In this video, I’m going to walk you through the process of applying reverb to a whole mix, step-by-step.
I’m going to demonstrate on a real-world track right in front of you.
If you’ve seen loads of videos about reverb online, but aren’t really sure how it all ties together and how to apply it to a real-world track: watch now.
In this video I’m going to walk you through the process of applying reverb to a whole mix step-by-step and demonstrate on a real-world track right in front of you.
So, if you’ve seen those videos about reverb online but I’ll really show how all ties together and how to apply to a real-world track.
This is actually an extract from one of our recent live streaming sessions as part of Home Studio University.
So, if you want to see a whole mix start to finish be sure to check that out.
But for now, let’s dive right in to this extract.
Let’s do reverb.
Whoo fun stuff.
So, my go-to is Pro-R and I find the easiest way to do this is just wax some reverb on maybe just the whole mix to find a good sounding reverb, and then we’ll go through and we’ll actually just then kind of set the levels.
Okay, send whole mix.
So, this is going to sound horrific at first but find a good plug-in, and then play with the tone a little bit, and then we’ll go through and actually choose our kind of mix of reverb.
My go-to is FabFilter Pro-R.
But if you have good ones like Valhalla Room, Eventide Stereo Room there’s loads out there and they all sound quite different, which is why when it comes to most reverbs like EQ compression I say have a workhorse, have one that is your go-to.
When it comes to reverb different plug-ins work in different situations.
And having said that, I find this is really flexible.
And equally Chrome reverb which comes with Logic equally is your stock reverb.
So, I say don’t worry about it too much.
So, the first thing would be adjust the timing.
On here it’s called space.
Sometimes it’ll be called like decay time.
This one has got a decay rate which is slightly different.
So, reverb is a little bit different but the first thing you want to do is just adjust the length of the reverb.
Then we can play around with the tone a little bit.
You want to do it to the tempo.
So, in this case like here it’s too long.
Overlapping several beats.
Let’s focus on the snare.
You want it to really fade out before the next snare, and then it’s hikes using brushes and like there are lots of small accents.
But there is like main accent.
Then I’m going to do the same just to compare, because normally I end up using one of these.
I’ve got preset here.
Let’s go back to that louder section again and loop that.
That sounds kind of weird on the snare.
Getting a bit of like kind of like slap backy sound.
So, you can adjust the depth there.
So, it’s more kind of a lush reverb tail unless it’s the immediate kind of delay.
Sounds like it’s in a bathroom.
But I think I prefer the sound of this one, especially on the snare.
It’s close to there.
This one just sounds a bit more modern.
And it actually takes up a bit less space as well.
Okay, as per usual that one wins.
And then, if you have different rooms as you saw me do that, just shuffle further.
Now, that we’ve got kind of like a bit of a workable sound let’s tweak the other settings.
Because we’ve got lot of the instruments only pan like halfway.
I am going to create loads of width on this one, so that we can just fill out that stereo filed a little bit more.
Equally sometimes mono reverb works really well.
If it’s a very cluttered stereo field you don’t have to use stereo reverb.
You can use mono reverb and still get the same depth and space.
Just not the same width and equally if you’re using reverb on individual instruments let’s say the guitars.
Already I am using mono reverb on the guitars because I am using a reverb pedal.
But again in other situation where you don’t have to use stereo but in this case because A it’s live, so I’m just going to use one reverb and lean on this really heavily rather than creating like kind of several layers of reverb.
And also, because it’s sounding weird with hard panned acoustic and hard panned electric and stuff.
So, we get some width from this.
So, next thing is to ask, okay what do we need to do tonally?
Because we could just leave the reverb like this but if we boost top-end of the reverb.
Makes the whole track sound brighter.
So, guess what we’re going to listen to references again.
And this time focus on the overall tonal balance because this is just another way beside mix buss EQ we can just kind of nudge the whole mix in the right direction make it brighter or warmer or whatever you want to do.
And to do this I’m just going to have to mute that buss.
So that maybe we’ve lost a bit of warmth.
But at the same time it doesn’t need kind of more presence in the low-mids, maybe a bit lower.
Let’s try that.
