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Reverb Mistakes

Lesson 4 from: Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM

Jesse Cannon

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Lesson Info

4. Reverb Mistakes

Lesson Info

Reverb Mistakes

So I will fully admit that I hated my reverb sounds for years on my mixes and only in the last couple of years that I begin to be like ha finally when I hear that river by feel that happiness I hear and other records and don't cringe and sit around being that internet mean where the guy's depressed on the couch with his girlfriend's wondering what's wrong with him but it that's their relationship he's really just upset about this stares out I hope you've all seen that one so that metaphor doesn't sound stupid anyway so you probably seen all these big time mixers use low quality reverb plug ins but they still sound great on their mixes if you've ever watched pence otto's place and I'm an avid watcher of it I think it's like fantastic show you'll see david sado and plenty of other people the interviews and they're using digital signs stock river but you're going really they have to be lying to me they're just doing this for the example they're not lying to you um if you know some fundame...

ntal things you could make almost any reverb sound good even the cheapest ones it's why even when you go back tio the eighties and early nineties whitney there's the's hundred dollars three verbs like the elisa smitty verbs that were you know these things go for one hundred fifty dollars there west by that plug into their hardware units the reason some of these reverb still sound good is that the people using them do what to do to go into it so I don't want you to sweat that you have to buy that couple thousand dollars forecast he even know it sounds fantastic you can get good reverb sounds with nearly any stock reverb so the first thing I will tell you with why you're reverb sounds bad and what you're doing wrong is that bad tones make for battery for so my biggest wording moment about five years ago was just that most of the time the reason when I would listen to somebody else's record I like that my reverb didn't sound as good as theirs is because my snare was acute terrible and I'm sending you terribly accuse their into that reverb and because of that it's not working out properly so that I would put it q I distort the reverb I sit and play with settings I'd scroll through presets for hours that's not the right solution. The right solution is that if you're not happy with your reverb, you may need to rethink how you're going about getting your snare sound for example, maybe you're adding too much trouble to it that's usually the problem the other problem is could be that you have too much bleeding your snare your stairs to had consistent volume these things all apply toe vocals as well since you know stare, drum, tom's and vocals are the most common things to go into river bs that sound terrible I think most people don't have much problem with since going to reverb since usually since our e q did sound nice and go well, I'm going to talk a lot about those three you know and s and a reverb like I was talking about makes you want to turn it down you have to have properly d ester vocal and have gotten your vocal properly in brightness before you send it to a reverb you'll hear stories of the mixer deicing before the reverb that can happen in extreme cases but that's not what you want to be aiming for. What you want to be aiming for is that you dialed the queue on your main track so well on your vocal that you don't need to do yes it in a rare circumstance the exception, not the rule you'll have to d s that reverb like I'm saying hear the loud reverb you push it up to the volume that you'd like it out, you hear the yes you pull it down it's something so money beginning mixers dio um the first thing I must say is so you want to fix it at the source so one of the first techniques to fix that the sources if you're talking about stared toms what even when you're making like you're like I hate the way fake drum sound you know trigger drugs or rooting music with a lot of the guys who even do really polished records are doing is they are sort really raw records are doing is they're getting a stair sample there getting a top sample there making a trigger and they're not even putting that trigger in the mix they're literally taking that trigger the always think it goes to is the reverb so the reverb is consistent and has no bleed and it each time you khun what I make sure that you don't have symbols and all sorts of other things in your river but it's the same thing if we're talking about mixing media that a lot of the time if you were talking about a drug reverb and you have a loop um you may not put the loop into the reverb and you may put another stare that such support of the stair europe or maybe not even similar to the stereo you have in your group and just not pull that fate or doubt and not put it the mix it send it into the reverb because a lot of time a shaker in a loop or a high high out of the loop has so much high end it's going to make that reverb sound terrible and it made have too much depth that you don't want to uh get um don't get too crazy with you q in your river so now I will first say every reverb has so meek you built into it your most handy tool is that will pass filter in every river because that can get some of the s out get some of that you know it's particular cheap river bs the high end could be what sounds the worst of the then the low end you could be what sounds the second worst e q week some of that out and pulling it down is totally totally acceptable at times but when I see you know twelve dbs six k minus thirty d b at four hundred hertz you probably need a different