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Tips and Tricks for Vocal Reverb

With the new generation of plug-ins there are many amazing digital reverbs available for most DAWs.


People often put reverb plug-ins directly on each separate channel which is totally fine except this can eat up tons of processing power.

In a traditional mix setting you would normally create buss sends that are routed to auxiliary returns with your reverb plug-ins on them.

This way you can rout multiple tracks to one single reverb plug-in.

Here are a few non traditional ways of use reverb on vocals:

1. In your vocal plug-in chain, try inserting a reverb plug-in BEFORE the compressor for a wild reverb response.

This can make for a very active and interesting reverb response particularly if you are using the compressor aggressively.

As the compressor reacts to the volume of the vocals the reverb will bloom and duck according to the vocal performance.

Keep in mind that you will need to adjust the reverb blend within the plug-in. Even with just 10% wet setting the reverb will pop through the end of louder vocal moments.

2. Send your reverb buss from a separate non compressed vocal track to create a more dynamic reverb response.

Duplicate your vocal track and remover or strongly soften your compressor setting on the new duplicate track.

Send the reverb from this new track only. You’ll likely need to put your reverb send in ‘pre-fade’ send mode since you don’t want any of the actual non compressed dry vocals in the mix. On the new vocal track leave your main fader at zero but turn up the ‘pre-fade’ reverb send to the verb. While your main vocals are compressed to even out the singer's dynamic range, the new reverb will react much stronger to the singer’s dynamics. This can create an allusion of dynamics with just the reverb. So when the singer sings louder the reverb’s wet ratio will increase. This effect works great for delay sends as well. The louder the singer sings the thicker the delay will get.

Try these two reverb ideas on vocals for some unique vocal reverb sounds. These tricks work great on any instrument that is dynamic too!

Good luck!

By Producer: Jonathan Plum

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