Layering Reverbs

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moofi
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Post 20 Jun 2022

Playing with two of the new toys, Suitcase73 + Valhalla Vintage Verb, I found especially Suitcase73´s internal reverb in series with the Valhalla one quite pleasing to listen to. Suitcase73´s is a little more upfront and delivers the presence while Valhalla adds the body and longer tail, resulting in a bright shiny wide yet deep and full atmosphere.

I often put two reverbs in series, like Softube´s TSAR-1 with 70% early reflections and medium setting for it´s close-up stereo spreading while the following one delivers the body/tail. Sometimes I put more than two in series aswell.
The experience I just made with Suitcase73´s and Valhalla has been a little different, even though SC73´s is by nature not as longtaily, at least not as is Valhalla. Yet it´s dialed in way more than I usually put TSAR-1 before the second reverb. More towards an equal layering. Though I already combined reverbs quite often, aswell in a more equal layering sense, combining these two with mentioned pretty pleasant result, I looked at it from a new perspective. I feel like there is a lot to discover in that area aswell.
Going to explore further how reverbs can be arranged to sculpt a sound´s environment and what makes sense in what situation.

Gonna link some audiodemos eventually, possibly in a few days, currently pretty busy.

So does anyone layer reverbs aswell and if, what are your experiences if you´d like to share. :-)

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BRIGGS
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Post 20 Jun 2022

I've learned to start small...so to start, I use the rv-7 (0% cpu on my machine)

After the basic sound is done, I'll replace or add a better reverb, depending on what I am going for.

Sometimes, all you need is the rv-7, or two. : )
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Jac459
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Post 20 Jun 2022

On voice I like to use a short reverb plus a gate triggered long reverb (meaning when the voice is louder than a threshold, it will trigger the longer reverb).

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moofi
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Post 20 Jun 2022

Ah, that sounds interesting, gonna check that one out, thank you :-)
Jac459 wrote:
20 Jun 2022
On voice I like to use a short reverb plus a gate triggered long reverb (meaning when the voice is louder than a threshold, it will trigger the longer reverb).

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Kalm
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Post 20 Jun 2022

It’s rare that I do so but it’s not abnormal. I’ve done that when one reverb gives me space and width but another gives me depth. I’ll also put reverbs in-line on the source track then feed that track to a bus <— that’s a trick of mine.
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moofi
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Post 20 Jun 2022

It´s certainly a good way to keep things working CPU-wise and "polish" afterwards.
Then I´m not too fond of rv-7´s overall quality, reason I basically don´t use it at all, because I prefer listening to and also working with an appropriate device from the get go, not only for improved quality but the differing sound itself in regards to mixing, overallimpression and how it gets along with other devices´ sound. What could work with one reverb doesn´t necessarily work with a different soudning one. In addition the sound of Valhalla´s reverb for example can immediately inspire and also further influence the composition/creation and direction a song is going.
Could check on it once again though anyway. :-)
BRIGGS wrote:
20 Jun 2022
I've learned to start small...so to start, I use the rv-7 (0% cpu on my machine)

After the basic sound is done, I'll replace or add a better reverb, depending on what I am going for.

Sometimes, all you need is the rv-7, or two. : )

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mcatalao
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Post 21 Jun 2022

I prefer to use a long reverb and a small reverb as sends, and add specific reverbs for some cases as inserts. I really don't see the benefit of adding a short and a long in series, as you can't control the amount of reverb of the different sounds for each one.

I really like the long tail reverb from U-He Uhbik A, and i use Tsar 1 for short room's. These make up the space of my sound stage in a lot of my projects. Then anything goes for specific stuff, like grainy thick reverbs for vocals, dark woody mid centered for pianos, etc, etc.

Do not dismiss Rv7000. With an EQ (in series, before or after) it is a great reverb, specially after it got the convolution mode in MK2.

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selig
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Post 21 Jun 2022

If chaining reverbs I tend to prefer short rooms into long halls. I spent a few weeks many years ago when I first got my second PCM-70 trying all different combinations, finding that configuration to be the best - BUT still, it was quite subtle, not at all as ‘interesting’ as I first thought it would be. I assumed I would end up with some huge dense reverbs, but the PCM-70 is already pretty huge and dense so maybe that’s why it didn’t really get much bigger sounding.
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moofi
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Post 21 Jun 2022

