- by Kevin Deal
Over decades, reverberation has been widely used by a lot of professional musicians as a part of their toolkit which also includes amps, speakers and other trusted instruments. Reverberation is also naturally used in various locations such as live events in stages, and of course concerts.
Definition of Reverb
Reverb actually flows around the world in a natural way – we experience it as we speak, as we hear the animals around us, and as the wind flows through the trees. It’s an automatic process that our brains transmit to our ears, and we just don’t notice it since it goes along in our daily lives. During live performances such as concerts, we can notice the vibe caused by reverb which gives the sound its own level of depth.
Reverb is known to be a series of acoustic reflections that gets generated in an area where sound is present and made. The overall aspects of it depend on the space where sound is being made, and it can be both natural and artificial. Its usage must not be too much as it will create a messed up and unintelligible kind of noise on your recordings, which is why careful usage of it must be considered.
Scientists discovered that people prefer note and beat patterns as an innate experience, and the mystery of this innate ability of our hearing senses was discovered by musicians via reverb. They use it in order for us to hear a smoother and natural sound when someone plays with an instrument or a song.
Reverb and More Natural Music
If you go inside a studio, you will notice that the sound is completely dead, compared to what you have on your own room, even if it’s quiet. You can really notice the distinctive silence in your ears if you enter a studio room, and you sing or speak inside it. The sound seems to flow nowhere. If sound doesn’t reflect and flow properly, the music is unnatural; therefore, it seems ‘dead’. That’s why musicians set up their reverbs in the studio for them to have their preferred setting on the said effect.
Therefore, reverb adds emotion – which is natural in music. When the aspects of reverb are mixed in a 0 reverb studio room, and with some effects and a bit of editing using reverb software, the sound will become more natural indeed.
Effect for Recordings
In contrast with the first benefit mentioned, reverb doesn’t have to come as natural all the time. Depending on how you use it, reverb can be generated artificially. Studios are made for this. They try to generate reverb on their sounds to fit their own taste.
A perfect example of this is when adding reverbs to your vocals. However, you can also do it when setting up the instruments with a reverb tank, or just by editing a track once the recording is done. It provides a distinctive sound that makes it sound more appropriate for the listeners. If you aim for quality, you shouldn’t overuse this type of effect as it can completely ruin your mix. Keep the edits to a minimum and only apply them when really necessary.
Reverb, though not a completely complicated matter to study, is something one should give much focus on. If you want to be a professional audio engineer, then you must master the basics. You can do this by doing your own experiments with your audio. Have a good grasp of its concept and the necessary tools you need to work around it. After all, it’s more preferable to learn this effect through experience.
You can use reverbs to achieve that natural refined sound perfect for audio recording. If mastered, you can also try to use it in adjusting sound in varied locations, like in live performances. No matter what your purpose is for editing your audio, you must ensure that you are making it better, not lowering its quality down.