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Natural reverb
Old 4th January 2003
  #1
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Natural reverb

So I'm thinking that I want to avoid using digital 'verbs when I mix my current project. I've got my live room (which is ok, not great), a 2-car garage and a bathroom or two that I can use for different decays and stuff. I want to put my preamp collection to use while I mix plus it's something I haven't done before so it'll make my job more interesting.

Has anyone tried compressing the returns to make the decay times or trails different? I have a few ideas in my head already but I'm wondering what other people have had luck with. Figure that just swapping mics out will change the character of the reverb which should make this project sound more interesting. Give me some ideas...
Old 4th January 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Compression definitely does very cool things for this! I use the stairwell some times... Baby bottle works great here! BB--> Pendulum MDP1a--> Distressor on Nuke! I'll set up a Bose 10.2 tower at the bottom of the stairs or just around the corner with the mic at the top of the stairs. This gets a great grungy verb thing. For something a little more tame I'll swap the Distressor out for an Expressor, RNC or even no comp at all (though I find the beauty's in the squeeze). You can have lotts'a fun with this kinda thing... try miking the inside of your oven, dryer, or even a length of PVC pipe. Makes for some very interesting "spaces".
Old 4th January 2003
  #3
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The oven definitely should help to warm up those ****ty digital tracks...
Old 4th January 2003
  #4
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
I used to have a big space just outside my studio available to me. It was a largely empty room 40 x25 with several areas off to the side, cement floors and glass doors.

I set up a stereo send to a pair of big old speakers and a pair of mics facing the speakers about 25 feet away. then I matched (or sometimes reversed) the panning of the tracks. I also had the bathroom wired up similarly for a tighter sound. Best reverbs I ever had, but my new location is in a building that has other tenants.

Now I can't use the bathrooms for reverb unless I don't mind hearing some flushing on the tracks. dfegad

putting the mic "around the corner" or in the next room to the space where the speakers are located can be interesting. Even in a one-room space you can get some cool variations by facing mics and speakers into the walls.

Besides mic selection you could try speaker selection - maybe one of those 'outdoor' bullhorn type speakers would a neat effect.

For a really raw vibe you can crank the speakers up really loud and put the mics near a shelf full of stuff that rattles a lot. Lay out some hubcaps or window glass with nuts and bolts resting on top. A little of this goes a long way, but it really can add a feeling of power to the track.
Old 4th January 2003
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lightbulb Re: Natural reverb

Jay,

> I've got my live room (which is ok, not great), a 2-car garage and a bathroom or two <

That sounds like a great idea. But bear in mind that such rooms are rectangular with parallel walls, and usually have lots of resonant peaks and flutter echos that will affect the quality and tone of the reverb. Versus a plate or good DSP that has a much smoother and more even frequency response.

--Ethan
Old 4th January 2003
  #6
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I would say compression is almost a must in this aplication.

Prepair to have to filter / eq to twit it into shape.. it may start off rather 'vulgar' and need finessing...

A no artificial reverb mix is allways favorite in my trashy punky / rocky opinion.

Old 4th January 2003
  #7
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The speakers you use to send sound into the room will be making the biggest difference. For drums I prefer a harder, almost PA like set of speakers (Cervin Wega or JBL comes to mind).

Since the bass is the first instrument recorded after drums, it's hard to imagine how it sits in the track, so I send the bass DI track back out into the room through a bass rig when I am mixing and apply the right amount of distortion/low end for it to fit the rest of the instruments. Moving the mic back quite a bit, allows you to catch the wave at it's loudest point.

Besides the room acoustics, the choice of microphone will make a big difference too. My fav is the K100 Neumann binaural head. It goes down to 2 Hz and really picks up the room in detail.

Compression, EQ and especially gates become really powerfull friends in natural rooms.

Natural rooms are a lot of fun, let us know how it worked out.
Old 4th January 2003
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I would imagine pawn/cheap/weird gear could be interesting here. Maybe mult your nuke compression, and try stuff that takes on extreme colors, maybe an Alesis Microlimiter. Aurotone's (or the RCA's that Radio Shack is blowing out) might help for a lo-fi, boxy, midrangey color. Maybe try instrument cabinets or subwoofers. Shrill cheapo condensors (or small Minimus 2 way speakers) might help give a more bright, present sound. Project studio-type pre's that you don't trust for fidelity may provide a grain to the return that does something for you. So get out all the junk you haven't gotten around to clearing out and see if it has some life left in it.

Bear
Old 5th January 2003
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I cleared most of the junk out about a year ago so I'm pretty short on stuff that's collecting dust. For speakers I have a pair of Minimus 7's, some old huge 3-way Pioneer thing with a 12" woofer and whatever else I can scrape together. Nothing really hi-fi or close to it. Since the band is a poppy indie rock thing (think Superdrag) trashy is fine. I dig the idea of using a guitar amp for a speaker.

For mic pres I was thinking of using anything but the Dakings or 1272's. I'm thinking of trying either one across the mix-buss to grunge it up a bit. For mics I was thinking TLM 103's or Oktava MC012's for the hi-fi stuff, maybe 57's for the low-fi junk.

