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Posted (edited)

Let's say you route your instruments or synths to an instancs of EW Spaces reverb, NW Hall. you set the wet/dry to 100% wet. You route that to Mix. you create a reverb send for the insts or synths, adjusting the send level. you route the inst./synth to mix.

 Now, what if you put an instance of Spaces NW Hall on the synth directly, route it to Mix, bypassing the Spaces reverb bus and send as above. This is meant as a comparison. The wet/dry mix on NW Hall is -13.9%. So, I set the send level to -13.9%. Then I compare the two reverb setups, one with a reverb send, the other with the reverb directly on the synth. Should it sound the same? To my ears it does, or pretty darn close. 

With the send method, you are sending -13.9% of the signal to the bus, which has a 100% wet mix. and it comes out the same as if you had the reverb directly on the synth, with the default setting of -13.9%.

Does this make sense? I'm trying to simplify my reverb scheme, to eliminate unnecessary CPU drain, and an overall cleaner routing scheme. Also, to obtain a baseline scale I can use to calibrate different libraries.

Thanks,

Mike

Edited by mdiemer

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All that math sounds right but your ears are the best tool. I usually have at least 5 reverbs on the bus. Some times I have 8 . I usually have 30-35 buses - why - CPU! It is the way to go with effects reverbs, compressors, echo, pitch, and other special effects. Envelopes on busses and tracks can control parameters to change any serving in all those plugins too!

Max Arwood

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Most likely the two different software implementations are different in how they define %. Rather than a standard acoustical definition, it represents a reproducible setting for the particular control.

That said, your use of reverb on a bus with sends from different instruments at different values is one reasonable approach for saving CPU by using a single reverb. You may want to verify the sends are post fader (it's the default) if you want to preserve the mix value as you adjust an instrument fader.

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Interesting observation, bvideo. I think I detect that the reverb send-to- bus method may sound a bit drier than having the same reverb on the synth itself, so you may be right, how they each define percentage may be somewhat different.

Which supports what Max said, the ear is always the best judge. 

The reverb thing is something I've been trying to sort out for years. I'm hoping this thread can help me do that. Keep the wisdom coming!

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Posted (edited)

Traditionally in mixing you only HAD one reverb to work with and that might have been a Plate in the basement. People are sort of used to that and also in the real world if a band is playing in a nice auditorium or hall, then that is the space ( reverb)  around the music. We close our eyes and we imagine we are in that space when listening.  So that said it depends on if you are trying to create a " real space" or an "unreal space" .   To me it jumbles up the music with a lot of different spaces and (depending on the music) can make it tiresome to listen to.   

So generally I use only one reverb on a buss set at 100% and then send my sub busses or individual tracks to that. This way the "band" is in that same space.  

The only other place there will be a different reverb is on a guitar amp sim because that's a classic sound. And then some synths often need a little help. But I'm very cautious about using too many "spaces" in a mix. 

Edited by John Vere
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Posted (edited)

Usually in the mix the group of drums  (snare, toms) has some specific reverb. Electric guitar sim has also a different reverb. And acoustic guitar too has her own small reverb. And finally vocal has  a vocal reverb according to everyone's preferences. The most important thing is to not use tons of reverb like Phil Spector used in some sixties hits.

Edited by lapasoa
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A word to the wise, Take caution when mixing different reverb plug ins. Different reflections on different tracks will totally cloud the perception of a mix if not done properly.

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 John, lapasoa and chuckebaby: agree with everything you said. Simplifying things is what I'm all about here. I did this little experiment for comparison only. To see if I could duplicate the default setting of East West's Spaces NWH by using a send, set to -13.9% (the default value for NWH). Then adjust as needed. I don't intend on having a reverb on a synth itself, and then also sending that synth to a reverb bus. I want everything in the same space, thus one reverb bus, with the ability to vary the intensity synth by synth. (By synth I really mean vsti's, like East West, Garritan etc.). So, I'm going with a reverb bus with EW Spaces on it. No extra reverb on the synths themselves, whether a plugin, or by turning on their "native" reverb, which is usually algo, but sometimes convo. I definitely need to keep things as clear and pristine as possible, as I'm doing orchestral music, which by its very nature is already very cluttered in terms of all the sound waves interacting all over the place.

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Well, this is working out well. There is a spot in my project where there is always distortion. Very loud and many insts. playing. Nothing I did was making any difference. but now that I have switched to just one Spaces reverb instance, using sends, and nothing but two instances of the "Distance" plugin Proximity, I can finally get through that section without distortion. I think I finally have a handle on reverb. Stuff I should have figured out a long time ago. Oh well, better late than never never.

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You can get more reverb “percent” by putting it on the track as opposed to a send. Sometimes I do use reverb on a track. It has to be a special track to spend that much CPU on a single effect. Valhalla Super Massive, Valhalla Shimmer, and Unfiltered Audio Sandman I have used on a track for crazy effects. I have also used Lexicon Concert Hall so I could tweak the reverb for just one Instrument- usually a lead or main instrument. Mostly Reverbs are put on the bus because it is an efficient use of CPU. 

Max Arwood 

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14 hours ago, Max Arwood said:

You can get more reverb “percent” by putting it on the track as opposed to a send. Sometimes I do use reverb on a track. It has to be a special track to spend that much CPU on a single effect. Valhalla Super Massive, Valhalla Shimmer, and Unfiltered Audio Sandman I have used on a track for crazy effects. I have also used Lexicon Concert Hall so I could tweak the reverb for just one Instrument- usually a lead or main instrument. Mostly Reverbs are put on the bus because it is an efficient use of CPU. 

Max Arwood 

I have done that too, putting an algo reverb like Lexicon on the track, to enhance it a bit. But I'm going to stick with this method for now. Ultimately, I may decide to go with something like Mir from Vienna Instruments. I'm hesitant, though, because then I'd be tempted to redo everything. Again.

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10 hours ago, mdiemer said:

I have done that too, putting an algo reverb like Lexicon on the track, to enhance it a bit. But I'm going to stick with this method for now. Ultimately, I may decide to go with something like Mir from Vienna Instruments. I'm hesitant, though, because then I'd be tempted to redo everything. Again.

I hate getting new stuff I think will help my mixes. I waste tons of time checking it out on older tracks to see what is does to them LOL!!!

Max Arwood

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