- Don’t you love it when the overall mix is coming together flawlessly, but the reverb just won’t blend well? I know I have! But over the last few years I’ve came across techniques that work well and don’t work well. Today I’ll be sharing 3 tips that could enhance any reverb. (P.S. These tips may or may not work for your track, but in certain circumstances they could have a very successful impact.)
(Throughout these tips I will be using Logic Pro X default plug-ins for demonstration.)
#1. Compress After Reverb
By placing a compressor on an insert after your reverb, you will find that in some cases it enhances certain areas of the reverb itself.
When I compress after the reverb, I sometimes begin to hear more harmonic content than when I don’t. We are sculpting the reverb to breath with the instrument by using the attack and release settings. Which is what I’d like to explain next.
ATTACK & RELEASE:
For the attack, I would look for a setting that will allow the transient to completely pass through. Typically 125.0 ms is a good place to start. If you’re dealing with sharp transients such as percussion or drum hits, try starting around 65.0 ms instead.
As for the release, I would look for something quite a bit longer in length such as 700.0 ms or so. By sustaining the compressor to last that long will maintain a smooth level of the reverb. So if your reverb is 2.0 seconds or longer in length, I would start with your release at 600.0 ms.
CALCULATE ATTACK AND RELEASE TIMES:
If you’re looking to become a successful producer or engineer, then you better be on time. Literally. Music is basically time and amplitude. And I highly recommend any producer or engineer to understand how to calculate reverb and delay times. If you don’t know how to, here’s the formula:
- 60,000 / BPM (Beats Per Minute) = Quarter note value for reverb or delay
60,000 / 105(BPM) = 571.43 ms (the quarter note value)
So, say you got 571.43 ms. To get an eighth note, divide that by 2! Or to get a sixteenth note, divide that by 4!
In order to have a good-sounding mix, setting a proper pre-delay on your reverb is a must. To help you understand pre-delay a little better, imagine you’re in a giant auditorium and you stand on the stage and shout “Hello!” There’s a pause after the initial shout to when you begin hearing reflections. And that is what we call pre-delay. This parameter is truly what will bring your reverb to life.
#2. EQ After Compression
After compressing the reverb you may begin hearing too much harmonic content in certain frequencies, most likely the low-mid-range. If you’re looking for some general settings:
1). Insert a low-cut up to around 90Hz
2). Dip out around 200-500Hz
3). Lacking clarity? Boost around 4kHz
4). Lacking warmth? Cut around 8kHz
#3. Add Modulation
If your reverb is lacking movement or depth, try incorporating some modulation plug-in’s such as a Chorus, Tremelo, Flanger, or Phaser.
Typically you’ll want this effect to be very subtle, so if there’s a ‘mix’ control within the plug-in, I would set it to around 20%.
I recommend using a chorusing effect due to how subtle yet effective the outcome is.
Here’s a picture demonstrating how I set the parameters for a chorusing effect in Logic Pro X.
#4. Re-Amp Your Reverb
I love doing this. Take your reverb and re-amp it. Personally, I opened up Logic Pro X’s Amp Designer and I’m always able to find a great sound after tweaking a little bit. Re-amping your reverb is a great way to experiment. Plus who doesn’t love to re-amp stuff?