Reverb effect in mixing - full guide

Have you ever been listening to a song and felt as though you were in another place? That is how reverb works magic! Reverb is a sound effect that mimics the echo and decay of sound waves as they naturally reverberate off of objects in a room or space. It’s a crucial component in the music production process that adds depth and space.

Today, we’ll look at the science of reverb, the various kinds of reverb, and effective mixing techniques. Understanding reverb can help you advance your mixes, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. So let’s get started!

How reverb works

After gaining a foundational understanding of reverb, let’s dig deeper into the mechanism of this wonderful effect.

Reverb occurs when sound waves bounce off objects in a room or space nearby, creating a distinct sound. We provided the example of listening to someone singing or speaking in a concert hall, where you can hear their voice resonating off the floor, ceiling, and walls. These reflections add depth and space to the sound.

In terms of music production, we can replicate this sound utilizing plug-ins or hardware devices that give our tracks various sorts of reverb. We may produce a variety of reverb sounds by adjusting settings like decay duration, pre-delay, diffusion, and more.

For example, decay time refers to how long the reverb lasts after the sound source has finished playing. Pre-delay, on the other hand, is the time between the original sound and the start of the reverb. The term “diffusion” describes how much the individual reverberant reflections of a sound blend or disperse.

We can create several sorts of reverb, from a delicate room sound to a gigantic concert hall effect, by tinkering with these parameters and others. We’ll delve into the many varieties of reverb and how to employ them to produce standout tunes in the following part.

4 Reverb types

Alright, let’s get into the meaty part of this guide – the different types of reverb! Every kind has its own sound and set of qualities that can make or ruin a track. So let’s get started!

Hall reverb

First up, we’ve got hall reverb. As the name suggests, hall reverb is modeled after the acoustics of a concert hall. It’s a big, lush sound that adds depth and a sense of grandeur to your tracks. Think Adele’s “Someone Like You” or Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” – that big, epic sound is all thanks to hall reverb.

Plate reverb

Next, we’ve got plate reverb. Plate reverb was originally created by recording sound onto a metal plate and then playing it back while capturing the reflections. These days, it’s all done digitally or with hardware units. Plate reverb has a more controlled sound than hall reverb, and is great for adding a touch of ambiance without overpowering the mix.

room reverb

Then there’s the studio reverb, also called room reverb, which is modeled after the acoustics of a small or medium-sized room. Room reverb has a more intimate feel than hall reverb, and is perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere. It works particularly well on vocals and acoustic guitars.

Chamber reverb

is the fourth type. Chamber reverb is similar to plate reverb in that it’s a controlled sound, but it has a unique character all its own. It’s often used on drums, guitars, and keys to add a touch of sparkle and liveliness.

Now that you know about the different types of reverb, you might be wondering when to use each one. Well, it depends on the track and the effect you’re going for. For example, if you want a huge sound, go for a hall reverb. If you want something more subtle, try plate or room reverb. And if you want to add some character, experiment with chamber reverb.

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Using reverb in mixing

reverb effect

Now that you are aware of the various varieties of reverb, let’s discuss its function in mixing. Reverb may give your music depth, space, and character, but it’s crucial to utilize it sparingly and avoid common pitfalls.

we use reverb to give our mix depth. You may give a track a sense of depth and the appearance of space by adding a light reverb. A guitar, for instance, can sound like it was recorded in a real environment rather than just being a dry recording by adding a little room reverb to it.

Another application of reverb is to provide a sense of space. You may make a recording sound like it was recorded in a larger space than it was by adding reverb and altering the decay duration. When used for vocals or percussion, where a longer decay period can produce a large, ambient sound, this can be extremely effective.

Maintain balance with reverb


It’s also important to use reverbs in moderation. Too much reverb can muddy up your mix and make it sound washed out. Instead, try using different types of reverb on different tracks to create separation and clarity in your mix.

The first mistake I know is not paying attention to the pre-delay when using reverb. Pre-delay is the interval of time between the end of the dry signal and the start of the reverb. You can add a sense of space and separation between the dry signal and the reverb by adjusting the pre-delay. Longer pre-delays produce larger, more expansive sounds, while shorter pre-delays produce a more intimate sound.

Without EQing the reverb might also be an error. Unwanted frequencies can be eliminated from the reverb to provide a clearer, more organic sound. For instance, if your reverb sounds overly boomy, try using an EQ to reduce some of the low frequencies.

Parallel processing & Reverb

When it comes to reverb and parallel processing, the technique involves creating a separate track or bus for your reverb effect and blending it with the original signal using parallel processing. This can be accomplished by sending the dry signal to one channel and the reverb effect to a different channel, then blending the two using the send/return function.

You can manage how much reverb is masked with the original signal by adjusting the volume of the reverb channel. By doing this, you can create a more dynamic and nuanced reverb effect that gives your mix depth and dimension without overpowering the original sound.

One advantage of applying heavy reverb processing to a track in parallel with reverb is that it prevents the track from sounding overly washed out. To give a vocal track a sense of depth and space, you might apply a big hall reverb effect, but you don’t want the vocal to get lost in the mix.

By using parallel processing, you can blend the heavily reverberant signal with the original vocal track, giving the vocal a sense of space without losing its clarity and presence. This technique is especially useful when working with dense mixes, where multiple instruments and tracks are competing for space in the frequency spectrum. By using parallel processing with reverb, you can create a more cohesive and professional-sounding mix that allows each track to shine through

Tips and tricks for using reverb

Here are some fun tips and tricks to help you use reverb effectively in your mixes:

1. Experiment with various reverb styles on various tracks. For instance, a plate reverb could sound better on guitars than a hall reverb when used on vocals.

2. Without hesitation, use various reverbs on the same track. By layering different reverberation kinds, you can create sounds that are more fascinating and complex.

Achieve the desired sensation of space by altering the decay time. A longer decay period can produce a larger, ambient sound, while a shorter decay time may result in a more personal sound.

4. Make use of the pre-delay to separate and clarify your mix. While a shorter pre-delay could generate a more direct, intimate sound, a longer pre-delay can produce a louder, more encompassing sound.

5. Use EQ to reduce undesired frequencies and produce a more organic sound from the reverb. For instance, if your reverb sounds overly boomy, try using an EQ to reduce some of the low frequencies.

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6. Moderately employ reverb. Your mix can get muddy and washed out if you use too much reverb.

7. Think about applying a gated reverb to the drums. The drum sound is given a brief, quick burst of reverb, which is followed by an abrupt end. When played on snare drums or other percussion instruments, this can produce a powerful, impactful sound.

8. For various sections of a song, you can utilize various sorts of reverb. For example, a hall reverb might work well on the chorus, while a plate reverb might work better on the verses.

9. Don’t forget about the mix as a whole. Reverb is crucial for giving the impression of depth and distance, but you must make sure it fits within the overall mix.

10. don’t be afraid to experiment! Reverb is a powerful tool that can help you create a unique and professional sound for your tracks. Examine various reverb styles, tweak the settings, and decide which one best suits your mix.

Learn about reverb with video as well with the great michael from in the mix 


Go grab some reverb

You defintetly know how to apply reverb, it’s time to go get some to yourself. Try various types of reverb and settings to obtain the greatest sound for your music. Always use reverb carefully, and don’t be hesitant to try out new effects. By applying reverb judiciously, your mixes can gain a sense of depth and space, elevating your tracks to the next level. So go ahead and experiment with some reverb – your tunes will thank you!


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