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#313207 - 10/06/15 03:44 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Adding reverb to the master mix?
Kemmrich Offline
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Registered: 02/27/07
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East Side Eddie is going to love this topic!

Listening the that jimmy buffet reference track there are couple things I am trying to put my finger on. There definitely seems to be an underlying ambiance to the recording, which I think is, in part, due to the analog tape recording process and room dynamics.

Ozone 6 has removed reverb as one of its mastering tools (I see lots of folks complained about that), but I decided to add a bit of light reverb to the master buss on a couple of songs to see what it can do.

My philosophy was that if I could actually hear the reverb, then I added too much. It looks like I have settled on 10-12% wet/dry mix for now. I think it is better -- but I will have to see how it holds up over time.

Any thoughts on this.
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#313211 - 10/06/15 04:45 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Yep... I'll comment.

I don't like and rarely use the Ozone reverb. I prefer the Cakewalk plug in called Studioverb2.

Using reverb in a master buss or even a mix buss is generally where you will find the reverbs in my mixes.

I usually subscribe to the theory that reverb should not really be heard. I will turn it up to the point I can hear it clearly and then back it down. There's been many times where I do have the verb up where it's audible, and most of the time, it's there for the effect it gives. (Larger room as opposed to small studio room) I often have levels around or below 10% in the busses.

Reverb is cumulative, so if you have a 7% verb in the track, a 9% verb in the mix buss, and then throw in a 12% "blending verb" in the master buss, it's really easy to end up with too much verb and wonder where it's coming from. Generally the easy solution is to go back to the track and disable the track verb.... check the mix and work your way up.

Verb in the master can be useful in blending things and taking the edge off to give the whole project a cohesiveness. But yes, you do want to be careful here that you don't have it sounding like a huge auditorium unless that's what you're going for.


Edit: reverb is kinda like salt or grated cheese.... how much you want to use depends on your tastes. Not enough leaves you wanting more... too much... well maybe the cheese analogy was a bad one... I mean, you can never have enough cheese on something...right? But too much salt will ruin a dish quickly.


Edited by Guitarhacker (10/06/15 04:56 AM)
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#313215 - 10/06/15 05:53 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Having never used the post mix reverb in Ozone 5 I don't miss it in 6. I use Ozone's EMT 140 Plate simulation reverb on each track with the notion of helping them properly sit in the mix - get along with their fellow tracks.

Y'all mentioned the procedure of adding reverb to the mix and then reducing it to where you cannot hear the effect. If you accurately A/B (controlling for gain changes) "with and without" and hear no change....I'm stumped. Are you using some sort of sixth sense to discern the difference? smile
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#313216 - 10/06/15 06:12 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
MarioD Offline
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My songs can either have a lot, a little or no reverb at all. It depends on the song.

In Sonar I create a reverb buss, send each track that I want reverb on to that buss then adjust the amount of reverb in each track individually. I do this as I usually don't like reverb on a bass or kick track plus I like to use the same reverb for all tracks. The only exception to this is guitar amp reverb as sometimes I use it on the guitar track. Another advantage of this is that I like different levels of reverb on different tracks, for instance a lot of reverb on the snare and no reverb on the rest of the kit. You can also add depth to individual tracks by the amount of reverb.

I do this while listening to the entire song. As Herb said reverb is accumulative so if you add reverb to each track while it is soloed then at the end you could end up with an overwhelming amount of reverb.

Just my workflow, YMMV.
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#313227 - 10/06/15 07:06 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Janice & Bud]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
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Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud


Y'all mentioned the procedure of adding reverb to the mix and then reducing it to where you cannot hear the effect. If you accurately A/B (controlling for gain changes) "with and without" and hear no change....I'm stumped. Are you using some sort of sixth sense to discern the difference? smile



This is actually the one instance where I do use a visual reference, because I still need to control what I can't necessarily hear clearly. Looking at the numbers is the best way to accomplish that.

I have the track playing and Studioverb2's interface is open. I turn it up to the point where I can hear it effecting the track. At the same time, I'm watching the percentage of verb in the SV2 GUI. Generally, I can hear it clearly at 15% to 20% depending on the style of reverb I am using.... dark plate, bright plate, etc....

Then I turn it back down until it becomes hard to hear or seems to have gone away totally.... it's generally around 10% to 14% or so at this time. I will solo the track at this point...or the mix buss, depending on the project, and during playback, use the on/off button on the GUI in my Sonar FX bin to A/B the verb in the track. At this point, yes, in solo mode you can hear the verb come on and off mostly due to the ambient change in the track/buss. It's usually very subtle.

With the track in the mix, the change is not apparent, BUT... the reverb is still there. It's this same window with the percentage that I will rely upon if I need to come back to reduce the verb levels later due to the cumulative effect of other verbs in the chain.

Many things in the mixing world are exactly like this.... including layering of lead and harmony vocals for doubling/fattening, and especially when dealing with the higher frequencies in EQ.

