Do you always use Reverb when mastering?

Posted on

Music Afficionado
Member Since: Aug 12, 2008

I've been experimenting with some mastering lately - and by that I mean taking someones mixes, applying fades, EQ, compression or limiter and trying to make them sound better, more consistent with eachother, etc.... (and admittantly louder).

Shouldnt I be putting some final reverb on there as well? I seem to remember reading that as part of a common mastering chain. I have Waves, T-Racks3 and Isotope Ozone - any good ones to start messing around with?

While I have you, as a general rule, should I be looking to apply a limiter at all times, or just compression or both? Or, like everythig else, does it all just depend on the actual song?

Thanks.

[ Back to Top ]


Member
Since: Jan 30, 2011


May 30, 2011 08:05 pm

With T-racks, I use one of the compressors set with a slow attack and slow release, just to keep the levels about the same. Then I put a limiter after that.

I usually will put a fast reverb too. Something subtle, but it helps. Like a plate with a fast predelay and short decay. But most of the songs I do are loud and fast, so I imagine slower more mellow songs would benefit from longer predelay and decay.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


May 31, 2011 11:26 am

Quote:
Shouldnt I be putting some final reverb on there as well? I seem to remember reading that as part of a common mastering chain.


Number of mastering engineers I know that use reverb with any regularity whatsoever: 0

Occasionally used to fix (well, "mask") bad edits, once in a great while to enhance improper fades, but almost never used as part of the actual mastering process. Even less than maul-the-band compression (which is also very rarely used, no matter what the marketing guys for Ozone might say). Or the Haas effect on the lows or midrange (same thing with the Ozone guys). Although admittedly, it's not too rare that I'll use some sort of Haas generator to the top end of a mix if it really needs it...

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


May 31, 2011 05:48 pm

I am not a mastering guy per se... but I have mastered more projects than I have fingers... and I have used reverb on maybe 3 or 4 songs? Usually only if the whole mix sounds suuuuuper up front or just way too "dry" (for lack of a better word). But it is very rare. Maybe if I was going for a certain "dream popish" sound, I might try it...

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


May 31, 2011 10:22 pm

When I'm wearing my "mastering" hat I wouldn't ever add reverb. To me that is the job of the mixing engineer or even the producer. Reverb adds an element to the song that is subjective and IMO not the job of the mastering engineer.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


May 31, 2011 11:45 pm

Agreed. For that matter, I probably have at least a dozen or so mixes a month that wind up "going back" for less reverb (as in the "Wow, I didn't realize I had so much reverb in there..." realization).

If it comes in uber-dry, I expect that the mix engineer wanted it that way.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jun 01, 2011 12:40 am

Quote:
If it comes in uber-dry, I expect that the mix engineer wanted it that way.


That is what I'm thinking. How do you know it wasn't intended to be that way

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jun 04, 2011 06:03 pm

You guys deal with people who are more professional than what I deal with.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


Jun 07, 2011 01:42 am

I'd still submit that if there's any issues with "less professional" recordings, it's that they usually have too much verb (and basically any other effect, including but not limited to delay, chorus, compression and EQ).

Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


Jun 07, 2011 05:25 am

When i first tried Izotope i remember using the "mastering reverb" a ton. I thought it was cool, coz they tailored it in such a way that made it easy to add and not cloud ur track. But in the end, i always ended up dialing it so far back or going back adn removing it.

Like everything, if u have the option to do it in the mix, with the elements u want then its best to do that. If u want ur high end to be softened by that verb, add it to ur hi hats and keys, or risk ur high end being slurred. Maybe u want ur hats to be crisp, but ur keys to be dreamy? U cant do that on the two track.

In terms of creating cohesion, id still say that u can do it in the mix. If everything has the proper reverb to it, and there is a kind of common tone to teh verb being used. When u apply final compression, itll all properly meld together in a way that slapping on a verb later just wont do.

This is of course in my extremely limited experience.

EBONY AND ACE's
Member
Since: Jan 05, 2009


Aug 17, 2011 10:58 am

just my 2 cents,

whatever professionell level guys you are talking to, do what sounds good to your ears.

all these people in the business usually try to follow some mainstream and therefore already walked out ways.

try to establish your very own sound, this and only this will make you sound unique and become successful in the end.

of course put reverb on your end mix!!! unless you think it will not sound good - its the only way to make it. i have done it many times and it sounded great. yes, you want to put your mix into a certain room and ambience.

cheers!
joerg


MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


Aug 17, 2011 11:29 am

And why wouldn't you simply apply reverb judiciously to elements in the mix?

http://www.unitedmusicians.info
Contributor
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Aug 17, 2011 01:35 pm

I've done mixes with a reverb-y parallel track of the mix bus. I haven't done it recently because I've been working in a really big room with a really nice sound. I'd bet Joerg is compensating for the same lack of space that I was when I was recording in a living room. Perhaps just serves to muddy all the reflections that were caused by the small untreated space to begin with? That wouldn't surprise me in a recording with a live band/drums, but maybe you could get away with the "room replacement" use of reverb if you're using mostly close mic'ing techniques and overdubbing? Always drilling for info MM, har har. Some bands just aren't worth the effort of moving my studio across town...

EBONY AND ACE's
Member
Since: Jan 05, 2009


Aug 20, 2011 06:40 am

it depends, in my ears sometimes the compressors are effecting the reverb too much, its nice to have just a decent room where the band is put in.

recently recording a lot of open sounds, jazz sets and so on.
after eq-ing and compressing a tiny amount of ambience is giving it the right touch, like all playing in the same room or chamber - of course jazz means several musicians in different rooms play in many keys and vary the tempo ;-) - and not necessarily always.

give it a try!


Uh, at least one more time . . .
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2007


Aug 27, 2011 11:10 pm

True story: (from memory, anyway)--the female singer in the band The Vaselines remarked to Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot that the reverb-drenched recording of many of their tunes masked the fact that she couldn't sing. And you know what? She was right. About the not being able to sing part, but I could tell that, reverb or not. Still, reverb can be used to great affect--I love it myself, but it does get abused.

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Member
Since: May 10, 2002


Sep 02, 2014 12:47 am

Verb to me is pretty fickle. I'll use it, if I can to fix things. So many keyboard patches and guitar effect composites are heavily laden with verb. A miked kit is going to take on a room effect as well in most cases. Now and again I'll get some song or segment where someone is obviously not in the same environment. Then ill add a little verb if called for to try to make things a little more convincing. cant remember the last time I used it in mastering

Related Forum Topics:



If you would like to participate in the forum discussions, feel free to register for your free membership.

Processing Request.
Have Patience, Don't Keep Clickin'