Need help with early reflections...

Vehrka

New Member
Hey everybody, I’ve been doing a deep dive and trying to learn as much as I can about reverb and using sends (instead of just putting a reverb on the instrument channel).

One thing I’ve seen a lot of people do is create multiple sends for different types of reverbs or for different instrument groups. And I find those pretty self explanatory. However I’ve also seen people create reverbs just for early reflections and I got really curious. What would be the purpose of that? Just to get a feel of where the dry signals would be in the room?

If I wanted to setup my own ER send, how would I configure my reverbs? I have all the Valhalla plugins, R4, & H-Reverb. In ValhallaRoom, would I turn “Early” pre-delay, early size, & decay all down & put the Depth to 0?

Thanks everybody for reading this!
 

Joël Dollié

Active Member
The way I work with ER is by putting another small reverb with almost no tail or no tail at all in front of your actual reverb.

It can help instruments that don't have enough ER or room ambiance captured to blend better in your main hall reverb.

An easy way is just to put another reverb as insert on the channels (or busses) that need that extra "room mic feel" and then send that in the main hall reverb.

A more transparent approach is just to use some stereo slap delays (mono slap works on some stuff too) or the haas effect (be careful when using that though as it can potentially create phase artifacts, check in mono).

Anyway the whole point is to create a more effective sense of depth and distance and width too, as just turning up your main long reverb will not work if the captured sound is too close/lacks these initial room reflection delays.

Think of the ER reverb as insert as just "more room mic".
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
The Early Reflections determine to a large extent whether we hear an instrument close to us or rather far away. They also tell our brain whether it is a small room or not.
With many reverb plugins you can make settings for early reflections. But very few reverb plug-ins can actually solve the early reflection tasks.
Your reverb should be able to solve this in terms of ERs: Example (Push instruments into the room depth)
Your listed Reverbs are probably not very suitable to create beautiful room depths without a lot of reverb tail. They can rather produce beautiful tails...
Beat
 

Audio Birdi

Active Member
The Early Reflections determine to a large extent whether we hear an instrument close to us or rather far away. They also tell our brain whether it is a small room or not.
With many reverb plugins you can make settings for early reflections. But very few reverb plug-ins can actually solve the early reflection tasks.
Your reverb should be able to solve this in terms of ERs: Example (Push instruments into the room depth)
Your listed Reverbs are probably not very suitable to create beautiful room depths without a lot of reverb tail. They can rather produce beautiful tails...
Beat
What plugins would you recommend that create early reflections well? :)
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Convolution reverbs sometimes have very suitable IRs (Impulse Responses).
You set them to 100% wet and play an instrument - e.g. the pizzicato of a violin. Then try out all the IRs. It is important that you have the possibility to cut off the impulses after about 100ms. So you really get only the early reflections of the impulse answers.
Attention: It is not always the IRs of the large rooms that allow large distances to be set during the first reflections.

As an example:
The Convolution Reverb in Cubase 10.4 Pro contains for example an IR "Far away". If you choose the settings on the picture...
REVerence_ERs.jpg
...you get this sound: Violine Pizzicato (Mix: 0% - 100%)
So it's best to search your DAW or Convolution -IRs first.

Algoreverbs for "room depth without much tail":
- Breeze2 (+Precedence)
- EaReverb2

Best
Beat
 

nas

Senior Member
I've been using EW Spaces ACME room or Valhalla Room. They are both great for setting up a sense of ambience and a little depth before adding the Main Hall reverb with the tail. I also tend to switch of any early reflections on the main hall reverb and just adjust the tail reverb settings.
 

Billy Palmer

Active Member
My reverbs are literally Vroom, h-reverb, 2c B2 on trial and stock logic stuff.
What are some of the best presets for early reflections in these?

Say for a specific use case, I have a steinway recorded in a dry acoustic with a stereo pair. What would be the best tool in my kit for creating convincing early reflections?
 

