Today, we are sharing some common reverb mistakes! These are mistakes that we are all guilty of, but once we are aware of them, we can correct them and take all our mixes to the next level!
These tips are also available as a cheat sheet so you can always have access to them! Click here to download the cheat sheet!
1. Forgetting to EQ Your Reverbs
On my track, there is a reverb in my snare, and what I’ve also done is high passed before the reverb, because there is a low rumble at about 30 or 40 hertz, that we just don’t need to hear. What will happen if you don’t high pass, is the reverb will exaggerate that low end and give us a horrible, ugly, rumble which will kill all the definition and make the low end a mess.
2. Setting the Wrong Reverb Time
If there is a second between the end of one phrase and the start of another, you would think to put a second’s worth of decay on it, but I would actually set it a little bit longer, because there comes a point when it is decaying and it will be pretty inaudible.
Use your DAW to find out how long it is between each phrase, and use that to get an idea of what works. Going slightly longer than the projected time is generally a good strategy, though, because then you will not get to a point where the decay is inaudible.
3. Putting Reverbs Directly on Audio Tracks
If you put the reverb on the track directly, especially after you’ve been mixing, it is going to completely change the level. For example, If you have a lead vocal, and you want to make it sound like it’s just coming forward a bit, putting the reverb on the track will suddenly make it much quieter and you will not get the desired effect. Instead, create an auxiliary, and put the reverb on there, preferably with some EQ either on or before the reverb as well!
4. Underestimating Stock Reverbs
Whatever your DAW is, I am sure the stock effects in there are actually pretty darn good! It is also better to get to know your stock reverbs really well before you add on to it. So take some time and see what reverbs are already included in your DAW!
5. Not Automating Your Reverbs
In my track, I’ve got the short reverbs going through the whole some, and they don’t change volume, but when we hit the chorus, where the song is much denser, the reverb and delay come up. Doing this is not going to make the whole track feel like it has been reverberated, but it help it to sound the same as it did on the verse!
6. Having Too Many Types of Reverbs
I like to use multiple reverbs at different level. I actually find that using three reverbs on a vocal is pretty normal. However, getting to carried away and using something really subtly different on 30 different instruments is a waste of time. As much as I love putting ambience on something, there are better ways of doing it!
You want to have control of things, and the last thing you want is to have so many different plugins going that you hear a buildup of reverb, and you can’t figure out where it is coming from. Make your life simple, and make sure you employ effects for a reason!
Watch the video below to hear more about these reverb mistakes!