One of the most powerful tools in a mixing engineer's arsenal is reverb. Used properly, it can add depth and space to your mix while balancing out the elements within. But beware: Reverb used improperly can wreak havoc on your mix! In this blog post, we'll take a look at 9 common mistakes that many engineers make with their reverbs, so you don'st have to learn through trial and error.
One of the most common mistakes people make with reverbs is not checking the pre-delay. This setting controls how long it takes for the reverb to start after the original sound. If you don'st set it correctly, your reverb will either be too early or too late, and it will throw off the balance of your mix.
Another common mistake is using too much reverb. When used excessively, reverb can quickly muddy up your mix and make it sound indistinct. It's important to use just enough reverb to create the desired effect without overwhelming everything else in your mix.
Another mistake people often make is not adjusting the reverb's level relative to the other elements in their mix. If you don'st do this, your mix will end up sounding muddy and unbalanced. It's important to find the right balance so that the reverb doesn'st drown out everything else in your mix.
Another common mistake is choosing the wrong type of reverb for the job. There are many different types of reverbs available, each with its own unique sound and characteristics. So it's important to choose one that will fit the specific application you're using it for.
On the other hand, sometimes people use too little reverb, which can make their mix sound dull and lifeless. It's important to find the right balance between using enough and not using too much reverb. You want to add just enough to give your mix some life without going overboard.
Another common mistake is placing the reverb in the wrong place in the mix. If you put it before certain elements, it will make them sound washed out and distant. If you put it after certain elements, it will make them sound muffled and indistinct. It's important to place reverbs in the right place to help them blend with your mix without washing out or muffling it.
Another mistake people make is using too obvious of a reverb setting. If you use one that's way off from what other engineers might be doing, it will draw attention to itself and end up ruining the balance within your mix. It's important to choose something that fits into most typical situations so that you don'st attract undue attention to yourself for choosing an unusual type of reverb.
Not Getting Rid of Unnecessary Dissonant Frequencies Before Running the Signal Through Reverb Effects Processors. A lot of reverbs have built-in filters and EQs to help remove unwanted frequencies. But if you use one without removing these beforehand, it can make your reverb sound boxy and unnatural. It's important to run the signal through a high-pass filter before running it into any reverb processors so that you end up with a cleaner final output signal.
Not Checking for Latency Issues. If you're monitoring your mix on headphones or speakers while recording vocals, latency issues might become apparent when using reverbs and other effects at this stage of production. So be sure to listen back in mono (or even better yet: solo) after adding any effect processors like reverbs so that they won'st cause problems later down the line! Your ears will thank you for it!