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Why do you like reverb so much?

Not Orange

Gold Supporting Member
I agree with almost everything you said, but my point was more in the direction of why someone would need 200 types of reverb and spend half your board on just that effect.
1. Ambient music is big these days

2. It covers up your inability to play

Mr. Bertha

But really, I play p&w and post rock so...
If ya think about it, something like Explosions in the Sky isn't terribly different than some p&w....maybe more distortion and lingering on a minor key with p&r (post rock) with more singing and major keys with p&w. Both p&w and p&r like a big cathartic chorus.


It covers up your inability to play
I kinda disagree.

It encourages a different (mostly more sparse) way of playing. If you play lots of tightly rhythmic notes (which you might consider "ability to play") reverb will actually make things sound bad.

I don't consider adapting your playing to suit your effects "inability to play." Sure, the type of playing that works with reverb might be less technically demanding, but sometimes getting those sounds is more important than demonstrating your chops. I'd take musicality over chops any day of the week.


Silver Supporting Member
If ya think about it, something like Explosions in the Sky isn't terribly different than some p&w....maybe more distortion and lingering on a minor key with p&r (post rock) with more singing and major keys with p&w. Both p&w and p&r like a big cathartic chorus.

It's true. I'm a veteran p&w so when I say this it's coming from lots of experience and love for my work- post rock is like a way more emotive and interesting p&w


I typically only use the verb enough to sweeten that dead room sound, a slight plate reverb that creates a larger room.

But then I have the T2 and that thing is just weird. I don't think it masks an inability to play, though, but I get it. I've seen that, as well.

Then again, I care more about the emotion of music rather than technical acrobatics.


Platinum Supporting Member
I obviously can't speak for everyone, but I think the rise and widespread adoption of the current crop of powerful, flexible, reverb pedals is the natural result of trends that have been running for at least the twenty years I've been aware of them.
- Audiences are discerning and demanding - as much as we talk about how the audience members can't readily identify/discuss the sorts of details that folks agonize over in their rigs, audiences do know when you don't sound "right". People have grown accustomed to having their favorite songs with them everywhere. While they may not know everything that goes into making it, they do know what a properly produced, recorded, and mastered recording sounds like. It might just be the gigs I play and go to, but audiences seem to increasingly want top-shelf sound quality in addition to top-quality performances. This often translates into recreating particularized ambient sounds that might be beyond the scope of my amp's one-knob spring reverb.
-Technology has allowed gear manufacturers (and guitarists) to give the people what they want. This is a golden age of gear - in addition to having tones of choices when it comes to traditionally constructed rigs, we have tons of pedals and other gear that allow us to replicate a studio-based signal chain with pedals. For example, we have very convincing amp-in-a-box pedals and modelers, that can be run to a studio-style compressor. Why not take it one step further and use a pedal to add reverb like you might on an album track? Isn't part of the point of gear like the power station, speaker simulators, wet/dry/wet rigs, and other approaches to allow us to create/simulate/replicate sounds that would previously have only been available in a sophisticated studio setting?

I guess the short version is - people want to hear great sounding versions of the songs they love. Technology now allows us to get a lot of high-quality sounds (including great reverb sounds) out of relatively accessible software/pedals/gear. Seems a lot like technology catching up with demand to provide supply.
I'm going to go all historical on you and say that reverb is the original musical effect and is in fact largely responsible for the development of the music we have today, so it's very natural that guitarists would use it as well.

To specify, musical harmony progressed very closely with the development of architecture in the west. As we built larger and larger halls, the reverberation got longer and longer. What this means is your previous note is literally still playing when you begin your next one and, as a result, the choice of your next chord has to be something that makes harmonic sense with the previoua thing you were playing.

Nowadays, digital reverbs are the next progression beyond gigantic halls and we can get even longer reverb times than ever before and we can now manipulate the decays of those reverberations unlike any other method allowed in the past. This inevitably leads to different types of music coming about.

Generally speaking, though, if you have a perfectly dry guitar amp in a dry room, your audience will tend to actually understand your chord progressions less on a gut level because the previous chord dies out before you change to the next. Of course, this is desirable for more percussive based music as it's the rhyhm that is the focus and reverb actually obscures that.
To add to this, I believe spring reverbs were added to organs so they could emulate the reverberant spaces of churches. From there spring moved into guitar amplifiers and/or outboard units in the case of Dick Dale, who was arguably the most important early guitar player who made reverb part of his signature sound.


I like reverb because it can help me mix a tonne of different sounds onto a track without them fighting for attention. It can muddy certain signals but man, you can get some gorgeous drone tones a la early Brian Jonestown Massacre when you just soak that mix.


Silver Supporting Member
It's really all about the way the note decay for me. I like the notes to have long tails with lots of atmosphere and ghostly sounds between notes. Reverb also emphasizes my uses of the tremolo arm on my guitar (which is a big part of my playing style). I also like how spring reverb gives a little bit of slapback. I have learned recently to scale back on reverb for distorted sounds, but for clean sounds, unless I want some sharp attack, reverb is going to be a part of the equation.

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