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Marcello

Reverb Bus suggestion

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Hi there,

I have sent all guitar tracks to a Reverb bus I just created, so I have a bus with guitars (no reverb) and a bus with guitars including reverb.

How do you usually balance the reverb for an optimal sound? I know this is quite subjective but more or less the reverb bus volume should be the same level with the guitar bus (no reverb) ?   Meaning the volume of both should be equal? 

I noticed that when the guitars are clean higher reverb volume sounds good but when they are distorted the guitar sound can be a bit more confusing.

What's your opinion about it?

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If you use amp sims like Overloud THU or Native  Guitar Rig or Line 6 you don't have to worry about reverb on the bus.

They have ecellent effects inside the software

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Most reverb have a mix control to adjust the level relative to the original signal and for this reason, 2 buses are not required. To adjust the reverb level change that mix knob.

If you use 2 buses, they could differ unless you are careful. Like use a send from the first bus to make the second. Then you could set the reverb mix at 100% and use the bus fader (volume slider) to control the amount of verb. This is handy if you wish to eq or compress the verb. Some might compress the verb some with the vocal side chained so the vocals are a hint clearer and not muddied with verb. This is usually just on the vocal verb but could be on a global verb.

So, keep it as simple as you can.

Don't unnecessarily complicate it.

There are cool tricks to learn. Sometimes two buses simplifies things.

Edited by Gswitz

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18 hours ago, Marcello said:

SHould I have 2 busesfor guitars with no reverb and one with it or just one bus with reverbed guitars?

You can do what ever sounds best for that specific guitar in that specific mix.

There are no rules and you can do anything you want as far as routing and bus'ing, as long as you like the sound.

Every song/mix will need different things done to it. Every different guitar sound will need different things done to it, in order to fit in the mix. So with this info, you just do what ever is needed.

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A single reverb bus is usually adequate, but only if all the effected instruments need the same type of reverb. In your scenario, that's probably the case.

The reverb plugin on that bus is usually set to 100% wet, and you'll use each guitar track's individual bus send slider to tweak how much each guitar gets. This send can also be automated, so if there are places in the song where one guitar needs a lot more reverb and other places where it needs to be drier, you can do that.

The biggest mistake I hear in mixes is setting the reverb tail too long. That can sound great when you solo one track, but might get muddy in the full mix. How long is long enough depends on the song style and guitar tones, as well as the song's tempo. Think about what happens when a reverb tail carries on into the next note, and how that might make the part sound indistinct and distant. 

Decide whether the reverb should be an Effect that listeners are intended to hear prominently, or if it should be subtle, e.g. the reverb is there to simulate the guitars being in a reverberant physical space. If it's a David Gilmour style slow melody with pitch bends, slather on the reverb with 4-6 seconds or more. If it's a fast rocker, keep the times under 2 seconds. Bear in mind that at 120 bpm, each quarter note is a half-second and each measure is 2 seconds long. A two-second reverb tail will bleed into each subsequent measure, potentially blurring the melody. That can either be a good thing, or a recipe for mud.

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@lapasoa In fact I kind of agree with you! I use THU for my guitars, which has very good and typical guitars reverb, so in the clean guitar tracks I put a lot of reverb directly in there.

But someone says that is not great to have one reverb for each track because the various reverbs could overlap and make some "mud" in the sound, so they suggest to put one send reverb bus with one general reverb and to keep the single tracks reverb at 0.

To be honest I tried but the general reverb bus plugin has too many kinds of reverb and it's difficult to choose the right one, plus they are not guitar amp reverbs but rather general ones like HALL, ROOM, BALLROOM, ORCHESTRA etc...

So at the end I have re-increased the THU reverbs in the single guitar tracks, but still kept also the general reverb bus a little bit and not too loud, cause in any case it seems to sound good. I'm just afraid a bit of this "mud" that can be created by using both THU reverb and general bus reverb, I'm not an expert in sound engeneering but to me this setup sound good.

Edited by Marcello

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@bitflipper  I get what you are saying, since I'm not a sound engineer and I just self-learned these things on my own, I'm missing an opinion from en expert indeed.

I guess we could speak a lot but at the end only our ears count, I think I might give up and give you a preview of my song ( it's an already mastered sample but with fake bass, I need to record it with a real bass later) it's still work in progress, anyway if you could give me a suggestion if the amount of reverb sounds fine to you or too much muddy, and if anything else you would suggest I can improve would be of great help, thanks a lot, hope you like it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VcY4ISXdpF7N_I0RFO9SGCxiSrJ162r1/view?usp=sharing

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You should have begun this conversation with the song, as it would clarify what you're going for. It's a good tune!

I'm sure you'd agree that ambient music sounds simpler than it really is. The point is to make interesting and immersive textures, and your tune does that very well indeed.

What you have to consider while mixing - and this goes for all genres - is constantly asking yourself "what do I want the listener to be listening to right here?". At any point in the song there should be a clear voice that says "Listen to me". Too many competing voices makes it difficult for the listener to follow along. There are places in your mix where it's not clear which element I should be focusing on. I can't tell you how to fix that, since it's a creative choice only you can make. But for every measure/phrase/section, ask yourself "what single element do I want the listener to be focused on, right here?".

