Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using DigiRack D-Verb


Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

with Brian Lee White

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Using DigiRack D-Verb

So again, a reverb's goal is to simulate an acoustic space. When a signal is fed into a reverb, it is if that signal was played back in a space, a room, a hall, etcetera, and allowed to bounce around. Some of the frequencies are going to be reflecting back off the surfaces, while some are going to be absorbed. So think about different spaces that you have been in, like an airplane hangar or a closet with lots of clothes. The goal of a reverb is to sort of simulate the effect of the waveforms bouncing off and reflecting off the walls and coming back to you along with the dry sound.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. The past, present, and future of mixing
      6m 20s
    3. Strategies for mixing and mastering
      5m 38s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
  2. 40m 24s
    1. Mixing "in the box"
      5m 9s
    2. Setting up the studio: Speakers and acoustics
      13m 12s
    3. Staying organized: Effectively prepping the mix
      10m 50s
    4. Managing system resources during mixdown
      11m 13s
  3. 41m 38s
    1. Introducing the Pro Tools Mixer
      2m 23s
    2. Understanding mixer signal flow
      3m 42s
    3. Using inserts and plug-ins
      7m 4s
    4. Working with plug-in settings
      5m 1s
    5. Using sends and creating FX returns
      6m 55s
    6. Submixing with aux tracks
      4m 30s
    7. Using groups while mixing
      3m 46s
    8. Using master faders effectively
      8m 17s
  4. 21m 12s
    1. Conceptualizing the mix and making a plan
      7m 45s
    2. Using volume and pan to balance the mix
      11m 18s
    3. Knowing when to process: Mix problems vs. mix solutions
      2m 9s
  5. 1h 3m
    1. Understanding the mechanics of sound
      3m 53s
    2. Learning the basics of EQ: Frequency-specific level control
      4m 29s
    3. Using DigiRack EQ III
      16m 3s
    4. EQ strategies in mixing: Corrective vs. creative
      7m 18s
    5. EQ workflow example 1: Kick drum
      5m 39s
    6. EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops
      5m 10s
    7. EQ workflow example 3: The "telephone" effect
      3m 7s
    8. Mixing tips and tricks for EQ
      17m 36s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. Understanding dynamics and dynamic range
      2m 1s
    2. Working with dynamics processors
      2m 57s
    3. Using the DigiRack Dyn III compressor/limiter
      10m 6s
    4. Balancing and shaping track dynamics
      3m 19s
    5. Using gates and expanders
      9m 23s
    6. Using de-essers to eliminate sibilance
      5m 47s
    7. Dynamics workflow example 1: Vocals
      10m 0s
    8. Dynamics workflow example 2: Drums
      9m 29s
    9. Mixing tips and tricks: Dynamics
      11m 37s
    10. Building parallel or "upward" compression
      7m 53s
    11. Reviewing dynamics concerns: How much is too much?
      3m 28s
  7. 47m 49s
    1. Using time-based effects to add depth and width
      3m 23s
    2. Using DigiRack D-Verb
      14m 27s
    3. Using the DigiRack delays
      9m 18s
    4. Mixing with reverb
      7m 59s
    5. Mixing with delays
      6m 19s
    6. Mixing tips and tricks: Creating mix depth
      6m 23s
  8. 18m 8s
    1. Working with the Creative Collection
      9m 8s
    2. Building distortion and saturation
      9m 0s
  9. 37m 33s
    1. Understanding automation
      4m 10s
    2. Recording real-time automation moves
      7m 6s
    3. Viewing and editing automation
      10m 17s
    4. Automating plug-ins
      7m 36s
    5. Automation strategies for mixing
      8m 24s
  10. 29m 31s
    1. Understanding the characteristics of a great mix
      7m 2s
    2. Working to reference tracks
      4m 35s
    3. Avoiding some common pitfalls
      7m 50s
    4. Building healthy mixing habits
      3m 36s
    5. Crafting your mix from start to finish
      6m 28s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding mastering
      4m 15s
    2. Bouncing the mix
      7m 9s
    3. Working with general mastering strategies
      8m 50s
    4. Using limiting and compression to maximize track level
      10m 57s
    5. Working with multi-band compression
      7m 9s
    6. Understanding sample rate, bit depth, file formats, and dither
      7m 30s
    7. Using Pro Tools for CD track sequencing
      10m 11s
    8. Compressing audio for the web
      9m 41s
  12. 44m 51s
    1. Tips for evaluating plug-in processors
      6m 51s
    2. Using EQ plug-ins
      5m 35s
    3. Using dynamic compression plug-ins
      11m 3s
    4. Using reverb and delay plug-ins
      10m 46s
    5. Reviewing additional plug-ins
      10m 36s
  13. 57m 18s
    1. Effectively using saturation/analog style effects
      13m 40s
    2. Setting up side chains
      7m 5s
    3. Master buss processing
      5m 34s
    4. Creating and using mix templates
      6m 54s
    5. Surround mixing
      6m 22s
    6. Dealing with plug-in delay and latency
      6m 26s
    7. Drum sample replacing
      11m 17s
  14. 32s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools
9h 18m Intermediate Aug 20, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Once recording and editing are finished, audio engineers can take advantage of the training in Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools to punch up the final output. Digidesign Certified Expert Brian Lee White covers all the basic mixing tools that every producer and engineer should know, from using EQ to add clarity and focus to using compression and limiting to maximize track levels within a mix. Brian stresses the importance of setting up a solid mixing plan prior to any work in Pro Tools, and gives advice on the best plug-ins for each stage of the process. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the Pro Tools Creative Collection to add clarity, punch, width, and depth to a mix
  • Recording real-time automation moves for future replication
  • Building healthy and profitable mixing habits when putting a final mix together
  • Knowing when to process the audio of a track
  • Using saturation effects to capture that "analog" sound
  • Working with limiting and multiband compression during the mastering process
  • Dealing with plug-in delay and latency in a mix
Audio + Music
Pro Tools
Brian Lee White

