Old 11-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
sjs94704
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Default I need help with Reverb

I am a singer and am recording 'Amazing Grace' for my sister who's husband died SUN (11-14-2017).
The version of the song is by Chris Tomlin.

All I have is the music on track 1 and my vocal on track 2.

I purposely sang the song very soft and gentle.

I've been watching the Kenny Gioia video:

Using Reverb in REAPER (ReaVerb) Part II - Vocals:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxD_RvRULok&t=259s

At about 1:10 into the video he is talking about choosing a BIGGER sound.

All I want to do here is using the same method, my goal is to find one (or more)of those 'Files' that can help give me a more intimate warm and soothing sound to my vocal track, but to not be a totally 'Dry' sounding vocal.

Because I am not sure what words I should use to express what I'm looking for I can only say I am after a rich as well as 'full' sound on my vocal track. I hope I said that right ??!!??
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:53 AM   #2
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Tip: try a simple delay on your track. left 19+ms, right 24+ms. 33% wetdry. Use JS:LOSER/TimeDelayer for this.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
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Hello.

Well, it does depend on the song, genre, other sound of the other instruments (e.g. the reverb on them), etc., but I do it, mostly, like this:

1) I add some delay using ReaDelay with the following settings (note - try my setting and then modify them to fit your situation):



2) I add reverb (normally on another track called REVERB_Buss - I route the vocals to this track (and other instruments too), then blend this reverb buss track in the mix):

Note1: With ReaVerb you need to ADD an impulse file by clicking and adding one located somewhere on your harddrive. Here is a link for some rather good reverb impulse files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dw24c3r031...it%29.zip?dl=0

Note2: Unzip this file and put the folder somewhere you'll remember. When you load a file in ReaVerb you can try the one I use for vocals = 106 VocalRoom.wav. I like it when I need something smooth and subtle. You can experiment with other impulses.

Note3: You'll notice how the DRY slider is all the way down. This is because I have the reverb on a separate track (reverb buss). If you set up Reaverb on the vocal track keep the dry normal and adjust the WET slider to something good.



3) I normally EQ the reverb like this:

Note1: This will NOT work if you put Reaverb on the vocal track; it will affect the vocals. This is why I normally put reverb on a separate ReverbBuss track... Right?
Note2: You can add some predelay to the reverb; it will make the vocals more 'upfront', but because you have that Delay setting, which should be the main effect here, you don't need so much reverb, if any at all. I use little bit to glue things and make the song a bit less dry (i.e. in real life you are always in a room with some reflections).



I hope this help?

Let me know if you need clarifications. Ohhh I didn't talk about vocal compression, but this is another beast of its own. LOL

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Old 11-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Thank You for your detailed replies. and follow up question

I am truly grateful and will set things up as you have suggested and reply again with how it sounds.

FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

In one of the many videos I have been watching on YouTube, I think one guy said to try listening to my mix on several different devices. Basically, I think he said that if I can get my mix to sound good on the crappiest device I have that by doing that, that it will most likely sound even better on my good speakers!

Is this sound advice? I do have all the different pairs of speakers I have ever owned from the crappiest pair, then I have one with 2 speakers and a sub-woofer as well as a really nice set of speakers.

I am currently mixing on the really crappy ones. Good Idea?
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
I am truly grateful and will set things up as you have suggested and reply again with how it sounds.

FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

In one of the many videos I have been watching on YouTube, I think one guy said to try listening to my mix on several different devices. Basically, I think he said that if I can get my mix to sound good on the crappiest device I have that by doing that, that it will most likely sound even better on my good speakers!

Is this sound advice? I do have all the different pairs of speakers I have ever owned from the crappiest pair, then I have one with 2 speakers and a sub-woofer as well as a really nice set of speakers.

I am currently mixing on the really crappy ones. Good Idea?
From "Your Mix Sucks" by Marc Mozart

50% time on 'mom's kitchen radio' (i.e. crappy but not too crappy, think DAB)
40% midfields
10% full range

Well, that's one theory...

Personally, I mix on my nearfields (KRK R6's) almost all of the time and then playback on various reference speakers (hi-fi, headphones, high-end computer speakers, earbuds, etc). After several years I (think I) know my KRK's really well, but I still reference against other tracks while I'm mixing to keep me in the ballpark, and it works for me.

