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Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:20 am

After trying to copy what I hear on my favorite records, I have learned a nice technique that involves multiple reverbs on single sources. My favorite sounding records are recorded in nice recording studios, with each instrument having its own room. Piano in the piano room, drums in the drum room, etc. But each room sounds really nice.

Meanwhile, I record all the same pieces in a dead room.

So I apply a convolution reverb to the dead source to make it sound like it was recorded in a nice room. Each one is different to mimic the studio and room I have in mind.

Now I have sources that sound like they were recorded in nice, different rooms. But then I can hear that the piano had its own plate reverb that made the notes sizzle and ring. But the drums had a different reverb that was darker and shorter. So each piece gets its own effect reverb and that puts it in its own personal 'space' partially real from the room, but partially effect. So that's two on each.

But I am just trying to recreate what I hear and like.

Thanks to Mr Hancock for showing us how they get it to sound so good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWd9_vnNM7A
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby awjoe » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:55 am

What Mr Choppah says makes the most sense to me, but really I'm in the dark on this one. So a modest question is in order maybe: What's the point of using more than one reverb on a vocal, for instance?

And if the answer is 'Because it sounds good,' then my next question is 'Is that because two reverbs have more reflections than one reverb, so it's more natural?'
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Terrible.dee » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:39 am

A well know producer taught me to use dual reverbs.

The point was to create definition though spacial ambiance, a vocal that's closer than the guitar might take 10% of the short reverb and 5% of the pre-delayed long reverb, the guitar might take the reverse amount.

He would also pan reverbs, so instead of panning the instruments, he'd be panning the verbs the instruments were sent to.

I get what he was teaching me in concept, but at the end of the day, I (And I suggest you) need to be true to your ears.....and for me.....reverb sucks, I just don't like it unless it's REAL ambiance recorded by a room mic.

I think digital reverb sounds like a$$.......no matter how many you use, why you use them or where they are panned.
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:52 am

awjoe wrote:What's the point of using more than one reverb on a vocal, for instance?'
Because each adds a character that your ears like. I may use a shorter plate for sizzle, but also a longer hall to create space. Making a vocalist sound like his voice is bouncing off the most distant part of the mix all helps the illusion of space and depth.

It's really the kind of thing that you have to hear to understand properly. I often go into this in my 1-2-1s and once the penny drops I find most people binge on it!

Don't know how anyone mixes without reverb - for me it would be like to trying to paint landscapes without using the colour green!
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:17 am

It’s not uncommon to dislike artificial reverb. Jeff lynne immediately springs to mind. He’s produced a hit or two. You
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:18 am

I seldom use more than one reverb on a single track (plus a send to the general reverb) but almost always, on vocals, use one or two delays in series after the reverb. with reverb-like setting, simply because I tend to like the results better and find them more predictable to set up.

As the Elf says, beyond the basic "making a room" space and glue with early reflection, predelay and EQ shaping, it's only all about creating a timbre you like. By adding reverbs and short delays you're simply filtering the original track, which changes its timbre a little, especially from mid-highs, often in a nice way.
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Matt Houghton » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:01 pm

I can't say I've tried the Zukan method on purpose... Must give it a whirl.

Though I do find that:

(a) I typically use lots of reverb and delay sends in a (typically rock or pop) mix, and automate the send levels a lot;

(b) I'll often feed delays into reverbs (and sometimes vice versa); and

(c) I often do use a couple of different reverbs in series on a snare drum... eg an ambience patch to flesh out the basic sound a bit, and then a plate to help put it where I want it in the mix. The former is kinda tone-shaping, and will probably be an insert, with further processing of the whole sound down the line. The latter will be a send that's routed back to the drum bus. And of course there may be other 'reverbs' in the form of room mics/PZMs etc. But I'm not consciously buliding up a 'reverb patch' from these different elements... I'm just doing different things to the sound at different points in a mix...
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:20 pm

Very interesting reading all the responses here. I'll frequently put a reverb on a source (vocal or drums for example) before sending it to the main room/space reverb (as most people appear to do) but that tends to be it. I'm not a huge fan of heavily processed vocals unless it's for a specific effect. I'll frequently have a heavily mangled effect channel that i'll automate lots of different stuff to at different places in a mix. It seems, to me, to give a coherence to the effects without making them the same.
If that makes sense.
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:17 pm

blinddrew wrote:I'm not a huge fan of heavily processed vocals unless it's for a specific effect.
For me that's a big part of it. No matter how I treat the vocals they have to sound effortless - as if they are simply *meant* to sound that way. If it sounds obviously forced I'll try something else.

But in pursuit of this ideal I will throw whatever I feel is needed at it!
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby forumuser907531 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:53 am

This is standard practice for me, with 8 sends I run them to every effect I have available and then mix them all up. I run a hybrid setup, all the instruments are outboard, and almost all of the processors and effects are also outboard. I'm using Reason 10 (i must be a masochist, i know) however, I have a limited amount of resources and space. The three "crown jewels" are a Lexicon 480L, a Lexicon PCM70, and an Eventide H3000. Close to these three, is an aging and possibly slowly dying TC 2290 delay which gets used on multiple instruments on one send on every song I create. There is a Sony HR MP5 that's actually really great on entire kits (obviously with only a touch of kick in there) using modified "wooden room" presets, an combined with the "tiled room" from the Lexicon, it makes for a great combo. I also use my EPS 16+ sampler as an effects unit since it will accept a mono-in/stereo out signal for a really unique and subtle reverb....plus several Eventide and Strymon pedals that are really great at what they do!