These things may not be solidly evident in a mix, but they certainly make a difference in what the final mix sounds like.

It's the little things that count. As people begin to grasp this concept, their mixing begins to improve. Details matter.
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#313244 - 10/06/15 08:30 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Guitarhacker]
Janice & Bud Offline
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I certainly agree that details matter. And for nearly 50 years (off and on) I've struggled with what constitutes the "right" amount of reverb from live gigs to occasional studio settings. But if we have a finished mix and are satisfied with it and ready to master I still don't understand how adding reverb during mastering and then turning it down below the JND* can add any value. Now during the mix process I can grasp how reverb on a track might be turned down to an imperceptible level per that track and yet influence the sound of the mix (as it interacts with other tracks).

*"just noticeable difference" as we used say back in the research days
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#313251 - 10/06/15 09:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Janice & Bud]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud

if we have a finished mix and are satisfied with it and ready to master I still don't understand how adding reverb during mastering and then turning it down below the JND* can add any value. Now during the mix process I can grasp how reverb on a track might be turned down to an imperceptible level per that track and yet influence the sound of the mix (as it interacts with other tracks).


In my process, I actually start heading towards the final mix right from the start. So I do not "finish a mix" and then master it and add reverb. I'm working toward the final mastered mix from the very beginning of the first track. I'm adding and deleting things and changing the levels as I go along. So when I reach the end, everything is in place and the project is ready to export "as is".

Many folks mix first to a raw wave and then master/sweeten the mix. Not me.

But I do agree... if the mix is finished and sounds good and all that's left is to master or sweeten.... there's no significant purpose or gain by adding a verb that you can't hear. At that point, the gain will be through compression and EQ, and that's about the extent of the plugs one needs to use on a finished mix.
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#313268 - 10/06/15 10:44 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Kemmrich Offline
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Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
If I am adding reverb to the master buss and I hear reverb then I have added too much. Same philosophy with the high pass filter on the low end to get rid of stuff you can't hear but adds unwanted energy as you move along.

If I listen to the wav files with and without the reverb added, I can tell there is a slight difference, but I can't say "Oh, that's reverb".

At the moment I can't tell if it is better or not (or maybe they aren't any different -- ha, ha). I may have to get someone else to A-B them for me.
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#313365 - 10/06/15 07:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
rockstar_not Online   content
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7341
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
It's hard to tell if the conversation above is purely related to reverb as a master bus effect, or mixing so that reverb is not noticeable. I'm reading both in the above responses. I hope it's the former, because if it weren't for absolutely noticeable reverb in mixes, we would be deprived of lots of ear-joy.

What would Phil Spector's wall of sound be without noticeable reverb?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7uTztWtBLM

Or the Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations'?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eab_beh07HU

Or countless Motown hits?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaMX0Cs5Bc4 just for an example.

One could even argue the noticeable gated reverb of the late 80's was key to a 5 year or so period of hits.

Or any number of Steve Lillywhite's produced albums from the 80's:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di-_n05tppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujaMeN62kmk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ojSndIeHyQ

Contrast any one of those songs with characteristically dry songs from the 70's. Steely Dan often used as a reference, but even some of their songs have noticeable reverb on individual tracks.

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#313414 - 10/07/15 05:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
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I think the conversation just reinforces the truism that all of this is ultimately personal. There are certainly no absolutes. I answered by saying I don't use it in the master bus. And I tried to imply that if I did I would leave it at a level where I could discern it's presence. Now with the new rockabilly RT's I can see a production where I would put it on the master and crank it up. smile
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#313424 - 10/07/15 07:09 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Nick Irving Offline
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Registered: 09/12/15
Posts: 11
Loc: Sydney, Australia
You're spot on when you say that generally, if you can 'hear' the reverb, it's too much. ....Generally!

There was the 80's, of course.... but that's another story!

Nick

One Flight Up Recording Studios

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#313426 - 10/07/15 07:33 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5606
It's certainly a matter of taste and at times it's genre and style specific.... Imagine some of Elvis and Buddy Holly's stuff without that characteristic slap back echo/verb sound. It just wouldn't be the same.

There are not absolutes and certainly no right way or wrong way to do it.

On a given dry mix, you can apply reverb to make it sound like the setting is a small intimate club, or a huge stadium show. Totally up to the person mixing what effect they are going for.
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#315831 - 10/26/15 12:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Janice & Bud]
mikelexis Offline
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Registered: 10/26/15
Posts: 2
I'm having a problem monitoring 'wet' but recording dry - vocalists might want an effect - but the producer may want to delete and re introduce - looking for the best way to interface this using a DAW and an external soundcard.

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#315832 - 10/26/15 12:20 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Adding reverb to the master mix? [Re: Kemmrich]
mikelexis Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/15
Posts: 2
Quick way to monitor wet and record dry using a daw a reverb unit and an external interface.

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