Tip of the Day: 3 Essential tips for Reverb
Are you a cave person or actually live in a church? Cool, send us some pictures. Seriously!
If not, we need to talk about reverb for second. I admit, reverb sounds cool and makes almost anything sound better instantly on a creative level. But once you start mixing, you will realize, that all those crazy reverbs you created in hours and hours of tweaking and diving deeper and deeper into the wombs of valhalla do not match nor sound as cool together as you expected.
So first we should differentiate between creative and supportive reverb. While there are almost no boundaries or better walls to the use of creative reverbs, giving depth to a crazy mallet or a detuned piano, using reverb as a supportive tool for your vocals or your drums needs to follow some rules - first of which is clear and easy: don´t overdo it!
The best supportive reverbs are the ones you do not actively hear, but can easily detect their absence by bypassing them. In a perfect world your vocals or the guitar sample, you use as a lead sound, got recorded completely dry and without any natural reverb at all. Most of the time that is not the case and you need to find the sweetspot of a working co-existence.
Tip 1: Bypass it
Turn your reverb down until you do not recognize it anymore, but you see that it still reacts. Now bypass it and hear or better feel the difference. That is how you want to approach supportive reverb in the beginning. If it fits the mix and you want to get more creative, try applying reverb VSTs to only 1 track, instrument or sound first. That way you learn hearing what really matters.
Tip 2: Bus it
Your lead is played by a layer of 5 synths? As always, do not open up separate reverbs for all of them individually, but route them to a bus and spoil that with some ‘verbs. The other possibility is to use send effects of course.
Tip 3: Never overdo
Apply these rules to other effects, like delay, compression or chorus, too.
Rule of thumb:
Too many (or much of each) effects tend to sound unprofessional.
Reduce and use only 1 real creative effect per song. That way you will focus on what is important to make a mix pop!
You want to use reverb and other effects the right way?
Check this online Course on Mixing a Track from Start to Finish!
1. How and where to use effects
2. Compression Techniques
3. EQing Techniques
4. Bass Layering & Sub Bass Separation
... and a lot more you need to know, to make your production shine!
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