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Reverb: Tips and Techniques
Old 16th January 2011 | Show parent
  #121
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Can you route the output of the reverb's wet signal to it's own channel on the main mixer?

So

Sound>Mixer>>>>>>>>Main Mixer
|
aux send
|
Reverb>>>>>>>Main Mixer

Or send an aux off the main mixer to the reverb unit and return it on another channel back on the main mixer?
I am new to this, the only thing I have read on recording, are you last two tip threads and manuals. What is an AUX Send.
Old 17th January 2011 | Show parent
  #122
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by g.t.p. ➑️
I am new to this, the only thing I have read on recording, are you last two tip threads and manuals. What is an AUX Send.
Ah. I highly recommend paging through the user manuals. Not to cop out of answering your question, but one answer will assuredly lead to another question, and this is about reverb.

That being said - it's a path that splits the signal from the channel and directs it elsewhere.
Old 17th January 2011 | Show parent
  #123
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Ah. I highly recommend paging through the user manuals. Not to cop out of answering your question, but one answer will assuredly lead to another question, and this is about reverb.

That being said - it's a path that splits the signal from the channel and directs it elsewhere.
Ok ....
Old 5th February 2011 | Show parent
  #124
js1
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🎧 15 years
Wonderful thread, Storyville. The "unifying the reverb sounds" makes so much sense, but never occured to me. I'm playing with a mix at this moment, which made me think of a few more questions.

- From what I can infer from your previous points, you would rarely use any longish reverbs at all (except maybe as an effect). Given your rhythmic approach for setting reverb times, even a whole note at 80 bpm would only be 1.5 sec. Did I come to the right conclusion?

- If you don't have any natural room ambiance to work with, and you're going for the "reverb as an natural sense of space" approach, do you ever add a small amount of something across all the tracks to put them into the same "room"? If so, what do you use (a convo room/algorithmic, small/mid/largish space).

- If a reverb has independent control of the early reflections and the reverb start, do you try to time the length of the early reflection and the reverb start time to both be on rhythmic intervals?

Thanks in advance,
js
Old 5th February 2011 | Show parent
  #125
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🎧 10 years
Thanks man. Comments will be below in bold, as per the usual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js1 ➑️
Wonderful thread, Storyville. The "unifying the reverb sounds" makes so much sense, but never occured to me. I'm playing with a mix at this moment, which made me think of a few more questions.

- From what I can infer from your previous points, you would rarely use any longish reverbs at all (except maybe as an effect). Given your rhythmic approach for setting reverb times, even a whole note at 80 bpm would only be 1.5 sec. Did I come to the right conclusion?

Indeed, I rarely use long reverbs except if I want to specifically use the reverb for "a space" rather than an element. My reverbs are generally falling from .5 to 1.5 seconds - except in ballads. That's just me though. On an occasion I'll use a longer reverb, and gate the tail - because I want a bigger sounding decay.

- If you don't have any natural room ambiance to work with, and you're going for the "reverb as an natural sense of space" approach, do you ever add a small amount of something across all the tracks to put them into the same "room"? If so, what do you use (a convo room/algorithmic, small/mid/largish space).

Yes - a lot of times the low end stays dry, but I will send my kick and bass through a designated reverb just to see how I feel about the results. But I'll have a main reverb for many tracks - and often times use variations of the same reverb for other tracks. One of my favorite tricks is to create two duplicate reverbs - one with a longer pre-delay than the other. I'll send the stuff that I want bedding the track to the shorter pre-delay reverb, and the things I want up front through the longer pre-delay track. This creates the effect of being in different forward to back locales within the same singular space.

- If a reverb has independent control of the early reflections and the reverb start, do you try to time the length of the early reflection and the reverb start time to both be on rhythmic intervals?

Generally not - negotiating the relationship between early and late reflections is still something I'm getting under my belt. Pensado had a nice tip about this - mentioning that the presence of early reflections makes the reverb itself sound more forward in the mix (or something to that degree). The things I focus on rhythmically are the start time - which I now tend to do more by front to back feel - and the tail time, which I generally try to time to rhythmically "lead in" to the next important beat - usually the 1 beat.