The drums and bass were tracked in the same room, bleed between them exists but was pretty minimal for the most part. I've recorded all of the guitars in the same room as the drums (overdubs though) with multiple mics, usually about a foot off the cab and with a little to a lot of a 414 in omni about five feet back. The drums and bass went down at the same time and needed very few punch-ins. Guitars were in booths for the basics but this is a feedback band so the overdubs were needed.

Most of the stuff that we've been A/Bing to is Superunknown, The Foo Fighter's "Nothing left to lose", the Hives, and the Black Crowes Amorica. Anyway, the band is totally stoked on the idea of not using digital verb but we did OK the use of digital delay and chorus if needed.
Old 5th January 2003
  #10
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
My last tracking room was a one trick pony, but this was it's trick. It had a pretty long decay, but when it fit, it was tough to beat. I used a stereo Boogie tube power amp with a couple Celestion 1x12s for most instruments, boring direct keys really benefitted from that. Vocals and drums would usually go through the studio playback monitors - EV Sentry 100ELs. For mics, I usually had all the tracking choices still up and in random positions at the opposite end of the room from the speakers. I'd just open them up one at a time till I found something I liked. The 421s seemed to help gtr solos and keys most often, drums got 57s or 414s the most, depending on what we were going for, while the vocals seemed to work with SM81s or another reasonably flat small diaphragm condenser. If I had tracks and time available, I'd print different ambience passes for separate instruments using different levels. I didn't have a lot of other decent FX available, so this was my main ambience. Many harmony vocals were cut "live" in the room while I was re-recording vocal ambience. I actually used this the least with drums, because they were cut in that same room and there was no shortage of ambience on the original tracks.
When I built my new place, I tried the old technique but it just wasn't happening in the new tracking room. I got a Lexicon 300 to fill in the gaps, and am currently building new walls to get some of that old sound back. I got lucky when I built the first place, but made the mistake of putting it in a building I didn't own...
Old 6th January 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
supaheef's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have been thinking of buying a stereo mic just for these sort of apps, though using grossly mismatched mics give great results too. I can seriously recommend using guitar cabs as your speakers to mic up, I have used a JCM 900 head-and-box as a PA at a wedding (running the mixer into the guitar input!) with some seriouslly clean but warm results. You get the most perfect top-end (IMO) roll-off which makes those Marshall Quads great for reverb amping. Also try micing your cabinets of choice close, but add a little room reverb (like the Waves RenVerb) to get a balance between trashy and purity (for want of a better word). This can also give an extra element of space and control at mix time. Also try micing from a distance to get a really long and boomy room sound, but shift the room tracks forward by a few milliseconds (or more) so the decays actually line up with the attacks. Apply liberal compression (maybe a pinch of salt) and I normally use a gate to cut of the crap and the end of the reverb envelope. micing a room is soooooo much fun!
Old 6th January 2003
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I did a record (as the artist) where we didn't really use much fake reverb. The tracking room had a really live drum room, and then there was a nice sounding plate. We also used the reverb from an old Fender Twin. Slap was tape echo from a quarter inch machine.

For a couple songs we used a 224, but it was on layered backgroundy stuff, so you can't *really* tell.

None of the reverb sounds trashy in context at all. I don't remember the exact specifics, but I know the drum room mics were split, with a mono feed to a 4 button tricked 1176. I think La4's were used on the regular stereo return. The Twin was mostly for guitar stuff, and maybe certain backing vox. The plate was mostly used for lead vocal, maybe with a pcm 42 for pre delay.

Another thought: If the room is small, try putting the mic's next to, and pointing in the same direction as the speakers, so you get as little direct speaker sound as possible (fig 8 would be useful here).
Old 8th January 2003
  #13
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
By re-amping and such, there are literally thousands of effects, if you have some lockup availabilty you can record some pretty tasty effects and automate them so you can use the speakers and mics. for different purposes.
1. with the out put of the speaker eq'd pretty harsh, hook up an SM58 and do the Roger Daltry with it, great dizzy doppler or leslie type effect.
2. Why think only about reverb? Put a little tiny speaker or headphones in a very small blanket and pillow lined doghouse type structure and feed the signal to that (solo on communication breakdown) antiverb
3. REAL FEEDBACK if you can get a handle on it send the mic. signal back to the speaker
there are more but this should set your motor running
Old 8th January 2003
  #14
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I've worked at Sawmills studio in Cornwall, UK many times.

One thing they do is set up a 'creek echo' for you (if you want it)

A side door of the recording area is opened to the 'wilds' - A gtr amp 4 x 12 blasts out sound accross a tidal creek, hits the far hills and bounces back - into a mic set up down on the jetty.

Simply record to tape and repeat as required.

It's the worlds biggest echoplex!

