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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks


From:

GarageBand '11 Essential Training

with Todd Howard

Video: Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks

Reverb and Echo create the illusion of space and distance in a mix. When you mix an instrument in with no reverb at all, the listener perceives the sound as being very close to them or right in their face. To move something back a little bit away from the listener, try adding a little bit of reverb. Let's look at the drum track. I am going to solo it and activate the cycle region and tune into the snare drums. Snare is a really good drum to focus on because it's such a tight short sound that when it triggers reverb, you can usually really hear the reverb as opposed to say a symbol that might be ringing out or something like that.
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 23m 4s
    1. Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers
      4m 24s
    2. Setting important Mac OS X and GarageBand preferences
      4m 32s
    3. Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key
      4m 37s
    4. Creating a track
      9m 31s
  3. 25m 42s
    1. Exploring Real Instrument tracks and setting a good input level
      6m 20s
    2. Exploring Software Instrument tracks, keyboard velocity, and MIDI
      6m 59s
    3. Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring
      7m 48s
    4. Positioning the cursor on audio regions to access different tools
      4m 35s
  4. 10m 23s
    1. Choosing a genre in the Project Chooser
      2m 3s
    2. Auditioning players in the band and hiring new players
      8m 20s
  5. 16m 45s
    1. Browsing and filtering the Apple Loops library
      5m 20s
    2. Dragging Apple Loops into your arrangement and choosing from alts
      6m 33s
    3. Jamming along with your composition
      4m 52s
  6. 35m 11s
    1. Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop
      5m 22s
    2. Using GarageBand as a scratchpad for recording new ideas
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Arrange track to create song form sections
      3m 1s
    4. Splitting Apple Loops and choosing alternates to build a drum part
      6m 36s
    5. Recording multiple takes with cycle record
      4m 32s
    6. Punching in a small section of audio
      6m 20s
    7. Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance
      5m 51s
  7. 33m 56s
    1. Tuning up and tracking a rhythm electric guitar part
      4m 26s
    2. Customizing the guitar sound using amps, stompboxes, and effects
      11m 44s
    3. Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part
      7m 40s
    4. Using Cycle Record to record multiple takes for soloing
      3m 40s
    5. Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes
      6m 26s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Recording a Software Instrument track
      3m 48s
    2. Editing the parameters of Software Instruments
      8m 44s
    3. Editing MIDI notes in the piano roll editor after the performance
      6m 53s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Recording lead vocals
      6m 39s
    2. Correcting pitch with automatic tuning
      4m 16s
    3. Reordering, duplicating, and deleting song sections using the Arrangement track
      3m 17s
  10. 1h 7m
    1. Creating successful mixes
      7m 4s
    2. Pre-mixing
      15m 31s
    3. Equalizing tracks
      5m 51s
    4. Compressing tracks
      10m 13s
    5. Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks
      6m 39s
    6. Creating automated volume and pan moves
      10m 41s
    7. Freezing tracks to improve system performance
      2m 0s
    8. Using master track effects and automating a fade-out
      3m 31s
    9. Creating a final mixdown: Exporting a finished song to disk
      5m 40s
  11. 12m 51s
    1. Sharing your songs with iTunes and burning CDs
      3m 6s
    2. Opening a GarageBand project in Logic
      4m 26s
    3. Archiving GarageBand project files
      5m 19s
  12. 36m 44s
    1. Taking music lessons
      7m 32s
    2. Creating ringtones
      3m 50s
    3. Creating podcasts
      14m 12s
    4. Scoring a movie
      11m 10s
  13. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
4h 58m Beginner Jul 29, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is a comprehensive guide to the popular digital audio software from Apple, demonstrating the tools and techniques to create, edit, and publish music and podcasts. Author Todd Howard covers the ins and outs of the application, from interfacing with external devices, exploring Apple Loops, and recording instrument and vocal tracks to creating successful mixes, performing edits, and sharing finished projects. Additionally, the course introduces the new features in GarageBand '11, including Flex Time and Groove Matching, which provide powerful methods for editing and tightening up the rhythmic timing of tracks.

