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View Full Version : Could use some opinions on reverbs...


cerendir
08-18-2010, 01:26 PM
Long story short, I started working on some orchestral music for a new open source game a few months ago. I now have a few tracks ready to be included in the next release of the game, but I need to make up my mind about which reverb to use, as I'm going for a uniform sound. I've been trying different reverb plugs and IR's until my ears bleed, and I've managed to narrow the selection down to three candidates. I have really no idea which one of these I prefer and it would be interesting to get some input from people who, unlike me, haven't listened to my music ad nauseam. :)

Below are three versions of the same piece rendered with three different reverbs. To keep familiarity bias out of the equation I'm not going to reveal exactly which reverbs these are just yet. Let me just say that one of them is a convo verb and the other two are algorithmic. I was going to write some opinions on each one, but thought better of it. Perhaps it's best to let the examples speak for themselves.

The piece itself is a work in progress, so pay no mind to the sloppiness. It's just a good candidate for auditioning reverbs as it has plenty of staccato parts.

Example 1 (http://www.box.net/shared/tjlir1c2kd)

Example 2 (http://www.box.net/shared/6xzkpm1jjt)

Example 3 (http://www.box.net/shared/iu5kt1ja5h)


All thoughts are welcome!

scottedog
08-18-2010, 02:49 PM
#3 all the way for me personally. FWIW ;) Likely the length of the tail lets it sit better. Have you tried changing the length in the others to match?

btw as a side note, I notice in your sig that you use a 1TB Green WD drive...not great for audio as the will spin at 5400rpm and as needed speed up to 7200rpm. Blacks are the way to go.

Cool piece too. :)

cerendir
08-19-2010, 01:23 AM
#3 all the way for me personally. FWIW ;)

Actually, #3 is the reverb I've been using all along when working on these tunes. But as always, when the time comes to make a final desicion I start questioning my judgment. And it *is* good, but I find it a little too static. Unsurprisningly, this is the convo verb.

Likely the length of the tail lets it sit better. Have you tried changing the length in the others to match?

Interestingly enough #3 has the longest tail of all three examples. I'm guessing it has a different curve so that it drops down to a lower level faster than the other two, who are more linear. And yes, I have tried adjusting the tails on #1 and #2 but finding the sweet spot between clarity and lushness is hard. I need a reverb that works equally well on both slow and fast passages.

btw as a side note, I notice in your sig that you use a 1TB Green WD drive...not great for audio as the will spin at 5400rpm and as needed speed up to 7200rpm. Blacks are the way to go.

Yeah, I know. A Green wouldn't have been my first choice either, but the disk was a gift and when my primary drive died earlier this year I had to choose between using just the Green or having no drive at all. But TBH I haven't noticed any major problems with it as I rarely do any audio-heavy projects. I get some occasional DFD glitches when a newly opened project is played back for the first time, but once everything's cached it works fine.

Cool piece too. :)

Thanks!

Mudcat
08-19-2010, 08:15 AM
My preferences in order: 3, 1, 2.

Fran Guidry
08-19-2010, 11:46 AM
...
I need a reverb that works equally well on both slow and fast passages....

Hmmmmmmmm, is this really true?? Would it make sense to bus out to two different verbs and use automation to fade between them as needed?

Fran

moio
08-19-2010, 11:48 PM
Actually, #3 is the reverb I've been using all along when working on these tunes. But as always, when the time comes to make a final desicion I start questioning my judgment. And it *is* good, but I find it a little too static. Unsurprisningly, this is the convo verb.



Interestingly enough #3 has the longest tail of all three examples. I'm guessing it has a different curve so that it drops down to a lower level faster than the other two, who are more linear. And yes, I have tried adjusting the tails on #1 and #2 but finding the sweet spot between clarity and lushness is hard. I need a reverb that works equally well on both slow and fast passages.



Yeah, I know. A Green wouldn't have been my first choice either, but the disk was a gift and when my primary drive died earlier this year I had to choose between using just the Green or having no drive at all. But TBH I haven't noticed any major problems with it as I rarely do any audio-heavy projects. I get some occasional DFD glitches when a newly opened project is played back for the first time, but once everything's cached it works fine.



Thanks!


funny, to my ears #2 has the longest and most realistic decay. nice piece anyway!

carbon
08-20-2010, 03:35 AM
funny, to my ears #2 has the longest and most realistic decay. nice piece anyway!

Hehe! I agree.

kindafishy
08-20-2010, 05:33 AM
My preference is 2, 1, 3. I'm listening to the overall ambiance created for the piece by the reverb. Number 2 sound very natural and maintains the dramatic punch of all the instruments better than the other two.

In 3, I noticed the reverb is getting really obvious, so it is losing it's faculty to create a subtle character for the song and becoming an audible effect instead. I'm not equating 'obvious' with 'bad' though. It's good. It just depends what you want the reverb to do with/for the piece.

