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Using Reverb

Lesson 24 from: Mixing Electronic Music In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

24. Using Reverb

Next Lesson: Mixing Recap

Lesson Info

Using Reverb

we're gonna go over these different types of re verbs advantages and then look at them within live. And we're gonna look at n Theo CEOs track and add what I call reverb strategy to it to add a new dimension and also using mid side with reverb. Right now, I'm just gonna talk a little about the theory around reverb. Just so you know the history. Let's go back here. There are analog reverb, digital reverb and convolution. So analog was literal devices that took inputs, change them and output it a signal. Great example that is spring reverb. So the sound would come in here. It would vibrate the spring and then come to a little microphone there and that would be your reverb. So it's actually vibrating a spring. Ah, plate reverb is actually doing the same thing except for for a gigantic plate which will then river. What will shake cool thing about plates are you can get a harmonic tone out of them depending on their size. Pretty interesting. And then you also have the next one, which is hard...

wood re verbs, which came much later, which then used DSP to emulate different spaces and that's where you get like the size of the room type of thing is a large room. Small room diffused. Not that all was developed through DSP. They also have software reverb, which does very similar thing on board, like able tens reverb, where you have things like stereo decay, sighs and so on. All to emulate a space well. We also have another type, which is a software, and it's convolution reverb. If you haven't used convolution reverb, you're gonna love it. It's absolutely amazing. And here's what convolution reverb is a software reverb is emulating a space by a bunch of mathematics parameters, right, like boats this size with this type of walls. Because it's defused this way, and that's what it sounds like. Convolution is a recording of a room, usually on either a clap or frequency sweep put into a software. So here's the audio of that clap, and then any audio going in would have the same type of decay and movement as that original recording. So if I clap in this room and get whatever call, there's a very slight amount of reverb, I can record that I can go home. I can run a synthesizer and emulated being in this room because it's going through the same type of decay and effect that the reverb did. And it's absolutely powerful. I literally have specific cathedrals in Spain I can choose from. I can pick caves and I've been to I can go to, you know, gigantic libraries of things and use it as a reverb and they're absolutely gorgeous. Within live sweet. You do get Max for live, which has this convolution, reverb Perot, which I will be showing There are also some was, like one free one for Mac and I wasn't impressed by it, but you could look around. There are quite a few free ones for PC just so you know. Now we're gonna look at creating a cohesive strategy with these re verbs, right? To create a clean mix, you should know the overall picture and what you want to dio using re verbs before you add them to instruments, right? Don't just like at a bunch of reverb and Ugo and be like, I don't know. I had a cathedral for my vocal and then the drums were in a teeny little room and then my, uh, snare was in this gigantic, different style room. Then you have, like 20 different river verbs, and they just don't make sense. So we want to create realism. This could be done through return tracks and groups. Now it's very gritty. Show that off with inflows Track. You're looking at his track. All right, You do have some return tracks with river. Yeah, I was trying to loathe convolution reverb in, but I didn't get a chance to, so I just I switched it out further. So, uh, there's a few ways you can do this. You could just put reverb on whatever track she want to effect. Or you could create multiple returns and add re verbs. That's my preference, because I get more realism out of it because it's only a few spaces, and if I later decide, actually want this to be a bigger room. It's one thing, and then I affect all of it. This wouldn't be really weird to have, like every instrument with its own different type of river. Yes, totally, exactly. There is one thing to the rule, though, which is sometimes I have a recording, and I wanted to be a longer decay and I will use it as an effect to change the sonic quality. But that's different than saying what room it's in. Right? So we're looking at the room. What is the room look like? What is the space look like? Now, Um, you already have some things routed to it. So let's just here. So it looks like this is long. This is longer. And that short? Oh, that's a side. Chain one. Okay, well, let me show you how I go about this. I have done this technique the last year or so and it's blown my nixing the way. Personally, it's absolutely fantastic. What I do is I create three return tracks for my re verbs, and I put in different reverb is to represent different parts of the space so very front in the middle, near me, close and intimate, very far back. My music is very dynamic, so I like to view it as like maybe maybe being outdoors under the stars at a