What Is Reverb Effect In Music | How To Use Reverb
Written by John Rogers
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. Read more....
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. Read more....
I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!Ha!
What does mastering do to a song? Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.
Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process. When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs. In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!Ha!
I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.And also before they started making very high quality plugins.
Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music? So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD. Well, mastering is a lot more than just that!
Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS. Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes. During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released. It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!
Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999. In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them. In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.
Why do songs need to be mastered? I've seen this question on the Internet many times.The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."This is a true fact, but not an answer.
So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio? Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.