Yes, that´s, like described, how I at some poit started doing it aswell simply because TSAR-1 was the only reverb I had at the time being able to turn a monosounding source into a stereo one because of the stereoprocessing inside TSAR-1. I aswell feel, though a bit colder, the room TSAR-1 creates are quite well to work with, hence a short room with a longertailed reverb afterwards. Yet when putting Valhalla on top of Suitcase73´s reverb though it is indeed roomier compared to valhalla, yet much longertailed compared to the TSAR-1 room I usually create for the room-longtail combination, it had the effect of a pretty rich reverb resulting from the combination. Hence I became especially interested in this combination aspect and created this thread to find out about your experiences. Gonna post the example of S73 + Valhalla in a few days and also experiment a little further.

selig wrote:
21 Jun 2022
If chaining reverbs I tend to prefer short rooms into long halls. I spent a few weeks many years ago when I first got my second PCM-70 trying all different combinations, finding that configuration to be the best - BUT still, it was quite subtle, not at all as ‘interesting’ as I first thought it would be. I assumed I would end up with some huge dense reverbs, but the PCM-70 is already pretty huge and dense so maybe that’s why it didn’t really get much bigger sounding.

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moofi
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Post 21 Jun 2022

Not sure, what you mean. You can set the amount of reverb for each -> setting the amount together. Could also be simplified via a Combinator.
Soundwise it is about combining thus sculpting the overall reverberation by layering, similar to like you can layer bassdrums aswell. Where for one the room delivers the up front presence part, like an attacky bassdrum while the longertailed reverb shapes the depth/body/tail (decaying part of a bassdrum).
At least from experience I would need two serial reverbs doing so, because with merely one reverb I either set it to room, or longtailed or something in between, yet when mixing I can work out the presence with the roomy reverb while the second reverb simultaneously delivers the rich atmosphere. The S73-Valhalla combination though, went a bit further as the S73 with the setting I used is much more longtailed compared to what I set the TSAR-1 to when combining it with a second reverb, resulting in a pleasantly rich + present reverb, neither Valhalla nor S73 would produce alone. I at least guess it´s becoming a lot clearer when I´m posting audio examples.

mcatalao wrote:
21 Jun 2022
[...] I really don't see the benefit of adding a short and a long in series, as you can't control the amount of reverb of the different sounds for each one.[...]

I really like the long tail reverb from U-He Uhbik A, and i use Tsar 1 for short room's. These make up the space of my sound stage in a lot of my projects. Then anything goes for specific stuff, like grainy thick reverbs for vocals, dark woody mid centered for pianos, etc, etc.

Do not dismiss Rv7000. With an EQ (in series, before or after) it is a great reverb, specially after it got the convolution mode in MK2.

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mcatalao
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Post 22 Jun 2022

Unless I'm not seeing this right, once you layer the reverbs in series, you can't control the send amount for each of the reverb for each channel, so the 2 reverbs are in a send and work as 1 single reverb. Did I make myself clear?

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selig
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Post 23 Jun 2022

mcatalao wrote:
22 Jun 2022
Unless I'm not seeing this right, once you layer the reverbs in series, you can't control the send amount for each of the reverb for each channel, so the 2 reverbs are in a send and work as 1 single reverb. Did I make myself clear?
I think, at least for me, the point is to create a single bigger/denser reverb - not sure of a case where I’d want to send to separate reverbs but in that case ‘spiders to the rescue’! ;)
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Jac459
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Post 23 Jun 2022

For long and short reverb I think I would naturally go for parallel processing with mixing with a short and a long reverb and not in series.
One case I could see is you could have a snare with a big gated reverb (to have the big splash reverb brutally interrupted) and then another subtle long reverb.
But then it is not really the intial topic, because the first reverb is more for sound design than a real reverb.

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mcatalao
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Post 23 Jun 2022

selig wrote:
23 Jun 2022

I think, at least for me, the point is to create a single bigger/denser reverb - not sure of a case where I’d want to send to separate reverbs but in that case ‘spiders to the rescue’! ;)
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selig
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Post 23 Jun 2022

Jac459 wrote:
23 Jun 2022
For long and short reverb I think I would naturally go for parallel processing with mixing with a short and a long reverb and not in series.
One case I could see is you could have a snare with a big gated reverb (to have the big splash reverb brutally interrupted) and then another subtle long reverb.
But then it is not really the intial topic, because the first reverb is more for sound design than a real reverb.
Parallel is how 99% of all reverb has traditionally been used in the mix studio. Series reverb is a special case to create bigger/denser reverbs or to have more specific control over the early reflections vs the reverb tail. And that's another reason I 'think' I prefer short reverb into long, which is that it is more how it happens in real spaces - meaning, first you get the initial first reflections and it's all those earliest paths that then 'feed' the longer reverb 'tail'. It's really all one process, physically speaking, but it's easier to simulate real spaces thinking of the two as "part 1" and "part 2" of one big/overall effect.
Some reason to process early reflections vs reverb tail: making the early reflections compressed and bright and the tail darker, or making the early reflections more mono and the tail extra wide so the effect 'blooms' from the center out to the edges. And there are some cases where you may want to split the output of the first reverb, part going on to the second longer reverb and the other being filtered or compressed so you don't pass that effect along to the long reverb.

