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heavy reverb vocals help
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
heavy reverb vocals help

Hi, I have been struggling to get a nice deep reverb on my vocals. I really like when vocals have lots of reverb on them; however, I don't like when the reverb drowns out the vocals to the point that you can't make out the lyrics. I'm not looking for crystal clear reverb, cos I don't mind if it's a little difficult for the listener to figure out the lyrics, but if I even have a hard time hearing the words I wrote, then I know there's something wrong obviously. I really like the sound of the reverb used by Youth Lagoon and Panda Bear. They both use tons of reverb, but you can still figure the lyrics and the vocals don't end up getting lost in the mix. I have been using the IR reverb in my DAW (Studio One Pro). The reverbs sound pretty good, I just think I don't entirely know how to use them properly. I usually make a buss for my vocals and put the reverb in the bus instead of the vocal track. I've also tried adjusting the predelay which didn't help all that much. One thing I haven't done, which I'm about to test after sending this message is using aux in my bus. To be honest, I'm pretty new to recording, so I don't even know what the aux does... Anyways, I hope someone can help me out. I'm trying to record vocals for a new song and I've been struggling with the reverb for 2 days now. Thanks.

Here are to examples of reverb I really like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvklD6uqE88

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYwCWT-e_jM
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
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Adamchat9's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not familiar with studio one, but if you set up a 'pre-fader' send from your vocal track to the aux track that has your reverb on it, you should be able to soak it up pretty good. Try adding slight delay+reverb, or 2 reverbs. Get crazy and creative with it. Hope this helps.
Old 18th September 2012
  #3
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NYCruiser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Trial and error to get the sound you want. Lots of tricks. Try putting an eq on the reverb bus after the reverb plug so you can eq the reverb tail.

Usually predelay can help alot in maintaining clarity if you get it set right. You may need to ride some automation on it though so it delays different at different parts.

have fun!
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
ok, thanks for the advice. I dunno if you looked up either of those bands, but if you did, can you by any chance make out what reverb they may be using? I've been fooling around with a plate reverb setting with a chamber reverb setting. I can tell that I'm getting close to the sound I want tone wise and how deep the reverb is; however, I'm just struggling with keeping the vocals somewhat clear instead of sounding really muddy. Anyways, if you're not sure, I guess it's just a matter of trial and error like you already said. Thanks anyways...


edit: One thing I should add, I can usually get pretty much what I want the reverb to be like when I just have one vocal track; however, at time when I have multiple vocals harmonizing, then the reverb gets incredibly muddy. Is it a bad idea to use the same reverb on all the vocals?
Old 18th September 2012
  #5
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Tinderwet's Avatar
 
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Use less reverb on the vocals when they are harmonizing, and use predelay on the lead vocal, but don't use it on the harmony parts. Also high- and low-pass the reverb. Go up with the high-pass bravely, look in the eyes of the reverb and remove its low hanging balls.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderwet ➑️
Use less reverb on the vocals when they are harmonizing, and use predelay on the lead vocal, but don't use it on the harmony parts. Also high- and low-pass the reverb. Go up with the high-pass bravely, look in the eyes of the reverb and remove its low hanging balls.
Cutting the low end from reverb has always worked for me. Don't forget to reduce your room size or adjust the mix ratio if that isn't enough... always worked for me.

Another trick is to band compress or automate the reverb so it never gets too "splashy" in the track.
Old 18th September 2012
  #7
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NYCruiser's Avatar
 
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Also try mixing the vocal parts out to a vocal bus and adding the reverb from their instead of piling it up on each voice.
Old 19th September 2012
  #8
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eastsidetone's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
I use studio one pro v2

When you use the openAIR you have to go really easy on it.

Try using chamber 1 with mix knob at 1% and go from there.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsidetone ➑️
I use studio one pro v2

When you use the openAIR you have to go really easy on it.

Try using chamber 1 with mix knob at 1% and go from there.
OK, thanks. Glad someone else is using the same DAW and reverb. I really like the sounds in openAIR, I'm just not that great at controlling them. :P
Old 20th September 2012
  #10
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imixrecords's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I am a fan of heavy verb! my example would the The Cults.

try doing an inverse eq on the verb in relation to the vocal. in other words if u boost 5k in the vox, cut 5k a bit from the verb.

