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Mic positions in sample library VS Early Reflections. (And some other questions)

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by thevisi0nary, Jul 12, 2018 at 8:41 AM.

  1. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    I know there is a lot of information on use of reverb, and I know that it ultimately comes down to what you prefer, but it is reassuring to hear what other people do so that you are more comfortable developing a new setup or technique. So just a couple questions I wanted to ask.

    1. Mic positions in sample libraries vs Er's and spatial positioners. I've been reading a lot about putting different libraries in the same space using Er's, what I am wondering is if this is necessary if your sample library already comes with different mic positions (Close, Tree, Ambient, etc). With these mic controls is there any point to using something for early reflections? In what situation would you and why?

    2. When you try to "put things in the same room", does this matter more in terms of the tail? Or does this still apply to ER's?

    3. How often and why are you sending the parent of a group track or sending all individual tracks to a reverb bus?

    4. How much, if at all, processing such as eq are you doing on the reverb bus? What about before and after the reverb?

    Thank you for any help.
  2. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    1. no point
    2. this one is a little complicated. If, at the extreme, you have close-mic'd brass and far-away-mic'd strings, you'd have both an ER problem and a tail problem. But if you match mic distance and drape a little reverb over the result, you solve both problems
    3. I use reverb sends on all individual tracks* so I can use more or less, and longer or shorter reverb depending on the sound of the original samples. Not sure I 100% understand your question here. I also have at least one separate reverb for each section (strings, brass, per, choir etc) so I can deliver individual stems, but that's militated by the dub stage requirements, not a mixing preference.
    4. Many people will roll off bottom and some top (using both high and low filters, in other words) before the source hits the reverb. You roll off the lows so as not to add extra rumble to the reverb, and roll off some highs so as not to add too much sizzle. Many / all? reverbs have controls that allow you to do this on the reverb itself so you don't have to interpose EQ plugins to do it. There are no exact rules here, though some people claim there are. I have heard people argue, for example, that you want a pretty tight band for snare reverb -- you cut both highs and lows fairly aggressively. After applying reverb you certainly might put bus compression or overall mastering plugins, but it's more usual to process the signal with EQ and what-not before it hits the reverb. Not so much after

    As an overall comment I personally think a lot of people spend way too much time on early reflections and all this jabber. It is absolutely useful to try to get a natural sound by matching mic positions if that's possible, and that takes care of it.

    * By "individual tracks," I mean that I break the audio recordings of strings into about 8 stereo pairs, the drums into 10, etc. and I'm able to regulate the reverb send for each one of those stereo pairs. So, "high short strings" may need more reverb than "contrabass." I don't have a separate send for V1, V2, Vla. Timpani have a separate reverb send control from snares or ethnic drums. Some tracks, like synth bass, may not need any reverb at all.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 1:56 PM
    Joe Maron likes this.
  3. OP

    thevisi0nary Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Thank you very much, this clears up a lot for me.

    So in the instance of question 2, with the close miced brass and the far miced strings, you would try to put them in the same mic distance with er's or spatial positioners or the sample library included mics, and then glue them with a reverb (if I am understanding correctly).

    For question number 3 I was asking if you would send all individual tracks to the reverb bus or would you send the parent track of each group (ie sending each brass instrument or the single parent track of that group). Actually I just read your edit, thank you.

    Last question I have, are there any situations where you are automating the level of reverb send? I don't mean the reverb bus itself I mean the level of one instruments send to the reverb. If so, what type of situation would typically benefit from this? I would imagine it can't be that often.

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