Reverb & Vocal questions

Reverb & Vocal questions
0.0 0


I’m working on a new song, it is essentially unmixed here - I’ve just quickly set some levels.
I have 2 major questions

  • I’m torn between what kind of reverb to go for - either swamped/church like ‘big reverb’ or a more ‘we are playing in your back yard/front room’ kind of loose feel. I’m edging towards the latter as it reflects more the way we recorded (many tracks recorded 2 at a time, e.g. piano and vocals, harmonies etc), but I’ve no idea how to achieve it.

  • I’m really stuck on how to process the lead vocal to bring the best out of it. I think I’m so close to the song now its’ clouding my thought. I just can’t picture where I want it to be or how to get there.

Any ideas?


If you can’t decide on a reverb, start with a delay! You may find as you dial in between super-short to medium times that you’ll like it more than reverb.


Reverb treatment is very much in the realms of the personal, subjective & aesthetic, although there are some practical considerations as well. (For example, faster songs tend to lose focus if long prominent reverbs are used).

My personal experience with reverb treatment is that I hardly ever just use one type of reverb, because in any given environment a complex range of factors come into play, and it’s that interaction between the different types of ambience and the source sounds that truly gives a sense of depth, perspective and relative “size”.

I’m guessing you probably have specific reference points (ie. Songs) in mind regarding the two different “extremes” of ambience you describe. It would be great if you could perhaps post examples by linking songs you would use to represent both of the two different types of reverb treatments you are thinking of going with - that way, it might be easier to envision how the two different approaches would apply to your particular piece of music, & we might be able to give some more specific suggestions.


Yeah dude. Try what Andrew said. Try blending several verbs together. One super short room verb with hyped up early reflections. Then add a short verb to that. Then add a long verb to the other 2. Then add a ping pong delay. But keep them all in there subtle and make sure the tails don’t clash :slight_smile:


Very wise advise above. One of the things to keep in mind is what does the voice your listening to want. Not what do you want to do to it:) When I listen to this voice a huge amount of reverb would be, in my opinion, a huge disservice. This voice is beautiful and it has a very rich harmonic content type tone. I absolutely love that quality. This “rich harmonic tone” is what I would highlight. A very slight amount of doubling Followed by some delay would be very nice. When I want to add reverb on a vocal but it I don’t want to push the vocal back in the track I add reverb to the delays only.


Great advice thanks. Someone else mentioned delays - this will be my first port of call then.


I added a touch of delay and doubling to the vocal.
Doubling from Waves Reel ADT and the delay is cubase mono delay, both setup as sends. Also put the LA-2A as an insert on the vox, taking off about 3db max.
Not sure the delay is quite right, I going to experiment with a stereo delay. I was surprised by how few delay options I have - obviously not an area I have paid attention to. Aside from the stock Cubase - mono, pingpong and retro delay, I only have the Waves Kramer Tape.


I listened on my laptop.

I think this sounds lovely as a general vocal effect. I am such a fan of her voice. Through laptop speakers, I only heard a couple of places that felt a titch dry. You could try putting a little bit of reverb on only the delay buss or the adt buss. I don’t have the ADT(but I’m tempted to get it). If you have the ADT on a separate bus you may also try adding some of it to your delay buss as well. Automating the delay and or ADT up ever so slightly when she holds notes and then down between phrases could also be wonderful. I am not suggesting that you have to do all this stuff. I a merely telling you in general how I approach delays.

When I want a large amount of delay that is hidden I will keep it mono. For “widening” I’ll use delays that are stereo and very short (10-40ms)

With a delay, I wouldn’t worry about buying fancy plugin’s. I’ve owned tape-delays, vintage delays etc. I found delay one of the easiest fx to emulate and get what you need. If you roll of some highs and lows it gets more “vintage sounding”. If you put some distortion and compression on it that can help if you want vibe. I’ll often put a transient designer on my delays to soften the attack and let me turn the delay up a little louder.

To be honest she doesn’t need a lot of “vintage vibe” on her voice. She has it in spades without doing anything. This is a vocal where less is more because it’s awesome.


Cool stuff. Seem like the key is a tad high for the singer. The vox is good but I am hearing a little brittleness. Like where you take it at the 1:30 ish mark. Some real nice piano licks in there. I might use a sprinkle of verb, but not much at all.