festival. Listen to music. That's while have people close. I'll have elements like a vocal there, and they will have wide elements that are supposed to represent way off in the Woods. So that's how I visualize my space. But you can visualize it any way you want, but well, I'll do is I'll come in and I'll pick up. Uh, no, it's Max for live convolution. River Pro does that. I was telling people here that it might happen. We have some questions we could take. What? Stern back up? Yeah, it's gonna taking it. Okay, um, we're getting a lot of questions about Do you ever mixed in mono? When When do you suggest people mixing mono? Yeah, I mixed in mono in the same way that I use a reference. Okay, sometimes I will turn mono on and here what my mixed sounds like and then turn it off. In general, I don't mix in mono. It's the same thing, like turning down the volume of something like Also, I will say, I don't really pay attention to specialization till the very end of my track. So that is where a lot of people's problems come in with putting on stereo effects when they're volumes are all off, they fixed their volumes on their stereos all off. So because of that, I am doing it in a logical way like I'm describing. I go through volumes going to, like, compression go into, uh, the tonal quality of it. And then I move into specialization, and at that point, it should sound pretty good. But I do turn, model on and off for that. Just so everyone knows, just put a utility in there, put it in mono, and then just on off, turn on, listen to it, Turn it off. Uh, yeah, because as soon as you add any effects on there, you're gonna get all sorts of weird phasing when you put it in a mono, So you're gonna have to turn on the stereo and it will change your choices, So don't constantly redo it. I know there is a lot of discussion about Do either one of those. I think I'm sort of guilty of just like having a lot of stereo effects before just, you know, it's part of the learning process. But when I did go into mono, it was almost like my ears could make sense, like there's just so much stereo nous going on in my ears. We're just confused. But going into monaural all of a sudden it was like Oh, I can. That's very clearly, you know, too loud that clapper. And it just really simplified things for me. Yeah, that's why I think is a reference on off, but not a hard rule at all. Um, but if you're doing this towards the end, your track, it won't be as big a deal because you won't be like making a synthesizer that's as big as the biggest room ever. And then being, like, why isn't mixing? Well, you would know it already did mix well, Did it help to the river? Add right. Um, let's try this plug in one more time. And if it doesn't work well, let's not use convolution. You can use convolution. I personally think it sounds a lot better. We're just gonna use lives normal reverb, and the same effect applies just your choice of room changes. And this is how we do it. I will generally pick three different types of rooms, and this will all make sense in a moment. So one thing is, I'll pick like, uh uh, like a small room for one, and then I'll pick like a I'm gonna go for, like, just kind of like a dark Bumi kind of big sound. And then I'll go with, like, a really big sound for the end, which I love the kind of cathedral setting here which I think you actually used there. Yeah, um, this for the sake of this, let's just those I'm gonna have to redo the settings in a bit. Now if I move if I come in here and add things to my small, medium large room, they're gonna have, you know, that kind of effect of being close and farther away. But it's still not gonna quite be what I want. That's where this idea of mid side mixing completely changed it for me. So what I'm gonna try to do is have it more mono closer and widen as it goes out. And that creates this really three dimensional feel in my music because I can put things sounding as if it's in the back in terms of its river and things very, very intimate. And I just go into inside right now I'm in mid and I want my midst to be pretty center. I definitely don't want a lot of low end. It's just mud in reverb and in my sides. I don't want that mud even more so I want this down. I'm really going for mono. But I might have just a little bit on the higher end because the spray seems to go a little farther. Generally, I take that same idea. Oh, put it here. Now I want it to be much more present in my middle, right? Much more. Here. This is the middle medium room, and I'll go into my medium and I'm turning this down a little bit, just subdued ing it just a little right. And then I go to my cathedral and now I'm really pushing down, especially the highs. I'm just really making its side. So then I go to my sides and raise that out. It's still don't want too much low end something like that. Now, I'm just gonna go through here and kind of not randomly but very quickly add stuff to it. So I have the three reverb ABC a being small. Did you know that small room medium? Now watch what happens when I turn off that inside with it. How big like it? Just much bigger where this seems much cleaner and farther out, and it just cleans up the sound quite a bit. Now if I come in here very obvious. Yeah. Let's go to where the flutes come in. Oh, yeah, that was the old. Okay, so that sounds good. Well, we're