Mixing shootout: reverb question

I just completed the video for week 7 of the mixing foundations course and it instructs us to add reverb as we go through the mix. A reverb was added to the kick and the aux channel labeled “kick verb” implying more instruments would get their own reverb.

There are 48 tracks in this arrangement. Will I be setting up 48 reverb send aux channels for these? Or there should be some “sharing” of reverb aux sends across perhaps instrument types that are similar.

Also, should there also be one overall reverb applied to all instrument channels like a shared room sound?

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Reverb as with many processes are ‘to taste’, but typically you might set up say 3 ‘sizes’ of reverb for all the other instruments and then choose how much for each instrument by altering the send level from that instrument to the desired reverb ‘size’. By size, I am also meaning ‘flavour’, ‘colour’ or whatever you might call it.

A common method is also to choose the ‘space’ that you are designing for your mix before you start and get all instruments to fit into that space correctly, so more reverb puts things at the back, less reverb puts at the front. This might mean ‘bigger’ reverb and/or ‘send’.

Hope that helps. I think reverb is covered in one of the earlier MF videos. It would be worth running back though it. I find that even after the ‘lesson’, just going back through the videos helps. And I make loads of written notes. Writing things down helps to cement the learning.

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I’ve seen you in the videos! Cheers mate. That definitely helps. Was worried I had to set up 50 channels of reverb and had no clue how my computer was going to handle that!

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a quick follow up in the same vein. did you run out of DSP setting up the channels with all the plugins? I’m guessing you need to start bouncing some of this in place or your computer just ends up grinding to a halt no?

Hi Mike,

I’m also in mixing foundations so forgive me if what I say isn’t entirely accurate. From my own experience, I definitely run out of dsp especially when running decapitator and virtual tape machines on a lot of tracks. So yes bouncing/freezing is really helpful. I do it a lot in Logic Pro. Another thing that helps a lot and that Danny talks about is going into your DAW preferences and increase the buffer size. I have mine on 1028 any time I’m not recording.

I have a question too about this topic.

If I am mixing an orchestral piece, how do I get the whole orchestra to sound like it’s in the same concert hall? Use the same reverb on all instruments? But then what about depth and near and far?

I’ve also been saturating my reverbs with decapitator and that sounds cool. Thanks guys! Elton thanks for explaining so well!

Hey guys, DSP will always (for the foreseeable) be an issue at some point. So, you are always balancing between ultra efficient Plugin choices vs best sound (never a good start!) or bouncing/freezing. I find slate to be very good on sound and on DSP and it is the MMWA weapon of choice too for individual channel console and musical eq and compression. Fabfilter proC2 and ProQ don’t seem bad on DSP either for technical eq and compression. Also on the MMWA recommended list. This isn’t without good reason. I think ProL may not be as good in DSP but need to test that more. I am using all the fabfilter with lookagead and 4x oversampling where available.

Even if you keep throwing money at faster and faster CPU’s and RAM there is often other issues that mean these new ‘speeds and cores’ are not used fully, so I won’t open that can of worms up. Google this and you will find lots of checks and tweaks so that you at least know you have the maximum ‘realtime’ DSP at your disposal to begin.

So, then it will come down to workflow. Before I started the course, I wanted to keep all my VST synths running from their instrument channel. This means the same DSP that I want for processing the channel is already being hogged by the synths that need to turn the ‘midi’ input into the ‘audio’ output for the channel. By committing the tracks to audio (bounce in place), even if keeping the midi and disabling the original midi track, you will release more of that valuable DSP for the job in hand. Hope that bit makes sense? The point of keeping the midi/instrument track is just in case you do want to go back!!

As for the orchestra, I am not onto advanced reverb yet(!) but if you have a larger ‘space’ say large hall and put a lot of the level on the send from you instrument, it will be distant. If you had a small space ‘plate’ or ‘small hall’, and sent less level of send, that would be closer. So using the suggested 3 ‘sizes’ of space and blending the level of sends according to your predefined place for the specific instrument will keep them in the same ‘environment’ and create the various ‘distance’ that you need. Again hope it helps and definitely go back over the course material as it is dynamite. Oh, and this won’t kill the DSP as much as you think. Again, it is often everything else you are asking the system to do and then this just becomes the final straw…

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Hey Mike!

Great questions. I definitely would shy away from having 48 reverb aux channels, but rather go along with your following statement of “sharing” reverb aux sends across various instruments/sounds. For example as a starting point set up 4 separate aux channels. A Room, a designated Snare reverb (usually a Plate), a Hall, and a designated Vocal reverb (also usually a Plate style). Room goes to everything in various amounts to taste (or almost everything), Snare reverb to Snare obviously, Hall typically on just a select few elements as to not clutter/muddy up the mix, and Vocal reverb to Vocals obviously. To answer your last question, yes, a shared room reverb is a good idea! Some would say its not necessary and I suppose it isn’t, but personally I do tend to have a designated Room Reverb aux which gets sent to almost every element if not all elements to some degree of taste within my mixes. Sometimes even just the tiniest little bit can bring something meaningful to the table. I picked up that approach from Danny’s instruction when I was studying under him back in the ol’ Dubspot days, haha, and its an approach that works extremely well and consistently. Hope this helps! :grinning:

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