Using DigiRack D-Verb

So again, a reverb's goal is to simulate an acoustic space. When a signal is fed into a reverb, it is if that signal was played back in a space, a room, a hall, etcetera, and allowed to bounce around. Some of the frequencies are going to be reflecting back off the surfaces, while some are going to be absorbed. So think about different spaces that you have been in, like an airplane hangar or a closet with lots of clothes. The goal of a reverb is to sort of simulate the effect of the waveforms bouncing off and reflecting off the walls and coming back to you along with the dry sound.

So the D-Verb is Pro Tools stock reverb plug-in. We pull that up here on one of these tracks and it's a very straight ahead digital reverb with a simple set of controls and a really easy to use user interface. And it might not be the best sounding reverb on the market according to some. But learning its controls is going to allow you to be comfortable with almost any reverb unit. So let's look at the D- Verb setup in Take Me Down. What I'm doing is again I'm using sends and returns.

This method of sending the signal from a track and feeding it or collecting it into a return as a group processor, a group effect. So if I look at the Room Verb here at the end, the Room Verb's input on this aux track is set to Room Verb and that's a bus and this is where the D-Verb is going to live and any other plug- ins that I want to feed in line. Now anything that's sent to Room Verb, here like the background vocal sub, the lead vocal effects, the B3, all these elements are going to collect across that Room Verb bus and eventually make their way back into the Mix Bus, via this returns output.

This is typically how we want to setup out reverbs and delays and a send-return relationship. Reverbs and delays tend to be very DSP-intensive. So if we can share them, this help save on CPU processing. And it's also going to allow us to create a common space for all of the elements to sort of combine into. So it is actually beneficial to combine these tracks across to bus and process them with a common effect. So the way I typically set up reverbs in my mixes is I like to at least have something short like a smaller room or a shorter room and something long.

When I talk about time, I'm talking about the size of the space and the amount of time it takes for the reverb to decay. So if you think about being in a really large space, it might take a long time for all the sound to die down after you clap your hands. Whereas if you are in a very small place like a closet, you might not hear any reverb tail at all. So if we look at and we go through some of the settings here in D-Verb, again, this is great way to familiarize yourself with a different kind of reverb sounds you are going to find in a digital reverb.

