A few questions about "finishing" reverb on the final mix bus (Stereo Out)

BassClef

Senior Member
Hobbyist here about a year into composing with a DAW and VIs...

Until now I've always started with a new "blank" DAW instance and added as I go along. Now I've set up a template to begin trying that approach. I am using SpacesII convolution reverb on aux busses. (separate buses with reverb insert for each of 8 instrument groups) Now I am also experimenting with an algorithmic "finish" reverb on my main bus, so a few questions...

ON THE MASTER "STERO OUT" BUS

1) Do you also use an EQ plugin on the final MIS BUS and if so... before or after the reverb?
2) How do you separate any "full project" EQing from just EQing the reverb in the final mix bus? I'm using Logic's Chromaverb which has a "damping EQ" as well as an "output EQ" and I'm not sure of the difference. For example... I may want to keep the "final reverb" from being applied the low end of the mix, but I don't want to cut the low end of the final mix.
3) For my "section reverbs" (NOT THE FINAL MIX BUS) I keep the reverb's "dry" setting all the way down, and control "how much reverb" by using the send controls of tracks sent to those reverbs. However on this "Final Mix Bus" reverb, I keep the "dry" all the way up and just turn the "wet" up gradually from "0" to add a slight, extra "tail" onto the final mix. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?

I hope these Qs are clear.

Thanks
 

Teldex

New Member
I might not be the most qualified person on this forum to answer your questions, but I see that you don’t have any other responses as yet, so I can try to help a bit.

It is common to use an EQ on the final mix bus, but any EQ inserted on this bus will affect the entire sound, not just the reverb. If you want to affect just the sound of a reverb plugin that is inserted on the final mix bus, the EQ needs to be built into the reverb plugin itself. I don’t use Logic so I don’t know about the Chromaverb Eq set up, but the “output EQ” that you mentioned should work.

Regarding damping: Damping is more about reverb time. It is slightly different than just adjusting the overall time of a reverb’s decay because ordinarily the decay affects all frequencies, whereas the damping feature is designed to affect a specific frequency range. For example, if you want to keep the default reverb time on the high frequencies but you want a shorter time on the lower frequencies, you can focus the damping control on the low frequencies.

EQ before or after the reverb? This is debatable, but in most situations it makes sense to have the signal going into the reverb to be as perfect as possible, rather than having ugly/standout frequencies exciting the reverb and then trying to tame these after the fact. So from that point of view, EQ first, then reverb.

In regard to your last question, yes it makes sense to have the dry – or ‘direct’ – signal at the optimum level otherwise you are just hearing the reverb effect without the pure signal of the instruments, and this will make things sound washed out. Unless of course you were after a more obvious ‘sound effect’ application of the reverb, then it’s a case of whatever pleases the ears.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Taste -- but common: A lot of people EQ the reverb to cut both the high and low so it doesn't get too boomy or too shimmery.

Taste, also pretty common: Plenty of people seem to add EQ to the final mix -- including the reverb.

Best practice: You are correct to leave the reverb at "wet only" or, put another way, turn off the original signal so that when you turn up or down the reverb you don't raise or lower the original signal. IDK anyone knowledgeable who doesn't do this.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
All of this depends on the context, but it's a good idea to filter everything in the rumble range - below 80Hz or possibly a little higher - from the reverb. So I EQ before the reverb.

As to where you put the reverb, that's up to you. The advantage to using a send rather than an insert is that you get a separate submix for it, which lets you control how far back things are.

"Finishing reverb" is a common thing to use, but it's also common not to use it. If something sounds good with its own recorded or built-in reverb... well, it may not have the gluing effect one might expect. Bus compression is a more likely candidate for that.
 

labornvain

Active Member
You've created a problem for yourself that is unnecessary. Instead of inserting reverb on your mix bus, create a send reverb and route your sends from your aux buses to that reverb.

This way you're finishing reverb will still be fed by every track yet it will still have Independence per tweaking or what not

It will also allow you to vary the send levels from different groups of instruments. For example, I rarely ever send as much reverb to bass instruments as I do to, for example, violins.

In fact, this is why I never insert reverbs on my group buses. While they can be effective and deliver a decent product, it's just as easy to get the same effect by setting up all your reverbs as send effects and then routing the output of each reverb channel to its corresponding instrument group.