A super short delay with no feedback on the lead verb is a great suggestion. I do a good bit of reggae, so reverb is my friend. I use a lot of spring verb, but a smooth plate may be a good place for you to start to find the sound you want.

With the lead this wet, the verb return is really your lead track, so spending as much time tweaking the reverb return as you would the lead track in a "normal" song may pay off.

if you have access to a long hallway or stairwell or PVC pipe you can make your own reverb for free.

just play with it till you get it right
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by imixrecords ➑️
I am a fan of heavy verb! my example would the The Cults.

try doing an inverse eq on the verb in relation to the vocal. in other words if u boost 5k in the vox, cut 5k a bit from the verb.

A super short delay with no feedback on the lead verb is a great suggestion. I do a good bit of reggae, so reverb is my friend. I use a lot of spring verb, but a smooth plate may be a good place for you to start to find the sound you want.

With the lead this wet, the verb return is really your lead track, so spending as much time tweaking the reverb return as you would the lead track in a "normal" song may pay off.

if you have access to a long hallway or stairwell or PVC pipe you can make your own reverb for free.

just play with it till you get it right
I'll definitely take those tips into consideration. I'll test them tomorrow. One idea I just thought of an hour ago was maybe singing through my PA system and having a mic near the speakers. I really like the reverb on my PA system, I dunno if it's a bad idea or not. I recorded myself singing a gibberish melody over a simple guitar riff I made up earlier today. Mind you this is just straight through the webcam of my computer, so I'm sure if I recorded with a decent condenser mic into my DAW would get much better results. At least I hope...

I put it on youtube just so I could post it here so people could get an idea of the reverb sound and if they think I can record my live vocals from the PA.

Here's the link: Messing around - YouTube

My vocals are a little rough in it, due to the fact I didn't take anything for my asthma today. As you can imagine, shortness of breathe and mucus in the lungs doesn't help my singing.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
PS: When you said "The Cults" did you mean "Cults" ? cos I really like Cults and they use lots of reverb.
Old 21st September 2012
  #13
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
OK, I tested out recording my vocals live from my PA... it sounds like **** :( I guess I just have to go back to trying to get them to sound right in my DAW's built in reverb...
Old 21st September 2012
  #14
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Stackx's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Idk how we'll your room is treated but if its not dead silent in there you might want to use headphones when applying reverb.
Old 21st September 2012
  #15
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🎧 5 years
what helped me realise that reverbs sound muddy is when your panning them. some people slap on a reverb and forget to pan them in the right direction. also i suggest putting the reverb on a buss. compress both the reverb bus and the vocal.
Old 21st September 2012
  #16
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🎧 5 years
Good idea to compress the reverb on a buss. That will give you a rich reverb sound at a low level of mix between the aux buss and the vocal. Be careful with what type of reverb you are using as well. When you use a reverb that has a long tail on it you need to worry about that washing out the next word you sing unless you leave room for the effect to breathe. Try adjusting your pre delay to various degrees. This will delay how long after there is an input to the reverb that you will hear the effect, it will also give you a sense of the voice being closer. Try eq'ing out the bottom end of the reverb as well. I've found that there is a lot of rumble that can come from the low end of the reverb (unless that is your desired effect). Another thing to do is try different reverbs. I've always found that plate reverbs do very nicely on vocals.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stackx ➑️
Idk how we'll your room is treated but if its not dead silent in there you might want to use headphones when applying reverb.
Yeah, unfortunately my room isn't treated at all, so I have to go about mixing everything with headphones. I use AKG K702's. I think I probably just need more experience working with reverb and tweaking the EQ's so they sit right. I'm going to test out using different reverbs for different vocals and EQ my backup vocals differently so that things aren't too similar and don't get muddy.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaoTzu ➑️
what helped me realise that reverbs sound muddy is when your panning them. some people slap on a reverb and forget to pan them in the right direction. also i suggest putting the reverb on a buss. compress both the reverb bus and the vocal.
Yeah, I already bus my reverb and use compression on the track and bus. When you say pan, do you mean have a the original vocal on one side and the reverb on the other side? If so, I haven't actually done that before... Other than that, I do pan my vocals in different places in the stereo field, but I always have the reverb in the same position as the vocal.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob ➑️
Good idea to compress the reverb on a buss. That will give you a rich reverb sound at a low level of mix between the aux buss and the vocal. Be careful with what type of reverb you are using as well. When you use a reverb that has a long tail on it you need to worry about that washing out the next word you sing unless you leave room for the effect to breathe. Try adjusting your pre delay to various degrees. This will delay how long after there is an input to the reverb that you will hear the effect, it will also give you a sense of the voice being closer. Try eq'ing out the bottom end of the reverb as well. I've found that there is a lot of rumble that can come from the low end of the reverb (unless that is your desired effect). Another thing to do is try different reverbs. I've always found that plate reverbs do very nicely on vocals.
Yeah, I managed to get a reasonable reverb setting using a different onboard reverb plugin in my DAW. It sounds more digital than the IR reverbs I was trying to work with before; however, it's not nearly as muddy when I add heavy reverb. I'll take what you said into account; however, and try to work with the IR reverbs more. They sound a lot more natural and vintage. So as long as I learn to clear up the mud on them, then it will be fine.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #20
Old 23rd September 2012
  #21
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KRStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Use two reverbs, one longer than the other. On the longer one use a compressor for ducking during vocal parts and let the reverb rise as the vocals end. The softube Dynamite is great for this because you can set an exact amount of ducking.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #22
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Format C: yes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You have to tune the reverb to the song it enables you to add way more before mud. Stackx has posted a link once you start using these tricks Reverb becomes way simpler to manage.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #23
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Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Tuning reverb to a song is interesting, I've never heard this before. Would you mind explaining how this could be done? Sorry I hope its not too much trouble.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 23rd September 2012
  #24
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Stackx's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
When you pull up a reverb they have settings just like a compressor. Pull up a preset and play with the settings to fit with the song.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk ➑️
Yeah, I already bus my reverb and use compression on the track and bus. When you say pan, do you mean have a the original vocal on one side and the reverb on the other side? If so, I haven't actually done that before... Other than that, I do pan my vocals in different places in the stereo field, but I always have the reverb in the same position as the vocal.
what you can do is a few things. what i was originally talking about is if you have a track or vocal and its in the left ear you would want the reverb to be in the same ear so its decaying it.

