Five Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Reverb Sound – Mistake # 2

boss_digital_reverb_delay_rv-3.jpgChoosing the proper reverb for each sound is one of the most confusing
decisions you can be presented with in a mix. Fortunately you can get
around most of this confusion if you understand a few simple pitfalls
that everyone falls into when choosing a reverb setting. By
understanding a few functions of what reverb does you can easily
evaluate and choose the best setting for your song. With this knowledge
in mind it will be easy to scroll through presets and tweak them to
make sure that you get the perfect reverb sound for your mix.

Decay – The first thing that makes us pass on a reverb sound is the
length of the decay that the preset is set to. While most people
realize delay is set to exact milliseconds that correspond to musical
notes. When evaluating reverb you want to use the same standards. For
example at 120 BPM a 1/4 note is 500ms long. If you are looking for a
long reverb you are going to be looking at something like a whole note
in duration (2000 ms), where as if you want a short ambiance you may
choose something from 125 ms and 250 ms. The problem is when you are
scrolling through presets you are going to get reverbs with all sorts
of crazy decays from 125 ms on up to 5 ms. This makes choosing a reverb
no fun. While scrolling through presets you are going to need to tweak
their decay into a range that falls near the note value you would like
your mix to have, otherwise you may be turned off of a reverb that has
the character you would like but too much decay. Once you know how much
decay you are looking for you can than pass that on to each setting as
you scroll through. After you find a setting you like don’t feel
constricted to the decay value being perfectly in time with the song.
Reverb is much different than delay and often needs tweaks to breathe
properly and can be set to numbers that don’t fall in a tempo value yet
still breathe in time with a track.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.