Lots of possibilities for building special 'spaces' for special 'cases'! ;)
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Jac459
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Post 23 Jun 2022

selig wrote:
23 Jun 2022
Lots of possibilities for building special 'spaces' for special 'cases'! ;)
Indeed! I never thought about the mono to stereo approach for blooming effect, great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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moofi
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Post 16 Jul 2022

You ment special 'spaces' for spacial cases, right? ;-)
selig wrote:
23 Jun 2022
[...]

Lots of possibilities for building special 'spaces' for special 'cases'! ;)

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motuscott
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Post 16 Jul 2022

This is an advantage of returning send effects to individual channels, you could then run them in series to whatever degree
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moofi
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Post 16 Jul 2022

Yet it is different as it wouldn´t reverberate the already reverberated signal :-)
motuscott wrote:
16 Jul 2022
This is an advantage of returning send effects to individual channels, you could then run them in series to whatever degree

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selig
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Post 17 Jul 2022

moofi wrote:
16 Jul 2022
Yet it is different as it wouldn´t reverberate the already reverberated signal :-)
motuscott wrote:
16 Jul 2022
This is an advantage of returning send effects to individual channels, you could then run them in series to whatever degree
If your first reverb is returned to a mix channel and you add your second reverb to it from the mix channel FX sends, it will be pretty much the same as two reverbs in series.
If the Reason SSL mixer had Solo Isolate like the hardware version I'd probably be using this approach. But having to solo two (or more) things every time you want to hear one is a workflow killer for me.
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moofi
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Post 17 Jul 2022

What do you mean by "If your first reverb is returned to a mix channel"?

EDIT: Yes got you, then I usually work with inserts exclusively, not so much a fan of how sends work in terms of dialing in the intensity because it adds the reverb to the original signal instead of blending between the dry and the wet signal. Also rarely using identical reverbs(settings) for multiple sounds. Possibly I could experiment a little further in that regard, still so far not really a friend of send/return effects mostly.
selig wrote:
17 Jul 2022
moofi wrote:
16 Jul 2022
Yet it is different as it wouldn´t reverberate the already reverberated signal :-)

If your first reverb is returned to a mix channel and you add your second reverb to it from the mix channel FX sends, it will be pretty much the same as two reverbs in series.
If the Reason SSL mixer had Solo Isolate like the hardware version I'd probably be using this approach. But having to solo two (or more) things every time you want to hear one is a workflow killer for me.

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selig
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Post 18 Jul 2022

moofi wrote:
17 Jul 2022
What do you mean by "If your first reverb is returned to a mix channel"?

EDIT: Yes got you, then I usually work with inserts exclusively, not so much a fan of how sends work in terms of dialing in the intensity because it adds the reverb to the original signal instead of blending between the dry and the wet signal. Also rarely using identical reverbs(settings) for multiple sounds. Possibly I could experiment a little further in that regard, still so far not really a friend of send/return effects mostly.
Ha! I’m not at all a fan of dry/wet reverb (using reverb as an insert) because it changes the dry level of the track - and the dry level is THE level, which had been very carefully set when I balanced the mix!
Conversely, using a send/return for reverb is literally adding reverb, the exact thing I want to do - just like putting a drum kit in a live vs dead room, the kit doesn’t get SOFTER as the reverb changes - it stays the same and only the ambience changes. It’s also important if you change the amount or even mute the reverb at any point in the song - you don’t want the dry signal to suddenly change just because the reverb changes.
That said, I occasionally use reverb as an insert when doing sound design and the reverb is an important aspect of the INITIAL sound. But once I carefully balance a mix the last thing I need is an insert that changes the mix balances…
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moofi
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Post 18 Jul 2022

:-D Yes, quite differing feelings here. I at least guess it´s aswell the difference in approaching certain soundmaterial in individual ways. I for example don´t mix first and then add a reverb but include the reverb from the beginning, mix and finetune afterwards. I assume this is coming from a general tons-of-effects-layering approach in combination with electronic music, while it at least seems you are coming from a potentially more traditional way of using reverbs. The dry signal staying at the same level is quite interesting technically. Could experiment a little further here, even though I felt like I didn´t have control when it comes to going beyond the drysignal´s level wet levelwise.

