Reverb Tutorial

We have all heard the effect of reverb on sound, the most common example of this is when your singing in the shower, and you noticed the acoustics in your voice really stood out, or maybe the sound of a voice echoing through a canyon or stadium. Reverb is simply creating a physical atmosphere for the sound (like a virtual room).

Using reverb is essential in producing a song, In order for a drum kit to sound realistic you must give some atmosphere to the sound. Reverb is also important in adding depth to your song, by using different types of reverb you can add different depths to your mix, giving you a some dimension to your track. Reverb is also commonly applied to vocal tracks, to add a bit of interest.

Types of Reverb

There are many various examples of reverb some sound like the instrument is being played in a concert hall where as others mimic smaller spaces such as a shower stall, or a closet. The settings on a reverb effect generally go:

Wet - this is the amount of the effect being applied

Dry - this is the intitial sound before it is effected

Room size - The room size should be adjusted according to the decay time. Small room size with shorter decay, large room with longer decay.

Pre-delay - This controls the time of the delay in the reverb and should be adjusted according to the room size. Less pre-delay for smaller rooms, more for larger rooms.

Low cut - Takes the base out before the reverb is added.

High cut - Takes the treble out before the reverb is added.

Diffusion - Makes echo sound close so that it sounds like white noise. distorting the echo.

Decay - Controls the decay time of reverb.

Tips When Using Reverb

Using reverb properly definitely becomes an art in itself, there is no right or wrong way to use it, Although you don't want to go overboard with it or your song will sound like its coming from the bottom of a well.

A different reverb can be used for each instrument or group of instruments - i.e.. Use one on drums, one for vocals and one for all the other instruments. You would adjust the settings to a short and bright reverb for the drums and a longer warmer one for the vocals.

Reverb can also be used to add high interest in certain parts of the song, This can be done by automating the effect. This will obviously take alot of trial and error but can offer some very rewarding results in the end.

When applying reverb on drums, like the kick for example you may want to take out the low end of kick with a low cut before you put the effect on it. Another trick is to use a normal reverb over the whole sample then adding an enveloped reverb on the end creating an interesting tail to the sound.

Reverb Plug-ins

Most audio software comes with a built in reverb effect or two but here is one that's nice and free too:

Blueline Effects Pack

This pack is not only free to download and comes with 10 other plug-in effects. You can find this wonderful free software at:

The company asks if you use it alot to donate a small registration fee.

In conclusion reverb is essential to use when creating a song to give it both presence and depth. This effect is also helping change the complexity and interest of your mix. These are only rough guide lines to go by, feel free to experiment as much as possible when creating your music.