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adding reverb in logic pro

#1 User is offline   Duke Icon

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 05:00 AM

I need some help on adding just the perfect amount of reverb( for vocals). I don't want it to sound bad, so what is your settings? what do you use?

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 08:22 AM

The "perfect" amount depends on your song and your voice. It also depends on your recording environment and the plugins you have at your disposal.

Do you just want to add some life to your vocals? Dial in a "room" or "studio" sort of reverb sound, just add a touch, maybe 20% wet depending on the size of the reverb you've dialed in. (Smaller the "room", the more wet signal you can have in your mix without losing the presence of the vocals)

Sometimes a short delay works better than a reverb.

A bad habit to pick up (and one I fall into myself when I haven't recorded or mixed in a while) is to drench the vocals in reverb. It sounds pleasing to the ear but for a song, it usually doesn't work as you can't make out the lyrics and/or the vocals (and melody along with it) are lost in the mix (pushed back as it were, as reverb does) Of course once again it depends on the song. Shoegaze comes to mind as a (nother ridiculous sub-) genre that you'll quite often hear insanely reverbed vocals, but it's a rare occurrence that it works outside specific genres or intended effects.

So to sum up...how are we supposed to help you if we have no idea the type of music you're needing help on? Post a sample. :)
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#3 User is offline   Lzi Icon

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 12:47 PM

Ditto on the short delay Funk.

Reverb works better for background vocals (BVs)IMO. The nature of the term BACKGROUNG VOCALS tells me that reverb is perfect! Reverb makes things sound pushed BACK. I'm NEVER over 20% wet and rarely over 15%. Small rooms work nice for me. I'm using PRE-DELAY in most cases but NEVER anything over 20 ms as a hard rule, and that is streching it, use sparingly.

I much prefer an ambient type of tonality than a reverb wash. I'll also use flange as well as chorusing on vocals, again, sparingly. Yesterday, I did a mix which had verb on one group of BVs, flange on the next BV group on one side,chorus on the other side. The chorusing and flanging effects switched sides for the second half of the chorus. The LV had just a slight delay. Having one group of BVs with a sligh small room verb and another group with flange/chorus placed everything beautifully in its own space without ever losing the intelligablility of any of the vocals. The LV has just a slight delay.

With reverb one of the most important details to learn is how to preserve the tails. For instance, I've seen guys who have arrangements created out of multiple edited-regions which they simply move around as need be. The trouble with this comes in when you edit these regions until there is nothing but a small nub of a line of room noise or, digital whatever you wanna call it left behind it. You see, just because, the soundwave stops being generated as a waveform on the screen does not mean that the resulting sound has died within the physical space it is being generated within. When a sound has or, will have reverb added later, it is always best to leave quite a bit of this "no soundwave trail" at the end of each region. If you do not, you are chopping off your reverb tails.

If anyone is not doing this as a standard reverb practice now, I suggest that you begin doing so. These tails are the beauty of reverb if you ask me, and are the element of reverb which defines the source as being within certin space IMO. Once you have learned to listen for these 'verb tails, you will notice how many people routinely chop them off! It sounds very un-natural. This sort of defeats the purpose of reverb in the first place. It is a common mistake made due to not understanding how natural reverb works.
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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:31 PM

View PostLzi, on 05 October 2011 - 05:47 AM, said:

For instance, I've seen guys who have arrangements created out of multiple edited-regions which they simply move around as need be.

This is true if one is processing reverb "destructively" as in on the audio clip itself. For most of us these days, though, reverb is added through send/receive busses, and is thus applied to the entire track, rather than to individual clips within the track.


As far a reverb on lead vocal goes, I reckon the most important factor(as I have said before) is the amount of pre-delay used. Long (>100ms) pre-delays bring the sound forward in the sound stage and short pre-delays seen it backwards. I find that a PD of between 100 and 150ms (synched to the song tempo) tends to work quite well on most lead vocal tracks, with the length of the reverb itself depending on the nature of the song and the rest of the arrangement.

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:50 AM

The other thing that helps, I find is to use some EQ on the reverb(s).

