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How to use reverb in your mixes

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

 

There are many times when you are listening to a song and you are impressed how all the instruments are so good glued together and you keep wondering how you can achieve this on your songs. We are still looking for this one secret of success,that can make our mixes sound more professional!

 

We are going to talk a lot and many times in the future about mixing and what it takes to achieve the best results in your home studio. That’s the main cause of HomeStudioProject after all! .To help you to take your music to the next level! Reverb is a plug in, just to say it very simple, that is one of the most helpful tools for your mixes.

 

What you hear in a professional mix is depth. You can achieve this using reverb. What is reverb? Let’s say that reverb is the effect ,where thousands of reflections from multiple surfaces are heard after the original sound source.

 

If you want to learn more on what a reverb is, I have written a blog post that explains this. You can read this post here!

 

Reverb gives the sense that every single instrument is in the right place. How do you achieve this? You can add reverb without overdoing it!

 

What do you need to know ,so you can use reverb properly?

 

The first thing you’ve got to know is some parameters that every reverb has. Even if you have only your stock reverbs , have the same characteristics. So, there are several types of reverb. The most well known are Hall , Live/Stage , Spring, Plate, Church and Gated. There are a lot of subcategories,but these are the main tyoes of reverbs you are going to use. On each type there are some presets ,so you can start practicing on each reverb.

 

The next thing you have to know is the size. With this parameter you can adjust how much reverb you want to insert to your track from the room you have selected.(room size)

 

Decay: This is very important for using reverb properly. With decay ,we define the time we want reverb to last. It’s known as reverb time also.

 

Pre delay: Sometimes we may want  to hear the effect after the original recording.For  example when we use reverb on snare drum, then we use reverb by adding pre-delay,so the reverb can be heard some ms after the original signal.

 

Early reflections: Defines the amount of the reverb’s  first reflections

 

I know that maybe all these are difficult for you to understand, but the key is to practice as much as you can.

 

How do I use a reverb in my mix?

 

I suggest starting with one reverb and try to assign this reverb to multiple instruments. How can you do this? You can create a FX channel/track with this reverb and you can use it as a send effect. This way you can assign the same reverb to many instruments and you can adjust how much reverb each track needs.

 

As I told you above reverb adds depth to your mix. You can’t overdo it with adding reverb on each instrument, because after that your mix may sound muddy. Some instruments that we don’t want to be up front we add more reverb so we can achieve this distance.

 

The instruments that don’t need reverb at all is bass and kick drum. All the other instruments according to your instrumentation or your genre you are working on may need some reverb. In vocals we try to add less reverb so we hear them more

 

Can I use different reverbs for each track?

 

I recommend that you can start as I told you. Choose one reverb and try to practice on that one reverb. Yes ,you can use multiple reverbs for several  tracks and we are going to talk about this in the near future,but you don’t need too much so you can achieve a very good mix. Less is more!

 

There are some other parameters ,likethe combination of reverb and delay. This is something we are going to talk about ,on an upcoming blog post and video tutorial of course.

 

Bonus tip: If you want to add more reverb on specific parts, you do this by using automation.

 

Leave your comments below and let me know if you have tried several types of reverb and what type is the best for you and why.

 

 

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