Become a member
Become a member
Continuer avec Google

or
Log in
Log in
Se connecter avec Google

or
learning

Reverb Damping

A guide to mixing music - Part 71

Today we'll continue our study of frequency control applied to reverberation by addressing damping. Usually, if you have given enough care to choosing your starting preset, you shouldn't need to tweak this parameter...although, you never know.

View other articles in this series...

Soak it in

To understand what damping is all about you first need take a look at what happens in real life. When a sound bumps into an obstacle, part of it is reflected off the surface while another part is absorbed by it. The reflections produced give rise to the reverberation phenomenon, which has a natural tendency to gradually engulf certain frequencies as time goes by. Even though the obstacle itself directly affects the frequencies that are reflected or not, providing useful information about the environment, most materials tend to absorb mainly high frequencies. What's more, these same frequencies are the ones that have a hardest time traveling in the air around us.

In this sense, it would be useless to try to EQ the treble before it goes into the reverb or after it has come out with the intention of reproducing this natural behavior, since the decline in high frequencies would be static through time. That's why reverb plug-in algorithms feature a damping option, to replicate this natural decline of frequencies depending on time. Generally speaking, damping is expressed as a ratio. For example, a damping of 1/2 on a two second reverb means the high frequencies disappear after just one second, while the rest of the signal extends for another second.

That's all very nice, but what use does it have for you? Besides making the reverb seem more real, it might come in handy to get rid of unwanted noise that would otherwise have a lot of presence in the reverb's diffused sound field. If that's the case, why not remove these noises directly from the source signal or right before they go into the reverb, you ask? Quite simply because as unwanted as they are, these noises are necessary for a correct and realistic interpretation of a sound by the brain. So, what are these dreadful noises that seem to just want to make your life more complicated? There are lots of them actually, but the most common are sibilants, breathing noises of wind instruments, mechanical noises produced by the instruments, etc. Although these types of sounds aren't very pleasant to human ears, you can't do away with them completely or you risk not being able to tell what's actually going on. That said, there's no need to have them in the reverb tail and and the damping feature is useful for reducing their presence in it. There's no need to go too wild with damping, however, subtlety is the keyword again.

Finally, some damping controls feature a crossover-frequency setting, which allows you to control the part of the spectrum that's affected by the phenomenon. The fanciest plug-ins also come with a damping option for the low end, which can be helpful to avoid ending up with a reverb that's too intrusive.

In the next installment we'll discuss post-reverb EQing.

← Previous article in this series:
Reverb and EQ
Next article in this series:
Sculpting Reverb with EQ →

Vous souhaitez réagir à cet 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 (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.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to 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 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.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to 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 :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.