The first thing we'll see is Input and how D-Verb comes up stock as the Input is attenuated a bit and this is just to make sure you don't overload the plug-in with your send. You could actually turn this up to 0 if you wanted to boost that Input a little bit more but the stock setting has it down at -4. Now, the next parameter is mix and that's going to allow you to blend the dry signal. 0 will be all dry with the reverb tail or the wet signal, the sound of the reflections.

Now, because I'm using it in the send and return set up, I'm going to leave the return set to 100% wet, because what we are getting is the dry sound. So for example, on this lead vocal effects, it's being fed into the Room Verb. But the dry sound is coming out this track here, straight into the Mix Bus. So we are recombining it with the wet sound over on the return. So we are going to leave out Mix set to 100%. It's typically how it goes. Now, if we were to use the D-Verb straight up as an insert on a track, that's when I would start playing with the Mix parameter.

However, there are no hard and fast rules, I generally use my reverbs on effects, returns, but sometimes you put them directly on a track. I mean a lot of old school engineers would say this is a no, no. But I see tons of people who make really amazing music and they use reverbs as inserts all the time. So just know why you would want to put them as a effect send and return versus why you would use them as an insert and use the Mix parameter accordingly. Now, the Algorithm here is going to determine primarily how this reverb sounds for the tonal quality of the reverb.

In all these different settings here, I'm going to give you a different sound and each one really kind of corresponds to some different default settings as I switch through these here. So the best way I found to learn these different sounds is just take some audio, take local and run it through these different sounds and kind of listen to the tonal quality that you are going to get. Hall is going to be more of a natural sounding verb, sort of a general purpose concert hall. The Church is a very large, more diffused space, long decay times, lots of tail build-up, can get muddy, so you want to be careful.

The Plate sort of simulates a metal plate reverb. So it's very metallic, it's also very diffused, can work great on snare drums and vocals. The two Room presets kind of simulate smaller, more compact spaces. One is sort of a medium sized room whereas two is a smaller brighter room and it's a little bit better for drums and percussion. Now the Ambient setting is going to give you a really tight short reverb, something that's probably not going to sound like a reverb at all.

It's kind of going to just give you a sense of a bit of space and it's kind of nice on things like dialog, when you are working in post production, or maybe just putting that little bit on your main vocal and then processing the delays with more of a longer tailed reverb. Now the NonLinear algorithm, this is going to model a gated reverb. That is the tail is cut short from its natural decay, which is really going to give you that kind of that fill colon snare sound.

That 80s really big huge reverb sound that dies down quickly, at something cool is kind of a dated effect, so kind of use that to taste. Now, the Size settings here, they are going to control the decay but they are also going to call up different algorithms as I go through the main algorithm. The size setting is not just the decay. It's actually going to call up some other parameters that you can't manipulate. For the most part, you can think of it as small as going to be a shorter tail.

So the reverb is going to not last as long, whereas large, we are going to have a longer decay setting or the tail is going to be longer. So if we think about this next parameter Diffusion, Diffusion is going to determine the echo density. So the number of discrete delays built up over time, higher settings are better for percussive sounds, because it's going to tend to avoid those kind of discrete delay, cha, cha, cha, cha, cha sounds on your snare or your kick drums, things like that. Whereas more legato sounds, vocals and things like that, you can get away with lower diffusion settings which is going to be sort of more discrete delays.

So play around with it, see if you can hear that. Probably the most important parameter we are going to find is Decay time. So shorter settings is a shorter tail, longer settings, longer tail. Let's see if we can listen to this, because it is kind of an important setting here and we'll call up the lead vocals effects here, where I have got a little Room Verb. I'll pull up a section where they are playing. Select that and let's listen to really short amount of reverb here. Switch that off.

