Which reverb ?

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Which reverb ?

Post by Scouser »

I am getting back into doing some recording after many years of playing live.

I have spent quite a bit of time over the years reading about various reverbs, which has obviously helped in some way, however I feel no closer than when I started out on identifying reverbs that I like, usually vocal. Given this is the case and that there are so many reverbs out there with unlimited parameters, it would be akin to winning the lottery to get close to the ones I like.

So how does one start ? For example I was recently listening to a song I like very much https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-J7mLyD3yc and thought that is something I would like to emulate, when recording something I wrote myself, but like I say, I don't have a clue where to start ! I'm sure many of you could dial this setting up in a jiffy and that is probably due to the time you have put in over the years, which is something I can relate to being a professional musician and having invested a lot of time into something.

I have watched a lot of videos over the years also, one of the best was this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t2aNkjpa9I&t=36s which covers some fundamentals. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. I understand that it can be difficult, when time is limited, but if I could vaguely emulate some basics when putting my own material together, it would be a real step forward, rather than turning knobs aimlessly in the hope I might find that elusive sound, as I see it there are too many parameters to get lucky. I have recently purchased "Tsar" as it is so simple and so few options that I figured that might be a starting point, it was also used in the tutorial link I posted above, with some pleasing results.

Thanks
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by resistorman »

Here's a recent thread you might find interesting:

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... hp?t=82256

It's hard to get a bad sounding reverb plugin these days! I believe you can download demos of pretty much all of them.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by RichardT »

Reverbs have lots of functions and side effects, and it can help a lot if you know why you’re applying reverb and what side-effects you want to avoid. This is probably more important than getting exactly the right plugins.

For example, they can obviously be used to create a sense of space, but they can also be used to alter the tone of an instrument, to integrate different instruments, to smooth out a performance, to add a sense of depth, to create sustain, to make an instrument sound thicker etc etc.

I don’t know Tsar, but I’d spend time with it and see what you can do with it before buying more plugins.

Something that’s very important with reverb is to think about whether you need to EQ the signal going into it - usually to reduce the lows and often the extreme highs too.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Scouser »

Thanks for replies..

I'm not actually looking for plugins, rather how to distinguish one from another and be able to identify the type and generally get a better understanding where to start.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by RichardT »

Scouser wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 7:15 pm Thanks for replies..

I'm not actually looking for plugins, rather how to distinguish one from another and be able to identify the type and generally get a better understanding where to start.

By listening? If so, it will be very hard if not impossible to tell what type of reverb is being used. Not only that, multiple reverbs are often used at the same time in modern mixes.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Dave Rowles »

Scouser wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 7:15 pm Thanks for replies..

I'm not actually looking for plugins, rather how to distinguish one from another and be able to identify the type and generally get a better understanding where to start.

Well....record something and add reverb. Try all the presets, all the different settings. Really listen to how the reverb tails work, the pre-delays and early reflections. Experimentation is how you learn, and as you get experience you'll be able to identify what you need for each project quicker.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Sam Inglis »

The Kris Kristofferson track mentioned in the OP was released in 1970, which of course rules out the use of digital reverb. The available technologies at the time were chambers, plates and springs. It was recorded at Monument Studios in Nashville which certainly had EMT plates -- I don't know whether it also had a chamber. The most noticeable thing about it is that it sits behind the vocal even though it's quite prominent, I think because it's delayed using a tape machine. If I wanted to try to reproduce that I'd start with a fairly dense chamber or plate sound and use a fairly long pre-delay, perhaps 80-100 ms or thereabouts.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Arpangel »

Asking about which reverb you should use is like asking about what monitors, or what brand of toothpaste.
To me, the ultimate reverb in any situation, is a Lexicon 224, or a Strymon Big Sky, but that’s highly personal, my advice is just try and see, it’s the only way.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Bob Bickerton »

There was a similar reverb thread a few days ago and you will get as many suggestions as there are replies (because we’ve all got one each ;) )

It’s very much to do with application of course. For me, I use Seventh Heaven for classical music and ambient purposes which has Briscasti M7 emulations.

