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Reverb as a buss effect...


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Hey all,

 

I'm still learning, and I just recently came across the idea/suggestion of putting a reverb on the main mix buss.

 

I trust this is to help glue the different sounds together, and I also suspect it's intended to be a very small amount. I suspect this reverb would be EQ'd, just like others (e.g. roll off the bottom and possible the top).

 

Do you do this with any of your tracks?

 

Also, would you put the reverb ahead of or behind a buss compressor (my trusty UAD SSL 4000 emulation)? I would think after, as the compressor would tend to pull up and squash the reverb. I guess I can try it both ways.

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

Todd

 

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No, I normally don't run a reverb on the stereo bus, but I've heard of it being done. If you wanted to put everyone into the same "room", it might work, but you'd want to keep it subtle, like you suggested.

 

The problem with it from my perspective is it puts everyone in not only the same room, but also the same relative distance from the listener, which I personally find un-natural. Even if I want to put everyone in the same room, I might want to still have the ability to put some of them further away, or closer to the listener. I often use reverb as one of my front / back "depth" tools when I mix, so giving everyone the same amount tends to work against that. Unless I was working on an acoustic trio who recorded single-mic or something along those lines, I don't think it would work very well for the way I like to approach mixing. YMMV.

 

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One of the ways Neutron 2 advanced Visual Mixer, has impressed me is the way I can actually control instrument placement (and if stereo, width too) at the main bus. Reverbs can be used for flavour or for space gluing. A number of producer/master engineers use reverb as a environment placement on the master bus, or at least as a part of a chain in the mastering process, done subtly or as enhanced as you want. Aux Bus use of groups of vocals say, is of course common. I actually created a discussion over on another forum recently asking about putting the reverb after say the limiter on the main bus rather than before. General wisdom is that you put it before and adjust as needed with the limiter in play.

 

A great way to use Reverb on say main vocal is to put the Reverb on a AUX bus and pop a sidechained compressor after it. Clean up front vocals with a nice tail as wanted from reverb, and similar trick on delay too.

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Hey all,

 

I'm still learning, and I just recently came across the idea/suggestion of putting a reverb on the main mix buss.

 

I trust this is to help glue the different sounds together, and I also suspect it's intended to be a very small amount. I suspect this reverb would be EQ'd, just like others (e.g. roll off the bottom and possible the top).

 

Do you do this with any of your tracks?

 

To put this in perspective, when there wasn't anything else but the stereo bus (or mono bus, for that matter), that was where reverb was always added (if at all, of course). Back when "mastering" was the process of getting a tape recording on to a lacquer disk, it was the mastering studios that had the best reverbs to sweeten up a dry recording. It's why hardware reverbs had a wet/dry mix control - so you could adjust the amount of reverb added to the recording.

 

 

Also, would you put the reverb ahead of or behind a buss compressor (my trusty UAD SSL 4000 emulation)?[/b] I would think after, as the compressor would tend to pull up and squash the reverb. I guess I can try it both ways.

 

Going back to "real mastering," the compressor (like the famous Fairchild, actually, a limiter) was part of the cutting system and was the last thing the signal hit before going to the amplifier that drives the cutter head.

 

Today you can do anything that you want, and it's up to you to decide what "sounds better" is.

 

 

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Hey all,

 

I'm still learning, and I just recently came across the idea/suggestion of putting a reverb on the main mix buss.

 

I trust this is to help glue the different sounds together, and I also suspect it's intended to be a very small amount. I suspect this reverb would be EQ'd, just like others (e.g. roll off the bottom and possible the top).

 

Do you do this with any of your tracks?

 

Also, would you put the reverb ahead of or behind a buss compressor (my trusty UAD SSL 4000 emulation)? I would think after, as the compressor would tend to pull up and squash the reverb. I guess I can try it both ways.

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

Todd

 

Not on the stereo buss. I usually create a reverb buss and a delay buss, then send signals to those busses. I`ve heard of mixers putting reverb on the stereo buss just to give the mix some space but I prefer to keep reverb and delays on its own buss.

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I am really particular about instruments having their own space or amounts of reverbs. I am not a purist by any stretch with respect to realism, but just prefer the sound when I am placing instruments in their own space or sense of space or the amounts that they receive.

