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Topic: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

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  1. #1

    Exclamation Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    Hello everyone,

    I recently posted a piece... and was told that I had used to much reverb and not enough articulations. Well, I knew that I had written all sorts of articulations... maybe the reverb was masking everything else?

    My settings were about 70% wet/ 30% dry... and that was to much. I was told to start at 100% dry... slowly adding wet until I thought that it sounded good, and then Back it off some. Suffice to say, I ended up with about 30% wet/ 70% dry. It was ironic that that was the opposite of my previous settings, don't you think!?!

    After reposting the track, David (who started all this in the first place) was amazed at the difference in clarity. All the articulations, he thought that I should add in there, were there after all. As an example, of what not to do with your reverb... and to show what a difference the right amount makes... David thought that I should post both versions.

    Here they are...way to much reverb and just enough reverb

    Do a little experimenting to find that sweet spot for your reverb.

    I have to thank David once again for his insight and advice!
    Paul

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  2. #2

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    I agree that too much reverb definately mushes up the mix.

    Lately, I've been cutting back, and am getting quite used to a dryer sound. It's almost like having a totally new set of instruments.
    Steve A. Gallant

    www.SteveGallant.com

  3. #3

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    I'm one for going sparingly on the reverb if you're shooting for realism. Of course completely dry sounds terrible, but it's so easy to turn everything into mush.

    The number one culprit for ending up with too much is mixing in the headphones. Just say no to the headphone mix!

    There are other tricks to get clarity, if you're so inclined. For example, if you feed different sections through bus inserts into your reverb, try giving even less reverb to low-pitched instruments, especially Contrabass and bass drum. You can keep this almost completely dry, and all that low-frequency reverb mush will disappear.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  4. #4

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    I fell into the 'to much reverb' boat also...

    I'm having enormous difficulty atm trying to determine how much reverb is a good amount. What I really like in orchestral music is that big expansive delay real concert halls give (for example, the two towers soundtrack) ... using my realtek HD audio manager it had a preset auditorium setting that gave me exactly this (since I don't know the reverb terminology, i'll explain it as the music resonating in your ears after all playing has stopped) ... unforunately it hindered the overall clarity of the sound, so I'm back to square one using the default GPO studio reverb.

    Maybe I'm still a bit inexperienced, but I found GPO studio reverb doesn't give that wonderful 'resonating' sound... but perhaps there is a knob or two I'm not tweaking which will help me... another good example of what I am talking about are the MP3s beach posts

    Sorry for my crude terminology - I'm still new to digital music & trying to find my feet! Any help would be greatly appreciated

  5. #5

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    Thanks for posting this, Paul -- as I said earlier in your
    other post, it's a great example of obtaining far better
    clarity by simply backing off the wet stuff... lol.

    Jamie's suggestions are also very well taken; though
    I might moderate his comment slightly about headphones.

    Personally, I think one should, if possible, find a good
    compromise point between what one hears on monitor
    speakers and what one hears in headphones. After
    all, these days, a very large percentage of your listeners
    may not hear the piece on anything other than head-
    phones.

    I suspect Jamie would agree to this perspective at least
    somewhat -- and as he's more skilled with the sound
    treatment end of things than I am, perhaps he might have
    a suggestion or two on how to achieve best results for
    both listening venues.

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  6. #6

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    Echoes,

    does the realtek HD audio manager have something on there about wet/dry mix? If it does, then I can explain how to get the balance right. The "resonating after the sound has stopped" is called reflections. Another term that I learned in school, but have not seen on a reverb since then is "rt60" (if I remember correctly) which is the amount of time a sound takes to reflect of the surfaces of the room. As an example, in a gymnasium if you clap your hands once you will hear an echo... the amount of time that takes to occur is the rt-60 of the gym. I may be remembering that incorrectly... it has been many years sinse I attended recording school. So far back, I learned on reel to reel tape, and HD recording was brand new. I have had to re-teach myself how to mix and record. LOL Hence, my issues with the reverb. It seemed to take more for you to hear the effect at that time. Anyway, look for the a knob or slider that says wet and/or dry.
    Paul

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  7. #7

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    David,

    You know as I said in the above post... I trained as a recording engineer. I should have known better. Of course, rock and jazz require a more heavy handed application of effects. I recorded a lot of very cool people back in school. Have you ever heard of a jazz drummer named Dave Weckle... I am probably misspelling his name... anyway, I recorded him while I was in school...

    ...a long time ago...
    in a galaxy far, far away

    LOL
    Paul

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  8. #8

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    thanks for the advice... very informative & reflection is exactly what I am after!

    unfortunately realtek doesn't have any thorough mixing options for reverb, just presets... so I guess I'm going to keep trucking along with the studio reverb. Just a question, do most people use this reverb with GPO?

  9. #9

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowland
    David,

    You know as I said in the above post... I trained as a recording engineer. I should have known better. Of course, rock and jazz require a more heavy handed application of effects. I recorded a lot of very cool people back in school. Have you ever heard of a jazz drummer named Dave Weckle... I am probably misspelling his name... anyway, I recorded him while I was in school...

    ...a long time ago...
    in a galaxy far, far away

    LOL
    I'm not trained as a studio recording engineer, certainly. But I would
    think the techniques for capturing realistic orchestral sound, as you
    say, would be very, very different.

    It seems to me that a great deal of popular music depends on effects
    and sound treatment to enhance it -- indeed, the use of studio work
    is almost part of the music itself.

    With more classically oriented orchestral material, though, one is
    usually aiming at a faithful reproduction of what a good orchestra
    sounds like in a real hall.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  10. #10

    Re: Ever wondered how much reverb to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by echoes
    thanks for the advice... very informative & reflection is exactly what I am after!

    unfortunately realtek doesn't have any thorough mixing options for reverb, just presets... so I guess I'm going to keep trucking along with the studio reverb. Just a question, do most people use this reverb with GPO?
    Echoes, if you're talking about the Ambience reverb tool --
    yes, I've gotten great results with it. I find the interface
    confusing and awkward; but if you tinker with it, it can do
    quite a good job.

    However, it depends a lot, too, on the nature of the music,
    itself. With busier, more complex textures, for instance, I
    find Ambience falls short on clarity, no matter what I do with
    it or to it. That could, of course, simply be my own inept
    hand at it, though.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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