Rowy

Active Member
Hey everybody, I’ve been doing a deep dive and trying to learn as much as I can about reverb and using sends (instead of just putting a reverb on the instrument channel).
This might be a stupid question. What does send really mean? I just use a reverb in my FX chain. Is that send? And if it isn't, is send better than adding a reverb per instrument?
 

re-peat

Senior Member
‘Send’ means that you send a certain amount of signal from your track(s) to an auxiliary channel that has a reverb (usually set to 100% wet) inserted.

Any number of tracks can send to the same aux channel. And you can also have different aux channels set up, each with a different type of reverb (or other effect processor, like a delay).

It’s the traditional way of working. And its main advantage is that you only need to instantiate one or two reverbs to handle all the reverb duties for an entire mix. Moreover, there are additional benefits such as the ability to EQ the signal that enters the reverb — entirely independent from the way the tracks themselves are EQ’ed — or treat the output of the reverb in some creative way or other. Or you can set up a few mono reverb aux channels and pan these opposite the tracks that send to them. Endless possibilities.

It’s certainly more convenient and resource-friendly to work with reverb plugins this way, but whether it is also better depends very much on the type of reverb/spatializer you work with, on your particular mixing techniques and on the sort of result you’re after.

Most people, I assume, combine the two: the main reverb chores are taken care of with the Send-method, while track-specific reverb requirements (or reverb effects) are more likely to be achieved by using inserts.


_
 

Rowy

Active Member
‘Send’ means that you send a certain amount of signal from your track(s) to an auxiliary channel that has a reverb (usually set to 100% wet) inserted.
Thank you, re-peat, for answering my question. Unfortunately I still don't get it. That is entirely my fault. I'm not that young anymore (back in the day a real orchestra of the Conservatory of Music played your music - if you were lucky), and although I have a lot of experience as a composer, virtual orchestras seem to hate me.

I use Reaper and I think it's easier for me if I find a demo of someone who explains sends with some nice pictures (or video) of the buttons I have to click, accompanied by text balloons, big red arrows and perhaps a couple of funny cats. That might do the trick.

To send or not to send, that is the question.
 

re-peat

Senior Member
A mixing console, be it real or virtual, is basically a collection of channels that route audio signals from the various input stages to the console’s main output stage.

There are different types of these channels. The biggest group consists of the regular ‘track channels’ (in a DAW, these can either be instrument or audio channels), but another group is made up of what are usually called ‘auxiliary channels’. Unlike the track channels, these auxiliary channels — often referred to as aux’es — don’t receive their input from an external source, but from within the console itself.

Here’s how that works: each of the track channels has a number of ‘send knobs’ via which a certain amount of audio signal that runs through the track channel, is deviated and sent to the auxiliary channel that is the designated recipient of that particular send knob. Follow me still?

Now, when you have, say, a reverb plugged into the auxiliary channel, all the audio that is sent to that aux channel, will, obviously, run through the reverb. And if you make sure that the reverb is set to 100% wet, the output of the auxiliary channel will contain nothing but pure, 100% wet reverberation from the audio that was sent to it. Right?

So, now you have two channels to mix with: one ‘track channel’ which has the dry source running through it, and one ‘auxiliary channel’ which outputs the reverberation of that same source. And by adjusting the faders of both channels and/or the setting of the send knob, you can balance (‘mix’) the two. That’s the basic principle of the send concept in all mixing consoles, real or virtual.

And as I mentioned earlier, multiple track channels can all send some, or a lot, of their signal to the same auxiliary channel, guaranteeing a consistent reverberation for all these different signals. And the amount of reverb remains fully controllable, per channel, via the setting of the send knob. That’s what’s so brilliant about the whole concept.

I don’t know if I made myself clear though. The whole thing is basically simplicity itself, you know, it only appears to be complex and confusing if you happen to have the bad luck to have it explained to you by someone who’s not very good at explaining things. And maybe I am.
But I’m sure there must be a YouTube video — thousands, probably — that clarifies all this with the aid of illuminating visuals and schematics.