 

Since I only work with "played" and never with "constructed" music, all of the instruments are recorded in the same space and I want them to sound that way. If I'm doing an overdub, It'll almost certainly be recorded in the same space as the rest of the recording.

 

I suppose if I worked on projects where band members took a reference mix home and each worked out his part and recorded it separately in his own space, I'd have to get creative with reverb to get them to match, but I don't usually have the patience to work that way.

 

The worst jobs are the bands who record a live show and then want to go into a studio to replace a bunch of parts. I like groups who can make a record in two hours in the studio and go home happy.

 

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I've considered it at times. The reasons not to present themselves before I've ever tried it, I guess. I'm a 'you'll notice the reverb if I take it away' guy for most of my music, other than the occasional trippy, ambient sort of thing. I have an Alesis Wedge and an Eventide GTR4000 on aux send/return. One for plates and rooms and the other for the hall. I think it's best to be able to be specific about how much reverb each instrument receives, and to be able to put an instrument more to one side or the other. Bass has usually got less reverb than the rest, unless it's spending quite a bit of time in the treble clef. Snare often has more.

 

I occasionally get the urge to go all Purple Rain with reverb and delays though. I listen to that and wonder how. :)

 

And I wonder if maybe I might have to give the stereo buss thought a try.

 

I'm still learning too, btw.

 

Is it possible to have nothing else to learn with this stuff? very-happy.png.197c47f720636f02390cc2b0a33804da.png' alt='smiley-veryhappy'>

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I'm not a huge reverb fan. I like a good room sound on drums, and reverb on voice and possibly an instrument like lead guitar.

 

However, when mastering I would sometimes receive stereo mixes that were drier than the desert. I'd master a version, then do a second version with just a touch of reverb. Most artists liked the reverb...actually I can remember only one who didn't want it, he wanted a super-dry sound and the lack of space was on purpose.

 

Although these days I'm getting more into mastering within the project because I run off different stereo mixes into tracks for comparison, for mission-critical projects I still tend to master to stereo without anything in the master bus, and save that for the mastering stage.

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I'm not a huge reverb fan. I like a good room sound on drums, and reverb on voice and possibly an instrument like lead guitar.

 

However, when mastering I would sometimes receive stereo mixes that were drier than the desert. I'd master a version, then do a second version with just a touch of reverb. Most artists liked the reverb...actually I can remember only one who didn't want it, he wanted a super-dry sound and the lack of space was on purpose.

 

Although these days I'm getting more into mastering within the project because I run off different stereo mixes into tracks for comparison, for mission-critical projects I still tend to master to stereo without anything in the master bus, and save that for the mastering stage.

 

Me either, and me too. Generally speaking, the slower the tempo the more reverb has a role to play. As tempos get faster I tend to keep it tidy, and it seems to be more beneficial to match pre delay and decay times to the tempo and stuff. As always though I try to go with what the song seems to need, or to be asking for as I'm developing it. And if that's a mystery, then someone has more work to do and well...maybe in their next life.

 

So far I've always done my own mastering. I use the Finalyzer Plus on the buss lightly for the mix...limit a few peaks, a little compression and EQ. Then hopefully mastering is just a little more shine on the polish, making it louder to some degree without beating it up too much. If the mix seems to need much more, I just go back and remix. It's a fairly simple matter to hit bypass and grab a mix without anything on it. I should, and now likely will do it more often. :)

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A friend (and a good producer) told me that the older you get, the more reverb you like. I think we were in our 30s at the time. Now that I'm 75, I guess I don't mind reverb all that much, as long as it sounds like the space in which the music might realistically be performed.

 

But then, if Sylvia Massy wants to record guitars and drums in a retired nuclear power plant cooling tower, well, if it doesn't work out in the mix, at least she has a better story to tell than when I used a bathroom at Davis & Elkins College as a live echo chamber.

 

 

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A friend (and a good producer) told me that the older you get, the more reverb you like. I think we were in our 30s at the time. Now that I'm 75, I guess I don't mind reverb all that much, as long as it sounds like the space in which the music might realistically be performed.