preset you should school around and get a new one before going this crazy we're yet to get in that thing of if you're skewing that much you're doing it wrong until you're at a muchmore intermediate level so the next thing I'll say that I see you doing wrong all the time is something I've got to go to the pro tools to demonstrate um so I think this is a fantastic reverb but so the biggest thing I see happen all the time on mixes that I'm fixing and I had to do this to the interns mixed the other day is that there's this mixed up the dry wet so the thing to remember is that if we're sending your re verbal on an ox end so for example, I'm going to put this snare drum into this reverb. So there's two ways obviously applying reverb what is directly on the track now I'm going to caution against a lot of beginners putting the reverb directly on the track even know I do it on many things, and I'll get into this a little bit as well after this example. But so in general, what I like to say and what you'll hear from a lot of people is, is that you basically three river bs on a mix at max, no matter what the job rise, usually about right, especially if it dd of you're applying reverb here, since as you go with the patches and pre since you have have some reverb, so the three rivers there you're gonna have, you're gonna have a baby it's, usually for you, like your vocal or anything you want just a little bit of feels a little to approach a medium reverb, which could also be small if you wanted to sound really tight and then a longer river for maybe special effects or anything that you want a lot of space on, so with that because these reverb they're going to be sharing things you want to put them on a talk said so that you could said the different elements to it you don't want to just have another one track is that you have to put a different instead saw it all the time I see that as a big probable out of the time but so the one thing that I see is the biggest problem that was kind of getting at is so right now we have the slates there that I printed this mix going into with this reverb and this reverb preset there were president lee ahn has this dry wet mix knob all the way up and that's exactly where it should be when it's on a talks I'm gonna show you why so if you're not familiar the dry wet knob this is is the effect on lee on or is there some of the effect blended in so you might think hey I get to too much river by should pull this thing down that's not the case when it's on the docks because then when you're doing your pulled the dry signal into that ox and giving it more level and a lot of time even though it's not supposed to face it does phase and there's some phasing problem with the strike because the math isn't right in a lot of the cheap plug ins that you may be using if your river masada talks, there is an absolute rule there's very few absolute rules of mixing the wet should be all the way up. So let me play this for you so you could understand this this is with the wet all the way up this okay, so now that I have that rooted properly, this there is now going into that river and so which thou play you what it sounds like when this dry, wet knob is not all the way up? See here the I want you to listen for before I do this that there's a little bit of a weird phase this plug it's pretty good, but we're also getting more snare level instead of just reverb level of the socks as opposed to this. So the other problem with this becomes too is that if you have this dry, wet job in the middle or somewhere else every time you move this fader, you're going to also be turning up the dry stair, which makes you lose control of the mix. So that is basically why I'm telling you you need to always have that mix all the way up. Um, if we could go back to the kino um so the other thing I'm going to say about you're doing it wrong with your reverb is you're not feeding a consistent volume program material which we kind of went over, which is the idea that these stairs should be the same thing you want to said the reverb it's a vocal it should be the compressed version of that vocal so it's not all over the place so the reverb isn't getting lost in certain parts of the song the reverb should always be post the effects of our dynamic effects like distortion and uh, compression the other thing that I don't have out here that I want to show you it is if we could go back to the pro tools is in a lot of classes you're going to be told that they're the way you should run your ox is is that your ox should always be a zero this is not actually the case, especially with reverb, so I must tell you why so in order for a reverb to get excited and have it towed to it, it needs to be fed a signal. So if you're feeding this reverb a very low signal so let's go down think about there you see how low the signal is I have to to really allowed to get even any of it even give it some a little bit more here, so right now I'm feeding the ox send very low into this reverb so that's not getting a lot of excitement out of it so the tone is a little weak as you can see on the fake room channel I have, which is where this reverb lives there's very well output out of it, so the difference being is if I give this reverb said if I put this a zero d b and that I backed out on this, we get a much more healthy level and the reverb starts to get fuller now this differs from every river this reverb in particular is really fantastic and I actually didn't want to use this for this example because it doesn't make his big a difference as many of the other cheaper river bs but especially if you have the compression dabei the reverb hitting the signal hard into the reverb will produce a better sound take a meeting that your fox said is up around zero instead of bias twenty you'll get a much fuller