So, I am not sure about that but we’ll come back to it after we’ve got the rough balance going.
So, tonally that’s sounding alright but obviously we don’t want to just use it on the whole mix like that.
So, turn that off and now I am going to blend in the individual parts just depending on how far away from the listener I want them to be.
So, we use it a little bit on the vocals see if it sounds alright, but it’s pretty much going to be on like everything else.
And let’s start with the snare.
Acoustic I want it to be quite front and center.
So, we’re just going to give it a bit of space to stop it from sounding so dry.
So, this is before.
It’s sounding a bit more normal and finished.
I want to push the electric here back but I don’t want to push the other one too far back because that was like in the verses.
We’ll come back to that.
So, that’s why I am doing it on the channel and not on the buss.
I want to create a really roomy sound with the vocals in this last bit to give it that kind of live at the whole band singing kind of vibe.
So, using quite a lot of these.
Because I want it to have again quite a live cohesive sound I’m actually going to use it a little bit on the lead vocals as well.
Let’s do that.
Let’s get back to another section.
Got to headphones for a bit.
I find it easier sometimes with reverb to blend the initial levels on headphones because it’s like you can just – it’s easier to hear finer details like effects.
But then, to actually finish the front-back depth headphones are kind of tricky sometimes.
So, then you want to be using monitors mostly when it comes to reverb, but if you’re mixing for half-an-hour now, so let’s change it up a bit.
Now that we’ve got a good balance we could start tweaking this a little bit more.
And there’s still obviously there’s always just little issues that kind of grab your attention like that guitar and the right air guitar low was a bit loud in that bit.
So, fix it while you think of it.
Otherwise you could quite easily forget and never get onto it.
Vocals could have a bit of saturation.
Just to give them a tiny bit more brightness they’re sounding a bit too warm at points.
So, this would help just kind of break it off a bit.
Backend vocals are sounding pretty muddy still.
So, let’s get rid of that cut.
That one is a bit too loud there.
Okay, getting there.
So, let’s address the lead vocal now.
I am not going to spend too long on reverb on the other instruments because I think that sounds good just giving it a room to all existing.
Honestly, that’s all I normally do anyway.
So, even if I am working with something that’s meant to sound quite modern that you want to start blending different rooms together, different kind of reverb sounds.
But in this case let’s just get the vocal right now.
I like to use the intro for that sometimes because normally the vocals do have the focus there and you want it to sound right when the vocal first comes in.
The first thing I am going to try on a track like this is some plate reverb.
That’s very stereo.
So, that’s already sounding a bit dark.
If we can’t fix this with a low cut then we can put it on its own buss.
Sounds pretty good.
I am going to try – this is another one of my favorites for vocals.
Just going to reset that.
Pre-delay always helps the vocals and also a slightly shorter time will help them stick out the mix a bit more.
It sounds weird in this case.
I think we need a slightly longer one.
I find it’s generally quite subtle and when you tuck it under the vocal it’s just a – I don’t know, I’ve always liked this as a room reverb on vocals.
So, let’s compare.
This is the plate.
And this is the room.
Let’s try a longer decay on the plate.
This is weird.
I never normally use this long or longer decay on the vocal than I do the room reverb.
In this case it just seems to work, so why not.
That’s a bit too noticeable.
I think it’s just the way it sounds.
It’s a bit too thick and this is the really cool thing about plates is they do have a very characteristic sounds to them.
Sometimes they work.
Sometimes they don’t.
Just try this.
Whereas the room…
I prefer that.
It’s sitting really nicely.
I am giving it some space.
So, there you go that’s how you apply a reverb to a mix.
Now, I hope you go and actually practice this.
We have a free reverb cheat sheet that’ll walk you through some of the tips and guidelines that we’ve shared in the past.
And also, the step-by-step process that you just saw me do there.
So, when it’s time to apply reverb you’re not left guessing what order to do things or how to set it out.
It’s completely free.
Just click on the link on screen now or in the bio below to get instant access.
So, that’s all for today.
If you’re new around here don’t forget to subscribe and hit the notification bell.
I’ll see you next time and remember Create Regardless!