 

But then, if Sylvia Massy wants to record guitars and drums in a retired nuclear power plant cooling tower, well, if it doesn't work out in the mix, at least she has a better story to tell than when I used a bathroom at Davis & Elkins College as a live echo chamber.

 

 

I'm pushin 55 and I'm about where I've always been. Actually, if anything I'm considerably less enamored with effects in general than I once was.

 

Maybe it would bring the magic back if I could brag that I'd been to the top of a missile silo. It certainly would beat the snot out of admitting to still using an Alesis Wedge. :lol:

 

Do I have to cop a nuclear tan to love the reverb, or do I have to love reverb to willing to do that? :confused2:

 

 

 

(Bravo Alesis, btw. It's been over 20 years and the Wedge has never blinked.)

Edited by RockViolin
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Do I have to cop a nuclear tan to love the reverb, or do I have to love reverb to willing to do that? :confused2:

 

(Bravo Alesis, btw. It's been over 20 years and the Wedge has never blinked.)

 

The Wedge was from the days when Alesis had a real designer at the helm. I was really tempted to get one when I wanted to replace my Great British Spring reverb, but the thing that put me off was the big bundle of cables that were tied to that relatively small and light box. I was afraid that it would always be falling off the table. At the time, I had a remote recording truck and there wasn't enough space to commit to bolting down the desktop unit in a place where it could be used easily. I ended up with a Roland SVR-2000, which I still use as my primary reverb, the little that I use it.

 

Apparently this tower was never used before the power plant shut down, so it wasn't "hot."

 

[video=youtube;GXpItQpOISU]

 

 

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The Wedge was from the days when Alesis had a real designer at the helm. I was really tempted to get one when I wanted to replace my Great British Spring reverb, but the thing that put me off was the big bundle of cables that were tied to that relatively small and light box. I was afraid that it would always be falling off the table. At the time, I had a remote recording truck and there wasn't enough space to commit to bolting down the desktop unit in a place where it could be used easily. I ended up with a Roland SVR-2000, which I still use as my primary reverb, the little that I use it.

 

Apparently this tower was never used before the power plant shut down, so it wasn't "hot."

 

[video=youtube;GXpItQpOISU]

 

 

She Is Beautiful! :love:

 

Wow.

 

And that snare hit turned into crackling thunder. :eek2:

 

My Wedge sits right in that spot Tascam left for it under and in front of VU meters on my M3500. An inch and 1/2 from the edge and has never fallen. Some luck, and not enough slack I suppose. (And the buss, buss inserts are close by, but I've never tried putting it on them. )

 

My Quadraverb GT did not fare nearly as well and it never took a fall either. It was dead long ago. :(

Edited by RockViolin
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Hey all,

 

I'm still learning, and I just recently came across the idea/suggestion of putting a reverb on the main mix buss.

 

I trust this is to help glue the different sounds together, and I also suspect it's intended to be a very small amount. I suspect this reverb would be EQ'd, just like others (e.g. roll off the bottom and possible the top).

 

Do you do this with any of your tracks?

 

Also, would you put the reverb ahead of or behind a buss compressor (my trusty UAD SSL 4000 emulation)? I would think after, as the compressor would tend to pull up and squash the reverb. I guess I can try it both ways.

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

Todd

Yes. But we have to be careful to distinguish between sending FROM the bus mix to reverb and returning to the bus and the more common, useful, flexible, and time honored practice of setting up sends from individual tracks [where the amount of send can be controlled vis a vis other tracks] to the 'verb and then folding back into the bus.

 

Coming from analog tape based studio work, this latter was the typical arrangement with hardware reverbs. Especially prior to the rise of usable digital reverbs, many studios had limited reverb options: sometimes a chamber or two, more often a plate or two; sometimes just a spring reverb. (Sproing!) So, you pretty much HAD to set up track sends to the reverb and fold the aggregate reverb signal back into the bus during mixdown.

 

And, of course, in the early days of DAW work, turn of the century computers just didn't have the processing power to run a whole bunch of CPU-sucking reverb and other plugins, so there, too, even if you were using plugins (and not hybrid DAW->mixer+FX->mixdown).