With vocals, I'm leaning more toward shorter and shorter reverb times, particularly with Rap - because I don't want the reverb to encumber the clarity of the vocals AT ALL - but I still want a nice air around them.

I don't usually like particularly dense reverbs - prefer to favor the late reflections and like the early reflections to sink in almost indistinguishably - it's not so much a timing issue as it is a textural one. But it's also part of my Hip Hop aesthetic - Indie Rock seems to love dense reverbs and separated reflections - the room is always really present and forward.

I know some of this stuff probably contradicts things I've said earlier - but this thread has been going for like 2 years or something and my process changes as I try different things.


Thanks in advance,

You're welcome in hindsight.
js
Old 5th February 2011 | Show parent
  #126
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just realized - it's exactly the 2 year anniversary of this thread.
Old 19th February 2011 | Show parent
  #127
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gritzildino's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Storyville, great thread! Really learning a lot. Just going to the original thread.. About Duration.. You talk about using a duration of around ~219ms. That seems crazy short to me. Other places Ive researched/looked say a a small room has a reverb time of ~2 secs and a large room~8 secs. So thats usually the times I use for things up in ur face or things faraway. So anyway, I thought I would adjust the duration like u say, according to BPM. But I don't even have a Reverb that goes less that .5 secs which is 500 ms....
Do I have it all wrong or something? Is reverb time different than duration?
Old 27th February 2011 | Show parent
  #128
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Pre delay question

Fantastic thread. My only confusion is still with the predelay. Using the backup singers example, you've got the lead singer at 20ms predealy, the backup singers at 30ms. Would you place the instruments around 30ms to 40ms as well and then add say, another 10ms to the drums? I thought you don't normally put much predelay on percussive instruments? I know all the other categories will change as well, I was just trying to get my head around a predelay strategy. Anyone's help is appreciated.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #129
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gritzildino ➑️
Hey Storyville, great thread! Really learning a lot. Just going to the original thread.. About Duration.. You talk about using a duration of around ~219ms. That seems crazy short to me. Other places Ive researched/looked say a a small room has a reverb time of ~2 secs and a large room~8 secs. So thats usually the times I use for things up in ur face or things faraway. So anyway, I thought I would adjust the duration like u say, according to BPM. But I don't even have a Reverb that goes less that .5 secs which is 500 ms....
Do I have it all wrong or something? Is reverb time different than duration?
I'll go back and read that again to see what the context is - but 219ms IS very short for a reverb tail. It's realistic for a tight room, though.

But going on rhythm as the rubric - at 120bpm, a single beat would occur over 500ms. So, if you want the reverb to connect rhythmically into the next measure, you would want a 2 second decay. (4 beats per measure).

Establishing where you want the reverb to lead into is paramount for any of the math - but to be honest, I'm doing it by ear now. The reverb tail might be 2 seconds, but the algorithm might only make the reverb sound present for the first second of that 2 seconds. The more I develop my reverb technique, the less I think about numbers. At the same time, maybe I've internalized the numbers more? Regardless - the part that remains consistent is the fact that reverb requires consideration to how it compliments the groove of the song.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #130
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dykesh ➑️
Fantastic thread. My only confusion is still with the predelay. Using the backup singers example, you've got the lead singer at 20ms predealy, the backup singers at 30ms. Would you place the instruments around 30ms to 40ms as well and then add say, another 10ms to the drums? I thought you don't normally put much predelay on percussive instruments? I know all the other categories will change as well, I was just trying to get my head around a predelay strategy. Anyone's help is appreciated.
Again, I'd have to re-read to see what I wrote - but generally the longest predelay is going to sound most forward - so lead vocals would probably get a longer predelay than other elements. The things farther back get less predelay.

I usually don't put too long of a predelay on anything, unless I want a specific effect. If the reverb disconnects from the source, it loses a lot of it's power, to me. Also - because there is that rhythmic consideration, too long of a predelay on drums can really f up the groove. Shorter predelays, to no predelay is usually my MO on drums. The exception being the snare in a Hip Hop track. Sometimes I'll pull that more toward the front of the mix, and I'll stretch the predelay a bit further - but again, I'd rather the snare be back in the mix than to have the groove disrupted so I'm always listening for that.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #131
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Also, while I'm back on this thread - I'd like to add something.

