Reverb is added to track to create width and depth, but also to dress up an otherwise boring sound. Like with other aspects of mixing, the use of reverb is frequently either overlooked or misunderstood. Before we get in to adding or adjusting the reverb in your mix, let's look at some of the reasons to add reverb first. There are four reasons to add reverb. To make the recorded track sound like it's in a specific acoustic environment. Many times, a track is recorded in an acoustic space doesn't fit the song or the final vision of the mixer. You may record in a small dead room, but want it to sound like it was in a large studio or a small reflective drum room or a live in reflective church.
Reverb will take you to each of those environments and many, many more. To add some personality and excitement to a recorded sound, picture reverb as makeup on a model. She may look rather plain or even only mildly attractive until the makeup makes her gorgeous by covering her blemishes, highlighting her eyes, or accentuating her lips and cheekbones. Reverb does the same thing with some tracks. It can make the blemishes less noticeable, change the texture of the sound itself, and highlight it in a new way. To make a track sound bigger or wider than it really is. A sense of stereo space can be added artificially by reverb.
Usually reverb there has a short decay time of less than one second to make track sound bigger. To move a track further back in the mix. While panning takes you from left to right in the stereo spectrum reverb will take you from front to back. An easy way to understand how this works is a picture of a band on stage. If you want the singer to sound like he is in the front of the drum kit, you would add some reverb to the kit. If you wanted the horn section to sound like it was placed behind the kit, you would add even more reverb up to the horn section. If you wanted the singer to sound, like he is in between the drums and the horns, you would leave the drums dry and add a touch of reverb up to the vocal, but less than the horns.
If we were going to get more sophisticated with this kind of layering, we would have used different reverbs for each of the instruments and tailor the parameters to best fit the sound we are going after.
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