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Creating contrasting sounds for your tracks

From: Foundations of Audio: Reverb

Video: Creating contrasting sounds for your tracks

Mixes get crowded. It's really difficult to fit 50 or more tracks into a recording and have them make sense coming out of only a couple of loudspeakers. Well, Reverb is an essential tool for overcoming that challenge. We use contrasting reverbs track by track to make it easier for the listener to enjoy different elements of a multitrack mix. Listen to this tune in which the lead vocal, the background vocals, the snare, and the guitars are each treated to a different kind of reverb.

Creating contrasting sounds for your tracks

Mixes get crowded. It's really difficult to fit 50 or more tracks into a recording and have them make sense coming out of only a couple of loudspeakers. Well, Reverb is an essential tool for overcoming that challenge. We use contrasting reverbs track by track to make it easier for the listener to enjoy different elements of a multitrack mix. Listen to this tune in which the lead vocal, the background vocals, the snare, and the guitars are each treated to a different kind of reverb.

(music playing) Of particular interest are the vocals, and the potential conflict between the lead vocal and the background vocals.

This tune includes the typical challenge that there are several background singers, but just the single lead vocalist, so the background vocals risk drowning out the lead vocal. This problem is compounded by the fact that some of the background vocal tracks are overdubs sung by lead singer himself. With such similar tone, it can be hard to distinguish the lead vocal part from the multitrack background tracks. Reverb offers a great solution. We create contrast between the lead vocal and the backgrounds by treating them to two different reverbs.

The lead vocal has this Medium Room Reverb. (music playing) Meantime, the background vocals have this large bright hall.

(music playing) Placing the lead vocal in a different space gives it enough distinction to get heard.

The Reverb on the snare is a Plate program. (music playing) The Reverb on the electric guitars includes Spring Reverb. (music playing) The main reason for choosing those Reverbs for snare and guitar, as discussed earlier in this course, has to do with reshaping their tone and their timbre.

But an additional goal I have in mind when allocating so many different Reverbs across the tracks is creating contrast, in order to give the competing tracks in this tune at least slightly different Reverb signatures. It's easier for listeners to pick out each individual performer's contribution to the tune by applying track-specific Reverb effects.

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This video is part of

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Foundations of Audio: Reverb

39 video lessons · 8417 viewers

Alex U. Case
Author

 
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  1. 9m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 58s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      2m 18s
    3. Songs you should listen to while watching this course
      2m 46s
    4. Using the exercise files
      55s
    5. Using the Get in the Mix session files
      1m 44s
  2. 6m 44s
    1. What is reverb?
      2m 35s
    2. Why do we use reverb?
      4m 9s
  3. 24m 33s
    1. Capturing reverb acoustically through room tracks
      5m 33s
    2. Creating reverb acoustically through a reverb chamber
      2m 51s
    3. Creating reverb mechanically using springs and plates
      5m 8s
    4. Creating reverb digitally via algorithms and convolution
      4m 51s
    5. Optimizing signal flow, effects loops, and CPU resources
      6m 10s
  4. 39m 10s
    1. The anatomy of reverberation
      3m 8s
    2. Mastering reverb time, predelay, and wet/dry mix parameters
      5m 36s
    3. Understanding the frequency dependence of reverberation
      4m 56s
    4. Tapping into advanced parameters such as diffusion, density, and more
      4m 37s
    5. Reference values from the best orchestra halls
      5m 40s
    6. Hearing beyond the basic parameters
      5m 31s
    7. Touring the interfaces for six reverb plugins
      9m 42s
  5. 1h 32m
    1. Choosing the right reverb for each of your tracks
      2m 17s
    2. Simulating space with reverb
      5m 42s
    3. Hearing space in the mix
      6m 33s
    4. Timbre and texture
      3m 36s
    5. Shaping tone and timbre with reverb
      5m 49s
    6. Creating contrasting sounds for your tracks
      4m 43s
    7. Using nonlinear reverb to help a track cut through
      4m 25s
    8. Emphasizing the reverb using predelay
      3m 24s
    9. Strategically blurring and obscuring tracks
      1m 46s
    10. Get in the Mix: Changing the scene by changing reverb
      7m 37s
    11. Get in the Mix: Gating reverb to emphasize any track in your production
      5m 52s
    12. Reversing reverb to highlight musical moments
      9m 36s
    13. Synthesizing new sounds through reverb
      6m 42s
    14. Get in the Mix: Supporting a track with regenerative reverb
      6m 31s
    15. Getting the most out of room tracks
      17m 39s
  6. 11m 32s
    1. Setting up your own reverb chamber: The architecture
      2m 2s
    2. Setting up your own reverb chamber: The audio
      4m 8s
    3. Using convolution correctly
      2m 32s
    4. Getting great impluse response
      2m 50s
  7. 1m 29s
    1. Next steps
      1m 29s

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