If you know your main speakers well, then I'd use them most of the time. If you don't know your speakers well, then I'd suggest putting together some reference tracks of different genres and listen to them on your main monitors. Pick one or two that are in the genre of the music you're mixing, and compare them to your own - how do they sound?

Cheers
R
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post

I am currently mixing on the really crappy ones. Good Idea?
Not a good idea.

Yes your mix must sound good on every type of speakers. But mix with the best, and, preferably always listen to music with the best you got. You have to get your ear habituated to hearing good professional songs with this device, so that when you mix your stuff you will have a reference.

You can't do better than what you got, unless you get lucky, but that will be hard to recreate unless someone with better gear tells you when your mix was good in his/her system. Does that make sense?

From one non-pro with cheap gear to another:

1) Always mix with the best thing you have, that way you can actually hear what you are doing, relatively speaking. If possible mix with the best speakers AND the best headphones (both things you normally listen music with).

2) Try using some visual tool like Voxengo Span: http://www.voxengo.com/group/free-vst-plugin-download/ What you can do is look at the frequency spectrum of your song VS other songs in the same genre, and adjust your to match. Spend a few hours just looking at different songs, just for fun and to get an eye for what pros are doing.

3) Once you have a rendered a mix, take it on a joy ride and listen to it in your car, Ipod earbuds, laptop speaker, etc. Take notes and then come back to the DAW and try modifying the mix to get it to sound better, everywhere. THIS WILL NOT BE EASY! It will taking some trial and error; it may also require actually knowing a bit about the profession/art of mastering...

4)Ask other to listen to your mix with their system. Try to find people that actually have good calibrated monitors. If they tell you that the mix has too much bass, and assuming it's not a question of sonic preference, then you need to figure out how you will approach mixing songs with your bass-bias setup.

5) Alway cover the basics, even if you can't hear them. WHat? Yep, for example, even if you can't hear the very low end, cut it out using a high pass filter. It's better to cut that out then try to randomly get a fat bottom, you know like how rap music gets with subwoofer? Just don't even try to go there; cut your losses and live with them. There shall be no astonishing fat low end in your music productions. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

6) Since we have ElCheap gear and can't get the super sonic pro sounding song, best we focus on writing a very good song. Even to this day I'll listen to a good John Lee Hooker song, which was record with very primitive gear in MONO, with one microphone and plenty of background noise, and I'm thinking: "what a great song with a great tone". I don't think a Lady Gaga song would cut it in that primitive recording and audio sound... Nowadays there are plenty of crappy songs that sound really really good, sonically speaking. It's like a 'shit pill in sugar coating'... Go back to your song on work on it, especially now that you're in a powerful DAW n-multi-track context; you may need to learn how to arrange your songs differently. For example, if you normally play and sing guitar and wrote a song that way, perhaps now is the time to change it up, and rather than add a bass guitar to what you wrote you may want to try only play the small strings on the guitar (something you would never do playing by the camp fire) and then let the bass play to low frequency root notes. See where I'm going with this?

7) Experiment. Sometime a very cheap microphone with a very cheap guitar can sound descent IF the microphone is placed at just the distance and angle (a location nowhere near what the pros are doing). This is because they don't have our cheap gear. Hmmm... Let me tell you that I really struggle with accepting to record a cheap acoustic guitar sound. For some reason I feel like I need to squeeze that lemon really hard to get the last drop of sound that I can. I'm still experimenting - I went from nasty to average -

Anyway, it takes time and effort. I wish it was easier, but getting a descent sound with cheap gear is a real challenge. I learned a while ago to become satisfied with getting an "average" sound, something that will play OK on cheap systems, but will not be so good on good speakers. I don't have good speakers, so I can't aim for anything tangible. Sometimes I luck out and I'm pleased when I listen to my mix in my friends studio.

Have fun. But don't mix with the cheap ear buds.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:40 PM   #7
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Intimate vocal with big, soft, reverb? This is pure GOLD:-

George Massenburg posted this from Gary Paczosa elsewhere. Paczosa mixed Alison Krauss & Union Station's "New Favorite" album. Grammy, tea & crumpets, all round.