eds more detailed sound out of your river but in most cases if you're feeding a strong signal instead of a very weak signal to river now there can be times you do want the opposite of this but it's more constant that you should be aware of and play with when you're not happy with your river bs out is that do you want to hit it hard? Do you want to hit soft? You want to hit in the medium? You know, as you could see even what I have this reverb up at zero it's still not going anywhere even do your bias six which is a good healthy level with a mix play around with does your reverb deed where it needs to be hit you know usually the river bs you use your going to be using them over and over and over again get to know where the level is, what your mixer is and that and listen for the differences and that sound don't just accept that the thing you read in the bahamas sound reinforcement handbook that all oxes should stay at zero that is not the case at all your blood's don't need to be done there, but the others think that we're going to get into after this is that you also have to make sure that they get proper head room but that they don't clip out already. Questions on reverb questions in the studio audience I did not know about the driveway and that makes so much sense I'm glad and I and I feel bad that I know but that there's been so many mixes so many times where I'm like why why is there this phasing like I couldn't I couldn't place and I don't know where it was coming from and that's I mean the way that you explain those made a lot of sense and also losing control of the mix when it when the wet drives and turned all the way up it makes a lot of sense and the sad thing is to its for smart reason that the public companies do this but a lot of the presets don't all stay at one hundred percent mix with you know if I had my way and I was kid you know I succeed obama as the next president I would make a law day would that all presets have tohave hundred percent went on but that's probably not happening any time soon so um yeah I mean don't let the reverb companies trick you into thinking that that's the proper sound always all wet if it's not an ox one of the only rules you you have been mixing pretty much ever those river companies always trying to trick you it's true I mean, what do I want you to turn that's the allure dottie's right? I turned that wet dry dob toe left but don't do it. I saw all the waves guys entering a mason's lodge recently well during so I'm glad that you sort of mentioned the sort of ah ha moment about what dr not because that was a new one on me also that makes perfect sense so you feel less dumb? Yes it's just a little bit and that is what I hope everybody gets out of this class is that every segment I think that we're all gonna have one of those law ha moments that are going to add up into dramatically better mix is at the end of the class to do you have a question yeah I'm totally with grass on this one with that wet drying up I mean are there is scenarios where you actually need to use that what's right yes so if the wester ii should have emphasized that so if you put the reverb on an individual track instead of a knocks you want to use that what try to blend it and I do do that it's not like you know, one of my favorite tricks in the mix that we're going to also go over later is like so for example if I put a spring river about a guitar I often will want to put that at the top of my effects inserts so that that spring reverb sounds like it was tracked on the guitar and I blamed that in with any of the effects that come after that and that's one of the few times I'll put a reverb first instead of lasts because I wanted to sound like that guitar was actually tracked with a spring reverb on it so yeah the what drying up can be very useful if it's just flat on a truck but I will also say this that a lot of cheap re verbs will destroy the signal especially designs d verb if you're in an older version of it, the original d verb will just obliterate your tone if you put it on top of a track on a lot of them will do that so I will also yet again say this that ninety nine times out of one hundred river by the knox not on top of a truck in general that's a great bit of advice until you could experimented here the difference said know for sure that you're re verbs not destroying your signal the one last thing I wanted to give a tip on river but we didn't put in the outline that I remembered because this plug in is awesome is that yes compression on a reverb not totally necessary but at times could be really, really awesome for in effect especially if you're going for like if you're trying to get a reverb that is sounds like uh it's the band playing in the room like I know kurt in his class did some really cool stuff where he showed that he has some impulse responses of his own live room compression and distortion like there's a reason that this man gm reverb has both those knobs on it could go a long way in making the reverb sound a little bit more raw and like you're in the room and I would say this that when you're trying to get a good reverb that's a plate or a hall or a chamber or some weird space or maybe it's those aren't going to be needed ninety five times out of one hundred but if you're going for a really natural room reverb distortion and compression white we blended in the key I will also say it's mixed knob blended in with the distortion could go a long, long way in making them sound realistic I often what I'm trying to go for a bed in a room and I want to put a war room on the guitar I'll put it to capitated er blended in on that and get some distortion going because it really does help the sound of you know when you record a room naturally you're going to have microphones and usually they're going get compressed