And then I’ll use (UAD) Lexicon 224 often, even over the 480. Then an option for weird stuff might be the Eventide Blackhole.

Most importantly you need to get really familiar with what you’ve got and to know what you can and can’t achieve with it. It’s the old story of 1/ Knowing what you want to achieve, 2/ Selecting the right tool to achieve it, 3/ Knowing how to use the tool to get there.

So from that perspective, it’s probably better to not overwhelm yourself with lots of plug ins, just select a few and get to know them really well.

And a crude trick I use for analysis is to stop a track mid-note and listen to the reverb tail.

And a final thought: the SSL FlexVerb https://store.solidstatelogic.com/plug- ... e-flexverb is, as its name suggests, a very flexible reverb. It might prove to be worth downloading a trial for the purposes of training as the controls of various parameters are very clear and you get some visual feedback on what you’re doing. I actually don’t use it much, but it strikes me as being a good educational tool. And, if you like it, hold off until they have a sale. I think I’ve seen that one go for a tenth of its current price.

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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by shufflebeat »

Bob Bickerton wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:12 pm ...I think I’ve seen that one go for a tenth of its current price.

You certainly have.

:):)
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Arpangel »

I had a real 224, and a Big Sky, at one point, what a great combination, despite the fact I had to keep the 224 rack ten metres down the hall, on a long remote lead, because it sounded like a hoover.
They just don’t make stuff like that anymore, I’ve got the UAD Golden, it’s "alright" but not a patch on what it’s trying to imitate.
This stuff is a "sensibility" it’s all about what it was used on, the music that influenced us, it’s got nothing to do with "what’s best" etc.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by YashN »

You may want to look at full vocal processing chains rather than just reverb (e.g. compressors and delays can also be in there). For vocals, Plate Reverbs are well-liked, but a corresponding reverb could be a room or hall reverb too.

Lots of plugins to experiment with, but I'd suggest you test just a handful of good ones and see if the presets do it for you: Valhalla, Lexicon, Bricasti Emulation, Eventide. The Bricasti is known to lean towards realism.

Personally, I use hardware rack Effects, on Analogue Mixer AUX sends. I'd recommend Kurzweil (Rumour/Mangler, KSP-8 or one of their synths with KDFX in them), Lexicon, Eventide, or Bricasti. NB: rack effects, not effects pedals, as there is a good chance the latter have less DSP power, therefore the Algorithms in them are expected to be simplified.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Arpangel »

YashN wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:28 pm Personally, I use hardware rack Effects, on Analogue Mixer AUX sends.

Me too, lots of sends, Eventide have become way too cliched, Lexicon still have it, so do Yamaha, plus my old Midiverbs.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Bob Bickerton wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:12 pm There was a similar reverb thread a few days ago and you will get as many suggestions as there are replies (because we’ve all got one each ;) )

Bob speaks the truth but here are my thoughts :-)

Ever since Martin reviewed it way back in 2009 I've been a steadfast fan of 2cAudio's Aether software plugin.

I've not owned that many 'high end' reverbs (I tend to favour delay over reverb) but I've heard quite a few first-hand from visiting various folks many of whom frequent this forum.

Aether has been updated a handful of times since that review and is still right up there with the best of them to my humble ear.

When it comes to hardware I've got two 'go-to' units. The first is legacy crunchy goodness in the form of the Alesis Midiverb 4. This probably isn't what you (Scouser) are looking for but it has something about it that's particularly pleasing to me and I've heard more than a few people say nice things about it.

The second is the on-board reverb in the Novation Summit. If they made that algorithm available in a rackmount they'd probably sell loads of them. Not that many parameters (3 spacial types only) but it's a wonderful sound and I'm very happy that they made it possible to use the Summit as an FX unit for external audio sources.

