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Front, Middle, and Back reverbs


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I've recently read about 3D reverb strategies where three different reverbs are set up for each of Front, Middle, and Back instruments. Does anybody use this process or do you prefer to set up one reverb as the room environment and just adjust send levels and EQ on the instrument channels to place instruments in space? Edited by bailhe
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I've recently read about 3D reverb strategies where three different reverbs are set up for each of Front, Middle, and back instruments. Does anybody use this process or do you prefer to set up one reverb as the room environment and just adjust send levels and EQ on the instrument channels to pace instruments in space?

 

I use Front, Middle and Back reverbs. In addition to this, I route a very short and subtle Plate reverb to the entire Mix.

Edited by anp27
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The basic idea is that since instruments at different distances from the listener will naturally create different reverberations, simulating these differences with different reverbs can help create more realistic sounding mixes in orchestral or large ensemble music. If you think about it, a foreground instrument is likely to produce initial reverb level, attack, diffusion and decay, etc. compared to one seated 30 or 40 feet further away. Setting up 3 different reverbs to emulate this in a mix may help increase depth, clarity, and so on. Such is the theory anyway. Asanp27 mentions above, one overall reverb is often applied to the mix to "glue" things together. Other composers/engineers work with the idea that "the room is the room" and use one reverb on the entire ensemble, relying on level and EQ to place instruments in space. That has always been my approach to creating natural sounding mixes (as opposed to genres where different reverbs are commonly used, e.g. pop, rock, etc.) I'm experimenting myself and hoping others might discuss their methods.
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Ahh I see

 

Well in that case, I've always been doing it i guess, but it's not necessarily Front, Middle and Back but short, medium, long, and longest reverbs for my instruments.

 

I selectively glue things with the longest reverb, not the entire mix, and done only subtly.

 

I've also never used only a single reverb for my mix, i've tried though but couldn't get it to work.

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Another choice . . .

 

VSL has choices which help go a long way in creating the "Depth of Sound": 1) Vienna MIR Pro 24 (which allows up to 24 instruments to be placed in its acoustical stage-theater field), and 2) Vienna MIR Pro (which allows an unlimited number of instruments to be placed). Both are highly configurable. More importantly, it's also visual where one can see the placement of instruments on a virtual stage, and where one can see the placements of the virtual microphones (from the stage perspective and from the audience perspective). The software program(s) ain't cheap. But it certainly does a nice job in creating a realistic sound as if a band and/or orchestra is being recorded live on a stage or theater setting.

 

https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Vienna_Software_Package/Vienna_MIR_PRO

 

I also attempt to use "front", "middle" and "back" reverb plug-ins (of varying lengths), controlled by the Send signals from each instrument to each of the dedicated reverb channels. I'm NOT an expert in doing this. It certainly involves a lot of time, experimentation and "ears". Keeping in mind that "a little bit goes a long way", this set-up also gives pleasing results in creating that "Depth of Sound".

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The Vienna products are, but ouch. I've been working with LiquidSonics' Reverberate 2.0 ($125) and their Bricasti M7 emulation called Seventh Heaven Pro ($300). Demo'd Lexicon software (since I loved and still keep their now ancient LXP1) and others, but liked the LiquidSonics stuff, especially Reverberate. The latest version of Logic's Space Designer seems to have overcome some of the frequency imbalances in the older version, but Reverberate provides more detailed control.

 

Most of the time I chop out very low frequencies on the way into the Reverb with Linear Phase EQ placed in the Aux channel before the Reverb plugin. Sometimes I tune up the out of the reverb with another EQ after the plugin, but Reverberate and others offer built-in EQ that often makes that unnecessary.

 

Any thoughts?

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