recommend any good verb/space plugins/techniques?

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Member Since: Apr 04, 2008


Im trying to master the ins and outs of reverb - mostly on guitars, but also on drums, to create the illusion of being recorded in a defined space or room - very very subtle though as Im sure this part stands in the way of my recordings sounding more like professional recordings.

I would essentially like to record maybe two guitar parts for songs (keeping it nice and simple) one left, one right, and alternate between them, for example one will have distortion for choruses, and the other be clean. But putting them in without verb makes the mix very thin sounding and I need to add some space to fill them both up - but i mean really subtle space. I have some lexicon verb effects which I was told were the bees knees a while back and at the forefront of verb plugin technology or something! But I think I notice them being better when you are actually aiming for an obvious reverb sound - which I am not.

Of course, maybe I am using it wrongly, or maybe its a technique of having busses with verb on them? I dont know, but any help in this area would be most awesome!


Just though of an example (if one is needed) - Kings of Leon - Radioactive, where there is really two guitars (or sounds like two) one left and one right but their verbs are set in a way really fills them out across the mix. This is what I had in mind in a maximum kind of way with an aim to make it less reverberating if that makes sense!

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MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Sep 09, 2011 10:19 pm

Without going into "broken record" mode -- The best way to get that "3-dimensional space" sound is to actually take advantage of a 3-dimensional space.

Reverb can add a sense of space -- to the original signal -- but the original signal will always have the sense of space used to capture it.

Dead rooms with mics 3-6 inches away from the source will always produce recordings that sound 3-6 inches deep (perhaps with a reflective wall of reverb behind it).

The mic actually hears something completely different when a source is picked up from a distance. Room mics on drum kits that give "that room sound" are usually 15-20 feet from the kit. Even if you time-align those tracks later (many do, as the sense of space is still there even without the difference in time), those mics heard the kit from 15-20 feet away and that signal (A) is totally different than what the close overheads are hearing and (B) can't effectively be reproduced with reverb.

TRICK: In smaller rooms, a pair of hypercardiod mics near the kit, but pointed at a reflective wall 7 feet away will create a reasonable reproduction of a 14' distance. Yes, there will be some phase issues - But those should be fairly minimal.

Anyway -- Guitars, drums, vocals -- Especially "these days" with nearly unlimited track counts available, I try to throw a "space" mic on just about everything I can.

POST TRICK: I hate to do it, but you can make an aux send just like any other, delay it (by 1ms/foot -- maybe 20ms to imitate a 20' space), roll off the top end (as distance would) and pick a verb of just spacious early reflections so you wind up with a rather hardcore wash of wide reflections (hopefully, reasonably natural sounding reflections). Then, send THAT signal to another aux with a typical reverb -- So the reverb used on the mix is actually a reverb'd mix of early reflections.

It can take a lot of experimentation to get it "right" but it's about as close as having "real" distance as you can get after-the-fact.

Using more than one "early reflection generator" with considerably more or considerably less delay can give you a "choice of distance" of sorts.
Since: Apr 04, 2008

Sep 14, 2011 05:30 am

that sounds like some really godo ideas, thanks MM.

At the moment I have a midi drum kit connected to Addictive Drums so I think it will need to be adding the verb post recording.

I also normally record guitars DI straight into the mixer, I am wondering whether I can just mic up a monitor instead of an amp a foot away etc - I guess I will find out and if not, use the post verb trick you mentioned.

Do you also use these techniques for vocals? If it can be done, I am assuming you would need one mic for the vocals, but then an extra 2 to catch reflections? Seeing as the main vocals will be centred in the mix with the verb mics panned left and right? I guess the same principle as the drums?

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Sep 14, 2011 11:11 am

Not as much with vocals -- Although using a distant mic (several feet away and a little off-axis) as an aux feed for reverb can smooth it (the reverb) out considerably. Those plosives and sibilance (problematic or not - just the 'natural' dynamics) that makes the reverb "overload" temporarily aren't going to affect a distant mic as much as an 'in-your-face' mic.

This would be one of those situations where you'd compress and then send pre-fade, leaving the fader all the way down.

That all said -- If it's a really, really nice sounding room, then sure - You might want to take advantage of it in that way (using the room) if it works with the mix.

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