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Adding reverb to your mix

From: Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

Video: Adding reverb to your mix

Reverb, short for reverberation, is a sonic effect that occurs when many random reflections of a sound blend together and reach the listener more than 10 milliseconds after the direct sound from a sound source. As an effect, Reverb gives character to direct dry sound by placing it in some sort of acoustical environment, like a church or a gymnasium or a tiled bathroom. Let's hear a few examples using the D-Verb plug-in on a percussion track. In the D-Verb plug-in, I'm going to just to mix control while we're listening back.

Adding reverb to your mix

Reverb, short for reverberation, is a sonic effect that occurs when many random reflections of a sound blend together and reach the listener more than 10 milliseconds after the direct sound from a sound source. As an effect, Reverb gives character to direct dry sound by placing it in some sort of acoustical environment, like a church or a gymnasium or a tiled bathroom. Let's hear a few examples using the D-Verb plug-in on a percussion track. In the D-Verb plug-in, I'm going to just to mix control while we're listening back.

When the mix is set up 100%, that means that 100% of the track that's coming into the plug-in is being affected by the reverb. If we reduce this down to 0, that means that there is no reverb effect at all, and the track will be completely dry. So listen as I adjust the wet/dry mix and change between some of the presets on this plug-in. When I change the algorithm imagine being in the acoustical environments that the plug-in is simulating. (Music Playing) When a sound is made, we hear the direct sound waves' early reflections, and reverberation in that order.

Let me show you an example. The direct sound reaches our ears without bouncing off any surface. Early reflections reach our ears between 10 and 30 milliseconds later than the direct sound, after they've bounced off one or more surfaces. Because these reflections arrive so quickly they're perceived as part of the direct sound. Reverberation actually occurs when a sound reflects off of many surfaces and is mixed with other reflections, creating a denser blend of reflected sound.

These reflections begin to fade away, or decay, as they're observed into the material of the acoustical space. The longer a sound takes to decay the larger and more hard surfaced to the acoustical environment is perceived to be, and the farther from the sound source the listener is or seems to be. In Reverb plug-ins in Pro Tools we can control the parameters that determine what a reverb will sound like, through its progression from the first to the last reflection. Here's a list of common reverb effect parameters.

The wet/dry mix is the mix of the direct or the dry signal with the affected or wet signal. Pre Delay is the time delay before reverb is heard, that is, after the original sound was made and before the reflections are heard. Decay time is the time it takes for a sound to disappear, that is, the total effect time, including the length of the reverb tail. Diffusion is the space between reflections or repeats. Density is the initial buildup of short delay times, or reflections.

The room size is the size of the acoustical space, and the width is the amount of spread across the stereo field. You can make a reverb sound very narrow or extremely wide. Like delay, reverb is used in mixing to create a sense of depth. When applying reverb to tracks the wet/ dry mix parameter sets the overall amount of depth, or how far away a sound is from the listener. In addition to the decay time, the longer the pre-delay time, or the time before reverb, heard the larger the perceived size of the acoustical space.

Let's listen to an example. If I choose the Church setting here, this has a lot more pre-delay. As you can see here, it's got 39 milliseconds. So if I choose Hall, it actually has a pre-delay of 0. These rooms also have a pre-delay of 0. So let's take a listen between the Hall and the Church and see how we can hear the difference in the pre-delay. (Music Playing) With the Church setting we don't hear the reverb kick in until 39 milliseconds after the original sound was made, and this is a big determinant for simulating large acoustical spaces with reverb.

Now reverb effects can be used on pretty much any kind of sound source in your mix. However, here are a couple of tips for applying reverb. First, I don't recommend using reverb on bass instruments, because if you use reverb on a low frequency, it can tend to really make the mix muddy. If you do find that your reverb plug- in is making your mix a little muddy, you can use the high-filter cut or the low-pass filter on almost any kind of reverb plug-in to help sculpt the sound and tighten up your frequency range for the reverb output.

Second, reverb often sounds more impressive if it's used in stereo as opposed to mono. While mono reverbs have their place, stereo reverb effects create a much wider stereo image. Pro Tools comes with several reverb plug-ins, including D-Verb, AIR Reverb, Non Linear Reverb, and Spring Reverb. Let me show you these. Let's open up the AIR Reverb, and I'm going to bypass the D-Verb and activate the AIR Reverb. I've got this set up for the Gas Tank setting. (Music Playing) So that's what drums might sound like if we're listening to them in a gas tank.

Pretty cool reverb effect. Let's move on to the non-linear reverb, and here we're going to listen to a gated reverb sound. (Music Playing) What that's doing is cutting off the reverb tail. Now let's go over to the Spring reverb and I am going to be using this Big and Busy preset. (Music Playing) That's a pretty appropriate name for that preset, as there's a lot of reflections going on there and a big, long reverb tail.

So as you can tell, there are a lot of cool presets in these reverb plug-ins in Pro Tools. I recommend going in and tweaking all the parameters now that you know what they all do, because reverb effects are essential tools for mixing in all styles of music and post-production. Learn how to use the parameters and you'll be able to create the depth, atmosphere, and sonic character that you want for your mix.

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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 10 Essential Training
Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

108 video lessons · 15660 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and Keyboard Focus
      3m 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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