The bottom line is that she has an amazing voice, and she can make any reverb sound good. On Alison's vocal, as with most of the other instruments on that record, I used the TC 6000. I turn off all the early reflections, all the pre delay, all the time. I roll the top end off some where between 2K and 4K about 6-8db, this way I can get away with a lot more tail length. The lack of any early reflections and pre delay, seems to give the perception that there is less verb than there actually is, and the darker verb lets me place the vocal closer to the listener.

Easily heard on the vox on the title track as it's so sparce:-




It's the top end of big reverbs[3.0 secs-ish] that can be troublesome. Actually all verbs. Plus add another verb and all bets are off. One is often best. "Thriller", biggest album evah, used one.

ns
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:16 PM   #8
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Default Once Again, Thank You for your detailed replies. and follow up question

Thanks again to all who have contributed! I am so grateful!

Hey, RDBOIS:

I read your detailed instructions and examples of pictures of settings etc.

Me being the new kid on the block (No pun intended!) I want to properly interpret your examples and I am looking for some clarity.

To the point, all I want to be sure of is that I get the FX on the correct tracks. When I look at your examples it is not entirely clear.

Here are the tracks I have right now. I saved this as a template and use it regardless of how many of the Vox tracks I use:

I am singing to 'High Quality' pre-recorded karaoke music that actually sounds like a real band or orchestra vs. that crappy music there was when karaoke first started. With this you would never know it is actually karaoke music if I didn't tell you!

1: Music - Pre-Recorded 'High Quality' karaoke music as decribed above
2: Vox BUSS
3: Vox 1: Dry Vocal
4: Vox 2: Dry Vocal - reserved in case I want to do something special
5: Vox 3: Dry Vocal - reserved in case I want to do something special
6: Slap BUSS (What you are calling Reverb BUSS)

NOTE: This is a template I set up just in case I want a vocal harmony or need some other vocal FX, but, most of the time I only use Track 1.

At this point I can follow your examples with pictures etc., but based on my tracks as listed above, can you please just confirm which FX (and in which order they go!) belong on which track?

Thank You!
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
Thanks again to all who have contributed! I am so grateful!

Hey, RDBOIS:

I read your detailed instructions and examples of pictures of settings etc.

Me being the new kid on the block (No pun intended!) I want to properly interpret your examples and I am looking for some clarity.

To the point, all I want to be sure of is that I get the FX on the correct tracks. When I look at your examples it is not entirely clear.

Here are the tracks I have right now. I saved this as a template and use it regardless of how many of the Vox tracks I use:

I am singing to 'High Quality' pre-recorded karaoke music that actually sounds like a real band or orchestra vs. that crappy music there was when karaoke first started. With this you would never know it is actually karaoke music if I didn't tell you!

1: Music - Pre-Recorded 'High Quality' karaoke music as decribed above
2: Vox BUSS
3: Vox 1: Dry Vocal
4: Vox 2: Dry Vocal - reserved in case I want to do something special
5: Vox 3: Dry Vocal - reserved in case I want to do something special
6: Slap BUSS (What you are calling Reverb BUSS)

NOTE: This is a template I set up just in case I want a vocal harmony or need some other vocal FX, but, most of the time I only use Track 1.

At this point I can follow your examples with pictures etc., but based on my tracks as listed above, can you please just confirm which FX (and in which order they go!) belong on which track?

Thank You!
Not sure what your Vox bus is for? Summing up different vocal parts?

My example is more like this:

1. music
2. main vocal - with fx (eq, compression, slap delay = both wet and dry)
3. duplicate of main vocal (for the repeating delayed vox effect) - fx is delay wet only, with delay volume envelop showcasing parts you need sound
4. reverb buss (receiving the main vocal track) - with reverb wet only
5. master buss - receiving music, main vocal, duplicate vox, and reverb buss.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Not sure what your Vox bus is for? Summing up different vocal parts?

My example is more like this:

1. music
2. main vocal - with fx (eq, compression, slap delay = both wet and dry)
3. duplicate of main vocal (for the repeating delayed vox effect) - fx is delay wet only, with delay volume envelop showcasing parts you need sound
4. reverb buss (receiving the main vocal track) - with reverb wet only
5. master buss - receiving music, main vocal, duplicate vox, and reverb buss.
Please clarify that in your example you have a MASTER BUSS on your track 5. Is this separate from the MASTER track that is inherent with each project already, or is it indeed a separate MASTER BUSS all together?

