Glue your recordings

Everyone has their own way of “glueing” their mix together>

It’s a strange thing, but most of them work, and which you use comes down to personal preference.

My weapon of choice is reverb and, unlike in almost everything else I do in the mixes I create, this one often involves presets.

I have noticed – in the various forums I visit – some confusion among folk about how this particular reverb is used, so I decided to post this quick guide in the hope of making it clear.

You have your mix and you’ve added whatever FX you want to each of the component tracks.

For example: You’ve a nice reverb on the vocals, perhaps you’ve re-amped your guitars and you have eq on almost everything you’ve tracked. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve paralled these fx or inserted them on the tracks (though it does matter what you do with the paralleled ones in the next step.)

The point is, you have a mix. And it sounds good. Hell, it might be almost perfect. It might also sound a little disjointed – nothing sitting well with anything else.

This is where the glue reverb comes in. If your mix is perfect, it won’t detract. If your mix is disjointed, it will glue it together.

Create an aux buss (some DAWs call it a send) as you would for parallel processing and set up your favourite reverb on it.

Make sure only the wet signal is present. (Most reverbs these days have a mix knob).

Now send all the dry tracks, and the track with inserted effects to that reverb.

Turn the gain on that aux buss way up high so you can really hear the reverb and adjust the send controls on each dry track to get the levels well mixed>

Then drop the gain down and down until you can barely hear that au bus output at all.

Now. It may be psychological but when you can barely hear that verb, and you play the whole mix, it all joins up.

The mistake most folks make is to think that this final reverb is going to be the echoey stuff you hear on the track. Far from it. This verb seems to add a little thickness to all the tracks and places them in the same space.

Well. That’s thoroughly confused you – as did finding this post.

Perhaps more later.


Shack good post. I share the same thoughts about a main ‘verb. These are, like you said, used sparingly. I just throw my stock verb’ on the master bus and mix into. The mix knob is mostly set between 1%-3% wet output though.

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I was re-reading this one tonight. It’s such a great point @Coquet-Shack. Reverb is an amazing tool for putting the band in the same space. It’s definitely one of those “a little goes a long way” things though.


Yep, I’ve used reverb in a similar way often in the past, sending most things to an aux. In fact, when I start a mix I tend to set up three different reverb sends ready to go. As the mix comes together I might change them, add to them, find I don’t use them at all, but it’s nice to have them there.

Usually it’s a short room sound, something that sounds great with the drums/ percussion, a medium hall/ chamber style reverb, band passed quite heavily so it’s mostly, say, 400Hz-3kHz, which is the ambient “glue” of the mix, and the third one will be whatever else I might need for that project - say, a longer plate sound, or even an ambient and diffused stereo delay.

Other than that, I think of “glue” as being in the mix bus processing, things like sidechain dynamics so the elements of the mix “speak” to each other, and getting consistency across the board through things like using one kind of EQ across a lot of the mix, or even basic stuff like not using loads of different preamps etc when you record!


I suspect the reason for my initial feelings of “disagreement” is that this technique is a great idea and works really well… for the genre you do, and several other genres. IIRC, your stuff is not busy and goes for a fairly “natural” and relaxed vibe. For any type of music that can be described that way, this is probably a good thing to keep in mind. I’ve found in busy and fast music this can gum up the mix.

Since I’ve always worked on the folkie side of rock and country music, I do have fairly sparse instrumentation. I work so that you hear everything that’s in the mix, nothing is lost to a strange nothing but MUST be there sound.
So maybe I should have made that clear.
I have no idea whether it works in heavy metal or garage or ship shop.

Good post Shack. I use this technique but I turn up the main verb more than you do. I’ll have to look into this and see if my mixes are better turning it down to barely audible only to gel things up. Do you use reverb to create a 3 D spacing image of the instruments? I guess you would use an other reverb to do this with the amount of send and/or predelay determining the distance from the front?

I don’t know how I missed this original post-- maybe it was before I joined and it got lost while I was learning how to navigate here…

But this is great advice and yes, it’s applicable to the more spare arrangements-- John, I don’t think I have ever heard any of your music but I gather we have similar approaches, as most of my stuff is also country-ish, folk-ish rock that is heavily based on acoustic instruments. I have not gone about it exactly as written here, but I believe I will for a new song I have in work now…

And just for grins, here are some variations for me: I am a big fan of using common reverb sends for groups of tracks so that they sound like they are sitting in the same physical space. I will typically have one for acoustic guitars, another for vox, maybe another for electrics depending on the style of song. And I also tend to use presets on those verb sends because so many good verb plugs come with dozens of them to choose from. But I have not tried sending all of that to a common send – John, do you reckon that if tracks already have a verb send associated with them, that sending the same signal to a second send would be weird? I can see if the track had the verb right in it, that it would be fine, but if a group of tracks is already sending to a verb channel, I guess I’d have to route that verb channel into the common verb send? I’m confused…! :confused:

In general, you want multiple artificial reverbs to be parallel, not serial (it can cause weird artifacts). However, I doubt it would make a significant difference in this case, so if it’s too hard for your workflow to set up the sends, I won’t get too worried about it.


