• Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
  • Started by Bill from November Sound
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
on: October 31, 2017, 13:50:38
November Sound has been getting some podcast plays. I'm very thankful for this opportunity. ::Note::

But, what I notice when our music is played back to back with professionally crafted real recording studio stuff is that our music is "drier".

I avoid reverb a bit because I'm really against sounding "old fashioned". I'm not saying if you use reverb it automatically sounds "old-timey" I'm just saying I can't get past my own personal hangup over this. I remember being a "kid" laying down horn tracks at the local recording studios where the old timers would just slap a whole ton of reverb on everything - (especially the vocals) mainly to mask poor musicianship. I don't want to go there again.

Anyway, I hear the reverb in my studio monitors and I guess it's kind of subtle. It dries up a bit when it goes out to cheap speakers, headphones, earbuds, computer speakers, etc..
I do want to sound good alongside the big boys.

How do I get it right?
 
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


  • Leonard Scaper
  • Global Moderator
  • Executive Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Guest Chef

    • 4021


    • 1149
    • Yesterday at 21:50:45
    • Terra Firma
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 15:01:02
I have struggled with this as well as I like my stuff to sound more on the dry side. There are a few tricks that I have been using that allow me to use more reverb without it sounding washed out.

I know I have spoken of this before, but the biggest thing I have learned for vocals is to compress the vocal reverb with a compressor that is keyed by the original vocal track. This keeps the reverb down during the vocal passage and then allows it to come up at the end of the phrases. It makes a huge difference in the sound of the vocals in the mix. The vocals remain clear and uncluttered and then the reverb tail is there at the end giving the impression of space.

It's not that hard to do this. Put your reverb on a bus and follow it with a compressor that has a key input. Make that key input a mono bus and then put the same bus as a full up send on your vocal track. Hit the threshold hard on the compressor and you'll hear the effect right away.

Another important trick is to put an EQ on that reverb bus in front of the reverb plug and hit it hard with filters at both ends.

Those are two "big boy" tricks that have really helped me.  ;)

One other thing I like to do is to pan the reverb send on each track to the same position that the track itself is panned at.

 8)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


  • MichaelA
  • Chef de Partie
  • *
  • Songwriting Addict

    • 976


    • 426
    • August 31, 2019, 23:25:43
    • Somewhere near Liverpool, UK
    • HTTPS//:soundcloud.com/Michael-a-duffy
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 16:38:44
I apologise for not knowing the technical answer to your question, Bill. But on the positive side I note that today is October 31st. Surely your November Sound will be at its best from tomorrow and the subsequent 29 days!  ;D

Anymore advice needed, just give me a call!
If you like novels with a musical theme, why not try 'Sixth Beatle - When Music Changed The World', easily found on Amazon and Google. It is amazing, although as the author I may be biased!


  • Dutchbeat
  • MADministrator
  • Michelin Starred Chef
  • *
  • *
  • If you can stand the Beat, get into the Kitchen!

    • 8997


    • 1432
    • Today at 10:27:09
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 17:33:05
hahahaha  ;D ;D ;D ;D @MichaelA .....November must be a good month for Bill, Melissa and Will, the November Sound works best when listened to in november

i don't know a good answer for your questions about Reverb @Bill from November Sound , but i think @Leonard Scaper really has a very nice comppression and reverb (and also sometimes delay) recipe worked out for his vocals. On a positive note, i think more people struggle with the problem of using too much reverb than of using too little reverb. Perhaps, you can sprinkle just a little more reverb on certain parts in your mixes, just add tiny drops and let the kitchen give feedback.........i think people in general find reverb pleasant to listen too but indeed it is finding that right balance where it doesn't blur the mix....anyway, i am one of these people who tries to add reverb to the point that it starts work against the pleasure of listening to the mix....and i often fail miserably at it  ;D ;D ;D ;D, ending up adding too much of it  ;D ;D ;D ;D so my advise is useless once again  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D, but i think you really can add a tiny bit more to your mixes and still preserve the typical November sound

especially in November  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

me, myself, and Pie


Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 22:11:11
Ha,ha. You guys are just too funny!    :D

Great advice. Hey, starting tomorrow I can just turn the reverb all the way up! After all, it is November.....  :)


  • MrBouzouki
  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • *
  • "Let the Creators Create" :-)

    • 1420


    • 554
    • Yesterday at 10:33:04
    • Sheffield, UK
    • https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Bouzouki.Music/ https://www.youtube.com/user/MisterBouzouki https://soundcloud.com/mrbouzouki
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 08:57:42
This might help. Chris Selim on Mixdown Online is very knowledgeable and I've discovered that combinations of effects can give different results to just one effect in isolation.
For example combining compression and a limiter or using EQ to allow just part of the whole spectrum to be acted upon by an effect. 

Anyway - the Smooth Vocal Delay Trick - it might be to much for what you want as demonstrated but have a fiddle with trhe settings. It's always an adventure this mixing lark.




"Love and Life is all about connections"


  • Leonard Scaper
  • Global Moderator
  • Executive Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Guest Chef

    • 4021


    • 1149
    • Yesterday at 21:50:45
    • Terra Firma
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 15:02:01
@MrBouzouki ....that is a great little trick there...adding a reverb on the aux track after the delay. I love it and I'm going to try it on the project that I am grinding on right now.

Thanks for posting that.

 :) :) :) :) :)


Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 15:05:06
Hi @Bill from November Sound !

I've read somewhere that you should keep the reverb level so that you don't notice it, and at the same time you should notice (feel) the difference if you mute it.
That is what I try, too.

Happy November!

Roberto


Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 22:47:34
I'm feeling that my reverb issue is the music more than the vocals.

I wonder if some of that compressed reverb trick works on instrument bus group?

Regarding references: If one were to use say, Steely Dan as a reference then the music would, thus, be a drier/ tighter sound.
I kind of go by that "keeping the reverb level low so you can just feel it" thing. Then maybe when it comes to reverb my music isn't quite where it needs to be. Oh well, I'll keep working at it. :)


  • oorlab
  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • *
  • savoir vivre

    • 1175


    • 360
    • Yesterday at 22:56:10
    • netherlands
    • https://twitter.com/oorlab https://soundcloud.com/oorlab
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 00:25:47
Less is more - would be my suggestion. But depending on the sort of track you work on, you could do great things. Just imagine the space where the music takes place. There are many parameters to play with. In the mix I sometimes experiment to keep everything quite dry except one instrument or element. To add some surprise and opening up the soundspace.

This trick that @Leonard Scaper  mentions: "compressor that is keyed by the original vocal track" - that is interesting. I must figure how to do that in cubase. Is this the same as sidechaining?
recommending https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Music_Works "How music works", book by David Byrne.


  • Leonard Scaper
  • Global Moderator
  • Executive Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Guest Chef

    • 4021


    • 1149
    • Yesterday at 21:50:45
    • Terra Firma
  • more
Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 00:31:40
Is this the same as sidechaining?

That's exactly what is is @oorlab





Re: Why Can't I Get My Reverb Right?
Reply #11 on: November 19, 2017, 16:10:38
I just watched this video today. It has some very helpful advice. All these instructional videos about reverb suddenly showing up....... I wonder if we are being watched ??? :o