In particular, for vocals, hi-pass them. It can be nice, for example, to use some plate reverb mixed in there, but hi-pass out much of the lows, leaving some nice tails on the highs.
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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:50 PM

I've recently been adding just a touch of reverb. 15% plate or less hall. Some EQ and a vocal leveler. I don't really know what the heck I'm doing but I've been reading and playing around and using my ears.

I recently have been playing with keeping a lightly reverbed (new verb?)take centered and adding another track with the same thing with a stereo delay volume down making it a light effect. I'm starting to get something kind of cool with that but it is not quite there. With whatever I'm trying I've found that subtle seems to be the key for a lead vocal. In the end we tinker and experiment and that is what makes it fun.

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:44 AM

View PostSimple Simon, on 04 October 2011 - 07:31 PM, said:

View PostLzi, on 05 October 2011 - 05:47 AM, said:

For instance, I've seen guys who have arrangements created out of multiple edited-regions which they simply move around as need be.

This is true if one is processing reverb "destructively" as in on the audio clip itself. For most of us these days, though, reverb is added through send/receive busses, and is thus applied to the entire track, rather than to individual clips within the track.

You can easily send multiple edited regions to a 'verb buss. I am not doing 'verb discretely. I would prefer it this way. I believe inserts sound much better when used dicretely but 'verb is far too much of a cpu hog to use in this manner unless we're talking about a solo guitar/vocal thing or piano/vocal. Then, I'm using everything as dicrete inserts. It sounds etter.


As far a reverb on lead vocal goes, I reckon the most important factor(as I have said before) is the amount of pre-delay used. Long (>100ms) pre-delays bring the sound forward in the sound stage and short pre-delays seen it backwards. I find that a PD of between 100 and 150ms (synched to the song tempo) tends to work quite well on most lead vocal tracks, with the length of the reverb itself depending on the nature of the song and the rest of the arrangement.


100/150ms is hardly "pre-delay Simon! Actually, anything above 20ms is considered delay.


View PostAlistair S, on 05 October 2011 - 11:50 AM, said:

The other thing that helps, I find is to use some EQ on the reverb(s).

In particular, for vocals, hi-pass them. It can be nice, for example, to use some plate reverb mixed in there, but hi-pass out much of the lows, leaving some nice tails on the highs.


Ah! This is backwards! Reverb as a rule (the natural phenom anyway) has a marked reduction in high end. This being said, I've done what you are suggesting here, it is a rather cool effect sometimes, just not very natural. But, ah! Those 'verb tails!


View PostScotto, on 05 October 2011 - 03:50 PM, said:

I've recently been adding just a touch of reverb. 15% plate or less hall. Some EQ and a vocal leveler. I don't really know what the heck I'm doing but I've been reading and playing around and using my ears.

I recently have been playing with keeping a lightly reverbed (new verb?)take centered and adding another track with the same thing with a stereo delay volume down making it a light effect. I'm starting to get something kind of cool with that but it is not quite there. With whatever I'm trying I've found that subtle seems to be the key for a lead vocal. In the end we tinker and experiment and that is what makes it fun.


Yes you do Scotto! You said you were using your ears didn't you? THAT IS the way! It's right beneath your feet man, and the proof for me lies in what you've said above.

I find it best to place sources which have 'verb on the outside of the stereo spectrum, leaving the sources in the center fairly dry so that they will be more upfront. Of course, I am speaking in terms of popular music, not jazz or classical. If its rock, hip hop, country or R&B think Left Center Right or LCR mixing and the centered channel needs to be up front (vocals, bass, snare, kick). Think Ambient rather than a wash of 'verb here. 'verb sounds good on the wings IMHO.
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:17 PM

View PostLzi, on 19 October 2011 - 02:44 AM, said:

100/150ms is hardly "pre-delay Simon! Actually, anything above 20ms is considered delay.

Sometimes, Lzi, I really do wonder if we're speaking the same language.Posted Image Pre-delay, with regard to reverb, simply refers to the amount of time elapsed between the dry signal and the onset of the reverb effect (first early reflections).