(Male singing: Let me drink you away, let me drink you away.) (Male singing: The harder I try, the more that I seem to pay.) (Male singing: Let me drink you away, let me drink you away.) (Male singing: The harder I try, the more that I seem to pay.) So what happens with the Decay is when it's too long, it's kind of going to overpower the mix and the cool thing about D-Verb is you can actually set the Decay to infinite.

So the tail will just last forever and this is kind of a neat thing to automate in and out, especially if you are doing kind of really cool sound design stuff, stack a couple of delays in reverbs with infinite decay to get these really washed out distant sounds. But generally the Decay setting kind of want to manage that within the tempo and what the instrument is doing. So things that are doing more rhythmic or I should say faster rhythms, you generally don't want to have really long decays on.

So if you think about a snare drum playing on the two and the four, you generally want that decay to be almost completely died out before the next hit. So it's not washing over the next hit and this can kind of play into your tempo, because if your tempo is really fast, that two and then the next four is going to come much sooner than in let's say a really slow ballad where you could get away with a really long Decay setting. But like I said, I like to have something short and something a little bit longer for the less rhythmic sounds, to kind of really give them a long space to live in.

Now the pre-delay is going to essentially hold off on the tail for as many milliseconds as you set here. Now, this isn't you something that we can really manipulate in nature so much. This is kind of something that we can do when we are using digital reverbs. The idea of pre-delay is that we can actually in a sense separate the sound from the tail and in effect, we are almost creating sort of a delayed reverb.

If I back this up a lot and we listen to this, you definitely going to hear the initial sound with the delayed reverb. (Male singing: Let me drink you away, let me drink you away.) (Male singing: The harder I try, the more that I seem to pay.) So what you are hearing is sort of that reverb as a delayed-in-time signal and you know you can do some cool things with pre-delay. Depending on what you are processing, the pre-delay can help separate sort of the initial transient or the first section of a sound from the tail, so it's not obscuring some of the present.

So I find it especially on vocals and things like that, I might use a little pre-delay to separate the initial dry sound from the tail. And then sometimes, I'll go really crazy and do completely delayed reverbs so that there may be an eighth note or even a quarter note separated from the original sound. So you can kind of play with that. Now, most reverbs have some sort of built-in EQing parameter, where you can actually equalize the tail.

And the reason we generally want to equalize the tails with these brighter sounding algorithms like the Plate and even some of these other ones like the Rooms and the NonLinear. If you want a darker quality reverb and the algorithm isn't giving it to you, you can achieve that through EQ. So I can cut the high frequencies and Low Pass filter them. So these are two EQ settings that allow me to kind of kill out the high frequency sounds. So let's see if we can make a really dark sounding hall here.

We set those back again. (Male singing: Let me drink you away, let me drink you away.) (Male singing: The harder I try, the more that I seem to pay.) So with the tail there, you could hear how some of the silibance came out a little bit more when I didn't have the High Frequency Cut, and generally what's happening already is I'm going to EQ out some of the low end from my reverb.

A lot of times I avoid using the built -in reverb controls and I just opt to place an EQ afterwards. So you can see on the Plate, what I'm actually doing is I'm EQing out some of the brittleness and any of that silibance that might be making its way through the plate, as well as some of the low end mud, right? So if I'm treating any low frequency stuff with the reverb, I'm not accumulating even more mud into my tail. So sometimes it's a good idea just to slap those EQs right at the end of your return.

So again, D-Verb is a great learning tool and it's surprisingly a decent reverb, if you give it a chance. Learning all of its controls will help you graduate to more complex reverbs, like the reverbs in the air collection and other third party reverbs. Take some time to listen to the different room types and kind of commit their unique sonic texture to memory, kind of keep them in your lexicon of spaces in your head. Think of yourself sort of like a director scouting for locations for your next shoot.

It might be not be appropriate for this mix but you never know when that texture could come up. Take some time to listen to some of the reverbs inside of Take Me Down. Like I said, there is a short Room Verb, a longer Plate and then a specific Drum Room Reverb. So listen to those and get a good idea of how reverb is used in this sort of mix context.

There are currently no FAQs about Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

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.