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#456855 - 02/10/18 03:53 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Soundstage Separation via reverb
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1519

I'm experimenting with separating the soundstage by using different reverbs on the different areas of the soundstage.

The wetter the verb the further back
The less pre-delay the further back
The more decay the further back

If these are true (and I think I got it right) Then how can I create separation of the soundstage through depth with reverb?

My current experiment is to send all my panned instruments to one bus and all my slightly panned and middle instruments to another bus (not including bass and drums).

I like a bit of spring-like verb on guitars and because I usually have electric guitars panned, I’m sending a short decay spring-like verb to the panned bus (I may add a channel tool and subtract a few decibels from the middle for more separation). I’ll leave it wet to taste and a very short pre-delay or none at all.

Then I’ll send a more traditional room or hall to the middle instrument buss. Wet, decay and usually no pre-delay.

I treat the Vox to its own verb bus. Generous pre-delay then decay, and wet/dry to taste.

And I send a plate verb to the drums for some crackle in the cymbals and snare.

I may experiment sending two verbs to one bus group.

I will then solo the reverb buses and use subtractive eq on each verb to do what I can to diminish frequency crossover.

Keep in mind it’s all a work in progress!!! Happy mixing!

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#456952 - 02/11/18 07:28 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5797
Remember that reverb is cumulative. What's in the track gets added to the buss, gets added to the master and if you're not careful you end up with mud soup. I've heard mixes where nothing is very well defined due to all the verb....especially when you verb the bass.

Personally, my individual tracks are all dry as a bone in the Mojave desert at 3pm on a sunny day. I place a very light verb in the buss for the guitars if they have their own buss which is not common, a light verb on the vocal buss which is common, and then another very light verb on the master. Often I will end up shutting some of those off and relying on just the master with a touch of light verb. Dark plate, light plate, but nothing too obvious.

For staging, I simply use the panning of the instruments to create width and the levels to create depth. Louder in the mix is closer, and quieter in the mix is more to the back.

Often if you have one instrument with a noticeable reverb or a vocal with reverb and leave everything else dry, the listener will still think there's reverb on everything. In recent mixes, I tend to stay on the dryer side of the equation. Unless you're using reverb for a specific purpose, it's kinda like compression in my book.... yes, you want it there.... no, you don't really want it to be obvious.

my opinion.


Edited by Guitarhacker (02/11/18 07:29 AM)
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#456995 - 02/11/18 10:46 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1519
Thank you Herb. I'm glad that you reminded me that I left off a very important aspect to the art of reverb. That reverb is decibel cumulative. That is to say every decibel of reverb adds to the overall decibel level of the track that you put it on. So when you increase or decrease the send level to the reverb bus it affects the level of that track in the mix. So as you add reverb you may have to lower the track level.

As to working with reverb in a song it's like any aspect of mixing. You have to practice. A lot. I took my cues from studying Dave Pensado on his "Into The Lair" series. He uses a ton of reverb in his mixes. It just doesn't sound overly wet because of how he handles the decays and how he eq's the frequencies and on and on.

There is more than just depth perception that can be achieved with reverb and slap-back and delays.

Experiment and have fun!

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#457029 - 02/11/18 12:43 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13545
Loc: Australia
Lawrence,

It's a very interesting concept that you are playing with.

How I interpret what you are trying to do is to add upstage/downstage depth to a mix in addition to the left/right effect of panning. This would create a 2-D positioning of musicians on the stage.

Used with subtlety, this could be an excellent way of enhancing a production.

You could probably also try adding tiny amounts of audio delay to each location too. For example, if a listener is in the audience, it will take 3 or 4 less milliseconds for the sound of an instrument at the front of the stage to reach the listener's ears than an instrument at the back of the stage. While such effects are imperceptible individually, their contribution to an 'overall' sound impression could be quite effective.

Regards,
Noel
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#457188 - 02/12/18 01:59 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1519
Yes Noel that is exactly what I'm talking about. One of the best parts about experimenting with these techniques is simply the fun in playing around with new approaches. Also your ear is becoming more acute, more aware.

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#457592 - 02/14/18 03:39 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18958
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Curious, what reverb are you using to get this type of control?

I have my faves, but always like to hear from others.
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#457728 - 02/15/18 01:50 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: rharv]
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1519
Originally Posted By: rharv
Curious, what reverb are you using to get this type of control?

I have my faves, but always like to hear from others.


After years of using many free reverbs I broke down and bought FabFilter's Pro R. It really works for me. It has separate eqs for the reverb and the decay. Very useful control to keep the reverb from washing out everything and still having a solid reverb footprint present.

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#458388 - 02/20/18 07:58 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 6108
Loc: GA USA
Great info Lawrence!

J&B
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#458943 - 02/23/18 03:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: Janice & Bud]
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1519
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
Great info Lawrence!

J&B
Thanks J&B!

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#459657 - 02/28/18 01:55 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Soundstage Separation via reverb [Re: gruverider]
Kent - PG Music Online   content
PG Music Staff

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 1141
Pro-R is fantastic, I like pretty much everything FabFilter makes (I use Pro-Q on pretty much every track).

I'm also a big fan of Soundtoys, their Little Plate reverb is one of my go-tos, and is very affordable.

Cheers
Kent
PG Music

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