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Reverb: Tips and Techniques
Old 6th October 2009 | Show parent
  #61
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Probably makes more sense to say that the longer the pre delay, the larger the perceived space becomes, while short or no pre delay evokes a small space.

More important is probably the level of low frequency absorption vs high frequency, panning and tail length/diffusion in determining the actual perspective of listener.
Old 6th October 2009 | Show parent
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Well...
I am sure that everything is linked...
Dampening and high end frequency will give information and how far is the source AND and the absorbency properties of the walls.
Pre-delay will give information of the size of the room. If the wall are pretty far from everyone (source and listener) a long predelay will occur (it will take time for the reverb to come to life).
At least this is my point of view of it...

But my point was to clear up this statement saying that "the longer the predelay, the farther the source"... which does seem correct to me...
I would say: the longer the pre-delay, the bigger the room AND the closer the source OR the ratio between distance source/listener and size of the room decreases.

Please correct me if wrong...
Old 7th October 2009 | Show parent
  #63
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chavernac ➑️
Well...
I am sure that everything is linked...
Dampening and high end frequency will give information and how far is the source AND and the absorbency properties of the walls.
Pre-delay will give information of the size of the room. If the wall are pretty far from everyone (source and listener) a long predelay will occur (it will take time for the reverb to come to life).
At least this is my point of view of it...

But my point was to clear up this statement saying that "the longer the predelay, the farther the source"... which does seem correct to me...
I would say: the longer the pre-delay, the bigger the room AND the closer the source OR the ratio between distance source/listener and size of the room decreases.

Please correct me if wrong...
You are 100% correct. Pre-delay is a sonic cue for spatial depth, but not really for source distance. A better cue for distance is diffusion.

There is a lot of confusion on what settings are intended to cue what spatial process.

Damping : The speed of frequency loss. While it's true that high frequencies lose energy faster than low frequencies, that roll off is generally slight except in very large spaces. People often take damping to be a spatial cue, however, it's more often intended to be a cue for the room materials.

Diffusion : The separation of micro-echoes within reverb. This is effected by a number of things - distance between the dry source and the listener will have a higher diffusion. Intruding surfaces or uneven wall structure will also have a higher diffusion. This is directly related to the Density, which is sometimes a separate control.

Wet to Dry ratio : The farther from the source, the more blend of the dry source and the reverb. As was stated before, when a source is far away, the early reflections and dry source arrive at the listener close to the same time. They also arrive with almost the same amplitude.

The dry source itself is also a major cue. Is it coming in a little late? How strong are the highs? Is there a bit of natural compression occuring (very far away sources). Unfortunately, because everyone is addicted to that "in your face" sound, it's hard to create depth with the dry signal.
Old 7th October 2009 | Show parent
  #64
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Ok.
I think it is fair to say that.
Compression (transients), damping, high/low frequencies, dry/wet ratio, predelay etc.... are ALL affecting the location of the source...

There is ground to play/work....
Old 7th October 2009 | Show parent
  #65
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Stitch333's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Decreasing the volume and increasing the reverb, and increasing the diffusion will help create a far back sound without too much volume loss, but there's much more than reverb at play here.
I find cuts using a HF and LF shelf eq after the reverb on the aux send works better.
Half dozen of one, six of another, really.

Another fun trick to try (to use sparingly) is to send another aux off of the reverb or delay auxsend buss to a modulation or amp simulation fx send buss. Process HEAVILY and mix underneath reverb or delay buss volume to taste. I've found that reverbs sound best with modulation and delays sound best with an amp sim.
Old 8th October 2009
  #66
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BUMP!!! BUMP!!! I wanna hear more! Best Thread EVER!
Old 10th October 2009 | Show parent
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J CraQ ➑️
BUMP!!! BUMP!!! I wanna hear more! Best Thread EVER!
I agree. I'd like to hear some other people chime in with their philosophies and experiences. Where's Greg Scott at these days?
Old 12th October 2009 | Show parent
  #68
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🎧 10 years
I'd like to thank Storyville for sharing his knowledge.
This is a great thread.
Old 14th October 2009 | Show parent
  #69
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No problem. I hope other people will continue to share their thoughts on reverb as well.

I stumbled across this article on reverb recently:

ADVANCED REVERBERATION

It's very good.
Old 14th October 2009 | Show parent
  #70
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Ok,
I ve been trying to play around with Reverbs recently and I came to a dramatic conclusion....

The Reverb by itslef is just NOT ENHOUGH to help you spot/locate/place you instrument in your mix...