So I have a percussion group / bus. I therefore create repercussion reverb channel which is routed to the same percussion bus.

This way you still enjoy the benefits of being able to output stems with the appropriate reverb included but you still maintain the control of how much reverb is sent to each individual instrument.
 
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OP
BassClef

BassClef

Senior Member
You've created a problem for yourself that is unnecessary. Instead of inserting reverb on your mix bus, create a send reverb and route your sends from your aux buses to that reverb.
Thanks... I already do that. I have several reverbs set up on aux tracks for the different group busses. (strings, brass, winds, etc) this question was just about adding a “finish” reverb to sort of glue everything together.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
2) How do you separate any "full project" EQing from just EQing the reverb in the final mix bus?
It's best to have separate steps. Really instead of a mix bus you can think in terms of 3 buses:

1. the "Scoring Stage" bus which combines all of the dry sounds and positional reverbs (Spaces2 in your case). This is analogous to the sound of the orchestra coming off the scoring stage.

2. the "Music Mix" bus which is directly fed from Scoring Stage, plus whatever you sent from Stage through a "finishing" reverb.

(In this way you can apply any effect, such as EQ, either to the Scoring Stage alone, or to the finishing reverb send, or to the combined Music Mix)

3. the Master Out will combine the Music Mix and any other sounds in your project, specifically the Dialogue and Sound FX deliveries from production, the temp score, etc. These can be muted most of the time but the point is if you need to reference them, you unmute and they play out with no fx. For that reason I never have any FX whatsoever on Master Out. Any effect that I want to apply to the whole orchestra, I will put on Music Mix instead.

If you want to get more complicated you can also create 7 or 8 copies of your finishing reverb & send to them from your separate strings/brass/winds/perc stems. Lots of pros do this, it makes stems easier to print. The idea is that every stem is an individual music channel flowing in parallel and not combined until they get to Master Out. During a cue you can control the levels of all your reverbs at the same time by tying them together with a VCA fader.
 
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Teldex

New Member
Best practice: You are correct to leave the reverb at "wet only" or, put another way, turn off the original signal so that when you turn up or down the reverb you don't raise or lower the original signal.
Just in case there is some confusion: I believe John G is referring here to the scenario of using reverb as a send effect, whereas my statement about having some direct/dry signal was in reference to the scenario of having a reverb inserted on the final mix bus.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Just in case there is some confusion: I believe John G is referring here to the scenario of using reverb as a send effect, whereas my statement about having some direct/dry signal was in reference to the scenario of having a reverb inserted on the final mix bus.

yes I was, a send effect -- sorry if unclear
 

re-peat

Senior Member
BassClef,

Ever since the Logic developers decided to have the Stereo Out track (when you want to have it visible in the Arrange window) all the way at the bottom of the tracklist — an incomprehensibly stupid decision which annoys me beyond words — I route all my tracks to a Bus (which I can place anywhere I like in the tracklist) and from there to the Stereo Out.

In my case, I’ve set up Bus 17 as my so-called “Sum Bus”. Everything that enters this sum bus gets sent straight through to the Stereo Out.

I mention this because if, say, you send everything to Bus 17 (and from there to the Stereo Out), you can have a Aux channel set up to ALSO receive everything that’s being sent to Bus 17 — simply change the input of the Aux channel and set it to Bus 17 —, and if you then insert your ‘finishing reverb’ in that Aux, have it 100% wet, you have the exact same situation as you would have if you’d inserted the reverb in the Stereo Out, but with the added bonus that you can EQ the reverb completely independently from the Stereo Out. (And balancing the reverb is, obviously, simply a matter of adjusting the Aux’s fader.)
You can, in fact, do anything you like to the reverb — automate it, compress it, gate it, chorus it, harmonize it, saturate it, whatever … — without it affecting the source sound in any way.

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labornvain

Active Member
Thanks... I already do that. I have several reverbs set up on aux tracks for the different group busses. (strings, brass, winds, etc) this question was just about adding a “finish” reverb to sort of glue everything together.
Really? I could have swore that you said that you were inserting reverbs on your group buses and experimenting or trying to problem solve a problem with inserting reverb on your master bus.

My apologies for not reading more carefully.