Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by DigitalMusicProduction »

Hi

Should I be using a dry or wet reverb for a commercial recording? Music genre soundtracks solo Piano. I know its all about personal preference but at the same time I feel a dry reverb can sound a little plain and dull as opposed to a wet reverb bringing much more life to the music. My intention is to deliver the best sound output possible and not too over do it with such a wide reverb. Maybe a consensus opinion on what the majority of consumers would prefer would be helpful.

Thanks.
User avatar
DigitalMusicProduction
Regular
Posts: 198 Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:00 pm

Music is a universal language that speaks to every person, a euphoria of moods that inspires, convicts and heals 

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by blinddrew »

My starting point would be to have a look at what the competition are doing, but personally I'd err towards the dry side, a nice sounding room perhaps. A customer can always add more reverb but it's much harder to remove it.
It might be worth considering making a completely dry copy (no reverb at all) available as well.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15958 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

DigitalMusicProduction wrote:Should I be using a dry or wet reverb for a commercial recording?


The term 'dry' normally means 'no reverb'.

I presume you really mean short/ early reflections as opposed to long/ambient reverbs.

I know its all about personal preference...


It is. Exactly that.

I feel a dry reverb can sound a little plain and dull as opposed to a wet reverb bringing much more life to the music.


There you go. That's your preference.

Go for it.

Maybe a consensus opinion on what the majority of consumers would prefer would be helpful.


It's what YOU prefer that matters... but if you want an opinion you'll have to post some clips to audition with your different reverb options on a relevant typical piece of music.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 31832 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Martin Walker »

Good suggestions from Drew and Hugh!

From your own thoughts I'd tend to go somewhere in the middle, not a small room, but an intimate acoustic that might also be used for a string quartet/chamber music, and not a concert hall acoustic where the piano might sound great with an accompanying orchestra but swamped on its own unless closely miked.

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18076 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by The Elf »

It's all about context. A slow, soft piano piece might enjoy a huge, soft reverb, and an up-tempo piece might need a short reverb to let it breath. Only you can decide; and that is truly your job as the producer - to decide *for* your audience.

There's no such thing as a 'dry reverb' - dry/wet relates to the 0-100% balance between direct source and reverb.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17059 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by MarkOne »

I love that CHristian Henson of Spitfire Audio calls reverb ‘Splosh’ It’s such a descriptive way to think about reverb. Do you want loads of Splosh, or just a small amount?
MarkOne
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1218 Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:00 am Location: Bristol, England, Earth, Perseus Gap, Milky Way
Debut Album 'Fantasy Bridge' available now!

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by sound bites »

Just a heads-up: PSP Pianoverb is a free plugin you could play around with. Certainly worth a try.
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 71 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Arpangel »

Depends on the music, but for most of what I would call "normal" straight ahead piano music, nothing extreme, I’d always go for the minimum reverb you can get away with, preferably, if possible, recording with microphones in a suitable space.
If you’ve got to use artificial reverb, then choose something that has a natural sound, that blends with the music, rather than sits on top of it, an Eventide Dense Reverb isn’t going to be the obvious choice, but maybe a TC Hall may fit the bill, but there are always surprises, I made a piano album of Classical/New Age piano recordings, and I used an Eventide Dense Reverb preset, it sounded just right, but it was barely there, just added a bit of space.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8673 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Martin Walker »

Arpangel wrote:it was barely there, just added a bit of space.


Just the ticket!

That old advice about 'dial in the amount until you think it's about right, then back it off a bit' can work in so many cases. It's only when you then remove it that you realise that is WAS still audible and supporting your sounds, but without being obvious.

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18076 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by DigitalMusicProduction »

Thank you all for your very helpful responses.

I've been recording with the Yamaha CFX Concert Grand from Abbey Road Studios using the natural acoustic sound environment of Abbey Roads studio 1. This in itself sounds well, but it was Logics ChromaVerb Concert Hall that seemed to add a little more life to the music, these were the two reverb types i was considering.

ARS sound engineers state the benchmark standard reverb depth for a professional piano recording is 2.3 seconds, this is what AR1's natural acoustic reverb environment is set at, i assume mostly for classical recordings, but i suppose it can also be used for othere types of Piano recordings and is not exclusive to classical alone.
User avatar
DigitalMusicProduction
Regular
Posts: 198 Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:00 pm

Music is a universal language that speaks to every person, a euphoria of moods that inspires, convicts and heals 

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Arpangel »

There is a reverb that’s just made for acoustic pianos, outside of a real space, and a lot of engineers I’ve come across agree, it’s one of the presets in the Yamaha SPX90, can’t remember exactly but it’s either a Hall, or Plate preset, I’d have to ask my friend who has one, it's just perfect, it just sounds right, fabulous. These units are classics, and were often bought for just a couple of presets, pitch de-tune, and this reverb.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8673 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by RichardT »

DigitalMusicProduction wrote:Thank you all for your very helpful responses.

I've been recording with the Yamaha CFX Concert Grand from Abbey Road Studios using the natural acoustic sound environment of Abbey Roads studio 1. This in itself sounds well, but it was Logics ChromaVerb Concert Hall that seemed to add a little more life to the music, these were the two reverb types i was considering.

ARS sound engineers state the benchmark standard reverb depth for a professional piano recording is 2.3 seconds, this is what AR1's natural acoustic reverb environment is set at, i assume mostly for classical recordings, but i suppose it can also be used for othere types of Piano recordings and is not exclusive to classical alone.


For solo piano, it’s fine to use no added reverb at all, if the piano (as yours is) is recorded in a great natural acoustic. I use the ‘Noire’ Library by NI which is also a Yamaha CFX, recorded in its home studio. I really like the natural sound without added reverb.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1191 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by The Elf »

Forget all these numbers. This is music - not a chemical formula. What do *your* ears tell you? What do *you* want your audience to hear?
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17059 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

DigitalMusicProduction wrote:ARS sound engineers state the benchmark standard reverb depth for a professional piano recording is 2.3 seconds


That would be an idiotic thing to 'state', since the appropriate reverb depends enormously on the style and tempo of the music, and the required acoustic perspective.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 31832 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Piano Reverb For Commercial Recording ???

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote:Forget all these numbers. This is music - not a chemical formula. What do *your* ears tell you? What do *you* want your audience to hear?


Tsk, yes, it’s about time we stopped giving them what "they" want, instead of what "we" want.

:D:D
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8673 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.
Post Reply