Verb on entire mix vs individual tracks?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by rob2001, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Say you've got a song and your noticing you have slight reverb on almost every track. Will it sound better and more uniform keeping the tracks dry and applying the reverb to the strereo bus? Any reason to prefer one over the other or is it just that, preference?
     
  2. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    No! No control over perceived depth of soundstage if everythings hitting the verb at the same level.

    Used in the purist sense (which i rarely do), things that you want further back in the mix/soundfield get more reverb, generally speaking.

    That said, reverb is often used as a crutch by newbies to cover up a bevvy of other problems. Your mix should sound good bone dry, too.
     
  3. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Ya, I can dig that for sure. My mixes from years back had way too much of everything on them. I do use verb to "place" things in the field, not always though. One song in particular, i'm using relatively the same amounts and parameters on all tracks. (actually a slight early reference effect) Just wondering if anyone uses one or the other as a preference.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    You can certainly control the amount of dry vs wet on any track with the aux send, and use a single reverb on the whole mix. I often do this with orchestral stuff.

    In the Pop music world, the concept of all the instruments in a single space isn't adhered to much, and people use lots of reverbs on various instruments and vocals.

    It's really a matter of personal preference and what you're trying to accomplish.
     
  5. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Thanks! I'm doing some mixing tonight and i'll have to try a few things. I guess I was just wondering if effecting the entire mix is straight up wrong. I'll just trust my ears! Thanks
     
  6. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    Spot on!
     
  7. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Member

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    FWIW (2-cents.............or possibly less):

    Mostly I record with very slight 'room' verb or slight/quick fade delay. Then, some tracks like drums, I will split the stereo track into separate right and left components, slightly shift the timing between them...measured in milliseconds, depending on your taste...then recombine the track back into stereo. This slight shift/delay between left and right seems to increase the perceived width of the track...at least in my opinion.

    Try experimenting with different copy time shifting techniques...often, the resulting sound is more pleasing (IMHO) than adding reverb.

    Have fun.
     
  8. sf audio

    sf audio Member

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    If you listen to most pro recordings, there's not a lot of reverb splashing around, except for tracks with the obvious intent of reverb (certain vocals, snare, guitar lead,etc.) Even then, it's always "in the background" and not washing away the dry sound. All those patches on your reverb box are there to show what they can do, but really, how useful are they?

    What's missing in most home recordings is depth, which is hard to get with most home environments. When micing I back off on the source to about two feet minimum. Use two mics if you can. Use small amounts of delay panned to the opposite side for creating depth.

    Reverb is a shortcut way to get depth, but not really satisfying many times...
     
  9. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    This will create more problems than it solves in a lot of (inferior) rooms and applications, imo.

    For vocals?

    For guitar amps?

    In a bad sounding room?
     
  10. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    I'm not a pro engineer, nor an obsessive. But I do take my music very seriously, and I do my best.
    Here's what I do:
    - record in a treated dead space (Whisper room with refection package and bass traps)
    - set up auxes with different plates for vocals, acoustic guitar, and snare; and then convolution for the other istruments: recording studio room, lively room, drum room; and add a hall maybe for background vocals, strings. Then send things to these auxes based on the song. It can vary.
    - Then I leave a few auxes for Delays and maybe modulation
    - Then I ask myself if I want to change anything this time (special effects, break from my norm, etc)
    - Then I listen to a few reference CD's
    - Then, assuming all compression and eq is already done (including on groups), I add Waves SSL bus comporessor, as well as UAD precision eq and limiter to the main outs and listen again(just to make sure that nothing gets wierd at mixdown).
    - The I back off stuff a bit, leaving room for a mastering engineer and making sure I'm not seduced by a sound in the moment..
    - Then I ask "what the hell am I doing here?"
    - Then I PRAY/PLEAD/HOPE.
    - Then I bounce/mixdown.

    I hope that helps.
     
  11. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    I've been playing a lot lately with "LCR" mixes - everything is either hard left, hard right, or center - and going with much less overall reverb. I'll put just enough reverb on the "band" to where it sounds somewhat like they're in the same sonic space, and then I use a nice plate on the lead and background vox, with a delay.

    Seems like it punches a little harder doing it this way.

    And although I'm guilty of overdoing things with effects and stuff, I do try to subscribe to the KISS theory of home recording. I think it's better to close mic with one mic and try to keep the goofy environment from jacking the sound up as much as possible. Room sound is great IF you have a nice room. I don't. I don't want that junk on there.
     
  12. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Take a listen to "Relish" by Joan Osborne. It was done this way. Some stunning sounds on that record, and it was all recorded in a house.
     
  13. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I have to agree.

    Room sound is so often overlooked because it's so inconspicuous. Bad room sound is often unnoticed until it's too late, or just unnoticed entirely. Miking from far away will give the room a bigger spotlight than when miking closer, and if you're room is sh!t, you're going to have that as part of your track whether you like it or not. Then you'll be wondering why you can't get a decent recording.

    Now if you have a great sounding room (and very few of us at home would have this) then it could be advantageous to allow that to bleed in.

    Otherwise, no, add room verb after the recording, and do so on individual tracks, not the entire mix as a whole (there are a few exceptions - e.g. orchestral recording).
     
  14. sf audio

    sf audio Member

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    Well, my room is somewhat treated, so it's not horrible. I do find having a little space between the mic and guitar cab gives me depth and "realism" compared to jammin' the mic against the grill. I prefer this rather than add plug in reverbs which sounds like, um, plug in reverbs...
     
  15. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Member

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    So....as you can see....there are differing opinions on this subject.

    And BTW...when I mentioned 'room verb' I was talking about a VST plug-in setting, not using the actual room itself. For drums, I record with Roland V-drums, so there's no mic involved. I have to set/select the ambience that I send carefully...better to record as dry as possible then introduce wetness later. It's damn near impossible to do it the other way around.

    Good luck. Have fun.
     
  16. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Agreed. Audio verite approaches to jazz bands, big bands, etc are some other possible exceptions.
     
  17. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    I generally have 3 or 4 verbs set up these days for a "typical" mix. Something like an ER or ambience setting, a "live" room, and then a hall setting.

    More importantly IMO is learning to manage the frequency content of the reverb itself. Use those low and high pass filters to capture the space you want, and get rid of everything else! Low to mid buildup of reverb tails ruins a lot of otherwise nice sounding spaces. I really can't stress this enough.
     
  18. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    Did they mono the drums on that, up the center? That's the only thing I have problems with - drums.
     
  19. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Nope, panned hard R/L.

    Listen to "Dracula Moon" - one of my favorite drum sounds ever.
     
  20. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I think we all agree on the original question - that verb should be added on individual tracks. There are a few exceptions, but those practices are a minute percentage.
     

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