In regards to choosing reverbs - Springs in particular are good for "haunting" sounds.

Reverbs, real and fake are essentially dense collections of echoes. While halls and room are collections of hundreds of these, plates even more so - Springs have very few echoes - which makes the sound very ghostly. Also, theoretically, the density control on some reverb units increases or decreases the perceived number of echoes - so if you want a haunting room sound a good way to evoke this is to turn the density down, but keep the room relatively non-diffuse so the tone of the room doesn't diminish.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #132
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks so much for the help...
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #133
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Marshall Oliver's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This should be stickyed!!!!!
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #134
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
i figure its worth pointing out that a convincing sense of space in hip hop is optional. so you can think about putting instruments and voices in a room, or you can think in terms of combining ambiences.

its totally normal for a loop to sound like it was recorded in the 60's in a large room, have the lead vocal sound to be slathered in digital effects, and say a synth hook in the background run through a spring.

i've really been enjoying using spectral effects to add a sense of ambience (smears time in a totally different way). similar to a plate or spring, they don't make a track sound like its coming from somewhere in particular- heck it kinda sounds like the little girl from poltergeist talking from the spirit world.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #135
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeldip ➑️
i figure its worth pointing out that a convincing sense of space in hip hop is optional. so you can think about putting instruments and voices in a room, or you can think in terms of combining ambiences.

its totally normal for a loop to sound like it was recorded in the 60's in a large room, have the lead vocal sound to be slathered in digital effects, and say a synth hook in the background run through a spring.

i've really been enjoying using spectral effects to add a sense of ambience (smears time in a totally different way). similar to a plate or spring, they don't make a track sound like its coming from somewhere in particular- heck it kinda sounds like the little girl from poltergeist talking from the spirit world.
Yes, yes, yes. This was the whole point for starting this thread - the underlying idea is that Hip Hop, and a lot of music for that matter, does not need a realistic sense of space. Reverb adds dimension, tone, rhythm, and texture - it can add realism, but that's pretty secondary! UNLESS you are setting out with the intention to make a real environment to compliment the song.

What spectral effects have you been using? Frequency dependent delays?
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #136
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
i am big on this effects suite:
Michael Norris: SoundMagic Spectral

spectral averaging sounding most like reverb, but a few of those other effects work well. another trick i use is to duplicate the track to be reverbed, and instead of using a pre-delay, i'll just shift the track. that way i can go backwards in time. some spectral effects take a while to build up, so a track shifted forward in time compensates.

i also have a copy of cyclin74's hipno running on my computer for the time being. its an abandoned product, so i'll lose it soon. but just a slew of granular/spectral effects with time/pitch dependent modulations etc.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #137
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeldip ➑️
i am big on this effects suite:
Michael Norris: SoundMagic Spectral

spectral averaging sounding most like reverb, but a few of those other effects work well. another trick i use is to duplicate the track to be reverbed, and instead of using a pre-delay, i'll just shift the track. that way i can go backwards in time. some spectral effects take a while to build up, so a track shifted forward in time compensates.

i also have a copy of cyclin74's hipno running on my computer for the time being. its an abandoned product, so i'll lose it soon. but just a slew of granular/spectral effects with time/pitch dependent modulations etc.
Wow, what a cool little plugin! I'm so glad you've posted this. I keep a blog on my website, that I'm starting to update more frequently - I gotta give you a shout for hipping me to it. PM me with your name and website so I can throw it up there with a link.
Old 28th February 2011 | Show parent
  #138
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b0ssa's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
I just realized - it's exactly the 2 year anniversary of this thread.
That smile must be beginning to hurt by now.

Thanks for the thread SV.. very educational.
Old 1st March 2011 | Show parent
  #139
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Wow, what a cool little plugin! I'm so glad you've posted this. I keep a blog on my website, that I'm starting to update more frequently - I gotta give you a shout for hipping me to it. PM me with your name and website so I can throw it up there with a link.
eeldip from the internet is enough credit for me.
Old 1st March 2011 | Show parent
  #140
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🎧 10 years
This is a tip from Michael Brauer:

"Take the output of the Left side of a stereo cue and go into a delay( set at 125ms for example).
Take the output of the delay and go into a mult.
Take the output of the Right side of a stereo cue and go into the same mult.
Go out of the mult and into the input of the EMT plate.

