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JRobPiano



Joined: 03/03/13
Posts: 36
Loc: Tuscaloosa, AL
New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues!
      #1036104 - 03/03/13 11:53 PM
Dear New SOS Friends,

I have been recording for about a year now and am still rather new to the field. I am finishing my doctorate in piano performance, but am building up my studio bit by bit in the hopes of not only recording my own performances, but others as well. I just subscribed to SOS and am looking forward to learning a lot over the next year!

One of the biggest problems I have struggled with is adding reverb. I have usually found that close micing in a fairly dead space and adding reverb is much better than trying to record any natural reverb. However, much of the time I end up with a sort of grainy sound on the reverb that I am unsure how to get rid of. I have included a link to a recent mp3 recording I made of a percussionist who used 5 drums and woodblocks. I used an SM57 on each drum and two Rode NT5's on the woodblocks. I am pretty happy with the quality, but when I listen on headphones I hear the grainy reverb sound. It is not as noticeable on monitors. I use Apple Logic with a Roland Octacapture, as well as SoundSoap for removing background noise. I used the Silververb plugin on this, but get the same sort of issue with plugins such as Space Designer. In the past, I have had others listen to samples with this problem and they insist there is no problem, so hopefully I am not just going crazy!

Please let me know if you have any ideas! They would be much appreciated!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxh5kcru25qlxze/drumsample.mp3?m


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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
Posts: 3260
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036113 - 04/03/13 01:25 AM
I notice you're dealing with very fast transients which will show up any 'grainy-ness'. Your recording gets quite busy in parts which exacerbates the issue. The lower drums and the blocks (which have a slower attack than I would have expected) have less of an issue with that resonance.

For me the Sir convolution reverb with a suitably short IR and a softening of the attack is sufficient to put these sounds in a credible space. Other, expensive alternatives are available but you've already got some.

Nice sounds otherwise.


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DC-Choppah



Joined: 20/07/12
Posts: 345
Loc: MD, USA
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036116 - 04/03/13 03:32 AM
The reverb sounds like it creates some artificial high end spikes. That can make things sound a bit amateurish. The reverb does not maintain the sound of the instrument very well to my ear, the reverb returns sound more generic and more like noise with too much high end. It will sound more natural if you eq the reverb return and darken it and also add more dispersion. Perhaps the lack of dispersion give you the impression of graininess. Reverbs that maintain more of the sound of the instrument use a lot of processing power.

Check out the reverb on the the tune in this month's SoS mix secrets article 'Ho Hey'. It struck me how good that reverb sounded. Then I read that is a real physical reverb chamber. Shows you how much better real spaces sound compared to fake reverbs no matter how much number crunching is done.


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Mr. Lau



Joined: 03/03/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Guayaquil, Ecuador - South Ame...
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036120 - 04/03/13 04:27 AM
Sometimes I just mic the dry track and mixed this 'room' track, eq as needed and it worked fine, just moving the mics around and trying several rooms to get the best sound.

Although the reverb plugins are supposed to make things easier, doing this kind of things with your recordings isn't too difficult IMHO, and you can learn from the different ambiances you pick with your mics and try to set your plugins to sound like them!

A dead space to record is usually good but some natural reverb of a more alive room also can contribute to the sound, just do some experimenting and see what works best for you.

Buena suerte!


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JRobPiano



Joined: 03/03/13
Posts: 36
Loc: Tuscaloosa, AL
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: shufflebeat]
      #1036283 - 04/03/13 05:22 PM
Thank you very much for your reply! I just downloaded Sir Convolution and am looking forward to experimenting. Just to clarify, when you say "softening of the attack" do you mean a parameter within the reverb plugin or actual softer attacks on the instrument?


