What is a reverb?
If you have used a DAW before, you have probably heard of reverb as well. While it may seem like a simple sound effect, it has a huge impact on electronic music.
I believe that reverb and delay are the most commonly used effects in music production. However, you cannot simply add them, you need to know how to use them properly.
Let me provide a brief introduction and definition of reverb (note: which is not the same thing as echo). Reverb is the reflection of sound.
When a sound is emitted from a point, it bounces off walls and any other objects in its path and is sent back. Usually, solid objects reflect sound.
When recording in a studio, precautions are taken to avoid reverb. Most studios have materials that absorb reverb.
When recording vocals, it is best to avoid reverb. The reverb and delay effects should be added only after the voice has been recorded.
This is because if you record a voice with a reverb, you can remove it later, but it requires more work and editing, rather than having a clean recording and adding delay or reverb only as needed.
Why do we use the reverb effect?
There is a reason behind any effect used, most of which is to transform the sound in some way.
Sometimes it is simply easier to make the sound more interesting by using effects.
Reverb is used so much because it gives a certain warmth to the mix
Without reverb, a melodic line can feel empty, and that emptiness will never be able to transmit emotion.
Adding a little reverb changes everything. The reverb sweetens the sound, like a secret ingredient in sweets.
The delay effect fills the space between musical notes.
If you have a creation in which the notes are far apart and you do not add any reverb, it will sound cold.
In this case, it is recommended to use a little reverb.
This gives a nice feeling and a more satisfying result.
There are various techniques for using reverb. Some producers tend to put more reverb on sounds with transients.
*Note: In music mixing, a transient is a brief period of time in which the signal level grows rapidly at the beginning of a sound shape, like the sound of a piano. It is also known as an “attack point” and it is an important part of an instrument’s sound. It is usually used in order to make an instrument stand out.
When you add reverb to a compressed sound (one that does not have transients), you overload it.
Sounds with transients have some space between them and we use the reverb to fill that space.
The role of reverb is to fill the space between notes, giving a special atmosphere.
Depending on the context in which it is being used, a dry sound may be less likely to impress the listener.
Usually, on the mixer channel, this effect is sent separately.
In FL Studio, sends are used so that reverb is not on the same channel as the dry sound.
*Note: The dry sound is the original sound that has no reverb added to it yet. The reverb is separated from the original sound so that the original version can be further improved before adding the effect on it.
Another possibility is to record the sound with the reverb effect, export it as a wave, and then import it back.
This way, you have complete control over it with settings such as panning, volume, etc. The reverb should not be on the same channel as the dry sound.
Despite it looking like a simple sound effect, reverb has many uses.
There are many techniques and ways of using reverb, some of which I have listed here.
I will describe some more in a future article. Reverb effects have a lot of parameters, depending on the VST you are using.
You can control the filters, decay and use more or less reverb. Also, each VST has a balance between wet and dry.
I recommend using more complex VSTs for the sounds you are simulating.
Although they may have a relatively large number of parameters, they give you more possibilities and access to more techniques.
In the next article, I will describe in more detail how to use these techniques.
Until then, please leave a comment below and let me know what else you would like to know about reverb.
What techniques do you prefer to use when applying reverb?