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Topic: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

  1. #1

    Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    I ran a search and didn\'t see this topic quite covered elsewhere, so I thought I\'d ask in a new thread (if there\'s already a thread on it, just point me in the right direction and I\'ll read up on it there!).............

    I was wondering how to approach using reverb on orchestral samples. At the moment, I take the composition I have, using samples from different libraries, and essentially try to knit them together into a realistic space by using one reverb as a send effect........then adjusting the wet/dry mix of each instrument to place it forward or back in space. Is this an overly simplistic approach?

    I know for other applications it\'s recommended to use different verbs on different parts of the mix to make it \'sparkle\' as I think Bruce Richardson mentioned in another recent thread. Do people adopt that approach when trying to create a convincing \'orchestral space\' too?

    I\'ve been composing for quite a while, but mixing for a short while, so any advice on using reverb is much appreciated!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    You have two purposes for reverb in orchestral sample-based productions.

    The first is what you mention, putting an overall room \"glaze\" on a production.

    The second is more of an imaging-correction and enhancement goal. Especially if you are using disparate library materials which image differently, you may be using reverb, eq, and spatial imaging tools like channel pan collapsing, mono, Waves S-1, etc., to make each instrument sound correct relative to the ensemble.

    You\'d then probably put it into a bit of the first \"glaze\" coat, to meld it into the ensemble a bit more.

    The most common mistake I hear is **not** doing the other imaging work before reverb, and compensating with more reverb to try making different sounds blend. Doing some processing before you ever hit the reverb (or impulse) is essential. Nothing will make a too-wide image \"narrow\" enough to blend with a big ensemble on the back side.

  3. #3

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    Many thanks for the advice Bruce.

    Then I\'m definitely guilty of making the common mistake you mention. Time for me to really get to grips with all those plugs that come with my UAD card as well as just the Realverb methinks. You live and learn as they say. It seems that mixing and music production is the same as every subject I\'ve encountered - the more you know the more you realise how much you don\'t know!

    Thanks again,


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Ojai, California

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    Here\'s another idea regarding reverb - one I learned from a friend of mine who writes for TV in LA.

    I walked into his studio for the first time as he was playing some orchestral cues back and I was struck by the fantastic reverb he was getting. I looked at his racks and noticed he was using an old Alesis Quadraverb and a Lexicon MPX100, neither of which fall in the catagory of \"high end\", even though the quality of his sound was unarguably warm and rich.

    What he was doing was running his master bus out through both of them in sequence and had come up with two different algorhythms that, when combined, sounded like other multi-thousand dollar units I had heard only on good quality recordings and in big studios.

    Just an idea.


  5. #5

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    I heard something about a new plug for the UAD called \'DreamVerb\' or something similar. It was intended to use most of the card\'s DSP for one \'high end\' type reverb.

    Anything new on that front?


  6. #6

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples

    Dreamverb has been talked about for some time. I believe the latest release news is that it is expected mid June. If you haven\'t found it.......the UAD forum is the best source for news I know of........


    Certainly in my case it\'s not the case that I need a better reverb. The realverb is good enough for my skills at the moment. I have all the right tools, I\'m just not using them as well as I should. Kind of like driving a Ferrari but you haven\'t quite worked out how to get it out of first gear (not that I\'ve ever driven a Ferrari mind).


  7. #7

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples


    Maybe the Dreamverb will be killer...would be nice.

    I use a (somewhat dated) Lexicon PCM 90 as my main verb. Some folks find it a pain to program, but I\'m just used to it I guess. What I find with this verb, is that I can really control the depth of the soundstage by adjusting the early reflections (level-spread-delay-HF rolloff). I often record several passes of just early reflections on different groupings of instruments, then apply the reverb to them all later. Another \'trick\' I sometimes do is to use a darker verb and a similar but brighter verb and adjust the reverb sends on the instrument groupings to move them forward or back in \'space\'.

    If the Dreamverb is good, I\'m getting the UAD...that\'s the plug I want.


  8. #8

    Re: Using Reverb on Orchestral Samples


    Numerical Sound has produced two reverb implulse CD Roms than may be of interest to you. More information with mp3 demo\'s can be found at www.numericalsound.com/purespac.html

    Ernest Cholakis
    Numerical Sound

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