So far I mainly use sends when I would like to turn off the effect on the channel while the effect itself is still outputting the already processed material, like with an echo or reverb e.g.

selig wrote:
18 Jul 2022
moofi wrote:
17 Jul 2022
What do you mean by "If your first reverb is returned to a mix channel"?

EDIT: Yes got you, then I usually work with inserts exclusively, not so much a fan of how sends work in terms of dialing in the intensity because it adds the reverb to the original signal instead of blending between the dry and the wet signal. Also rarely using identical reverbs(settings) for multiple sounds. Possibly I could experiment a little further in that regard, still so far not really a friend of send/return effects mostly.
Ha! I’m not at all a fan of dry/wet reverb (using reverb as an insert) because it changes the dry level of the track - and the dry level is THE level, which had been very carefully set when I balanced the mix!
Conversely, using a send/return for reverb is literally adding reverb, the exact thing I want to do - just like putting a drum kit in a live vs dead room, the kit doesn’t get SOFTER as the reverb changes - it stays the same and only the ambience changes. It’s also important if you change the amount or even mute the reverb at any point in the song - you don’t want the dry signal to suddenly change just because the reverb changes.
That said, I occasionally use reverb as an insert when doing sound design and the reverb is an important aspect of the INITIAL sound. But once I carefully balance a mix the last thing I need is an insert that changes the mix balances…

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moofi
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Post 04 Aug 2022

Having used a send reverb once again I noticed/remembered that simply adding a reverb on top would change the overall level of that sound. So I´m wondering regarding the carefully set levels, how much that would actually have an advantage over a dry/wet approach because you would have to adjust the levels afterwards while with the dry/wet method it would bascially stay at the same level?
moofi wrote:
18 Jul 2022
:-D Yes, quite differing feelings here. I at least guess it´s aswell the difference in approaching certain soundmaterial in individual ways. I for example don´t mix first and then add a reverb but include the reverb from the beginning, mix and finetune afterwards. I assume this is coming from a general tons-of-effects-layering approach in combination with electronic music, while it at least seems you are coming from a potentially more traditional way of using reverbs. The dry signal staying at the same level is quite interesting technically. Could experiment a little further here, even though I felt like I didn´t have control when it comes to going beyond the drysignal´s level wet levelwise.

So far I mainly use sends when I would like to turn off the effect on the channel while the effect itself is still outputting the already processed material, like with an echo or reverb e.g.

selig wrote:
18 Jul 2022


Ha! I’m not at all a fan of dry/wet reverb (using reverb as an insert) because it changes the dry level of the track - and the dry level is THE level, which had been very carefully set when I balanced the mix!
Conversely, using a send/return for reverb is literally adding reverb, the exact thing I want to do - just like putting a drum kit in a live vs dead room, the kit doesn’t get SOFTER as the reverb changes - it stays the same and only the ambience changes. It’s also important if you change the amount or even mute the reverb at any point in the song - you don’t want the dry signal to suddenly change just because the reverb changes.
That said, I occasionally use reverb as an insert when doing sound design and the reverb is an important aspect of the INITIAL sound. But once I carefully balance a mix the last thing I need is an insert that changes the mix balances…

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selig
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Post 04 Aug 2022

moofi wrote:
04 Aug 2022
Having used a send reverb once again I noticed/remembered that simply adding a reverb on top would change the overall level of that sound. So I´m wondering regarding the carefully set levels, how much that would actually have an advantage over a dry/wet approach because you would have to adjust the levels afterwards while with the dry/wet method it would bascially stay at the same level?
Man, if the solution to making tracks louder was simply adding reverb, that would be sweet! But that's not what I experience.
With a dry/wet I hear the dry sound get SOFTER as soon as you move away from 100% dry. Adding reverb at the levels I typical use don't appear to add any noticeable overall level to the track, but maybe that's because I'm using less (doubtful, knowing my ambient leanings!).

There are other reasons too, such as what happens if you mute the channel (any reverb tails will be cut off if not using sends), or if you bus the channel (any compression/EQ added to the bus will also affect the reverb), and any panning you do will also pan the reverb. You are also unable to EQ or otherwise process the reverb separately when it's inline with the source track.

That said, I DO use reverbs this way from time to time, mainly when the sound in question requires reverb to even work in the first place.
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