but to be more experimental id have it so youd automate the reverb starting from the left and fading to the right if theres room on the right. it all depends on your mix and how much space youve left for vocals after the instruments have been mixed. i like to mix the instruments first to get a balance for the vocals to sit ontop then i mix again with the vocals. then add effects and mix again to make sure theres no interferance with the effects and the eq of them. then mix again for the stereo spread. then take to master.
Old 24th September 2012
  #26
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Many people will use two types of reverb. One that is more of an ambience and a second that is actually a hall or plate reverb. Another thought is does your dry vocal track have a lot of low mid/bottom end on it. If it does that can effect the sound of the reverb as well. Automating your reverb or even possibly ducking it may give you the desired effect as well. I'm not sure what you said about the bussing and compression. Are you compressing the reverb itself or the vox?? If you aren't compressing the verb, try that.
Old 24th September 2012
  #27
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
ITL #30 – Using Reverb on Lead Vocals - Pensado's Place

If you don't know about Pensado's Place, enjoy He's a big time engineer and he's happy to spill his secrets. There's some interesting vocal verb techniques in this video
Old 24th September 2012
  #28
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There are many things you can do to help ... pre-delay, EQ (post reverb).
One thing you can do to help is put a de-esser before your reverb on the aux. De-ess heavily here.
You can also put a compressor after your reverb and duck it down a few dB with your lead vocal.
Old 5th October 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I finally had the chance to test out those tips and pardon my French, that post was ****ing brilliant! It's helps my mixes so much. Now I can still have a nice strong reverb sound without all the mud. Thank you so much for the link man!
Old 5th October 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonChance ➑️
ITL #30 – Using Reverb on Lead Vocals - Pensado's Place

If you don't know about Pensado's Place, enjoy He's a big time engineer and he's happy to spill his secrets. There's some interesting vocal verb techniques in this video
I finally managed to fix all my reverb issues from Stackx's link to the reverb tips page; however, I've looked at a few videos so far by Penasdo's Place after your suggestion and he has some cool stuff to say. I'll definitely be watching more stuff by him in the future. Thanks.
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