 

Now, of course, few of us (who aren't doing 100 track plus mega-productions) need to stint on plugin instantiations, but there can be real aesthetic value in applying the same reverb type (but not necessarily amount, of course) across a number of tracks via track sends and return to bus.

 

With regard to sending FROM the bus mix and folding that back in -- it certainly can be done and it can sometimes be useful. On one of the first projects I worked on in the 1980s that went 'all the way' to vinyl, I was a little surprised when the (old school, experienced) mastering engineer suggested adding a little discreet reverb to one of the tracks -- it was from a different studio and mix session and its dryness made it stand out. The mastering station (I think it was probably K Disc in the greater LA area) had a high end spring reverb which he just brushed lightly across the mix; not much of a fan of spring reverbs (outside of guitar amps), I was surprised that it all worked pretty well and fit in with the much nicer tracks from the good but modest studio where the project finished up at (which had a nice plate reverb as well as one or two then-new digital reverbs).

 

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With regard to reverb before or after buss compressor: generally speaking I would put the reverb return before the compressor send. On rare occasion, I have put reverb in back of compression on a buss but, if doing so for a 'finished' mix that would not be going to mastering, I would make sure that the return from the reverb in such a (rare) circumstance didn't crash 0 dBFS, typically by putting a limiter as the last stage of such a 'DIY mastering' chain.

Edited by blue2blue
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Hey all,

 

I'm still learning, and I just recently came across the idea/suggestion of putting a reverb on the main mix bus.

 

I trust this is to help glue the different sounds together, and I also suspect it's intended to be a very small amount. I suspect this reverb would be EQ'd, just like others (e.g. roll off the bottom and possible the top).

 

Do you do this with any of your tracks?

 

Also, would you put the reverb ahead of or behind a buss compressor (my trusty UAD SSL 4000 emulation)? I would think after, as the compressor would tend to pull up and squash the reverb. I guess I can try it both ways.

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

Todd

 

Theoretically, and as others have stated, this does not sound like something one should do, but what I will tell you is this:

Rather than following theory and the do's and don't, just experiment.

 

I am always amazed as to how people are obsessed and carried away by what others have done with success.

What I mean is, if I tell someone, I am going to record a vocal in the middle of a Nuclear silo, they may think I am crazy and rightfully so, however, if I have success, then everyone wants to do it.

 

Eventide has a reverb plugin called BlackHole (https://www.eventideaudio.com/produc...verb/blackhole), try it out.

 

Personally, I wont put a reverb on a master bus but it's more out of preference than theory.

 

So experiment, try it out and see what happens. :) You could develop your very own Acusonic Process:

https://www.soundonsound.com/q-what-...ording-process.

Edited by audioicon
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I've tried reverb on the stereo bus before. I think if used subtly it can help to "glue" the tracks together. But then again don't use it as a clutch to cover up a bad mix, unless its stylistic decision.

 

Though Izotope Ozone mastering software does include a reverb module, so there's at least some people out there who might use it.

Edited by davie
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There are endless takes and approaches for reverb. As far as putting it on the mix buss - I'd say there are some songs that might work for, but probably for most it's not the first choice.

 

But if you have a separate buss into which you route the reverbs from various channels, and then you blend that into with everything else into the mix buss, you have a ton more options to get just the reverb needed per channel.

 

You could also do submixes of like-kind, compatible instruments like drums, percussion, background vocals, rhythm/comping instruments and such, and put one reverb on the submix to taste.

 

On some simpler projects - say only 3 or 4 instrument tracks and a vocal, I've put a "blending" reverb on the mix buss and that worked pretty well sometimes. A "blending" reverb has a very short length - 1/2 second or less, plus a teeny bit of predelay to preserve the attacks and clarity. It can help pull off the illusion of everything played together in one place. It's best to use a clean, uncolored sort or reverb for this, not a plate or spring, but a hall or room or good convolution reverb.

 

Where some people use reverb, others use delays. It's worth reading up on using delays this way - Daniel Lanois is known for using delays in his vocal chain instead of reverbs. Personally, I love reverb on the lead vocals when done right. But I ain't no Lanois in the studio, that's for sure.....

 

nat

 

 

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