Topics include:
  • Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, and speakers
  • Creating a project and specifying tempo, time signature, and key
  • Jumpstarting the recording process with Magic GarageBand
  • Recording real instruments, software instruments, and electric guitar tracks
  • Compositing a final track from multiple takes
  • Creating, naming, and organizing song sections using the Arrangement track
  • Equalizing and compressing tracks
  • Adding reverb and echo effects
  • Sharing songs with iTunes and Logic Pro
  • Archiving GarageBand project files
  • Taking guitar and piano lessons
  • Creating podcasts, movies scores, and ringtones
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
GarageBand
Author:
Todd Howard

Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks

Reverb and Echo create the illusion of space and distance in a mix. When you mix an instrument in with no reverb at all, the listener perceives the sound as being very close to them or right in their face. To move something back a little bit away from the listener, try adding a little bit of reverb. Let's look at the drum track. I am going to solo it and activate the cycle region and tune into the snare drums. Snare is a really good drum to focus on because it's such a tight short sound that when it triggers reverb, you can usually really hear the reverb as opposed to say a symbol that might be ringing out or something like that.

So I am going to play and then I am going to introduce a little bit of reverb and just listen to the snare drum. (Music playing) So I want to go with subtle here, but I would like to have a little bit of reverb on my drum kit. So let's compare it by turning it off and back on.

(Music playing) Fine tune it a little bit. Now, that sounds good to me. So we've got a little bit of reverb on the drums. See how it sounds in the whole mix. (Music playing) All right! So it's in there. Got a little bit of reverb on that snare drum, sort of pushing the drums back away from the listener just a little bit. I don't want them to be sitting right up in the foreground.

The sound of reverb is meant to approximate a sound that's being made from across a large room or even in outdoor space like a canyon or a quarry. This is all an audio illusion of course, but the brain perceives these things as spaced out. So you can use that to your advantage. The sound of an echo or delay and of reverb in a mix is very much the way of things these days in the music industry and over the last 60 years or so and it's not showing any signs of being passe. Reverb and delay on certain instruments and certainly on vocals is something that's done everyday in mixing sessions across the globe.

The secret to really making it work for you is moderation. Too much reverb or too much delay or echo just sounds ridiculous. If you find that sweet spot where you almost can't detect it, but it's still creating the space that you are looking for, then you've really hit on it. That of course eliminates the possibility that you may want to have an extreme amount of reverb for a certain type of effect which is certainly your prerogative to do so. But as a general rule and as the pursuit of putting together a mix and sort of blending and combining sounds goes, you probably want to err on the side of moderation.

So as we mentioned, the Master Echo and Master Reverb effects are on every single track and you can always use them or not just by bypassing them. You also have the option of adding reverb as an actual effect, just by clicking and choosing Track Reverb and you can actually drop a reverb right in here and make more adjustments than just the 0 to 100 slider that happens on this reverb at the bottom. So your Reverb Time is the length of time that the sound of the reverb extends. So basically the longer it is, the deeper it cave, or the further away it actually sounds.

The color of the reverb is going to have more of a high-end crispy tone to it, and Dark is going to be warmer, and the Reverb Volume is the sound of the reverb itself and how loud it is in relationship to the original volume. So, these last two are sort of used to mix the two sounds together. So let's look at the Acoustic Guitar part for a bit. I am going to turn cycle region back on again. Get a little section here. Solo it out. (Music playing) So making here that really long tail and turning back the bit.

(Music playing) It sounds like we are sitting in the middle of a giant hall like this. (Music playing) So that's what Dark Reverb sounds like. (Music playing) As you brighten it up, you can really hear the characteristics of the original sound coming through a little more. (Music playing) So, sort of a season to taste kind of approach.

One other thing that we can do is I am going to click over to the main Browse tab of the Track Info panel and under Acoustic Guitars, choose the Large Reverb Preset and see what we get over in the Edit tab. So we've got a Compressor, a Track Reverb inserted with a certain arrangement, very bright, very long tail, with a very low volume, and a high mix of the original guitar. So let's take a listen to how that sounds. (Music playing) All right, I am pretty happy with that.

It's a little bit long. But we'll see how it fits in the entire mix. Let's hear that same section with everything turned on. (Music playing) Let me try that a little bit higher on the overall track volume of the guitar. (Music playing) So another thing I am going to try with this guitar, which I haven't tried yet, is to position it off in the right side and see if we can get a little more clarity by not having it straight up in the middle competing with the lead vocal and everything else here.

So let's see how that sounds. (Music playing) All right, I like the sound of that for now. So we'll leave that there. We'll leave our large reverb. Actually, I still feel like that tail is a little bit too long.

I am going to bring that down just a little more, maybe even bring its volume down a smidge. So when it comes to Reverb and even EQ and Compression, use these things in moderation or with judicious application and your mixes will sing. Go overboard, and they might sink.

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