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This installment of Foundations of Audio explains one of the most essential ingredients in audio mixing, reverb—the time it takes for sound to bounce, echo, and decay during a live performance or recording. Reverb gives a natural richness to your recordings, which is possible to reproduce. Producer and audio engineer Alex U. Case covers the acoustic, mechanical, and digital means for creating reverb, and charts the parameters (room size, density, etc.) you'll need to know to take advantage of the original recording space and enhance it in post. He then shows how to simulate reverb digitally with effects, adding timbre, texture, and contrast, and improve the sound of your mixes with a sense of space and depth.
These techniques can be practiced with the free Get in the Mix sessions, currently available for Pro Tools and Logic Pro.
Reverb is one of the easiest effects to hear. But that doesn't mean it's easy to use. The idea of using reverb to simulate space is perfectly intuitive, but getting it right requires some thought, practice, and careful listening. Accidentally having too much or too little reverb in a mix is a common problem. Don't worry, we've all been there. But you really elevate the sophistication of your productions when you master the other families of reverb effects, timbre, contrast, emphasis, blurring, scene change, and synthesis.
Now that you've completed this course, I'd like to encourage you to do a few things. First, start every mix with at least a large hall, medium room, and plate reverb already set up. Have them handy for quick audition whenever you want to give them a try. You'll find over time that you use reverb more and more without necessarily swamping your mixes. Also practice. Yes, I'm asking you to practice setting up some of the more complicated reverb effects, nonlinear, gated, reverse, and regenerative reverbs.
Learn how to get them working and explore how to make them musical. In addition, come visit me and contribute to the audio conversation at recordingology.com. Finally, check out the other foundations of audio courses and the rest of the audio channel here at lynda.com. Thanks for watching Foundations of Audio: Reverb.
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