Refering to what has been said before (mainly about signification of predelays and dampening due to material or air absorption), If you have a Reverb with long predelay and a cut off of high frequencies ( or hard dampening), it can mean 2 things: either the instrument is in front of you in a medium room with a lot a absorbing materials hanging down from the ceiling.... OR the instruement is very far away from you in a huge room....

In order to spot my instrument properly, i had to enphasize/shave off transients (attack) with my compressor (release as well) in order to make it sound close or far AND play with shelving EQs on the high/low end content.

And in the end I found that I did not even need any reverb to create depth in my mix. Adding reverbs (with settings consistent with my EQs and comp settings) was only adding flavour to it...
Let me know what you think!
Old 14th October 2009 | Show parent
  #71
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I'd like to know more about the thought process of choosing a reverb. I have 3 decent verbs to choose from, but the decision I have to say is pretty random.

Do you start from a preset and fiddle?

Start from init and dial it in?

Or is the choice a completely subjective (feel) thing? I understand why I pick certain EQs and comps, but when it comes to reverb, I dunno... as long as I get the timing and mix level right, I don't know what else to look for. Rarely do I stop and decide "oh that verb is way off, I need to pop 'this' in... Most likely I'll just adjust the timing and post EQ.

Lately I've been soloing the wet only reverb signal to really hear what I'm adding, but I have the tendency to try and clean that signal up, which might not be the right thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chavernac ➑️
And in the end I found that I did not even need any reverb to create depth in my mix. Adding reverbs (with settings consistent with my EQs and comp settings) was only adding flavour to it...
Let me know what you think!
yeah man, I find myself lately preferring 'ambience' presets that have no tail. It just sits things back without washing them away. Also playing with HP/LPFs and subtle delays with the wet signal only (UAD CTC ) is an excellent way to achieve depth. Sometimes just a volume knob and an instrument in the perfect sonic range just sits in back of everything. It's all relative too... if you put something else up front, other things will go back auto...
Old 15th October 2009 | Show parent
  #72
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chavernac ➑️
Ok,
I ve been trying to play around with Reverbs recently and I came to a dramatic conclusion....

The Reverb by itslef is just NOT ENHOUGH to help you spot/locate/place you instrument in your mix...

Refering to what has been said before (mainly about signification of predelays and dampening due to material or air absorption), If you have a Reverb with long predelay and a cut off of high frequencies ( or hard dampening), it can mean 2 things: either the instrument is in front of you in a medium room with a lot a absorbing materials hanging down from the ceiling.... OR the instruement is very far away from you in a huge room....

In order to spot my instrument properly, i had to enphasize/shave off transients (attack) with my compressor (release as well) in order to make it sound close or far AND play with shelving EQs on the high/low end content.

And in the end I found that I did not even need any reverb to create depth in my mix. Adding reverbs (with settings consistent with my EQs and comp settings) was only adding flavour to it...
Let me know what you think!
Absolutely. Sound exists IN SPACE. Space does not exist separately from the sound. If you have a bright, in your face sound, with a far away reverb it's going to sound disjointed.

My method in a mix is to get my sound stage from panning and volume, then compression, then eq. The last part of it is the delay and reverb, because if the depth is there to begin with - a little reverb goes a long way.

Also, reverb setting are NOT conclusive - but you can get close. Envision the space you want and get the reverb to agree with that space. You might not get a specific space, but you can get a possible space, and then get your dry signal in agreement with the space you want. You still might not have an entirely solid sense of environment, but you will at least have a good suggestion of it. Ultimately, it helps to have a little natural room sound feeding the reverb/delay, because those environments also have a tone to them, and "parameters" that you can mimic with an artificial reverb to add to the space.
Old 15th October 2009 | Show parent
  #73
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke ➑️

yeah man, I find myself lately preferring 'ambience' presets that have no tail. It just sits things back without washing them away. Also playing with HP/LPFs and subtle delays with the wet signal only (UAD CTC ) is an excellent way to achieve depth. Sometimes just a volume knob and an instrument in the perfect sonic range just sits in back of everything. It's all relative too... if you put something else up front, other things will go back auto...
Yep. Reverb is an art of subtlety. As people, we don't often think of how a space sounds. As mixing engineers and tracking engineers we have to train ourselves how to listen to a space.
Old 15th October 2009 | Show parent
  #74
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
"Reverb is not CONCLUSIVE"

ahaha I could not have said it better. That s totally what I realized lately.
I think people rely to much on reverb when it comes to depth in their mixes...
compression and EQs are also part of the game...

