Reverb Discussion

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by ThirdBird, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying reverb in the following ways:

    Apply reverb to each individual track.

    Apply reverb to the entire mix.

    Apply reverb to each track through an input send to multiple reverb buses.

    Apply reverb to each track through an input send to an individual reverb bus.

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    \"Apply reverb to the entire mix.\"

    EVERYTHING gets pasted with the same settings. This can be useful if you have a stereo mixdown of a concert and want to touch it up a little. Besides that, I\'d rather apply individually.
  3. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    First of all, I don\'t know nothin\', expecially when it comes to reverb. Everything I add it to sounds like it\'s in a metal tunnel when I hear it outside of my control room.

    But I did recently read an interview with several top recording engineers and almost to a man, they said they rarely used reverb. Of course, I\'m guessing that they all have nice big live rooms to record in.

    What I do, FWIW, is set up a couple of FX channels with different depths of reverb set to 100% wet, then use the sends of the individual tracks that need reverb to adjust how much. I\'ve never even considered strapping a reverb across the mix bus. As an alternative, I sometimes put a reverb into an insert slot of a group track to, for instance, place the entire drum kit deeper into the mix.

    Most of the stuff I\'m hearing commercially today has little if any reverb on it. Or if it\'s there, it\'s so subltle that you can\'t tell it\'s there; you only sense the space around the instrument is bigger. Or it\'s being used as a special effect.

    I\'ve been listening to a 90\'s radio station recently and whoa... man did they love their \'verb!
  4. natural

    natural Active Member

    Reverb to each track
    Pros: reverb clarity for that particular track
    Cons: Completely screws up final blend with other tracks.
    Cons: Waste of resources

    Reverb to entire Mix
    Pros: can create realistic sound in a real space
    Cons: And just like in a real space, you can\'t control the results. Some things will sound too verby, and other things, not enough.

    Multiple Verbs via buses
    Pros: Ultimate control over all aspects of the room sound
    Pros: Fairly good use of system resources (providing that you keep it to 2 maybe 3 verbs at most)
    Cons: Can sound artificial if the verbs are very different, forcing you to spend way too much time trying to adjust unlimited combinations.

    Single Verb via bus
    Pros: Has best chance of reproducing a real space while still providing adequate control of each track
    Pros: Best use of system resources and still providing a good amt of control.
    Cons: If too many tracks feed it, then it turns to mush.
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Maybe people shouldn\'t add reverberation, they should record it.

  6. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    My best rule of thumb with reverb is this:

    If you can hear it, it\'s too much.

    I\'m a fan of reverb on the entire mix, as it can bring an unruly mix into the same room.
  7. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    My best rule of thumb with reverb is this:

    If you can hear it, it\'s too much.

    I\'m a fan of reverb on the entire mix, as it can bring an unruly mix into the same room.
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I don't have much to add to natural's general pro/con list, so I'll just say what I do for jazz, country and pop music.

    I go with a single reverb bus - usually with a plate reverb. (I only have the standard Digi reverb plug.) I send all vocals to the bus and sometimes the snare depending on the song. I send all horns to the bus in jazz. I use the old "push it up until you can hear it - then pull it back until you can't" method as a starting point.

    Also - I like to add a little more reverb to vocals during tracking as it makes latency through the headphones seem more natural.
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the double post. Server is acting up this morning.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    In the "old days" (ca 1980's) we had a rack of 'verbs to use to swamp our mixes: an Ursa Major, a homemade plate, a MicMix, a Fender Twin (!), a Rev 7, a DeltaLab, etc. And I loved to use 'em all at the same time on different sources ! So did a lot of my peers. It was a real mess...
    Then I read an interview with one of my favorite engineers-Alan Parsons- who stated that he would only use ONE reverb on a given track (song) (I believe it was a Sony), and that this technique had given his latest production a cohesiveness and sense of space that had been lacking in his previous productions. Guess what? He was right! I pared things down to just the Rev7 (and the Ursa Major) and things got much more coherent.
    Especially when I did what BR suggested- bring it up and then take it down.BTW, if you're using a 'conventional' mixer, try to bring the reverb and/or delay back through input strips (just like you would any other source) as opposed to using the boards' whimpy effects return channels.
    You have many more options to subtley alter the signal (EQ, inserting a compresor, etc).
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You didn't use a Fender twin on something other than a guitar track, did you? I think when I was in seventh grade we had a gig where the vocals went into a twin. Probably some sort of high impedance mic - I don't remember. A lot of audio sins were committed in 1970 (including our performance - no doubt).
  12. Greener