Wow… this is very eye-opening. And maybe not how you might think.
I seriously thought that everyone does this with reverb.
And I’m really not saying this in a Geico commercial way… “everyone knows that…” :slight_smile:
I just thought that a dedicated reverb send was common practice Consoles always had one going to the plate… live boards sometimes even had a built in verb. Maybe not everything went to it. But it was always there.
I always thought of it as putting everything in a common area. So you have at least one layer of cohesiveness
That has evolved in the box into having multiple verbs available in my template. I almost always have everything going thru 2 dedicated mix verbs at various send levels. One is a “studio” verb which is just space… no tail or hard reflection. You can’t “hear” it until you take it away. The other is what I call a “club verb” It’s just a sound that has always stuck in my head since hearing lou reed’s take no prisoners live album for the first time. Every verb I’ve ever touched, I’ve tried to dial something like that in… I use it on everything I do even if it’s only a tiny bit. I keep plates and halls in reserve for genre/taste. But there’s always some sort of verb on everything.
And yes… always on a send/return… never in line. Mix to 100% wet.
Have fun

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I’ve tried reverb on the master buss but i did not like it, for i dont use reverb for drum kicks or bass. Have you tried using the same reverb throughout all the tracks? Same EQ too as someone previously said.

Yeah… I think the key is NOT to have in on the master. Only as a parallel send /return.
I generally don’t like verb to be excited by a kick unless its a featured effect


If I’m reverbing stuff in parallel, I don’t send those verbs on to the “room” verb (my name for it ever since I started. It would sound horrible. For my music, check out When Morning Comes.php .

So did I, but then I came across someone on RR asking aboiut how to glue mixes and this place was just starting out so I popped it on here for interest’s sake.

THAT is a great way of describing how I use this “room” reverb on my mixes. It’s SOOOOOOO light touch that you’re almost unaware of it, until you mute it.

So always a send/aux, almost very light touch and only main tracks (whether fxd or not) but NEVER the send effects.

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Good post Shack! I have a room verb in my mix template, and I like to notice it only when I turn if off usually :wink: For some tracks, it can work nicely when it’s a little more pronounced but only if you’re looking for that effect. I like to use some sort of convolution reverb for this to keep it natural sounding… I’ll sometimes send that reverb buss into a Dimension D for a little movement/modulation, that can be nice sometimes, again track dependant.

If the bass is needing a little room too, I usually have 2 tracks, say amp/DI, with one hi-passed up to about 150 cycles and one low passed around the same so I can treat them seperately, and avoid any low end phase issues, so will just send to the room verb from the one with the hi pass on it as to not get any low end clutter in the ‘room’

Wow. I do that too. Helps me get the bass out from under the kick.

I send EVERYTHING to my “mix” verb and “club” verb. I have everything going to busses… drum buss , bass buss gtr buss, key buss, string buss, horn buss, bgv buss, LV buss and FX buss. The verb return faders stay at -6db and all of the busses are sent to the verbs at varying levels. The drums might be -12, the bass much lower… maybe -18 or -24. BGVs will usually be 0 and LV almost always -9. No individual tracks go to these verbs. I have other verbs for that if needed.
I will also have verbs and stuff inside the buss to define space… like a gtr room feeding into the gtr buss and so on… I even have an FX verb inside the FX buss where I might send slaps or 1/4 note delay repeats to it…
This sounds like it should be one big washy mess. But it’s not. everything is just enough to make a difference and put things in a specific space. The mix and club “main verbs” are there to put the whole mix in one general space.
I hope this make some sense…
have fun

Reverberating delay returns is a lot of fun!

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I think glueing is a thing can be done at mastering stage!

Respectfully… I think gluing is something that shouldn’t have to be done at the mastering stage… :slight_smile:


Have to disgree. If the mix doesn’t stick together at the end of the mix stage, IMHO it means the mix isn’t finished.

Mastering is about getting tracks to sit alongside tracks, to get levels to commercial (or not) levels, and to ensure the tracks shine like a newly polished car, and are not dull like a used one.