New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

What is reverb?

From: Foundations of Audio: Reverb

Video: What is reverb?

Maybe you are like me, and when you step into a stone cathedral or concrete parking garage, you clap your hands to trigger and savor that wash of sound known as reverberation or reverb. When a sound occurs in a room, we hear the direct sound, plus the sound of the room, which is made up of the reflections of the sound from all the surfaces in that room. We call the combined sound of those many reflections reverb. Let me show you how it works and why we use it. The sound of the room, that reverberant wash of sound is very much made up of the many individual reflections created by the room's architecture.

What is reverb?

Maybe you are like me, and when you step into a stone cathedral or concrete parking garage, you clap your hands to trigger and savor that wash of sound known as reverberation or reverb. When a sound occurs in a room, we hear the direct sound, plus the sound of the room, which is made up of the reflections of the sound from all the surfaces in that room. We call the combined sound of those many reflections reverb. Let me show you how it works and why we use it. The sound of the room, that reverberant wash of sound is very much made up of the many individual reflections created by the room's architecture.

Those reflections arrive at our ears slightly later than the direct sound, but they merge together to produce a single continuous sound. Essentially, when multiple sounds of similar level are happening within about 20 milliseconds of each other, we can't pick any of them out as individual sounds, instead we hear the combined whole. In Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation we demonstrated how long delay times create echo-based effects. The delay time is long enough that we hear the delayed sound as a separate event from the direct sound.

This is not what is happening with reverb. Medium and short delay times are used to create chorus and flanging effects. These effects add several delayed signals into the original signal, creating a single sound with a new sonic quality built on the interaction between the sounds within this tight time window. reverb takes this to a whole another level, presenting our ears with countless delayed reflections arriving one after another with microseconds in between. They unite into a single sound.

The point here is that when our musicians play, they fill the space. They acoustically illuminate every visible surface in the room. (music playing) Sound spreads out as it travels, distributing its energy over a larger and larger area as it propagates. And the energy of the sound wave is gradually absorbed by the air in the room and by the materials in the surfaces that bound that room. The result is that the sound grows fainter and fainter over time.

So in any space we hear the sound, plus reverb, and it's always direct sound first, followed by the reverberant wash of energy as it decays to silence. (music playing)

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Audio: Reverb
Foundations of Audio: Reverb

39 video lessons · 8191 viewers

Alex U. Case
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.