Shaping reverb sends

Do you guys have any standard EQ/compression (or anything else) that you apply to most/all of your reverb fx channels?

E.g do you often apply a low cut/high cut? pre or post verb? Do you always compress it?

Also, is there anything you always do when having multiple reverbs? such as…do you make sure all the reverb times are consistent (or ensure that all the reverb times are absolutely not consistent).

One thing I always have difficulty with is with sending a track to more than 1 reverb (or sending different tracks to different reverbs) but still making the whole seem like a coherent space.

I always hp and lp my verbs .I dont compress them often sometimes i will a room or snare verb .
Sometimes if you use lots of different verbs you can always put a room or hall run parallel with the mix and blend in or put direct on your master bus at 10 percent to give it that coherent space

I use a trick I learned from Fab Dupont going into the verb bus - find plugin that will give you a good amount of control over early reflections and where you can disable the tail completely. Then feed that thing into your medium or longer verbs.

Coming out of your reverb, you can try a trick I learned form Warren Huart. Use transient design instead of compression to heighten the liveliness of the verb. Lowering attack mellows it off, increasing sustain enriches the body.

Most of the time.

Sometimes both if the verb doesn’t have one built in. Most do.

I try not to unless there’s a reason I have to

I almost always put an extra layer of de-essing in front of the vocal verbs.

…try running saturation after a reverb.

And I yes, I time them too.

Try shorter brighter, longer darker. Also try mixing inside out. Start by tuning fast verbs and early reflections to your source. Then get your your different short verbs such as vocal room verbs and short snare plate verbs all working together. Then start adding your longer verbs progressively.


Also… I’m a big fan of modulation the tails of verbs. Throwing an Eventide H3000 or an H910 harmonizer blended into the verb tail can really make it come alive and make it shine.

And another thing I do is use plugins like the Waves Saphira or the SPL Twin tube to add even and odd order harmonics to verb tails.

If you EQ the outgoing tail of a verb, I almost always use big sweeps with wide bellcurves. I use the Millenia MSEQ1 and the Chandler EMI TG Curve Bender for this. Manley Massive Passive for the job want sometime SUPER transparent.

Try using an Eiosis or a Maag to add extreme top beyond 20k…that’ll have some interesting effects. Be careful with it though.

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Ugh. I keep thinking of stuff to add.

If you compress verbs be mindful of what type of compressor you’re using. They’re not all the same. FET compressors suck at enhancing verb tails. VCA’s dig harder than vari-mus. The optical family is hit or miss.

…and occasionally I chase the tail of a reverb with a tape sim plugin.

Remember that you can come out of your global delay busses into your different reverbs if your console routing allows it or if you’re ITB.

FYI, my first go-to is usually the Liqudisonics Bricasti M7 clone. I use the Exponential Phoenix verb for most of my short verbs, the Waves and UAD for plates, and the Valhalla for just a good solid algorithmic verb. The fab filter one is gorgeous sounding too. The PSP piano verb is probably the most unique and outside-the-box one I’ve ever used.

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Nice one Jonathan

I vaguely remember reading about this. So if this the first step before ALL of your reverbs? Is the point of this to place everything at the same distance?

Man, I would love to sit all you pros and experienced guys down and just do a brain dump of all the accumulated knowledge. Good stuff!

No. Some sometimes you don’t need it. If your mic is already picking up natural short reflections in a room, then its not necessary.

And in certain contexts, fine tuning ER’s on verbs is a complete waste of time because they get lost in the mix. This technique works best for me when there’s just an acoustic guitar and vocal and you need detail and dimension to make it come alive. I would run a quick example for you using @Cristina’s Wasteland track from the competition, but I have a session up at the moment. If you want to experiment with ER and layering verbs, her song is a great track to play with that on because of how sparse and intimate the first part is.

And its also specific to the sources hitting the bus. Like if you have an entire orchestra going into a Bricasti as group of 20 mics, don’t try it. Seems to work best when its one source going into a really finely tuned reverb dedicated to that one specific channel. I hope the makes some sense.

No. Its the opposite. The point is to differentiate distance. You’re layering and stacking enhancements that accumulate at the 2 bus. The idea is to build develop dimension and depth to the sound just like photoshop people use layers to enhance color, or a cooks make temperature changes to the same dish at timed intervals to develop layers of flavor. The combined cumulative effect of the early reflections, the short verbs, the long verbs, and the ambient verbs (when blended together meticulously) create the illusion of a super surreal space. And often spaces that are more familiar to the human ear than if you were to hear a vocalist in a dead room completely dry. If a vocal is too dry, your ear has to take a split second to adjust to what its hearing. In essence, the LACK of processing then becomes distracting.

I hope this isn’t confusing. Trying to think of ways of explaining it as tech term free as I can.