Now you control the amount of delay by using the pan. You can have the gtr sending to the plate w/o delay. For the vocal, you can pan the stereo cue to the center and have a little delay along with the direct signal going to the plate.
"

However, I am not able to make sense of this, trying to get this setup in Logic, plus, I am not sure if you are meant to be able to use say, the guitar AND the vocal with this one config./example alone, or is it one OR the other... anyway it's a bit confusing to me.

Of course, I know that it's more flexible nowadays in the box/DAW and I can set things up the way I do usually, but I am trying to understand how this was setup (what was mono/stereo, busses/auxes/sends???) with the hardware (EMT140) and to apply it in Logic, even though I might not use it in the end, as I understand you need to setup extra busses to get this to work, so it might be that this "old" trick is not really worth the effort in the box? I don't know.

If anyone got this right, can you run me through this? Thanks
Old 1st March 2011 | Show parent
  #141
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by l.sicilian ➑️
This is a tip from Michael Brauer:

"Take the output of the Left side of a stereo cue and go into a delay( set at 125ms for example).
Take the output of the delay and go into a mult.
Take the output of the Right side of a stereo cue and go into the same mult.
Go out of the mult and into the input of the EMT plate.

Now you control the amount of delay by using the pan. You can have the gtr sending to the plate w/o delay. For the vocal, you can pan the stereo cue to the center and have a little delay along with the direct signal going to the plate.
"

However, I am not able to make sense of this, trying to get this setup in Logic, plus, I am not sure if you are meant to be able to use say, the guitar AND the vocal with this one config./example alone, or is it one OR the other... anyway it's a bit confusing to me.

Of course, I know that it's more flexible nowadays in the box/DAW and I can set things up the way I do usually, but I am trying to understand how this was setup (what was mono/stereo, busses/auxes/sends???) with the hardware (EMT140) and to apply it in Logic, even though I might not use it in the end, as I understand you need to setup extra busses to get this to work, so it might be that this "old" trick is not really worth the effort in the box? I don't know.

If anyone got this right, can you run me through this? Thanks
Doing this makes no sense in the box. This would be great for saving space on a console where you only have six aux sends or something like that. Basically you get a "phantom" aux send from the pan pot of your stereo cue.

ITB, you set up a delay return, and a reverb return, and you assign the send levels how you want.

All this means is having a signal go to a delay, and a plate, and having individual send control.

If you want, you could even set up a third aux return that has the same delay with the output set to the input of the reverb - so you could have any degree of reverb, dry delay, or reverbed delay you want. It has nothing to do with the left side being delayed or the right side of the reverb coming in before the left side or anything like that - it's purely a console economics technique.
Old 1st March 2011
  #142
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️

Establishing where you want the reverb to lead into is paramount for any of the math - but to be honest, I'm doing it by ear now. The reverb tail might be 2 seconds, but the algorithm might only make the reverb sound present for the first second of that 2 seconds. The more I develop my reverb technique, the less I think about numbers. At the same time, maybe I've internalized the numbers more? Regardless - the part that remains consistent is the fact that reverb requires consideration to how it compliments the groove of the song.

This right here is why I don't worry too much about numbers when it comes to reverb. Yes, the verb needs to compliment the groove, but depending on the verb that may not be a mathematically correct setting. Good starting points though.
Old 1st March 2011 | Show parent
  #143
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Doing this makes no sense in the box. This would be great for saving space on a console where you only have six aux sends or something like that. Basically you get a "phantom" aux send from the pan pot of your stereo cue.

ITB, you set up a delay return, and a reverb return, and you assign the send levels how you want.

All this means is having a signal go to a delay, and a plate, and having individual send control.

If you want, you could even set up a third aux return that has the same delay with the output set to the input of the reverb - so you could have any degree of reverb, dry delay, or reverbed delay you want. It has nothing to do with the left side being delayed or the right side of the reverb coming in before the left side or anything like that - it's purely a console economics technique.
Well, I am well aware that when it comes to setting things up ITB, the sky is limit.

But I am still not understanding this exact routing OTB, I am very interested?

