Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account
learning
Comment

Responsive Reverb

A guide to mixing music - Part 83
Share this article

So far we have reviewed quite extensively the "classic" uses of reverb during mixdown, but I would now like to invite you to discover more exotic applications in the next couple of articles. These are obviously not techniques you should apply systematically on each song, but used wisely they can certainly spice up somewhat dull productions.

View other articles in this series...

What goes around comes around

Mixing 83 3

I’m writing this early in the morning after a sleepless night, so please bear with me. Would you believe me if I were to tell you that there’s a way to automatically give a sense of movement and depth to any instrument in no time? Well, you should! And the best thing about it is that it’s really easy to achieve. Allow me to use an example to explain myself better.

Imagine a vocal track. At this point it should already be properly EQed and compressed. Now, create an aux bus and insert a reverb in it. Choose a preset that gives the impression of remoteness to any element sent to the reverb. Next, send your vocal track pre-fader and, if possible, pre-insert. If your DAW doesn’t have a specific “pre-insert” setting, you can get the same effect with either of the following methods:

  • Duplicate the track without the effects, don’t send it to the master bus, but feed the reverb with it.
  • Send the track to a bus which has all the insert FX you want, cut the original track from the master, and send the original track to the reverb.

But what’s the point, you ask? Well, if you take the signal pre-insert, the vocals can be processed with the reverb before it is compressed. The result is that the original dynamics of the signal will make the reverb level vary naturally. Thus, when the level of the vocals is high, the level of the reverb will also be high and the listener will be under the impression that the singer is moving away from him. Inversely, when the level is weak, the reverb will be extremely discreet, which will give the illusion of closeness. Isn’t life nice?

I obviously recommend you to fine tune the outcome by carefully adjusting the send level towards the reverb. And don’t forget to EQ the reverb’s aux bus to avoid any frequency masking.

Do note that even if I used the example of a vocal track, this trick will work just as well on any other instrument. However, this technique is usually applied to solo instruments. Having the bass, rhythm guitar or drums move back and forth in the mix isn’t probably the best idea. In fact, it could be counterproductive since these are the instruments that make up the foundations of your song.

Next time we’ll see a similar trick, but focusing on how to create the illusion of lateral movement.

← Previous article in this series:
Unreal Soundscapes
Next article in this series:
Lateral Movement with Reverb →

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages and show you personalised ads (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.