How’s this? So the tail-less early reflection verb is really just part 1 of your reverb chain? (IF it’s needed.)

Mostly eq - very rarely use compression unless I’m going for a special effect

E.g do you often apply a low cut/high cut? pre or post verb? Do you always compress it?

I use high and low cuts all the time, usually pre reverb, as the signal coming in affects the way the verb reacts. Sometimes I’ll solo the verb and pull out a resonant midrange frequency that is building up with the source - mostly with plate reverbs and vocals, as that combination gets “metallic” and “ringy” sounding.

Also, is there anything you always do when having multiple reverbs? such as…do you make sure all the reverb times are consistent (or ensure that all the reverb times are absolutely not consistent).

I definitely don’t make different verbs the same length - I want them to be different for contrast.

One thing I always have difficulty with is with sending a track to more than 1 reverb (or sending different tracks to different reverbs) but still making the whole seem like a coherent space.

The early reflections thing @Jonathan talks about is key for me. Fab DuPont calls it “the office” - it’s the “invisible space” reverb that everything in my mix gets sent to in varying amounts. I like to take it one step further and use different pre-delay times on different elements going into what I call the “room” verb, but that’s not necessary.

If you’re interested, this thread details my approach to ambience (among other things) and gives solo’d audio examples to illustrate.

One parting comment. The pre-delay control on a reverb is possibly one of the most overlooked things when people discuss reverb - never underestimate its power.


I use and eq, usually cut hi, low and 2k region so that you get the effect but don’t muddy up the vocals.

I use at least 2 different verbs… learned from Fab as well.
i have been having fun lately putting the soundtoys microshift on the reverb and adding wide reflections. it again can allow you to open the central space but still have the effect of the effect.

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Really cool cheers.

I don’t think I have anything where I have such fine control. I have waves abbey road plates and softube tsar1R, which I love.
Thinking of upgrading to the full TSAR1 which will certainly give me more control over the ER but I don’t know about ‘disabling the tail’.
90% of the time I am working on a sparse mix - 1 or 2 acoustics and 1 or 2 vocals.
I also have a fairly large room (well mid sized) that I’m starting to experiment with getting reverb from, but I’m not sure any of that will be usable.

So…from reading this thread, am I right in thinking that you guys often setup a short reverb (mucking about with ER’s a lot somehow) which pretty much everything goes to and then some longer reverbs?

@Jonathan you mentioned feeding the shorter reverb (with the tail disabled) into the longer reverb. Did you mean literally setting up a send from the reverb track to the longer reverb, or sending the source to both the shorter reverb and the longer reverb?

The stock one in Pro Tools has an ER algorithm, but its not very good. Out of the 7 of them here, it was by far the least useful.

As you can see in examples, isolating the ER’s so you can have precise control over them on a dedicated bus is usually a matter of finding the control that ramps up the ER level to 100% then blending out or decreasing the ‘long tail’ to zero. But

Shoot a quick picture of the front and back room with your camera phone if you have it handy

I highly recommend putting ER’s, short verbs, and long verbs, and global verbs all on different busses.

It depends. Regardless, I keep them on different busses. Now…IF I DO feed the ER directly to a long verb, I do this using a bus to bus parallel chain. I never stack the ER, short verb, or long verb on the same bus channel. And I certainly do not stack them directly on the source channel. The reason for this is that you want to be able to control the way they interact with each other. You want control over how they are processed individually. Remember that the whole purpose is to develop texture. “To make the colors touch each other” as Manny Marroquin says. But if they’re not blended correctly then u simply end up with mud. Thus defeating the whole purpose.

Here’s an example. Say I have 4 verbs for a solo vocal. Nothing else in the entire song. An ER, a short room, a long verb, and an ambience verb. Start by automatically setting all verbs to 100% wet. Keep in mind they are on separate busses. First I get the ER sounding appropriate. Then lets say you throw a very fast transient enhancer on the ER tail. Then you send 60% of that to your room verb. Then using a second send, send 15% of that to your long verb. Then 8% to your long verb. All using separate sends from your ER bus.

Another example of why I use separate busses. ER verbs don’t take well to de-essers. Your long verb will probably need de-esser infront of it.

Me too!

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@ramshackles James, how much is that upgrade?

This info is gold Jonathon! I can’t wait to try this out. What do you think of the Valhalla reverbs? (Sorry, I don’t mean to butt in!)

Right now it is $199 to upgrade

You may want to get that 7th heaven instead. I think the TSAR does short room verbs really well but the 7th heaven just does everything insane. At least take a quick listen to the demo before you pull the trigger on the TSAR.

I’ve been trying to sort this out and found a Fab tutorial:

AAAhhhhhh! There it is!!! I couldn’t find that for the life of me!!!