Using those 8 sends, I have to work with just the 8 units i possess, although i have many more inputs so getting all the effects back into reason usually comes back in on an audio channel (I've got the 2 stereo outputs from 480l, 1 stereo output from PCM70, 1 stereo output from EPS16+, 1 stereo output from the H3000, 1 stereo output from the H9, 1 stereo output from each the Strymon Deco and the Strymon ElCapistan, and 1 stereo output from the Ibanez SC10 pedal....along with 1 stereo output from the Sony HR-MP5. I have an interesting ADA "1 second digital delay", that really does sound like a bucket brigade delay once you take the time to max...that's mono in/mono out

That means I've got 10 processors for 8 aux sends...so I get to chose if I want to chain effects, and many of the older effects I've got are mono-in/stereo-out, so for example, using the ADA with mono out, I can send that to any processor that has a mono in...the Deco is a favorite, as you get super wide delays as well as the ability to run the distortion in the feedback path of the delay! having just the 8 stereo sends from Reason is huge fun, as of course you can use the L and R cables separately and have two mono in/stereo out processors, doing their thing when you enable that send.

Great fun to be had using different verbs, or verbs on top of verbs, or delay into verb or parallel with it as they both die off together.
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:05 pm

Just spotted this 'Referencing Reverb' blog from our friends at Sonarworks, and a most interesting read it is too!

https://sonarworks.com/blog/referencing ... eadphones/

Lots of interesting techniques, including panning a set of mono reverbs across the stereo field and sending sounds to them individually via aux sends to create positional cues.

Also, I hadn't come across the 'using lower density reverb tails' concept before, to avoid pushing sounds back in the mix when they combine with the listening room reverb, but the logic makes sense to me.


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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:50 pm

I do sometimes wonder if these techniques are there to give the engineer something to do and justify his fee. Whenever I see these reverb minutiae discussed I can't help but think of an interview the brilliant John Leckie (Radiohead, XTC, PIL, McCartney etc etc) did in this esteemed organ many moons ago where he said "The performance is 99.9 percent of what people hear. It doesn't matter what mic you use or what reverb you use or all that stuff." The interview seems to have gone now, sadly. In fact, I feel a signature coming on...
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:10 pm

I agree wholeheartedly...

... but

(you knew that was coming right?)

... the music market now is more crowded than it has ever been. The barriers to entry have never been lower and it's no longer a challenge of finding the good stuff above the noise, it's finding the absolutely stunning above the great.
And in that rarefied environment, sometimes that extra 0.1% (or more likely 0.01%) could just make the difference.

Perhaps.

Well, that and a million-pound marketing budget! :D
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:11 pm

John Leckie also said:

"Different control rooms in different studios will make the reverb sound different. For instance, if you listen in a really small, dead control room, you tend to add more reverb than you need. When you go to a more live mastering room, there may suddenly be too much reverb... But the trend now seems to be towards bigger, more live control rooms, so we've got deader records. People aren't putting as much reverb on records simply because they're hearing the reverb in the room, so they don't think they need it. But when you take it away, it sounds dry... As soon as I walk into a typical live-end dead-end control room with bare floors, I ask for some carpets on the floor. The studio manager inevitably asks me why, and my answer is simply that I listen to records in rooms with carpet on the floor."

There are quite a few other reverb tips from him and other engineers in this article... https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/use-reverb-pro-part-2
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Re: Who else uses layered reverbs ie more than one verb on a single sound?

Postby CS70 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:15 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I do sometimes wonder if these techniques are there to give the engineer something to do and justify his fee. Whenever I see these reverb minutiae discussed I can't help but think of an interview the brilliant John Leckie (Radiohead, XTC, PIL, McCartney etc etc) did in this esteemed organ many moons ago where he said "The performance is 99.9 percent of what people hear. It doesn't matter what mic you use or what reverb you use or all that stuff." The interview seems to have gone now, sadly. In fact, I feel a signature coming on...

Well yes and no. I just come from a short rehearsal with a very good singer.

Since this is a side act with only guitar and vocals (my guitar, mostly her vocals), I'd beefed up the guitar with some delay and reverb, to get me some additional tonal variation when I wanted, and by accident I'd set up her mic quite dry. She sings quite beautifully (no need of autotune!) but against my guitar, on a slow song, the dry vocals didn't sit well at all, it just wasn't all that pleasant to listen to.

An "ops!" later I had raised the yellow reverb fader and the identical performance was now amazingly beautiful.

Especially in pop, we're used to larger than life.. and in electronica pop even more, I guess.

One doesn't have to agonize, and there's a million ways to skin a cat, but unless one wants really the vintage vibe, a modern-sounding production has effects on them (even subtle ones) and there's little to do about it imho...
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