reverb on lead vocals ?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by SunDaze, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. SunDaze

    SunDaze Active Member

    Im experimenting on some lead vocals and have 2 reverbs on buses . 1 bus has a smaller reverb which is set to
    the same level throughout the song. The 2-bus has a bigger space reverb and I have been riding this one
    and bringing it in on the end of some words and phrases.
    Is this a standard use of reverb on lead vocals?
    I like the results so far , but would like to hear other suggestions on offer.

    I have pro tools 8 and only plug in reverbs , Im only using the waves R verb.
    The air verb somehow sounds a little harsh to me.But thats all I have to work with.
    The older standard digi verb sounds alright to me and maybe could use some of that
    to add a different color on other buses panned , hmmm ?
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    It's not unusual. Do yourself a favor though and use volume envelopes or automation. It'll save you some time.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    personally, for this effect, (without hearing the song) I would use a long delay that is always timed to the beat over a plug-in reverb. But, can't say for sure unless we heard the song.

  4. SunDaze

    SunDaze Active Member

    have a listen,

    I have put up a peice of a song so you can check out the reverb on the vocals.

    Its 12 string and vocals only. guitar straight to comp from peizo bridge pick up.

    SoundClick artist: Fingerprint NZ - page with MP3 music downloads its named vocal test.

    Ive used the massey compressor ct4 on the vocals centre. and some tape echo panned hard each side.
    I have also got a sprinkle of air spring reverb on an aux track with hi pass filter.

    Id like to hear it a bit more open , sorta like a nice ringy reverb at the back but cant seem to find it yet.
    Is there a stand out reverb plug in out there with a reasonable price tag ?.

    Another question, when I go to bounce to track on pro tools , it asks what bit depth and rate . Does this mean
    it dithers automatically?. Im using the POW at the mo, but maybe I dont need to . If I do have to use it ,whats with
    the sound shape 1 , 2 or 3 ? . Like what sorta difference is it gonna make .?.
  5. Caleb

    Caleb Active Member

    First off, nice song.
    -ProTools does not dither automatically, the settings presented upon bouncing are so that you can choose to export your songs with specific settings, in case you will not bounce in 16/44.1
    -The dither in protools includes the settings you mentioned because depending on the complexity of the song is the dither setting. Dithering is technically the randomizing of the last bit during the compression of an audio file from a higher bit depth to a lower bit depth. The way the dither does this depends on the setting you choose. type 1 is for simple projects such as solo voice or instrument, spoken word, etc. type 2 is more things such as soft rock, smooth jazz, some electronic or popular music. type three is more for complex orchestral pieces, dynamic music, or technically involved works.
    -Reverb is an effect that depends greatly on opinion. Typically a great amount of reverb would have been used for recordings in the eighty's or ninety's. This century has a more dry approach on processing. The rverb is an exellent reverb as opposed to the d-verb that comes with ProTools. The d-verb sounds very cheap compared to other reverbs and I would not recommend using it unless you absolutely have to. But as far as how much to add, make it sound like the voice is in a relatively large room, then add a little more. Remember, reverb gets lost when the music comes in.
    -Automating reverb could work as well as long as its for specific moments or for an effect. But generally you want a certain degree at all times to keep a consistency of the vocal throught the song. (try not to add more than 2.5 seconds of decay, that's pushing it a little but past that creates an undesirable amount of backround thickness)
    -As far as the song you posted, I would wet it up a little more, sounds dryer than I like my vocals. Maybe with some more verb it will fit better within the tune.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm with Caleb in respect to reverb and its past. From my experience cheap reverb is one of the most over-done effects with "new engineers" and musicians. Too much reverb instantly cheapens lead vocals but a "sprinkle" as you suggested is a nice touch when you are trying to fit dry vocals into an open feel acoustic setting or, if you are purposing trying to date your sound for an effect.
    I do use reverb, but if I hear it, its always too much.
    I also find that you notice too much reverb after the CD is mastered. It seems to be something that shows up on the 2-bus after optimizing a mix. Its like salt in soup. Its starts out tasting good but as the soup simmers, the salt seems to get stronger as it ages.

    I have a wanna-be engineers friend who adds reverb to vocals in everything including in a gymnasium.

    I personally wouldn't add anymore in this song though. Its just right for me. More natural is always more appealing to a greater percentage of audience.
  7. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    i think the song could use some reverb automation at the end of some phrases just to lengthen and draw the listener into a more emotional feel.

    @audiokid....reverbs and effects for that matter always pop out after mastering since their are no transients for a compressor to grab a hold of..
  8. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    Sounds good. The vocals are nice and clear, have presence with very subtle hints of reverb when projected.
    I have to agree with audiokid on this one - don't add any more reverb. It might not fit the genre IMO.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Great sounding track! i'd leave it alone. In general i find myself reaching for a delay/echo fader as often as a reverb. Most often a blend a bit of both on the vox. Reverb is in essence a series of multiple echoes that interact to create that spacy sound. I find in general, the echo effect helps define the room boundries, while the reverb effect helps move the voice closer or further front to back.
    1 person likes this.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well said!
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    thanks audiokid, took me 8 years to get to that convention! keep up the good mixes sundaze! want to hear more.
  12. SunDaze

    SunDaze Active Member

    Thanks guys !

    I'll stay away from the D Verb. Ive started using 3 R verbs at different room size and EQ and maybe getting a glimpse of some sort of feel of space for the whole thing. I'll redo that song and post again later on

    I put another song up that I posted in song and mix critique . The lead vocals where done in a room that was too
    big with some reflections especially when my wife went to use mic control and back off .
    We were in Abu Dhabi at the hilton at that time and snuck down to a function room early hours of the morning to
    try recording there. As it turns out this is the only track left from that room , cause we like the attitude on the take.

    Most other tracks we redid in our little walk in wardrobe here where we are now back in Australia sorrounded by lots of beautiful trees YEPEEE ! (rainforrest) with all the lounge cushions and clothes rack dampening and only
    a very short reflection with better results
    We are not gonna redo the vocals or anything else now cause we wanna get this whole project behind us and move on to new songs . But we still can rework the mixes for better results if needed. The biggest prob I can see is that
    this could be a never ending process.
    Anyways Im at the stage now where there is nothing on the master bus on any song and they will be all put in another session for a touch up later( next week )

    SoundClick artist: Fingerprint NZ - page with MP3 music downloads
  13. SunDaze

    SunDaze Active Member

    And thanks for the dithering type explanation Caleb.

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