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Creating reverb acoustically through a reverb chamber

From: Foundations of Audio: Reverb

Video: Creating reverb acoustically through a reverb chamber

Room tracks aren't the only way real rooms contribute reverberation to our studio recordings, we can also use a reverb Chamber. Recall from Sabine's Equation for reverb time that the Reverb Time increases as the cubic volume, the three-dimensional size of the room is increased. But this doesn't mean that a small volume can't reverberate. Small spaces can still offer long reverb times as long as they have little to no sound absorption. Small sound reflective spaces dedicated to the purpose of creating reverberation are called reverb Chambers.

Creating reverb acoustically through a reverb chamber

Room tracks aren't the only way real rooms contribute reverberation to our studio recordings, we can also use a reverb Chamber. Recall from Sabine's Equation for reverb time that the Reverb Time increases as the cubic volume, the three-dimensional size of the room is increased. But this doesn't mean that a small volume can't reverberate. Small spaces can still offer long reverb times as long as they have little to no sound absorption. Small sound reflective spaces dedicated to the purpose of creating reverberation are called reverb Chambers.

The focus on sound reflectivity narrows our options. Most residential construction is sheetrock, which isn't a full bandwidth reflector. That is sheetrock doesn't reflect all frequencies evenly, but concrete, stone, tile, these are reflective materials begging to make some reverb. This suggests we should consider bathrooms and basements, maybe a garage, or even the kitchen as potentially valid spaces for creating a reverb Chamber. Here is the sound of a snare drum using a bathroom as a chamber.

(music playing) I know things are starting to sound a little homemade as I suggest you generate reverb for your mix from a kitchen, a basement, or a bathroom, but the history of recorded music is rich with examples of doing exactly this. The old grand studios in New York and Los Angeles often used bathrooms, basements, and attics as chambers. Old-school, high-end recording studios, with their carefully designed live rooms and control rooms, made reverb Chambers out of any other odd space available.

You've heard it in music recordings that you've listened to from the '50s and well into the '80s. The short bright glow on vocals from the early Beatles recordings comes courtesy of a storage closet. That bright shimmer on so many Motown recordings was created in an attic. Listen to the vocal reverb on Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and you're hearing glorious all-analog chamber reverb. Seek out recordings from studios such as Abbey Road, Columbia Studios, A&R, The Power Station, Avatar, United Western, Gold Star, Motown, and Capitol Studios, to name just a few.

Some of the most important recordings in the history of recorded music came from these studios, and their chambers were a featured part of their sound. If reverb chambers are good enough for them, I think they're good enough for us. We need to choose a space that's sound reflective, and that's quiet enough to do this work. We put a loudspeaker in this space to energize the chamber and a pair of microphones or more in the space to capture the chamber. In this way your found space becomes a source of reverb for your multi-track recordings.

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This video is part of

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Foundations of Audio: Reverb

39 video lessons · 8186 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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