Scouser wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 7:15 pm I'm not actually looking for plugins, rather how to distinguish one from another and be able to identify the type and generally get a better understanding where to start.

I'm afraid I can't help you much with that but then again from the above I'd say that in my case it's more a case of finding the solutions that sound good in a mix. If it sounds good in a mix (granted there's a whole discussion about what 'good' means to different people) then it is good.

In my case, 'good' means 'transparent' insofar as I can hear the effect without it overwhelming or masking various other things going on in a mix. To complicate things further I'd say that a good half of that is down to the skill of the mixing engineer working with whatever unit they have available to them.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by rha »

Might be useful to look at something like the manual for the Lexicon 480L as it goes into a bit of detail about how the reverbs work and what the parameters do, with some pointers as to what might be useful in recreating certain sounds. I guess there are some general principals that may carry over to other units or plugins, original hardware not necessarily required?!
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by muzines »

rha wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 11:44 pmMight be useful to look at something like the manual for the Lexicon 480L as it goes into a bit of detail about how the reverbs work and what the parameters do, with some pointers as to what might be useful in recreating certain sounds.

Honestly, the Relab manuals for their reverbs (including the 480L emulation) are excellent and easy-digestible primers for general reverb principles, and are well worth a glance through - at least for the introductory stuff, you don't need to get into the nitty-gritty of the actual plugin.

Here's the LX480 Complete manual:
https://relabdevelopment.com/public/man ... Manual.pdf
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Eddy Deegan wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:54 pm
Ever since Martin reviewed it way back in 2009 I've been a steadfast fan of 2cAudio's Aether software plugin.


Me too. Except that I have now just transitioned from Intel to Silicon, and Aether does not seem to be silicon compatible and no longer shows up as an option in my Digital Performer 11 or Vienna Ensemble Pro 7.

Ho hum.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Gone To Lunch wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 12:12 am... I have now just transitioned from Intel to Silicon, and Aether does not seem to be silicon compatible and no longer shows up as an option in my Digital Performer 11 or Vienna Ensemble Pro 7.

Ho hum.

I sympathise. Aether has been around for many years and I've not updated it for ages. I don't know what 2CAudio are doing but I note from their product page that they say:

2CAudio wrote:Aether is available for AU, VST, and AAX hosts under Mac OSX.7 or higher. Both 64-bit and 32-bit versions are provided for all formats. An Intel-based CPU is required for Mac OSX. WE DO NOT SUPPORT PPC.

This seems something of an outdated statement. My hope is that they would continue the tradition of an excellent plugin by supporting it on the latest Apple architecture (even though I'm not a user of same).

I've just dropped them a note asking about their plans, if any, to support the latest Apple hardware. I'll post an update with their response if/when I get it.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by RichardT »

Here are some quick thoughts on reverb plugin types. Probably this can be easily improved..

I think there are two dimensions to think about.

The first is - what is the aim of the plugin?

- to recreate real spaces
- to recreate reverbs from the past (plates, springs, early digital etc)
- to create interesting effects
- some combination of these

The second is - how does it work?

- using algorithms to calculate the reverb
- using modelling technology to simulate devices
- using impulses / convolution technology to model real spaces
- some combination of these

I’ve no idea if that helps. For modern recordings, it will be very difficult to tell by listening what’s going on. Best thing is just to try things out.
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Re: Which reverb ?

Post by 6120 »

I don't know if someone has mentioned it but depending on the DAW software you're using for recording, with the exception of Reaper, all modern DAWs have their own flavours of reverb that might be worth trying before buying anything else?

I love reverb and have far too many reverb plugins and have deliberatly decide to strip back all my plugins to the ones I find most useful. I've got several Eventide reverbs that are excellent but expensive if not on sale, SSL, again excellent and I got it on sale a few months ago at a great price, and Sonnox, probably my favourite and again got them in the Black Friday deals several years.

However, the best value reverb plugin, IMHO, is the range by Valhalla DSP (https://valhalladsp.com) that's well worth trying as they're $50 all year round.
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