Let's imagine standing in a hall, about 20 metres (nearly 60 ft) from the nearest hard surface (wall) and clapping our hands just once. We will hear the original sound of our hands so quickly as to perceive it as being immediate. We will not hear the start of the reverb, however, until the sound has travelled to the closest wall and back, a total distance of 40 metres. At sea level and a temperature of 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), this will take approximately 116ms, and it is this pre-delay that helps us determine not just the size of the room, but also our distance from the sound source. For example, if someone else was standing halfway between us and that nearest wall, the first reflections of the reverb would arrive at our ears just 58ms after we hear the original sound.

Longer pre-delay times will make sources sound closer to us; shorter pre-delays will make them seem further away. This is why pre-delay is such a powerful tool in providing a sense of depth in recordings, and it's why it is generally recommended that different pre-delay amounts are used on different instruments. Obviously, if we want the vocals to sound the closest to us, we will use a longer pre-delay on them.

Most reverb units that provide in-built pre-delay offer a range of between 0 and 250ms. I tend to try to work to a song's tempo in setting mine. For example, if the temp is 120bpm, I would tend to use around 125ms pre-delay on the vocals, which equates to a 16th note. I would then set the pre-delay on other instruments to approximate even divisions of that (62ms, 31ms, 15ms etc).



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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:36 PM

That's interesting, Simon. Yes, I have set delays according to tempo yet never thought about it for pre-delay on reverb. I just twist the knob. Having said that, I think I do end up with a setting around what you are suggesting (though mine are often lower).

I'll have to experiment. It makes sense to me (though I do find myself wondering if different music would sound better in different sized rooms! I won't go there, though! :lol:)
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:01 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 19 October 2011 - 07:36 AM, said:

It makes sense to me (though I do find myself wondering if different music would sound better in different sized rooms! I won't go there, though! :lol:)

Aww... go on.... go there!! Posted ImagePosted Image





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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:05 PM

Oh, OK, if you twist my arm! :)

The predelay is all about room reflections and, as you say, helps us be fooled regarding the size of the room and our distance from the source (so, in a large room, with the source close, I would expect a longer predelay than if I was in a large room and the source was more distant.

So.. why does it matter what the tempo of the music is? I'm assuming that it is to make the gap fit with the tempo rather than clash with it.

Soooo.. , if that is true, and if we didn't use a "fake" reverb (but used the geometry of the room and the natural reverb instead) some room sizes (and some distances from the mic) would sound better than others for music of different tempos, wouldn't it?

Which could lead onto why we do some things the way we do. Are recording rooms often a particular size ecause it suits music at 120bpm (or multiples thereof), for example?

I don't know. I'm just askin'! :)
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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:03 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 19 October 2011 - 02:05 PM, said:

So.. why does it matter what the tempo of the music is? I'm assuming that it is to make the gap fit with the tempo rather than clash with it.

That's pretty much the guts of it, although I don't think it's really all that important most of the time. I think I started doing it when I was adding a very short, gated reverb to a snare. I just quite liked the sound of it, so I started applying the idea to other elements.

Quote

Soooo.. , if that is true, and if we didn't use a "fake" reverb (but used the geometry of the room and the natural reverb instead) some room sizes (and some distances from the mic) would sound better than others for music of different tempos, wouldn't it?

Which could lead onto why we do some things the way we do. Are recording rooms often a particular size ecause it suits music at 120bpm (or multiples thereof), for example?

I don't know. I'm just askin'! :)

I can't say I've ever heard of it being done on purpose, exactly (the tempo/room size thing), but there's no doubt that many engineers and producers will use different types of rooms for recording different instruments or types of music.

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:50 PM

View PostSimple Simon, on 18 October 2011 - 03:17 PM, said:

View PostLzi, on 19 October 2011 - 02:44 AM, said:

100/150ms is hardly "pre-delay Simon! Actually, anything above 20ms is considered delay.

