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Subjective Opinions on applying Reverb

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  • Subjective Opinions on applying Reverb

    OK. Here's a chance for EVERYBODY to chime in. I've been playing drums for 45 yrs, and recording other digital audio for 25. Although, I've rubbed elbows, and am respected by VERY accomplished musicians, I don't claim to know even half as much as the reams of volumes that others have already forgotten. I've never had one formally taught course, or lesson. All I know is that other extremely capable, and experienced musicians that have heard my work, and mixes has always complimented my work. As far as reverb, some of them say "Well, I might not put quite as much reverb, but I don't think your mix is "WRONG", or distasteful, or illustrates a particular incompetence, or ignorance about how to apply reverb".   SOO, having said that, is there any consensus, or general rule that I'm not aware of for applying reverb, other than your EAR? PLEEZE bleed all over this.  KC


  • #2

    KingConga wrote:

    OK. Here's a chance for EVERYBODY to chime in. I've been playing drums for 45 yrs, and recording other digital audio for 25. Although, I've rubbed elbows, and am respected by VERY accomplished musicians, I don't claim to know even half as much as the reams of volumes that others have already forgotten. I've never had one formally taught course, or lesson. All I know is that other extremely capable, and experienced musicians that have heard my work, and mixes has always complimented my work. As far as reverb, some of them say "Well, I might not put quite as much reverb, but I don't think your mix is "WRONG", or distasteful, or illustrates a particular incompetence, or ignorance about how to apply reverb".   SOO, having said that, is there any consensus, or general rule that I'm not aware of for applying reverb, other than your EAR? PLEEZE bleed all over this.  KC


     

    No, there isn't any rule for that.

    Maybe the only rule is that without room it sounds dimensionless.

    Otherwise any room from very small to very huge.

     

    Comment


    • #3

      I think style of music and/or instrumentation definitely plays a part.  Elvis, Scotty & Bill were helped tremendously by that famous Sun slapback echo but does a big band or a metal quartet need it?  Probably not.


      As your post implies, individual taste is the determining factor but for an engineer/producer certain effects or techniques are a signature the way guitarist's amp tones are.  Take the Cult as an example.  Song selection aside for a moment, is the 'Love' album with all the delay and reverb better or does 'Electric' with its sparse, dry Rick Rubin sound better?  Ear of the beholder etc.

      Random thoughts: It might be a cliche to say 'as long as it's musical' but I think it's fairly easy for expert and novice alike to notice when it becomes too much.  In my own experience over time I have found that I need less than I think.  Familiarity with the songs/mixdown can be a problem of sorts...ear fatigue may lead  you to apply (more) reverb because your brain is rebelling against hearing the same thing over again.  Perhaps present an A/B comparison to your test listeners and letting them choose rather than just the one mix?



      The ORANGE Conglomerate

      Comment


      • Rudolf von Hagenwil
        Editing a comment

        - producing, recording and mixing a song is an art.

        - each song is different, there are no two songs alike.

        - each song is sculptured differently.

        - it is the idea and the vision of the producer what a song is calling for.

        - what the song must be at the end is planned in advance, if not, you waste time nobody pays you.for.


    • #4

      Reverb whether its real or synthetic adds three dimensionality to the sound. Want something up front in your face you use less. You want it back, you use more.

      It really depends on the material and the quality of the tracks captured. To little is safer than too much.

      Drums can be fun because you can apply it to some and not to others for a combination. I dont usually put reverb on the whole set inless I'm attempting to make the whole band sound live.

      I favor adding reverb on a snare vs the kick or cymbals. Cymbals can easily add too much white noise to the mix even with carefully sculpted reverb tone. Kick can also overwhelm the bass guitar with flutter. I like to keep the kick and bass tight so less reverb there.

      Snare is something that resides in the Guitar and vocal region and can highly benifit form adding depth. A snare mic will usually pick up some high hat bleed too so it adds some sizzle to the reverb and moves the High Hat in back of the kick where you'd hear it live.

      After that its a matter of adjusting the length, reflection type, pre delay, EQ etc to match the musics color and tempo. It can be used strategically too. I had a song the other day that had a week ending. I added some deep reverb on the very last snare stroke and it sounded like a canon going off. Very cool effect to the end of a metal tune.  

       

      Comment


      • Rudolf von Hagenwil
        Editing a comment

        Most important is to use the best artifical software reverberator in order to achieve great results, this no matter what the style of music is, also trashy music requires the best sound processing and recoding in best quality.

        In general when you want to sculpture a pop song, you record the source relatively dry so you can add artificial reverb in the mix. This gives you the possibility to sculpture a mix which is not chievable with natural acoustical rooms.

        Using the acoustic room and and articicial room in a production, that is possible, but most often not desirable. Also often the two room type seldom match to a great result, therefor you decide upfront.

         

        A recording with lowest amount of acoustic space is done by isolating the reflection of the room, so the reflexions don't get into the microphones, i.e. like that:

        l.jpg

         

         

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