the reverb gets higher that a certain level, I feel it stops being a natural place and it starts to be a special effect. Either way, you can make it sound good but, it's important to decide if you go for natural or the effect. And be carefull because the line between both is very thin... To me on those late samples you've crossed the line to effect.

    I'm not saying it's not good like it is, but it's not really what you initially ask for :
    This is touchy because, we are talking about taste and opinions here not science and techniques..
  15. DM60

    DM60 Active Member

    Both verbs sounded OK by themselves, but in the mix, they seemed too wet.

    The original had such a slight room sound to it and the vocals were not that far back.
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Ya. I'm in agreement with all... this has become reverb as more of an "effect" - and not as a room simulation. And you're absolutely right - it's often a very fine line between the two, and at this point I guess I need to choose which way I want to take it.

    Artistically, and on the whole, I do like the verb that's there, but as a room sim - natural space, it's gone beyond that... and, as DM and Kurt both mentioned, I think it's effecting the definition of the backing vox... although, and that kinda brings up a point, these are backing vocals, and not the lead vocal, so, I'm wondering if maybe I need to wait until we get a lead vocal tracked, because that could likely change the approach to the BV's.

    Regardless, I'm gonna go back in and try another type of verb, and I'm going to decrease the amount of the return by about half, and see what the result of that will be.
    But, until I get that lead vocal track recorded, I'm thinking that this will all just be a kind of "academic/experimental" exercise.

    But, I'm going to do it anyway, because now I'm curious. LOL... I'll post an update with that soon.

    Thanks guys. :)
    pcrecord likes this.
  17. DM60

    DM60 Active Member

    I agree Don, I am not one of those anti-reverb guys. I love it and will use the heck out of it. But you're right, have to decide which way it is being used, as an effect or ??? Then that is what it is and go from there.

    Thanks for sharing.
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I like the top one. On its own it a bit tanky, and much of it, but in the mix probably be fine. You could hit the hpf/lpf s a harder if you wanted to many gain the tail but but a bit of intelligibility.
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Okay, here's the latest.

    . I backed off the reverb considerably.. again, not a final mix...still figuring out and comparing reverbs.
    LIA MIX D JUNE 10 2015.mp3

    The final mix for this song will most likely fade out, but this one has an a Capella ending, if you listen that far you can hear the verb that I have on the backing vox. :)


    Attached Files:

  20. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yeah, that one's good.

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