    Greener Guest

    At least you were rockin'.
    I know people that spent the 70's working.
    I also know people that spent the 70's tripping all over the world.
    I was born in the mid 80's.

    Fender Twin Deluxe Reverb. Saw it in a shop once, was like inches from it.

    It looks special. Anyone had time on it?
  13. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    A Twin Deluxe Reverb? There are Twin Reverbs, there are Deluxe Reverbs, never seen the Twin Deluxe...
    The Twin was always around in the studio, ready to be abused in any number of ways. One way was an early form of "re-amping" to add that classic Fender spring reverb to a Marshall amp track. Simply route the echo send through a line level attenuator (we had 'T'-pad boxes all over the place) and hit the input on the Twin with that. Then mic up the amp. Maybe have it in the bathroom to add to the excitement! Oh what fun we had!!! And don't get me started about using the Twin as a weight to hold down the sustain pedal on a grand piano...!
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that had me confused. But Fender has changed so many amp labels after I stopped paying attention (and that was only a few years ago) that it's hard to be sure that there isn't some "official" Fender amp with Chinese speakers, Japanese chassis and Mexican hardware called the Fender Twin Deluxe Reverb. And it might even be a better amp than the evil twin.

    And all in a safe, chemical-free environment! I have a Fender HR Deluxe around that fills the role of a twin, but it still has the same problem. Too darn loud (even at half the wattage and only one speaker). Shakes the building if before you can drive it. i end up using a Blues Jr. or a 15 watt Matchless all the time. Blew many a bass amp speaker in the old days trying to keep up with the guitarist's twin.

    Please...don't start.
  15. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Yeah I think it only had Deluxe Reverb written on it. But it looked like a twin. Turns out it's just a single speaker. Amazing what you can learn if look.
  16. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Yes, vision is highly over-rated. :lol:
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    When I was a young teenager, 14, in 1970, I knew I wanted some artificial reverb. Especially since I had seen and heard a Fairchild Reverbatron. When I discovered it had numerous reverb spring pans in it like a Fender Twin Reverb guitar amplifier, I investigated where to get the Springs. I built my own. It wasn't great but I think I was the only 14-year-old with their own reverb unit? But drums through that thing just didn't make it. That was the sound, I later found out of the EMT West German, coldrolled steel plate reverb. Way out of a teenagers budget. At 21, that all changed when I designed & built the third-largest recording studio in Baltimore. Then we had the 140 ST plate, a large room, a AKG BX20E, Lexicon Prime Time, tape slap and we used all of it. Selectively on tracks. Across the entire mix. Whatever it took. There is no one-way to utilize artificial room ambience devices. Sometimes you want them in stereo. Sometimes you want them in mono. Sometimes you want some pre-delay. Sometimes you want your reverb to echo. So you can go crazy when you go crazy, getting crazy.

    Still crazy after all these years
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    ad infinitum
  18. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Remy, what are some of the times when you would want the reverb in mono?

    Could you guys warn me if this idea is destined for failure? I just want to make sure I am not doomed before my next brainstorm. Instead of having only one reverb bus that tracks get sent to, what if we tried 2? Make one with a smaller room and shorter decay for things you want 'closer', and a second one with a longer decay and larger room for tracks you want farther back. Any thoughts?

    Also, do you still work at that same Baltimore studio? I have a friend who lives near there, and I would want to drop your name if that's ok with you.

    Always lacking a creative and innovative signature,

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