A more technical observation: the big climax is too hot. That's not a subjective call, but a measurable one. Overall, the macro-dynamics make a pleasant progression from quiet to loud, with a good peak-to-average ratio through most of it. Unfortunately, it takes too big a jump at around the three-minute mark and becomes distorted. Not the pleasant kind of distortion, but the fingernails-on-chalkboard kind that results from trying to exceed 0 dBFS and consequently incurring overs.  I suspect you may have broken LANDR's algorithm on this one, as it doesn't seem to do well with big dynamic changes like this.

Fortunately, you can fix this pretty easily. The principle here is that everything can't be loud. Start by just pulling all the faders down a few decibels to give yourself some headroom to work with. Then decide specifically which tracks are going to supply the beef, and pull the others down even more. I'd suggest a high-pass filter on the kick drum so it's not driving your (by which I mean LANDR's) mastering limiter so hard. Insert a spectrum analyzer (such as the free SPAN from Voxengo) and compare the guitars' spectra to the drums and see where they overlap so you can add some EQ to the guitars to help get them out of the way of the drums. The idea is to carve out a space for the drums and not have the guitars own the entire audible spectrum.

You should post this tune to the Songs forum, where you'll get plenty of opinions, some of which will actually be helpful. I'd suggest posting an unmastered version, since that will reveal more measures that you can take to clean it up before LANDR mangles it.

P.S. I, too am mostly "self-learned". Even after half a century of such self-learning, new lessons continue to remind me that there's no end to it.


 

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Posted (edited)

At this point it seems that you want to learn recording  music writing questions to this forum.

My sincere advice is to work hard, to learn from tutorials, experiencing with fiends, reading articles specialized, following the motto "learning by doing errors".and, I repeat, working very very hard to learn how to do it..

Edited by lapasoa

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That might have been me in another thread advising about not having separate reverb on each track. I think I did say that of course that depends on style and music. Also I probably said things like drums and  guitars are traditionally recoded in rooms and we are often trying to duplicate that room with artificial space. I also think I said electric guitars traditionally had amp reverb also depending on style how much is used. 
the mud is perfectly described by Dave above. Those tails are the equivalent of playing the piano with the sustain pedal on.  
as I said it’s up to you what you think sounds right and the main thing is to set your routing so you have control of the mix at you fingertips 

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Also consider EQing the reverb. YouTube search that. Certain frequencies can easily build up and muddy everything. Highs also can build up and sound harsh and grating.  

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On 12/31/2020 at 12:33 AM, bitflipper said:

You should have begun this conversation with the song, as it would clarify what you're going for. It's a good tune!

I'm sure you'd agree that ambient music sounds simpler than it really is. The point is to make interesting and immersive textures, and your tune does that very well indeed.

What you have to consider while mixing - and this goes for all genres - is constantly asking yourself "what do I want the listener to be listening to right here?". At any point in the song there should be a clear voice that says "Listen to me". Too many competing voices makes it difficult for the listener to follow along. There are places in your mix where it's not clear which element I should be focusing on. I can't tell you how to fix that, since it's a creative choice only you can make. But for every measure/phrase/section, ask yourself "what single element do I want the listener to be focused on, right here?".

A more technical observation: the big climax is too hot. That's not a subjective call, but a measurable one. Overall, the macro-dynamics make a pleasant progression from quiet to loud, with a good peak-to-average ratio through most of it. Unfortunately, it takes too big a jump at around the three-minute mark and becomes distorted. Not the pleasant kind of distortion, but the fingernails-on-chalkboard kind that results from trying to exceed 0 dBFS and consequently incurring overs.  I suspect you may have broken LANDR's algorithm on this one, as it doesn't seem to do well with big dynamic changes like this.

Fortunately, you can fix this pretty easily. The principle here is that everything can't be loud. Start by just pulling all the faders down a few decibels to give yourself some headroom to work with. Then decide specifically which tracks are going to supply the beef, and pull the others down even more. I'd suggest a high-pass filter on the kick drum so it's not driving your (by which I mean LANDR's) mastering limiter so hard. Insert a spectrum analyzer (such as the free SPAN from Voxengo) and compare the guitars' spectra to the drums and see where they overlap so you can add some EQ to the guitars to help get them out of the way of the drums. The idea is to carve out a space for the drums and not have the guitars own the entire audible spectrum.

You should post this tune to the Songs forum, where you'll get plenty of opinions, some of which will actually be helpful. I'd suggest posting an unmastered version, since that will reveal more measures that you can take to clean it up before LANDR mangles it.

P.S. I, too am mostly "self-learned". Even after half a century of such self-learning, new lessons continue to remind me that there's no end to it.


 

Thanks! I post it in the songs as well. By the way the not mastered version is already very low in volume, you can barely hear it, the master volume track is not clipping, but the drums track is indeed clipping a bit breaking the -6db, but if i low down the drums fader I will have to low down the rest as well making it even lower. Im afraid I wont be able to hear the non mastered version.

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Here's what Adobe Audition shows. Check to make sure that before MP3 encoding there is sufficient headroom. The encoding process can increase your peak values by up to 3 dB.

Min Sample Value:    -32768    -32768
Max Sample Value:    32767    32767
Peak Amplitude:    0 dB    -.01 dB
Possibly Clipped:    12    14
 

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