They all sound good to be honest. I like reverb equally when it is lightly misting or fully drenching a piece. It is tough to make a decision sometimes because you get equally good results from different approaches. There is no right or wrong, really. Figure out what impact you want the piece to have and that should help you decide.

This is a very memorable and well written little piece by the way. The theme/hook is great.

Smurf
08-20-2010, 06:19 AM
3, 1, 2 here. #3 sounds more "majestic" to me, where 2 sounds "synthetic"....

cerendir
08-20-2010, 06:53 AM
Hmmmmmmmm, is this really true?? Would it make sense to bus out to two different verbs and use automation to fade between them as needed?

Well, realism issues aside, this sounds like a lot more work than just dialling in something that works for everything. Consider that some sections may be playing staccato while others play sustained notes, some instruments switch between the two mid-phrase, so this automation could not be applied globally.

Anyway, thanks for all your comments. These are the plugs I used, plus my own views on them:

#1: epicVerb. Nice diffusion and smoothness, but far too narrow stereo image. Also a bit flat in terms of z-depth. Sounds more like an applied effect than a hall to me.

#2: TC Electronic M30. Good stereo spread, clarity and shimmer, but very thin and artificial-sounding (and maybe a bit tinny in the highs).

#3: YT Origami w/ M7 Brass Hall IR. Excellent roominess and density, very realistic, but the tail sounds dead (clearly audible on the glocken).

Out of these three, I think I like #3 best. Yes, the M30 is nice but I want something more... well, meaty. I need to do something about the deadness of the M7 IR though, if I'm going to use it. Unfortunately Origami doesn't do modulation. High time to purchase Reverberate, I think.

Funny though that the epicVerb version didn't get more love, considering its reputation. OTOH maybe I'm just bad at setting it up :)

I'm glad you guys like the piece btw, I'll make sure to post the finished version!

scottedog
08-20-2010, 08:04 AM
+1 for Reverberate.

Looking fwd to the finished version.

cerendir
08-20-2010, 09:35 AM
+1 for Reverberate.

Just received my license. Now let's see what this baby can do.

cerendir
08-21-2010, 06:17 AM
Wow, I think I might have found the sound I'm looking for.

Reverberate + M7 Worcester Hall (http://www.box.net/shared/63frj1zjp4)

I may need to back the verb down just a bit and tweak the modulation, but this is close. Works great on slower pieces (http://www.box.net/shared/l0jgx8fmcy) as well.

kindafishy
08-21-2010, 06:41 AM
Sounds really good. This is music that I can picture Tim Burton using in one of his films. You should send some samples to his production company.

Kainz
08-21-2010, 08:17 AM
Still somwehat flat and unresponsive transient response (but thats just something you have to accept when working with IRs) but otherwise nice and warm sounding verb.

Oh and I agree with your opinions on epicverb, IMO it just simply doesn't work at all as a reverb. Maby as a some sort fo clearly audible "effect reverb" but as a something wich would place things into spaces and create depth and glue.. doesn't work here at all.

flatpickle
08-21-2010, 02:43 PM
I thought they all sounded pretty decent, but the last one (Worcester Hall) sounds extra nice. The composition and instruments also sound very good. Are these samples, or recordings?

karbomusic
08-21-2010, 02:54 PM
Hehe! I agree.

I'm leaning in that direction as well for #2. Its not that I care about the tail as much as I care about the reverb sitting. It seems to sit well, makes the adventure slighty larger yet not like its in a cave.

Karbo

cerendir
08-21-2010, 04:26 PM
Sounds really good. This is music that I can picture Tim Burton using in one of his films. You should send some samples to his production company.

That is no small compliment. Thank you. But even though I hope to do some commercial work in the future, I still have a long, long way to go. Guys like that would probably just laugh at me.

Oh and I agree with your opinions on epicverb, IMO it just simply doesn't work at all as a reverb. Maby as a some sort fo clearly audible "effect reverb" but as a something wich would place things into spaces and create depth and glue.. doesn't work here at all.

You know... you're right. I've held epicVerb in high regard for a long time, but when I think about it I've never actually used it a lot. I always end up picking something else. I like its lushness and density but most often it's too much, and without a diffusion parameter it's impossible to make it more subtle. It's also annoyingly narrow-sounding despite it being a true stereo verb. With some added functionality I think it could be a truly great and versatile reverb, but right now it doesn't really work for my needs.

Are these samples, or recordings?

Samples, all of it.

moio
08-24-2010, 04:39 AM
Still somwehat flat and unresponsive transient response (but thats just something you have to accept when working with IRs) but otherwise nice and warm sounding verb.

Oh and I agree with your opinions on epicverb, IMO it just simply doesn't work at all as a reverb. Maby as a some sort fo clearly audible "effect reverb" but as a something wich would place things into spaces and create depth and glue.. doesn't work here at all.

same here. never got it to sound right.
I prefer bootsys eqs.