Speaking of discprepancies, I came across an "Oasis" record (song: Cast no shadow) and I was really disturbed with what I heard...

The acoustic guitar(s) had a very bright sound. Almost no low frequencies. A lot of attack too (probably due to compression). You can hear the pick strumming the strings...and..... it was drowned in reverb...
I was disturbed because I thought too myself: How can you have so much attack and high end content (which suggests proximity) AND no low end content and that much reverb (which suggests distance)....

What do you guys think about that?
Old 16th October 2009 | Show parent
  #75
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I dig surrealism in reverbs. Zube tube effects and all that. Also, old and crappy reverbs, tube tape echoes, spring reverbs. I think that stuff can be really cool. So, in the correct context, an in your face sound with a reverb that seems like it's coming from far away can really exaggerate the sense of space, like a narrow ********ly long stone hallway or something.

But REAL space needs to be present in the recording to create REAL depth. The original point of this thread was to share my philosophy of treating reverb more like a tonal and rhythmic device than a way to get space into a mix. Of course, the latter is a fundamental and important aspect of reverb, but in general, the overall effect need not be realistic.

I think incohesive depth can be cool, but the problem is that the reverb separates from the sound that initially feeds it, which will defeat the purpose if you are trying to add depth to that source sound. But, if your levels come out squashed at the end of the mix/master, you aren't going to get much depth no matter what you do - except for maybe a sense of "tonal" depth.
Old 16th October 2009 | Show parent
  #76
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
one thing that got me to change the way i think about re verb is this: one day i was setting up my home made bass traps. i love doing the "clap test" to check the acoustic space. anyway i got all the panels in place and did the clap test. i heard flutter echos coming from the hallway behind me. it was a trip to hear this sort of re verb come from a specific direction as appose to all around me.

now when I'm mixing for some reason i have an easier time listening for re verb through out the whole mix which helps me create space in a 2d environment making it 3d. its like when i first figured out how to listen for specific sounds while the whole mix was playing and know how much eq/comp/volume/panning to treat it with....idk its hard to explain. lol anyways its just a thought.
Old 11th November 2009 | Show parent
  #77
bee
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Great thread. I've found that using pre-delays before reverb on faster music to not work well. Anyone else with this same experience?
Old 12th November 2009 | Show parent
  #78
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bee ➑️
Great thread. I've found that using pre-delays before reverb on faster music to not work well. Anyone else with this same experience?
really long pre-delays, probably not. I find with uptempo stuff I tend to gate the tail of the reverbs. Slow stuff, no problem letting the tail trail off, but if I want a big reverb that doesn't wash out the track - gating seems to be muchos helpful.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #79
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Compress the transients out of the backups a bit on the way in to the reverb. Transient heavy reverb will not make the backups sound farther away.
Ahhh... thx.

Been missing that, yet it makes perfect sense... different comp settings. I'd been doing it with eq, but not comp.
Old 2nd February 2010
  #80
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Predelay question

Hi!

Your article is very helpful, but some question.
You wrote about use predelay to move things front or back. When I use Rverb, no problem, one parameter for predelay, but when use IR1 here we have 2. One for ER and one for Tail. I tested it by ear and moving only Tail works for me better than move both or ER. Am I right? When i tested short signals by Rverb I noticed that move predelay even by 150ms works only on Tail, ER is stil on the same place (without any delay). What it means? Is Rverb to simple to use it on create 3d scene, or I don't need to move ER predelay on Ir1?
About compression on reverb. On Ir1 there is parameter called ER buildup, I noticed that it make less transients and I suppose it works like fast compression. It is good way? How many ms use for good results (based on your example about bckg vocals)
Next question is. There is no parameter called diffusion on Ir-1. The parameter called decorr do the same work on ir1?
Last one. I try some options on most bckgr instrument in my mix (drums) and put them on reverb with parameters: 75% deccor 35 ms delaybut only on Tail. Finaly when i try to get more ER (but i can't, it was 0dB) so I set the tail level on -5dB and set the level of all this fx +5dB It can work well in your opinion? By my ear I think yes, but meaby I do something wrong?

Regards!
Old 4th February 2010
  #81
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deethe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Bpm to delay time conversion

...from Soundcraft's website
Attached Files
File Type: pdf bpm_table.pdf (12.0 KB, 810 views)
Old 4th February 2010 | Show parent
  #82
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🎧 15 years
I don't really time lead vox delays to the beat, it often sounds like an effect to me. Natural echos/delays/reflections don't often coincidentally match the music tempo and my use of delay on lead vox is more often than not to help emulate real space. I use it more as a subtle spatial cue than an obvious effect... like three subtle panned mono delays or a stereo delay that kind of helps to paint the spatial borders.