Sometimes, Lzi, I really do wonder if we're speaking the same language.Posted Image Pre-delay, with regard to reverb, simply refers to the amount of time elapsed between the dry signal and the onset of the reverb effect (first early reflections).

Let's imagine standing in a hall, about 20 metres (nearly 60 ft) from the nearest hard surface (wall) and clapping our hands just once. We will hear the original sound of our hands so quickly as to perceive it as being immediate. We will not hear the start of the reverb, however, until the sound has travelled to the closest wall and back, a total distance of 40 metres. At sea level and a temperature of 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), this will take approximately 116ms, and it is this pre-delay that helps us determine not just the size of the room, but also our distance from the sound source. For example, if someone else was standing halfway between us and that nearest wall, the first reflections of the reverb would arrive at our ears just 58ms after we hear the original sound.

Longer pre-delay times will make sources sound closer to us; shorter pre-delays will make them seem further away. This is why pre-delay is such a powerful tool in providing a sense of depth in recordings, and it's why it is generally recommended that different pre-delay amounts are used on different instruments. Obviously, if we want the vocals to sound the closest to us, we will use a longer pre-delay on them.

Most reverb units that provide in-built pre-delay offer a range of between 0 and 250ms. I tend to try to work to a song's tempo in setting mine. For example, if the temp is 120bpm, I would tend to use around 125ms pre-delay on the vocals, which equates to a 16th note. I would then set the pre-delay on other instruments to approximate even divisions of that (62ms, 31ms, 15ms etc).


I also do my best to keep all of my verb times, delay times, flange, chorusing on tempo myself.

I found what you say here concerning pre-delay interesting because, as I tend to use very up-front vocals, LV's anyway, in fact, I almost never use verb on my LV, it sounds too washed out. There was one song recently where I used just the slightest amount of reverb say, 18% wet/dry, and I used pre-delay, just a slight amount, and this vocal was very up-front, in fact, maybe a bit too up-front as I seem to recall debating over wether or not it needed a bit more than I gave it. It is interesting that you say longer pre-delay times equate to a more up-front tone.

Alstairs method of tweaking and listening is how I added the pre-delay on this particular vocal however, the rest of the "room" parameters had been set to tempo before I tweaked pre-delay. When my ears told me it was right, I stopped sliding the fader. Nice up-front vocal.

Just FYI with reverb, I start with the wet/dry at 100% and I bring it down until I can't notice reverb any longer, and then, I give it just a quick nudge until I just begin to hear ambience. :)

Short delay on most LV's for me.

I'll be cutting TONS of vocals every week soon. Quintescence is relocating to San Diego this wednesday. It'll be nice to be able to work with her one on one without the flight! She is extremely excited. Gettin' busy B)
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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:06 PM

View PostLzi, on 21 October 2011 - 12:50 PM, said:

It is interesting that you say longer pre-delay times equate to a more up-front tone.

All I say say is, try it. :)
Of course, as with anything else, it's all about context. The big room/long pre-delay approach I was talking about I think works better in sparser mixes and with more balladic or anthemic kinds of pieces.


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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:53 AM

Pre-delay, at least as I understand it and it seems to be when I fiddle with the knobs, is how long the reverb takes to kick in. So it definitely does give a more up front feel when you have a longer pre-delay.

I don't know how timing your reverb to the tempo of the song would do anything audible at all. I don't think the brain picks up on the timing of the reflections in the reverb. I understand on a mathematical level (ok...I don't actually understand that, but I understand how you guys are theorizing it) The brain hears the wash of the verb, not the individual reflections.
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Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:31 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 22 October 2011 - 03:53 AM, said:

Pre-delay, at least as I understand it and it seems to be when I fiddle with the knobs, is how long the reverb takes to kick in. So it definitely does give a more up front feel when you have a longer pre-delay.
Exactly :)

Quote

I don't know how timing your reverb to the tempo of the song would do anything audible at all.

What I was talking about wasn't trying trying to time the reverb itself to the song (which, as you say, would be impossible) but matching the length of the pre-delay to the song tempo. Try it with a gated reverb on a snare for example. :)

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