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Using reverb and delay plug-ins

From: Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Video: Using reverb and delay plug-ins

So we talked about Reverb, Delay and Modulation effects as being sort of those additional elements that can add that extra depth and dimension and really lend a certain aesthetic feel to your mix. While the Deverb and the DigiRack Delay and the stuff that comes in the AIR collection is a great starting point, there is a few additional tools I like to add to my mix toolkit when it comes to Reverbs, Delays, and other modulation effects. Now I wanted to share with you a few.

Using reverb and delay plug-ins

So we talked about Reverb, Delay and Modulation effects as being sort of those additional elements that can add that extra depth and dimension and really lend a certain aesthetic feel to your mix. While the Deverb and the DigiRack Delay and the stuff that comes in the AIR collection is a great starting point, there is a few additional tools I like to add to my mix toolkit when it comes to Reverbs, Delays, and other modulation effects. Now I wanted to share with you a few.

The Deverb is an algorithmic-based digital Reverb. So, what it does is when sounds or signals come into it, it's essentially simulating what it would be like if those frequencies of the waveform bounced around or were absorbed into the room. Some sort of equation that determines this. Now, there is another type of Reverb called a Convolution Reverb, if I bring up Revolver from McDSP. What we have here is the Convolution Reverb takes an entirely different approach to Reverb as opposed to being some sort of equation that resembles the size and space and type of room.

What they do is they actually go into a room and capture what's called an impulse response. So they will actually playback a broadband sound like a sine wave sweep or a start gun or a balloon pop or something like that and they'll record that in the space with microphones at different positions from that sound, and they will take and they will bring that back it in the computer and we are going to compare sort of the dry original sine sweep to the one that was recorded in that room and they are going to sort of extract what is happening to the frequencies over time and how the waveform's amplitude is changing based on the characteristics of the room.

From this, they are able to extract this impulse response and it's kind of like a cartridge that you can put into a Convolution Reverb. It's going to convolve the sound coming in against this impulse response and what you are going to get is your sound with the flavor of that room. The cool thing about these is they give really accurate representations of real spaces. They are really popular in postproduction but they are also popular in music production when we want to emulate older vintage reverbs, vintage plates.

This is emulation of an EMT 250. There are some other cool ones that come with this, an Eventide DSP4500 and even some actual spaces. So this is like an actual charge that they capture the impulse response in. So we can pull this up on our drum room to kind of hear how that sounds. We are using-- let's switch this out for a Hall and I'm going to bypass my Deverb and I'll go solo my drum tracks up.

(Drum solo.) So we are getting a really realistic sounding spaces and I find myself using Convolution Reverbs when that's exactly what I want.

I recorded the drums in a small space and what I want to do is simulate a bigger real room as if the drums were recorded in a larger space. So what I might do here if I was using a system that had a Convolution Reverb like Revolver, TL Space or Altiverb or Waves IR 1? I would use that for things like my drum room and my shorter rooms in my session to kind of get that realistic sound. So sometimes the downside of using a Convolution Reverb is that they might be too realistic or too accurate and give you sort of the same sounding reverb over and over and over again.

So it's an accurate representation of the space, but doesn't really kind of evolve and randomize how something would actually kind of bounce off the room in the real space. Now, with a more algorithmic reverb, they can build in kind of randomization components to it. So that it can kind of sound different, the tail sounds different each time you run the same sound through it and this can kind of be cool. I like that on things like vocals and lead instruments. I kind of like that fantasy sound of a digital reverb sometimes.

So try both out, see what works for you. Aside from reverb, the other thing that we are going to use, remember, to add depth and dimension to our mix is Delay. Remember Delay unlike reverb just takes and holds back something in time, a signal in time and then plays it back. The DigiRack Delays, they are great because they are just pure digital delays. So in terms of what they are doing to the actual signal, they are not doing anything. So you can process the tail however you want.

In this case, I processed it with an aggressive telephone effect EQ and so the Delay is just not adding any coloration. Sometimes we want to add coloration within our delay, if we think about the original way that we approach delay like the Tape Delays, Space Echoes things like that. They didn't just play the same thing back later in time, the recording to the tape or to the Lo-Fi digital medium an old school digital delay will kind of blend a quality to the taps or the echoes.

So one delay that I really, really like to use is Echo Boy. I'm just going to go ahead and throw this right on the Lead Vocal and we'll go ahead and choose Mono to Stereo, so we'll stereoize that. Now, Echo Boy, the cool thing about this is you've got all the things you are used to in a Delay. You can sink it to your tempo. You have got the Groove and the Feel parameters. You can do Single Echoes, Dual Echoes, sort of left and right or you can Ping-Pong or you can even set up patterns, so you can do really complex polyrhythmic echoes.

But the coolest thing about this is the Style parameter and the Saturation here. I have got all these awesome styles that allow me to emulate these different classic delays. So I start with Studio Tape, which is going to be a lot like just your kind of really clean tape delay. So we can go ahead and listen to that here on the Lead Vocal, pull this over and solo that up. (Music playing) (Male singing: We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget that sound.) (Male singing: Tonight I fell asleep at the wheel.) (Male singing: I woke up just in time, with chills darting down my spine.) (Male singing: So take me down, take me down and my feet will follow, wherever my heart goes.) So, you can hear the different quality that the atyle effect lends to the Delay and I find that with all these different styles and the ability to really get in and tweak them to every last little detail, I pretty much cover every delay flavor that I would ever need within just one single plug-in.

So again it really is the ultimate echo machine how they say. This is definitely something that I put into almost every mix that I do. After Reverb and Delay, there are a lot of modulation style effects you can start adding. We talked about Chorus, Flanger, Phasers and things like that. Now the one thing that the DigiRack plug-ins don't ship with is some sort of doubler or pitch shifting plug-ins that you can use to kind of get a doubled or tripled or more of like a multi -tracked sound out of a vocal.

Not sort of the chorus or the fake sound, but as if two takes were actually recorded in. Now, what I use for that is either Antares DUO from the Avox Bundle or Antares CHOIR. So let's check this out. If I go here to Avox DUO, what I've got is the original and the double and I can actually pan the original left and the double right. That's cool for background vocals and stuff like that. I can pan them both center, then I can control the level and I can also control things like the pitch variation and the timing variation of the double and even give Vibrato or change the Timbre of the double.

So I'll make it sound brighter or softer. So let's check this out. (Music playing) (Male singing: We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget that sound.) (Male singing: Tonight I fell asleep at the wheel.) So, that can be cool sort of as a subtle effect, an Auto Doubler kind of effect there.

Now, if I want to really take it over the edge, I can use something like CHOIR and CHOIR lets me do up to 32 voices and this can be really intense. It's not something I do on a Lead Vocal. This can be kind of cool. (Music playing) (Male singing: We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget...) That's really intense but if I blended that in with some of the background vocals, I might not have to track as many background vocals to get that really thick triple track, quad track sound.

So these can be useful if used really tastefully and you kind of blend them in. It only takes a few good purchases to really kind of get everything you need. So, beyond the lookout for plug-ins that can do double duty or do a lot of different sounds. That way when you learn those, you are able to incorporate them into more of your mix scenarios.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools
Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

77 video lessons · 9200 viewers

Brian Lee White
Author

 
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  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 39s
    1. Introducing the Pro Tools Mixer
      2m 24s
    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 11s
    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 8s
  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 15m
    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 22s
    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 48s
    1. Using time-based effects to add depth and width
      3m 22s
    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
      32s

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