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JRobPiano



Joined: 03/03/13
Posts: 36
Loc: Tuscaloosa, AL
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: DC-Choppah]
      #1036284 - 04/03/13 05:25 PM
Quote DC-Choppah:

The reverb sounds like it creates some artificial high end spikes. That can make things sound a bit amateurish. The reverb does not maintain the sound of the instrument very well to my ear, the reverb returns sound more generic and more like noise with too much high end. It will sound more natural if you eq the reverb return and darken it and also add more dispersion. Perhaps the lack of dispersion give you the impression of graininess. Reverbs that maintain more of the sound of the instrument use a lot of processing power.

Check out the reverb on the the tune in this month's SoS mix secrets article 'Ho Hey'. It struck me how good that reverb sounded. Then I read that is a real physical reverb chamber. Shows you how much better real spaces sound compared to fake reverbs no matter how much number crunching is done.




Thank you very much, this is very useful information! I have never considered using eq on the reverb. Forgive my ignorance, but with my limited knowledge, I just wanted to ask a couple of clarifications. What does the term "reverb return" refer to? Is it simply eq'ing the reverb without affecting the original audio? And if so, how is that typically done? Is dispersion also a parameter commonly found on reverb plugins? Thank you so much again, for help is greatly appreciated.


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The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9455
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036305 - 04/03/13 07:00 PM
Quote JRobPiano:

What does the term "reverb return" refer to?



Typically you would use a reverb processor as a 'send' effect. This way you can share it over many sources. Sometimes a reverb may be placed as an 'insert' effect, and the wet/dry control used to adjust the volume of the reverb against the source signal. Sharing a single reverb is better on processor power and also helps to create the illusion that all of the sounds are happening in the same space.

When you use reverb as a 'send' then the reverb arrives on its own 'return' channel. You can EQ this return channel completely independently of the sources feeding it.

Quote JRobPiano:

Is dispersion also a parameter commonly found on reverb plugins?



I've never seen it called 'dispersion', but I suspect that this is 'diffusion', or 'density'. Diffusion is a quite common reverb parameter and (to simplify) adjusts how clearly individual repeats can be heard in the reverb. Low diffusion amounts make individual repeats easier to pick out whilst high diffusion amounts create a more dense cloud of repeats where individual repeats are difficult to discern.

HTH!

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
Posts: 3260
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036318 - 04/03/13 07:45 PM
Quote JRobPiano:

Thank you very much for your reply! I just downloaded Sir Convolution and am looking forward to experimenting. Just to clarify, when you say "softening of the attack" do you mean a parameter within the reverb plugin or actual softer attacks on the instrument?




I mean on the VST. If you look on the GUI there are 2 controls beside the label "attack". They work a bit like quickly "fading in" the reverb so an initial transient (as you hit the drum for instance) doesn't get over emphasised by the reverb. The control on the left relates to the angle or rate of "fade in" and the control on the right relates to how long the fade in should take. There are no rules except - if it sounds right, it is right.

If you're using it as a send effect don't forget to pull down the "dry" control so you don't get phasing issues or other nasties.

There's a lot to play with here but you can just spark it up and hit play if you prefer.

If you like it consider buying Sir2. Christian Knufinke is a legend and deserves our support.

There are many freely available Impulse Response files available on the net as you may be aware which will slot into any convolution reverb engine such as this. For my money it is beter to find the right one than to fiddle about endlessly with the wrong one.

Keep us posted.

--------------------
Onward and outward


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JRobPiano



Joined: 03/03/13
Posts: 36
Loc: Tuscaloosa, AL
Re: New to SOS - Having Some Reverb Issues! new [Re: JRobPiano]
      #1036814 - 06/03/13 11:04 PM
Thank you so much for the clarification. I have experimented with EQ and the result is much better! I'm not sure if I am entirely convinced, but the grainy/metallic qualities have been substantially reduced. Here is the same clip. Please let me know what you think! I used space designer and rolled off the high and low frequencies. Occasionally, I think I hear something funny with the bass drum and with the woodblocks, but it may just be me. Thank you so much again, this has all helped tremendously!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/32qhalmquj047iy/drumsamplenewreverb.mp3?m

PS. On the SOS forums, is there a way to be notified by email when someone has replied to a thread?


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