A few questions on various effects

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Xspringe, Feb 3, 2006.

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  1. Xspringe

    Xspringe Guest

    Hello everyone!

    I recently started on producing and recording music. I've been reading a lot on this (and other) forums, but a lot of the information I've gathered on things like reverb, delays and recording settings have been a bit vague. I was hoping that someone here would take the time to answer a few of the questions I have:

    1. Reverb settings: a lot of people on forums mention adding both a short reverb (ambience) and a longer reverb. My question is, what settings (reverb length, pre-delay etc) are associated with "short" and "long" reverb? I've seen a lot of subjective terms but very little detailed recommendations of settings. And what is the function of the short and long reverb?

    2. I've heard people mentioning that it helps to put slight bit of similar reverb on a lot different tracks to make the entire mix sit together better. Is this true? And if so, what kind of reverb are we talking about here?

    3. Where lies the distinction between delay and echo? And what function does the delay serve on, say, vocals?

    4. I've been reading a lot of posts about enhancing ("thicken") recordings of vocals. Some posters mention adding "harmonies" and "doubling". Would anyone like to provide me with some initial recommendations with some more detail on the exact settings required to reach these effects (e.g. harmonies detuned by +/- 10 cents and panned strong left and right to thicken the vocals)? I haven't been able to find a lot of hard data on this.

    I know a lot of these questions are subjective. But I think it's nice to have a bit of a solid reference point to start from. Thanks in advance!
  2. Music, recording, production is an art form. Because of this you will not fine many facts, mostly just opinions and good starting points from experience that other have had doing much of the work you will come by. Take the following as subjective and starting points, a good place to start. Turn the knob, listen to what it does, if it gets better your doing something right!

    1. Reverb-

    Short: 5-30ms predelay, 1.2 sec or less RT60, basically nice diffused sounding area. Visualized it might be a bathroom size to average sized meeting room with hard surfaces? Short rev's add a feeling of life and reality to the recorded material. For example when you hit a drum in a average room, you can hear a short ambiance out in the room... something along that line.

    Long: Anything greater than a short rev! Halls, long tall wide areas, church, etc. Gives depth to a recording, might be best suited for a single or few tracks total as it acts as it can mud up a mix. longer reverbs have a long "tail" so this in a way evens out and gives a different life to a part. In a way and if used right it acts almost as a compressor in the sense that it is even's out the track... hard to explain but it does work like that to some degree. This is not to say that reverb is the same thing as a compressor...

    2. Spoke of this a little in the Long reverb section. One thing to watch is if you have most of your tracks recorded with a natural short reverb/room sound, it can sound a bit odd to have a few tracks with a long, deep & full reverb. Many times its best to have the band sound like they are all in the same area, not one in a box and one in a cave. But again subjective!

    3. Delay VS. Echo:
    Delay: exact copy of the orignal later in time
    Echo: Copy of the orignal later in time, quality, Hi freq. or something else changed so it is not an exact copy of the orignal.

    *Sometimes people call echo the slapback sound off a wall in a large room or hallway, many times non musical folk refer to reverb in a room as echo.

    4. Pitch: Your on your own for this one a little pitch changing might help as this is much like a chorus effect, like many voices in a choir, not any pair will be exactly the same pitch/time.

    I hope this will be of some help to you, use it as a reference point, i'm sure others feel a bit different about it. Thats ok
  3. Xspringe

    Xspringe Guest

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond Christopher. It will most certainly help as a good starting point. I look forward to hearing the opinion of others on these subjects!
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