Correct me if I am wrong, BUT, is it or is it not true that the track that holds the actual vocal needs to always be dry and is simply sent to other tracks that are used to apply the various FX?

With this in mind, I see that in your example, track 2 appears to have the FX applied directly to it! I thought I heard in yet one other video on YouTube that if I do that, that it directly changes the actual vocal track itself vs. applying FX on a separate track.

Did I hear that right?
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
Please clarify that in your example you have a MASTER BUSS on your track 5. Is this separate from the MASTER track that is inherent with each project already, or is it indeed a separate MASTER BUSS all together?

Correct me if I am wrong, BUT, is it or is it not true that the track that holds the actual vocal needs to always be dry and is simply sent to other tracks that are used to apply the various FX?

With this in mind, I see that in your example, track 2 appears to have the FX applied directly to it! I thought I heard in yet one other video on YouTube that if I do that, that it directly changes the actual vocal track itself vs. applying FX on a separate track.

Did I hear that right?
Sorry about that, I send everything to the Master Buss. Nevermind track 5; I really meant the MasterBuss (which is not really no.1, but a separate track of its own --- the number here are illustrative only, the order or significance doesn't matter)

Having said that, I should say that I actually do send everything to a track that I call "PreMix", which serves as a premaster. I send this Premix to the Master, and only this. You really don't need to do this... I only do this so that once I the Master receives my song it is 100% mixed. All the final plugins that the mix needs are on the Premix. This is psychological thing; I like to see NOTHING on the Master track, so that if I should decide to pretend to be a Mastering Engineer I can add mastering plugins on the Master track; Then I can turn them all instantly and hear the difference. It purely esthetics and psychological.

No it is not true. A vocal track can have a chain of FXs and it won't change the original signal. I ALWAYS have FXs on my vocal tracks, just not always the reverb and some delays that are used as ear candy for special reasons.

You can add all the FX on a separate track if you want. It's up to you. But the screen can get full, real fast, in big projects and this may slow you down as you search for which track is doing what. No need for that, just put the plugins on the vocal track, in the order you need them to affect the signal.

I hope this helps?
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:00 PM   #12
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A big part of the differences in reverb is the bandwidth of the frequency content.

Real quick tutorial:
Pull up any reverb.
Put a ReaEQ after it. Dial up both a high pass and a low pass.
Send the source to the reverb.
Solo the reverb track to hear just that.
Adjust those high and low pass filters back and forth to limit the reverb band and listen to the effect.

See how that works?

Now start with a reverb that is close to the reverberate sound element you are looking for and then dial it into perspective with the eq.

Moving forward, you can both pre and post eq the reverb. You can compress the reverb output. You can distort the reverb output. You can delay the reverb output (put a ReaDelay on the track with it). Try all that.

Finding the perfect reverb is more about framing the perspective in the mix than some holy grail reverb plugin. ReaVerb with the free convolution IR's out there will go a long way.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightscope View Post
Intimate vocal with big, soft, reverb? This is pure GOLD:-

George Massenburg posted this from Gary Paczosa elsewhere. Paczosa mixed Alison Krauss & Union Station's "New Favorite" album. Grammy, tea & crumpets, all round.

The bottom line is that she has an amazing voice, and she can make any reverb sound good. On Alison's vocal, as with most of the other instruments on that record, I used the TC 6000. I turn off all the early reflections, all the pre delay, all the time. I roll the top end off some where between 2K and 4K about 6-8db, this way I can get away with a lot more tail length. The lack of any early reflections and pre delay, seems to give the perception that there is less verb than there actually is, and the darker verb lets me place the vocal closer to the listener.

Easily heard on the vox on the title track as it's so sparce:-




It's the top end of big reverbs[3.0 secs-ish] that can be troublesome. Actually all verbs. Plus add another verb and all bets are off. One is often best. "Thriller", biggest album evah, used one.

ns
Man, thanks for sharing that with us.... that just sounds so amazing... and... What a voice, what a charisma, what a woman...wow... One of my biggest wishes to see her and hear live someday somewhere..

Angel's voice she has...

that alltogether is indeed pure Gold...

I try that on my next ballad

Do you know what Preset / What Reverb he uses? ("I used the TC 6000"...but which?)

Last edited by skippertag; 11-15-2017 at 02:17 PM.
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