Use of verb in a mix? (How many)

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by infernouk, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. infernouk

    infernouk Newbie

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    Hey guys

    Im starting to realise more and more that reverb is the key to a professional sounding track, too much or too little and it just cant compete!

    Issue is, im not quite there yet and im still building my knowledge to work out how I can utilise reverbs effectively.

    I wanted to know how you guys generally use them, I see a lot of producer master classes where they chuck various reverbs on a few sounds in a mix and then leave other stuff totally dry and dont even use sends.

    I see old school mixers using sends with their room reverb on it and sending various amounts.

    I find that using 1 reverb (usually plate) on a send doesnt get me the results near reference tracks. Should I be looking at using more than 1? Any tips or advice to improve my mixing in this regard?

    Many thanks for your time!
     
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  3. eboe

    eboe Producer

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    Hi there, I am struggle whit this reverberation master sound as well. My latest trying, just a couple of bars and not mastered but real drums. I use 3 different reverb and 3 different delay to get this mystical vibe ;) But I often use 2 reverb and 1-2 delay on my regular tracks and always as send fx.




    Cheers
    //eboe
     
  4. JustinIrradiation

    JustinIrradiation Member

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    I use a short, bright quick one in many places to fill out gaps. plus a mediumshort darkish one and a long hall/chamber one (or whatever the track needs) sometimes all together, for room and space, with eq, comp, saturation sometimes.
     
  5. relexted

    relexted Kapellmeister

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  6. infernouk

    infernouk Newbie

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  7. Cav Emp

    Cav Emp Audiosexual

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    Well I don't know what kind of music you're trying to make, but I would say yes, you definitely can (should?) have more than one reverb. I know sends are "good form" or whatever but I really just can't be bothered adding 5-10 sends for all the different reverbs on a given project*. If you're going for a more realistic style, then yeah I guess less reverbs is probably better since in a real life situation, the whole band would be playing together. But you can still change up the reverb based on the "location" of the sounds. For instance, I've read that predelay makes us subconsciously think a sound is closer. The closer to a wall(s) something is, the more prominent the early reflections will be.

    However, I wouldn't suggest you try to do the mental math and reverse engineer a 'true room' layout with reverbs. Instead, just follow your ears. Fiddle with things a little and see what makes it sound better. If you're making less 'realistic' (i.e. insert bass/electronic genre) music, just go nuts and see what makes you like the sound more within the context of the track.

    After two years I'm just starting to really get the hang of this, but as a pretty good rule of thumb, if something sounds awkward/out of place in your track, half the time it's reverb, 35% of the time it's gain staging and 15% it's EQ.


    * Caveat - sometimes sends are necessary. For instance, if you have a reverb and a delay, and dont want to add reverb to the delay, you need sends for both. Or if you're adding significant compression e.g. in a bus after the reverb. But most of the time I just balance the mix knob with a gain boost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  8. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Guest

    @eboe nice stuff man.. would like to hear more of that jam.. latin and reggae fusion going on a bit?

    all I can say is more and more reverb like that... just do it the way natty bong did ! :wink:

    as for reverb I keep it pretty simple.. mostly using halls, but when you add more instruments,
    say drums, for example , may benefit, from a less expansive verb.. and so on

    the options can make you dizzy, but it comes down to that.. sort through what will enhance
    and not muddy up the whole... maybe take the approach of trying different verbs
    on different components of the mix, then adjusting after playback of the whole

    then it comes down to how golden your ears may be.. those guys who leave things dry
    know exactly why.. and it seems to be a skill learned over possibly years of trial and error

    when you watch Dave Pensado mix, for example, ..you can see he has a lot to draw on
    for his decision making, but you can see also that he ponders on the adjustments
    to choose the best way to make a track shine...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2016
  9. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    It's also important to pay attention to which characteristic freqencies of each element are being reflected in the reverb, and which don't belong there, and which ones muddy the mix or get in the way of the characteristic frequencies of other elements in the mix.
     