Do you use Logic?
Old 1st March 2011 | Show parent
  #144
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
A lot of times when I add reverb I get that unpleasant "metallic" sound, similar to the sound of bending sheet metal or something. Any tips to avoiding that and getting a smoother reverb? I'm using reverb on a Motif
Old 2nd March 2011 | Show parent
  #145
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshai ➑️
A lot of times when I add reverb I get that unpleasant "metallic" sound, similar to the sound of bending sheet metal or something. Any tips to avoiding that and getting a smoother reverb? I'm using reverb on a Motif
Turn the Mix knob down so only 5-15% of the sound is affected. Generally when I get that sound is when I have too much reverb. Sometimes it's a desired effect, most of the time it's not.
Old 2nd March 2011 | Show parent
  #146
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guess Who ➑️
Turn the Mix knob down so only 5-15% of the sound is affected. Generally when I get that sound is when I have too much reverb. Sometimes it's a desired effect, most of the time it's not.
Thanks. On the motifs, all the presets have a reverb setting of 12 out of 127 already applied to every sound. Which is about 5-15% like you said, and sounds good on the internal sounds, but if I load an external sample and even turn it all way down to just 1-2, it still sounds kind of metallic. Maybe I just need a better reverb? I've heard good things about the Motif reverb though. Are there other settings that can be adjusted that effect that metal sound?

btw I'm referring to drum samples that I load.
Old 2nd March 2011
  #147
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by l.sicilian ➑️
Well, I am well aware that when it comes to setting things up ITB, the sky is limit.

But I am still not understanding this exact routing OTB, I am very interested?

Do you use Logic?

A stereo cue is stereo, meaning left and right with a pan pot. Brauer trick is to use the left and right as separate mono sends, with each side feeding a separate effect. That way The pan pot allows you to vary how much signal goes to which device
Old 2nd March 2011 | Show parent
  #148
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by l.sicilian ➑️
Well, I am well aware that when it comes to setting things up ITB, the sky is limit.

But I am still not understanding this exact routing OTB, I am very interested?

Do you use Logic?
Do you have a console? I don't know how to explain it any other way. You patch the outs of a stereo cue send, one into a delay, the other into a mult. Then patch the delay out into the in of the same mult. Then you run the mult outs, one to a return channel, one to a reverb - or possibly both to the reverb if you wanted some kind of weird reverbed delay effect. Then you assign channels to the stereo cue to send them along that path.

This effectively turns your cue pan pot to a delay< >reverb knob. It's a workflow tip, and a space economics tip.

But it also depends on the architecture of the console. Not every console had independent pan control on each channel for the cue send. Some just rely on the pan control down at the fader.

In Logic, you would just send up a delay return and a reverb return and adjust the aux send levels at each channel for each instrument - there's nothing else to it. I guess if you really wanted, you could do a stereo aux send to two mono returns with a delay on the left channel return and reverb on the right channel return (could use a mono to stereo reverb on that one). Then instead of controlling two separate sends, you could use the pan knob on the stereo aux send as a delay< >reverb ratio control. Then if you wanted someting disproportionate on a track, you could simply assign another send to independently return on either the delay or reverb.
Old 2nd March 2011 | Show parent
  #149
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eshai ➑️
Thanks. On the motifs, all the presets have a reverb setting of 12 out of 127 already applied to every sound. Which is about 5-15% like you said, and sounds good on the internal sounds, but if I load an external sample and even turn it all way down to just 1-2, it still sounds kind of metallic. Maybe I just need a better reverb? I've heard good things about the Motif reverb though. Are there other settings that can be adjusted that effect that metal sound?

btw I'm referring to drum samples that I load.
It's probably diffusion. Diffusion controls can be confusing because on some reverbs "0" refers to have no diffusion. On others "0" refers to the echo build up - another words - very diffuse. So, wherever it's set now, try moving it the opposite direction.
Old 2nd March 2011 | Show parent
  #150
Gear Maniac
 
mirror symmetry's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
Diffusion controls can be confusing because on some reverbs "0" refers to have no diffusion. On others "0" refers to the echo build up - another words - very diffuse.
Diffusion is one of the most counter-intuitive labels for such a control. I think the general convention is that high-diffuse sounds are the ones that spread out even and have high amounts of reflections? Yet we use diffusers to inhibit such an effect?
Barmy!!!
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