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  • Mono Reverb- from earlier discussion

    I've been on set all this week and this song keeps playing in the trailer. I listened to it again this morning on my own because of the way it's been hitting my engineer ears all week.

    If you were tracking as pingpongs between machines in 1961 and remember printing reverb as a commitment at various stages of the mono tracking (regardless of if the final mix would be stereo), then you remember the "sound" of those mono reverb prints along the way.

    Moving the general concept to the 21st century......

    These two sisters tracked this in the studio where a 421 is on the guitar amp and the track is captured onto a mono track of the daw... via a mono channel of a console before the daw feed... complete with the mono reverb of the Fender amp itself. The guitar comes in at around 40 seconds.

    Notice how firmly that reverb is located in space via it's mono position and assignment to only the guitar...in the exact spot as the guitar. Which can be done with a mono external plate etc reverb too... ... if purely routed as mono....if one didn't particularly want a spring sound from an amp. Studio mix-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rD5UIVbLcA

    Nice placement, even if I would've taken the experiment further. If this were 1963 and the drums/bass/rhodes had to be pingponged a few times.... dry, not with the existing stereo reverb..... with maybe further mono treatment of reverb on the snare ...eventually panned dead center on top of "a" mono snare....., there'd be yet another dimension of pinpoint mono reverb.... even at a way different decay setting than what's going on with the guitar.

    And hey...if it were up to 1965, once the vocals were overdubbed, a gazillion mono reverb ideas could be tried as pingponging happened.... more creamy sound simply because of mono reverb tricks. Which no one does any more.

    But this track above at least shows one small facet of using the general technique and resulting sound.... in a daw universe.

    In my perusing of the song session info, I ran into this additional interesting youtube clip....

    Okay, so later on, the two sisters do a quick/dirty live-time run through of the same song in a house (not the studio session), with everything pretty much captured in stereo, even the mono reverb of the guitar amp being picked up in stereo leakage from mics in the room .... so of course, you've got much more a plain-vanilla 2016 stereo sound.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ7dgxJ-jak

    Just in terms of the guitar amp, I like the first clip way better than the second live clip.

    To me, the first clip shows the engineer was doing some thinking about that amp. He could've easily have assigned that amp to a stereo track and panned it.... or worse.... sweetened it with additional delay and reverb.... to make it more .... generic... in the mix. But instead, the mono reverb is firmly left on the mono guitar track.... all captured by a 421.

    I wish he had chosen to do a similar reverb experiment with the eventual nylon string guitar, piano, organ patch and what-not overdubs as the song gets a little awash in stereo reverb, but oh well.

    The guitar amp reverb on clip one though.... nice thinking.

    Last edited by bookumdano4; 09-08-2016, 03:19 PM.

  • #2
    I think mono reverb is under-utilized. Mixers often tend to go for 'stereo everything', then pan it all wide, and it just turns into mush. I prefer more creative panning.
    **********

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    • #3
      I love mono. I don't care much for stereo. If I could get my recordings to sound like monaural played back on an old TV set or dashboard car speakers, I'd be a happy camper indeed.
      Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 09-09-2016, 09:52 PM.
      He has escaped! Youtube , ‚ÄčMurika , France

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      • #4
        Huh....very interesting ideas. I'll have to play around with mono reverb.

        I would think any lead instrument (during an actual lead or riff) that this would be obvious as standard procedure, using a mono reverb on a mono instrument. But then I never thought of it - except when using an amp sim, mono, with the amp reverb in play.

        What about vocals? Maybe not "modern" vocals that are so massively processed. But where you at least are going for a real singer vibe, real or faked, the 'verb creating a sort of aura around the voice.

        nat whilk ii

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nat whilk II View Post
          Huh....very interesting ideas. I'll have to play around with mono reverb.

          I would think any lead instrument (during an actual lead or riff) that this would be obvious as standard procedure, using a mono reverb on a mono instrument. But then I never thought of it - except when using an amp sim, mono, with the amp reverb in play.

          What about vocals? Maybe not "modern" vocals that are so massively processed. But where you at least are going for a real singer vibe, real or faked, the 'verb creating a sort of aura around the voice.

          nat whilk ii

          There are so many cool ways to experiment. Specific examples based on 1960s multitrack tapes I've played with (via access from my friends running the sessions) include...

          "Sunday Will Never Be the Same".. Spanky & Our Gang, spring of 1967... vocals were tracked, submixed to a mono track of tape and then doubled, with a mono reverb slapped on. It's a wide coverage, but you can hear how it has it's place relative to the instrument submixes (when listening to the stereo mix). Strings in the stereo mix have their reverb send (mono), returned and stacked direct on top of the strings panned to the side. The mono mix of the song was an entirely separate mix with less adventuresome experiments

          "Like To Get To Know You"... one of my fav examples... Spanky/Gang .. spring 1968. A Frankenstein of submixes and overdubs and sweat-inducing mutes. So much mono reverb. The first brush tom hit in mono has its mono reverb send delayed via a tape machine and then to the plate, and then the mono tom signal panned away from the tom and more center. The piano (an overdub that was doubled in realtime and submixed to mono) has its own reverb send/return .... mono.....tape delayed and printed on top of the piano.

          Many of the answering vocals... doubled, tripled, quadrupled, then submixed to mono.... have a mono send to reverb (tape delayed) and then panned to the OTHER side of the vocal stack (this being l-c-r). Compressed as well to create a "bloom".

          All kinds of whatnot reverb stuff additionally with the vocals... including some of the lines being bone-dry. A wonderland of engineering ideas. One of the writers of that tune was a very good friend of mine and gave me about a month of stories about the sessions in addition to my being able to understand/hear the bouncing.

          "Give a Damn".... another S/G track. The first slap of guitar (on the stereo mix) has a huge bloom of reverb due to a slow tape delay before the plate. Elaine's voice comes in with a mono reverb printed to it.... and is gradually panned (with the reverb) over to the side to make room for other stuff coming in. You hear the reverb move over with the voice. Lots of other cool stuff on that one, but you get the idea.

          In lots of tracks from those days by any artist.... at least from my perspective and work then, you didn't worry about how these mono reverb prints were gonna say "translate to the mono mix". Mostly because you'd do an entire separate mono mix of the tune itself (for 45) where your decisions
          might be totally different for the reverb.

          I also like a few 1960s stereo techniques that sort of "came out at you". A Strawberry Alarm Clock B-side I always loved (used to watch them do this tune at shows) is called "Tomorrow". For the slightly longer album stereo mix, Ed and Mark were allowed to mix the songs themselves. The SG/Super Beatle ...mono..lead break ends with a sustain guitar note... dry.... starting at the side and then abruptly panned to center and then ....as a last moment trial and error thing, Ed turned up the send to the reverb, engulfing the center mono guitar feedback with this bloom of stereo reverb ambience... placed away from center. So cool!
          Last edited by bookumdano4; 09-10-2016, 05:09 PM.

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