_
 

storyteller

Senior Member
Hope this helps. It uses my OTR template for Reaper, but the basic concept will be the same for you. Since you said you use Reaper...

 

Rowy

Active Member
So, now you have two channels to mix with: one ‘track channel’ which has the dry source running through it, and one ‘auxiliary channel’ which outputs the reverberation of that same source. And by adjusting the faders of both channels and/or the setting of the send knob, you can balance (‘mix’) the two. That’s the basic principle of the send concept in all mixing consoles, real or virtual.
I think I get it, some of it, maybe. I wonder, what is the difference between a mix of the two channels and a dry/wet mix of the reverb? Isn't that the same? Couldn't I just turn the dry/wet knob?

By the way, I finally succeeded in producing the sound of a fine string orchestra. Although it might bring tears to your eyes if you'd know how I managed that. But now I'm a happy simple woman instead of just being simple.

Many thanks for your patience, re-peat.
 

Rowy

Active Member
Hope this helps. It uses my OTR template for Reaper, but the basic concept will be the same for you. Since you said you use Reaper...
I'm afraid you overestimated my ability to understand a screen full of sliders and flashing things. Besides, I didn't see any big red arrows, explanatory text balloons, or a funny cat ;)

Still, I'll get there, eventually. Thanks, storyteller.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
I wonder, what is the difference between a mix of the two channels and a dry/wet mix of the reverb?
You're correct - a wet/dry mix of 50% is essentially the same as a send at -0dB (equal to the source track's level) sent to a reverb at 100% wet.

In practice, there may be small differences, depending on the reverb in question. Put the most simply, a send is a copy of the original signal, routed in parallel. So, whatever happens to the "sent" signal, the source will remain just as loud and unaffected as ever. This also enables you to send multiple source signals through the same parallel path.

If you were to put a reverb on an insert and adjust the ratio, you're routing it in series. Some reverbs will subtract dry signal as it adds wet, or make some other active attempt to maintain a consistent level. Others might even affect the dry signal for various reasons (though those are rarer, and usually make it a deliberate choice). In these cases, the resulting output of turning the wet dry knob will be a bit different from adjusting a send level.
 

Rowy

Active Member
You're correct - a wet/dry mix of 50% is essentially the same as a send at -0dB (equal to the source track's level) sent to a reverb at 100% wet.
Thanks, averystemmler, for reassuring me. There might be some difference, but I got a good result with Valhalla Vintage Reverb without the use of a send. As I know by now, there are so much things to worry about, when you're mixing, that I'm going to stick with my current settings.

After all, I'm a composer, not an engineer. The younger generation probably can be both, but I prefer the silence of my study, a piano, music paper and a pencil, nothing more. And then, after I finished the composition, I (reluctantly) start up the modern machinery.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
I'm afraid you overestimated my ability to understand a screen full of sliders and flashing things. Besides, I didn't see any big red arrows, explanatory text balloons, or a funny cat ;)

Still, I'll get there, eventually. Thanks, storyteller.
Ha. Sorry about that. After re-watching the video, I can see how it would make more sense when understood in the context of the other OTR videos and what was going on in it.

But @re-peat and @averystemmler nailed the descriptions. I'll chime in that in simplicity, inserts work just fine (especially if the reverb has a built in eq). But the benefits of using a send for reverb means that you can compress the signal and eq it separately from the track. You can also eq the incoming signal before the reverb which might be an effect you are after. Lastly, if your track also has a delay, if that delay is set up as a separate send, you can then send a touch of the delay to the reverb send to add glue to the overall sound.

Admittedly, these are more advanced mixing concepts, but as you become more comfortable at crafting your sound, the reason for sends will become much more obvious.
 

robgb

I was young once
For adding the in-the-room sound to a dry instrument, I highly recommend the free Dragon Reverb, or the lowcost Hornet Plugins' Spaces. Both do a wonderful job. Or, if you're using Reaper, add ReaDelay to the track and use the "small room" preset.

Actually, I think Cuckos supplies the Reaper native plugins free for other DAW users as well.