Lets face it if your starting out in the world of EDM reverb is one of the most essential parts of any track. Creating space, adding realism and a great effect. If your not using reverb theres a good chance your tracks still sounding somewhat like robot music, Ridged and lifeless. If you can get your head around it early on your tracks will be forever grateful.
As far as this list goes i’m going to assume you already have a fair understanding of reverb. If you don’t that’s fine have a read of [ INSERT LINK TO REVERB FOR BEGINNERS ARTICLE] and then come back for some tips. The following 10 points are just some different techniques that i think will help improve your tracks in the mix. enjoy.
1. Use reverb in a aux / return / bus channel.
- If you have 30 channels all with a different reverb on each as an insert there is a good chance of your mix getting a little muddy and a little unclear. If this is the case try 3 separate buses for short, medium & long reverbs and sending the appropriate tracks to each, this will help clean things up
2. Gated reverb on vocals
- This can be a really great effect for the vocal track. The reverb stays on while the vocals are coming through but cuts off quickly when they stop. How do you do it? Patch your effect processor to a gate and the sound source is side-chained to the gate. This way when the gate opens and lets the reverb out whenever the singer is singing, but cuts off as soon as the sound level dips below the threshold of the gate.
3. Reverse reverb sweeps
- Such a simple technique with a great outcome. Simply inert a reverb (with a decay time) on to the channel with the sound and record that in another channel. Revers this once recorded and place it leading up to the original sound. don’t forget to remove the reverb from the original sound.
4. Don’t use any
- Pretty simple really. not everything needs reverb. You can also use this a creative technique. If you want something solid tight and in your grill just the reverb off or to a short / limited amount.
5. Use REAL reverb
- No i’m not trying to scare you. I am going to peel you of that $99 office chair that you got from office works though. Bounce out some sounds to a CD replay then somewhere with cool reverb like a bathroom, garage or garden shed and re-record them back into the project. Nothing is better than real reverb.
6. Instruments functionality
- Have a good idea of how each instrument will function in the song. The prominence of the instrument will determine how live the reverb should sound. Let’s take the example of lead vocal and say you want your lead vocals to be the focus. Instead of throwing a compressor on your lead vocals, bus your lead vox to an aux channel, and then compress. Go to the uncompressed vocal channel, and throw an aux send to your reverb channel. This will give you controlled vocals, but a nice live space to go with it!
7. Less is more
- Don’t think that reverb is a magic savior that will make your track “dope”. Reverb can be over done quickly.
8. Panning Reverb
- First thing to understand here is that panned reverb is not a realistic effect but a creative one. This can be used to give some stereo spread to a mono instrument or just some really interesting feeling of space. This is a creative way of using reverb but be careful of clashing.
9. Quality plugin
- There is no substitute for quality when it comes to reverb. A decent plugin is really going to make things sound a lot better. I’m not saying run out and spend thousands on hardware or plugins straight away but if you do your research and find decent hardware unit or plugin and spend a bit of cash you’ll reap there rewards.
10. Get Creative
- Just remember there is no real rules to how you use anything. If you have half a brain you’ll be able to tell when it sounds like shit. Get creative theres nothing stopping you putting distortion or filters or anything else on your reverb for some creative sounds.
Add your own tips & advice by leaving a comment below! cheers.