Reverb is truly one of the most versatile audio effects. It can be used on just about anything. Your tracks probably consist of many elements like rhythm, bass, guitars, vocals, etc. and at some point, you’ll want to separate these elements in the stereo field. You can do that either by panning or by using stereo expanding tools. Reverb is a certainly a good solution since it’s an effect that shifts our the perception of how much is something close or far from us. So, if an instrument has a lot of reverb it will sound like it is far away from you. On the other hand, an instrument with little or no reverb of all will sound like it is in front of you.
Get 3D depth
In the following tutorial, I will show you how to use the reverb effect in order to get 3D depth in your mixes. You can use this trick on almost every audio source including bass. Of course, in that case, you should use it in reasonable amounts. Essentially, I will show you how to combine more than one reverb effect with different settings in order to achieve really nice sound coloration of the instrument.
This short guitar sequence is a part of a short loop which I made in SoundBridge. It sounds too dry for now, so I will try to apply this 3D reverb trick in order to make it sound better.
~Guitar – unprocessed
Firstly, you need to create a couple of return tracks in Soundbridge. As you can see from the picture below, the return track channels are hard panned in opposite ways. This will allow us to have a totally different sense of space on both left and right speakers.
For the first return track, I have chosen the ValhallaRoom plugin. In my opinion, this reverb sounds beautiful and I use it a lot. In this case, I have tweaked the settings to sound cathedral-like with really long decay time.
On the other channel, I have placed a FabFilter Pro-R reverb plugin. I love this reverb because of its equalizer which is copied from the famous FabFilter’s Pro-Q equalizer. It has surgical precision when it comes to details. So parameters of the Pro-R are set for a shorter sounding reverb effect, with 1 sec decay time and a pre-delay setting which is tempo synced.
Now on the Acoustic guitar channel, I will slowly add reverb`s by shifting return track amounts
Coloured like this we can clearly hear how the guitar now has that 3D depth and sounds a lot better.
~Guitar – processed
In the end, let us hear how the acoustic guitar sound with other elements in the mix.
~ Full mix