  10. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    I use reverb in quite many variations, from super-long lush and SC compressed reverbs (almost as an instrument in itself) to very short room-y reverb (to add some subtle width to short sounds, playng with pre-delay).
    There is no set rule of how many reverbs, how much reverb and/or how to process your reverb (or the source pre reverb). Basically, if it sounds good it sounds good.

    I would however look into the Abbey Road Reverb trick, which (after many years of muddy and overlapping mixes) helped me to get a better mix.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  11. ShadowOfTheZ

    ShadowOfTheZ Ultrasonic

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  12. infernouk

    infernouk Newbie

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    Cheers guys will take on board whats been said, for reference I make deep house / garage sort of stuff!
     
  13. mercurysoto

    mercurysoto Audiosexual

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  14. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Audiosexual

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    Style and a concept of end product matter here. Some mostly dry mixes can sound great. You can get everything up front. The rock band Cake's recording style is a good example. Some keyboard programs already have reverb in them. Most bass players prefer no reverb, but Jaco Pastorious used it all the time. If you are using multiple verbs, you have to make sure they don't clash and cancel and create phase issues and bandwidth crowding. I like to put drums in a small room, and that may still go to the main mix reverb, (sometimes referred to as glue) one of the trickiest things to get right, and also one of the most creative range of "color" in an engineer's pallette. Experience counts, but tutorials help you up the learning curve.
     
  15. ed-enam

    ed-enam Rock Star

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    Great suggestions already. Down to what you are doing.
    I was given an advise by a pro and I will pass it on here. Use reverb on sends. Mix your instrument until you here the reverb effect and then lower it down just a bit.
    But again, it really depends on what you are doing.
     
  16. Burninstar

    Burninstar Producer

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    Mixing tip: Always leave something dry in your mix!

    Contrast is the Key, and the reason to leave some things dry in a mix. If you put reverb on all instruments there will be nothing up front to gage how much reverb you hear on other instruments.

    Use ambiance wisely, Reverb should be used as an enhancement and not to be noticed by the listener, unless you are after a noticeable effect as in reggae dub mixing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  17. Von_Steyr

    Von_Steyr Guest

    Yes,quality reverbs and right choices make a good song outstanding.
    Reverb is indeed the key,its also the hardest to master.
    You can have more reverbs though if you have quality reverbs like altiverb you can do so much more with a lot less.
    You can then use additional reverbs as fx sends.
    Always EQ the FX itself,the channel reverb is sitting on and the source you are sending the reverb to.
    Also you can compress reverbs,to keep them under control.
    Took me a lot of time to get somewhere with Reverbs as i have said they are very hard to master and takes a lot of time and practice.
    Also,dont forget,less is more,dont drown the song in reverb.
     
  18. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    I'm just getting started with reverb. Had been leaving everything dry and just adding reverb to the vocal tracks not as a send, but as an effect on the track. Then tried using a small room on a send and sending tracks to it and was amazed at how it polished and glued the mix together. You can't really hear that there is a reverb there. It just made everything sit together really well. Next, I'm going to try using a long reverb in conjunction with the room reverb to see if I can get some more dimension. I've been reading up on this subject, and may experiment with some delays as well. I just don't know what the right time would be to use delays over different types of reverb. I'm mixing rock/pop type stuff currently.
     
  19. PopstarKiller

    PopstarKiller Platinum Record

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    As many as the song needs. Don't just add effects to fill up some arbitrary quota, that's the fastest way to an amateur mix.

    Most of my mixes are the kind of heavy Rock that utilize very little reverb, usually only on the snare. I prefer using a slapback delay to give instruments depth, since it doesn't muddy the mix like reverb, and an analog 1/4 delay to give vocals/solo guitars an impressive weight (but only on selected parts). So I usually have a slapback buss and analog delay buss which I route various tracks to at varying strength. I do have some more reverb-heavy mixes, where I use several different reverbs depending on the ambience I want to create, but hardly ever more than 2-3.
     
  20. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    Based on that, I'll be checking out some delays. I really liked the glue the short room gave.
     
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