I suppose it depends on what the delay effect is intended for... I do hear a lot of obviously "timed to the beat" vocal delays in pop music though.
Old 30th April 2010 | Show parent
  #83
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Oldhanke's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Size in %

Hi Storyville,

Long time lurker on GS here… I must say that your post is simply fantastic, it helped me a lot, thank you! But I have one question, when you talk about setting the size…

β€œSize. Size will effect the tightness of the sound. This is more creative, but here's a good starting place: Divide your time by ten, and round to the closest integer. That's a good number of ft for your room size...”

In the reverb plugins I have in my system, the size is set in %, not in ft. What would be the approach in these cases?

Thanks.
Old 30th April 2010 | Show parent
  #84
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhanke ➑️
Hi Storyville,

Long time lurker on GS here… I must say that your post is simply fantastic, it helped me a lot, thank you! But I have one question, when you talk about setting the size…

β€œSize. Size will effect the tightness of the sound. This is more creative, but here's a good starting place: Divide your time by ten, and round to the closest integer. That's a good number of ft for your room size...”

In the reverb plugins I have in my system, the size is set in %, not in ft. What would be the approach in these cases?

Thanks.
Ultimately it's what sounds right. It depends on if the % basis itself on something fixed, or the reverb time. It really depends on the reverb plug. But picture what you want to hear, and then play with the settings until you get something close.
Old 2nd May 2010 | Show parent
  #85
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🎧 10 years
Thanks Storyville for all your knowledge and willingness to share!
Here is a technique I use a lot. Send vocals to your verb and set the verb the way you want it. Lets call that aux#1. Now set up aux#2 with EQ, chorus and then a copy of your first verb with exact settings from #1. Use the EQ to cut lows and highs and leave just mids. This will allow only certain frequencies of reverb to modulate. Fun to experiment with and can sound really nice. Blend aux1 and aux2 to taste.
Old 2nd May 2010 | Show parent
  #86
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🎧 10 years
Greg Scott once posted up something to the extent of "mix the ambiance and your mix will just work". I've been working on that philosophy and I have to say it's a pretty brilliant concept. It really means listening to the room sounds in all your tracks, and reverbs, and making sure the space sounds all work together. I've been soloing reverb returns and mixing them in with room captures. The tricky part is listening to tracks that have reverb/room sound in them that aren't inherently room captures and figuring out how to negotiate that sound.

It's also been influencing my tracking decisions - I'm going for much more open, wide room sounds - very little compression on the room captures (which is not what I have done in the past).
Old 2nd May 2010 | Show parent
  #87
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🎧 10 years
Thanks for your answer, Storyville. thumbsup
Old 2nd May 2010 | Show parent
  #88
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Nahuel's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like to use reverbs to create swooshes for transition fx between 2 tracks, let's say for a teaser where you want to shocase several musical peices or whatever.

Let's say you have two beats and want to create a nice swoosh as a transition fx.

first drop a flanger on an aux flowed by a reverb with some kind of huge sounding preset with a big predelay and tail also add a phaser at the end of the chain.

now automate the aux at the end the first beat track in order to create you transition swoosh, you can also fine tune with track volume automation for a smooth transition and tweak the flanger/verb/phaser parameters. now drop the 2nd beat at the end of the swoosh.
Old 2nd May 2010
  #89
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️

Diffusion. This basically refers to how far the source sound is to your ear.
I've not read the whole thread so apologies if this has been covered, but diffusion in my book refers to the break up and scattering of sound waves in multiple directions when reflected, and has little or nothing to do with sound source distance?
Old 2nd May 2010 | Show parent
  #90
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn ➑️
I've not read the whole thread so apologies if this has been covered, but diffusion in my book refers to the break up and scattering of sound waves in multiple directions when reflected, and has little or nothing to do with sound source distance?
This has been covered.

The literal definition of diffusion is the scattering of sound.

The audio cue references the surface material that the reflection points cover - but also influence how "concentrated" the sound is. A highly diffuse reflection will sound open and more expansive, while an undiffuse sound will sound tighter and more forward.

The only spatial cue that diffusion effects is that reflections will scatter more over longer distances, as they repeatedly move along other diffusing areas. But, to my ear, I find that diffused reflections make the source sound more open and spacious, while non-diffuse reflections make things feel bulky and in your face.
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