and compression distorts those microphones the room's air usually a raw sampled sound without that this helps dad to that real liveliness in a room so that could be another thing that really helps your river bs get not sound atrocious. Great well, we have another question about distortion that came in from north and recording who asked how often is distortion use besides in mass rain as in what instruments? Mainly oh well, I'm going to say this that that question will be answered very extensively, but uh let's look at this I'm looking at twelve trucks on this mix right now and it all but one of them has distortion on it um and I will say this though that all but one of them and the store shot and none of those distortions have very much on it. There sometimes a blend of, like two percent there. Really white distortion. But this also has to do with your tracking style. How hot are you running your mic? Parise how hot are the since sounds? You already get in your mix. I run my mic breeze extremely, extremely clean so I could distort later because I like the way that sounds. But that took years of experimentation. When I first started out, I drove my mike freeze to death. I still what I like I said before what I do garage rock recordings. I will often just drive the mike perry's, right? That in there because I want them to sound analog and raw and old school. But what I'm doing something like, you know, a pop punk mix. I'm getting very clean tones and then distorting them in the mix. But, yes, lots of the store should not compression. And I think we, like, get to decide that discussion and, like, two or three segments. Cool. Well, a couple more questions. We got about five minutes left here before breaking. Uh so this is actually really interesting question from threat lord jesse when the song and changes key by a semi tone for example would you pitch match the drums by a semi tone to follow the correct pitch? So this is ahh this is a fantastic question so a cattle found sunday should mike my co owner and engineer doesn't the drum tuning? And so we have songs that changed key all the time because we're just that epic we actually try to do is we try to find me notes that stay in the key even through the change because pitching the drums up on the key change might be a little weird now granted you could be the person that makes that work and that was a change and change everything like sure somebody's done it you know I've never heard it done but maybe this trip board is like he's going to be like that phil collins of the air tonight the first time everybody heard that trump sub before that our music that's that sub subs terrible all of a sudden fulfill made it work so fretboard I say you you go boy your girl, whoever you are you go for that but in general find notes that hit properly at the key basically we're usually just shooting stare and tops to the key so it's pretty easy since it's usually just three things and we have a nice little app called up trouble tutor I believe it's called just in the app store that we just hit over the drop and get it blinky and that's that scenarios who is lucas from brazil says what about using the same river for the entire mix? Like putting it at a bus and just controlling the sends at each track? Yes, it's all right to do that? Yes. So I actually will say this that usually I'm goingto have this reverb in tons of different what do you got? I would have tons of different things going to each reverb and yes, you can mix from the set and you actually should mix for the set. But the one thing is, do you want that return at zero where you're mixing so that all your said zahra around minus twenty? Or do you want them all around zero with your return at minus twenty that's the real difference? I hope that answers that question, but I think that's what he means by that but there's yes, most of my mixes there's three river bs I'm just choosing which each of them should goto you know, to be honest, usually most the time I have what that's just for guitars that I have one that's just for drugs and one that's just for vocals that's a lot of rock itself, but with dad's, I'm said, dig a snare drum hits, sometimes to the save you bogus hall, that I have a staccato sited. And he would the vocal sometimes for the big chant. Like, you know, some big gag vocal dance these days gives a humongous hall that's the same one that I'm putting the humongous, never bob and it all could work, work, it's. Just which way do you want to gauge stage your said's, which is one of the things we're gonna talk about.

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a Creativelive Student

I just want to say I have watched a lot of the tutorials on the creative live site, all dealing with audio. And I was so impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of Jesse. This guy walks the walk and talks the talk. Anyone who is an engineer or who wants to become and engineer this is a treasure chest of knowledge.I went to an audio school and we had seminars all the time. A workshop like this will really advance you. And I mean that from an engineers point of view but also that of a consumer because I watched the course for free and a couple of days later I bought the course. You may be thinking to yourself I just can't afford it. You can't afford not to invest in yourself and education. Creative live is a great site and a wealth of knowledge. Thank you very much to Jesse Cannon. Great workshop. You guys at creative live need to bring him back again.

a Creativelive Student

Excelent class! Suitable for all levels of mixers & musicians. Jesse is real pro, and knowledge what he gives cost much more than 149$! CrativeLive, please make recording & producing tutorial from Jesse, i'll praise you!

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