What is a reverb? How we use it.
You may sometimes have been in an empty room or in a room with no so many furniture in it. If you have noticed your voice has something like an echo ,but not exactly an echo as we know it. Or in your bathroom you have more depth. This depth is called reverb. What is reverb? Reverb is the reflection of the sound on the surfaces in the place we are in. You can say that reverb is a number of small echoes but we hear only the tail of them. This tail is the reverb.It depends on how big or small is the room that we are in we can have the same amount of reverb . Today we record in very dry and sound proof rooms and we apply digital reverbs later on through the mixing process. There are different and various reverbs and we use some of them for specific instruments. But first let’s have a look to some parameters that all kinds of reverbs have.
The first we must check is Wet/Dry. With this knob we can change the amount of the signal with reverb. Let me explain this a little bit. If you use the reverb as a send effect then you don’t want any of the direct signal to come through the plug in , so you leave Wet 100%. Now if you use it as an insert effect , then you may want to decrease the reverb to 50% or even less. You can try it and set the reverb where you want. In that way you can mix the direct signal with the signal of reverb and you can hear both at the same time. In stock reverbs that come with Cubase there is no Wet/dry knob , but there is a similar knob Mix. It’s absolutely the same. May be your DAW hasn’t Wet/Dry parameter either. You can use Mix.
Next one is size-time. This parameter defines how big is the room you are in and you record,how long you want the tail to be. I will help you to understand these parameters with more details to an upcoming video in the next days.
Now let’s have a look on Predelay. With this parameter ,in very simple words, you set when the reverb wants to be heard. If you set the Predelay to zero (the preset is there) then you have a mix of the direct signal with the signal of the reverb. You hear the reverb at once. If you increase the Predelay for some ms ,then you have a delay ,a very small one, of the reverb. A very good example is to apply this on a drum snare. If you set the predelay at 0, then you hear the snare with the tail of the reverb but if you increase the predelay for some ms then you will first hear the direct signal of the snare and after a few ms you hear the tail of the reverb.
There are many kinds of reverbs , spring, hall, plate and we all use them on some specific circumstances and instruments but you know something? There are no rules. I wouldn’t use the same reverb for a snare and a vocal track ,but you can choose which reverb you are going to use. Every reverb has a variety of presets that can help you start from somewhere and have the results you want.The stock plug ins that come with your DAW ,are very reliable and helpful tools for your mixing process.
In the picture below I have the reverb from Waves ,RVerb , a very reliable and useful plug in. But as I said , you can work with what you have and you can do whatever you want.
Leave your comments below and tell me what reverb you are using in your mix and if you don’t tell me if you tried your stock reverb and if this post was helpful for you.