Old 8th January 2003
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
By re-amping and such, there are literally thousands of effects, if you have some lockup availabilty you can record some pretty tasty effects and automate them so you can use the speakers and mics. for different purposes.
I did that for a long time before I had automation and sometimes I still print delays or stuff to the multi-track tape. Oh, you want delay on the last word of the second line of each verse? No problem.
Old 8th January 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a pair of Ampex 2012 amplifier/speakers (kinda like neanderthal, tube active-monitors) that I use a lot for ambience sends in whatever rooms are available. I have a terrazzo-floored room that has some very unique early-reflections that I like to use. I put up a pair of B&K's or Sennheiser MKH40's and print a couple of different sets of mic positions; near the walls, or in the middle of the room, facing away from the Ampexes. .. etc.. I try to follow the 3:1 rule and find that the mixing the different perspectives makes for some nicely odd imaging and emphases..

On the other hand, I also love spring reverbs (Master Rooms and AKG BX10) as an alternative to digital reverbs.

Ok, I'm rambling. carry on ...

-dave
Old 9th October 2004
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
bump
Old 9th October 2004
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I've worked at Sawmills studio in Cornwall, UK many times.

One thing they do is set up a 'creek echo' for you (if you want it)

A side door of the recording area is opened to the 'wilds' - A gtr amp 4 x 12 blasts out sound accross a tidal creek, hits the far hills and bounces back - into a mic set up down on the jetty.

Simply record to tape and repeat as required.

It's the worlds biggest echoplex!

Jules, how did you like working in Sawmills?
Was it all analog sessions?
I've been mailing Ruth about renting the place for an album


ruudman
Old 9th October 2004
  #19
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I've worked at Sawmills studio in Cornwall, UK many times.

One thing they do is set up a 'creek echo' for you (if you want it)

A side door of the recording area is opened to the 'wilds' - A gtr amp 4 x 12 blasts out sound accross a tidal creek, hits the far hills and bounces back - into a mic set up down on the jetty.

Simply record to tape and repeat as required.

It's the worlds biggest echoplex!


Dude that is awesome ! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup


I've got a weird millbuilding in Worcester Mass USA that houses my studio. I'm sure I could find all sorts off spots to crank a speaker up and let those old bricks do the work. It might piss off the tenants though so I better have some bribe money handy.

Old 10th October 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 
djui5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Natural reverb

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
So I'm thinking that I want to avoid using digital 'verbs when I mix my current project. I've got my live room (which is ok, not great), a 2-car garage and a bathroom or two that I can use for different decays and stuff. I want to put my preamp collection to use while I mix plus it's something I haven't done before so it'll make my job more interesting.

Has anyone tried compressing the returns to make the decay times or trails different? I have a few ideas in my head already but I'm wondering what other people have had luck with. Figure that just swapping mics out will change the character of the reverb which should make this project sound more interesting. Give me some ideas...


I like sticking a shotgun mic in the hallway outside the "garage" where we track drums......it's the perfect natural verb spot........lovely...

Haven't tried compressing it yet though....interesting idea..
Old 11th October 2004
  #21
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a great hallway that I use with some makeshift gobos (furny balnkets on c-stands).

I'll use either a 6301B or an ATC-12 if I want it to have more full range. I rarely if ever run a stereo send. Maybe a stereo return, though. Gets too complicated for my frail brain. I also like to pitch shift the reverb return up an octave and mix that in with a normal reverb...or use the octave up by itself.

1:3 comp with a really slow attack, usually.

It's not really enough to call it reverb. It's just a little ambience. I always think digital reverb sounds like some white noise modulated with some dry signal...always have. Dunno why. Maybe if I had a nice plate rev. I'd like it. Never had one, though.
Old 12th October 2004
  #22
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Anyway, the band is totally stoked on the idea of not using digital verb but we did OK the use of digital delay and chorus if needed.


Why not do this with speakers and mics too?

Find an unused stadium some night. Break into the equipment room and patch your track into the PA system. Put a mic on the field...

Chorus can be had with multiple speakers in a fairly dead room. If you want modulation, use an omni mic hanging by it's cord from the ceiling and swing it (add weight for "depth" control and add length for "Rate")...

The field delay can really make the guitars sound big.




-tINY

Old 12th October 2004
  #23
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Ruphus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting thread!

Ruphus
Old 12th October 2004
  #24
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djui5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


Chorus can be had with multiple speakers in a fairly dead room. If you want modulation, use an omni mic hanging by it's cord from the ceiling and swing it (add weight for "depth" control and add length for "Rate")...


Yeah....do this with your E-LAM 251 and a pair of C12's.........it's great fun......


couldn't help it..


great idea Tiny...I'll have to try this sometime.....with a 57 or something...(not omni..I know)
Old 12th October 2004
  #25
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm thinking about making a phase shifter by putting two speakers about ten feet apart, facing each other, one in phase and the other out of phase. Then I'll put a wireless mic on a turntable between the two speakers, and voila!
Old 13th October 2004
  #26
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone see the Phish video about the making of 'Hoist'?

Some cool speaker/mic related ideas in that...
Old 13th October 2004
  #27
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll definitely check that out. Just something that's been in the back of my mind for a while.

At first I thought of putting two PZM's on oppostie sides of a piece of masonite, then it occured to me that shotgun pattern would be better for this experiment.
πŸ“ Reply

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