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This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

 

Common Uses Of The Reverb Effect In Mixing

The reverb effect is used primarily to create depth. In a mix, some instruments and vocals are upfront, some are mid-depth, and some are in the background.  If a vocal track is completely dry it will sound up front in the mix. If you add a second vocal track and apply a large hall reverb to it, the vocal will sound distant and behind the first track, like the person is singing in a “large hall.” Apply this logic to an entire mix for a deep sound, which is different from a wide sound.
 
Reverb can also be used to make a poor singer sound better. The bigger the room size, the more small echoes and reflections that help mask an off-key vocal track. It also places the singer behind the music which also masks.
 
Note: A more effective way to fix a poorly sung vocal track is to use a pitch-correcting software like Melodyne, and then effect process the vocal normally. A big reverbed lead vocal is usually not recommended and is a sign of an amateur sound engineer and an obvious “poor singer.”
 
Reverb can also thicken up an audio track or an entire song. If you put a large hall reverb on a violin or synth, you’ll get a thick wider background sound.
 

Basic Reverb Techniques, Tips and Tricks

  • Stereo reverb eats up a lot of space in the mix. Too much of it and you’ll have a big washed out mess! When a mix has a lot of tracks in a certain part, use less space-hogging effects like mono reverbs or slight delays.

  • Panning the reverb effect slightly off of the original audio track leaves extra space for the original audio track.

  • Don’t use too much reverb on your lead vocals, unless you want them pushed deep into your mix.

  • Never reverb your kick drum. And reverb or delay to your bass should be either very slight or not at all. You don’t want your low end smeared and muddy.

  • Reverb duration (or decay time) is a very useful setting. It allows you to fine tune exactly how long you would like the reverb tail to last. This differs from room size.

  • Some reverb units also have distance, another useful setting.

  • Reverb changes the sonic qualities of an audio track, sometimes making it brighter or the bass heavier. It adds EQ to the original audio track. Remember, you can adjust the EQ settings on the reverb device as needed. It’s almost a must to get the right sound. It adds EQ to the original audio track. Remember, you can adjust the EQ settings on the reverb device as needed. It’s almost a must to get the right sound.

  • All reverb effect units are different. Some sound better than others. Reverb plugins like the UAD Lexicon 224 sound great for the home studio at a decent price of only $350.

  • As an audio track gets louder, the more effect it will receive.  Compression or manual gain leveling may be necessary on very dynamic tracks. If not, part of the audio track might not have enough of the effect and other parts might have a lot more than you want.

The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

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