not hearing anything, but it will sound good. And, uh, yeah, I want to turn that. Okay, let's just hear all of these. I'm actually gonna turn up the gain a little on some of these. Granted, I could just send a little more, but I'm lazy. So to me, just even listening to that it sounds very realistic. It's a cohesive strategy for your reverb. And I could even turn up helps. I want to lead automation, Ariel. I think so. That combination of reverb is, and mid side is going to bring a whole new level for your specialization. It's absolutely gorgeous for me. I find it gives me that very cryptic minds or the kind of electronic music that you can sometimes hear that seems very big and present and gorgeous, You know, very good for ambient music to you can get these really lush sounds out of it. And you could always come in here and, you know, effect that decay time and everything. And now, since it's, uh, return tracks, it's very easy to send different elements to it. Have cohesive. Uh, so just one thing to keep in mind that if you are doing an effect to your sound, you can add extra reverb to it to kind of change it. It's quality. Sometimes things are too harsh, and I use reverb as a way of subduing it a little bit. But then I, for my specialization in my mix because we're not really changing the quality of sounds as a mixing person, we're really making it sound good and polished. So that's why we'd look at something like that. Sort of touched on this already. But how you imagine your specializations, can you explain positions of elements in your, um, a system like volume panting and other space? So But you you talked about that already? A little bit. Yeah. Um, they're asking, like how I can really, like, wear light place things. Scribd is just visualize seeing it live, right? That's just that to me. Is that the most effective way? Yeah, definitely. But that actually brings me to a really good point, which I think is next, which will answer that. Well, maybe answer some more questions. Um okay, so we went over mid side with river and how that might interact. We also have dynamic re verbs, which is processing, Shaping the reverb dry signal. Ah, in other words, we can change the sound itself and then reverb it. I know I'm going off a little tangent and then I'm gonna pack to this question, but something I didn't get into that I forgot about it first is let's say this is more specific for But remember how we talked about parallel compression. You have parallel queuing, which would be putting in a reverb reverb. I will then group it. And on one where the reverb is, I can put like, some type of Q. Or better yet, I mean, even, even better. I'm gonna put on multi band dynamic. I'm a turn my low admits off duplicating this by President Control. D You can also do command e I'm gonna have the opposite, right? Actually, yes. Okay. I want that on. But these air off. Great. So you can see that this one has the high off this one has the high on delete this reverb and now I can dynamically process them separate Try so I can have the top in just a wet reverb sound I can affect the volume That could be a really useful way of doing something like, let's say a sense that you don't want the base reverb. You can do it this way, dynamically affecting it. That can also be very helpful. Okay, we can also use convolution reverb to emulate gear. Um, okay, I'm not gonna use able to his convolution because I don't want to break things, but, I mean, it does work 80% of times It works. But I don't want to waste your all this time. And I want to answer that question really quick. I just speed through this part. But if you come in, I have a plugging called S I r. Two. It is a convolution reverb. It is very cheap. Very worth it. I think it's 40 bucks or something and I choose my convolution, which I could choose gear and this. So I'm going through an MPEG and I could go through a db x Jensen transistor. You name it specific gear, and you can hear how much it changes it on orange and driver. So I can. Amplifier is acting like the AMP within live, which is pretty much doing the same thing. But convolution can also emulate gear and create very interesting effects. Yeah. Did you have a question? Pretty fun. A lot of this comes with a built in with their convolution pro, but you can also, uh, get your own. So it's a timetable with sweet. Then I can can get access to Can't have it. Yeah, yeah, But if you have standard, then you can just get accomplish in River Urban, there's tons that just look online. There are tons of free ones out there. People are. There's a whole community of people doing it right. Different re verbs, same sound. We kind of showed that where you can send a little bit, too, amid one a little bit to a large one to kind of give it a sense of space that could be very interesting. And this is where I was trying to lead to, to answer this question, and it's realism versus surrealism, right? One way you can look at things is a very obvious putting things on this stage, but you can get a little more creative. And that's what I wanted to get to. So, uh, here we have very simple perspective, right? Perspective, or this would be like seeing the stage and seeing the parts. One way of doing it. Totally valid. Valid looks natural. Looks great. This is bad perspective. Uh, this is my drawing, so don't make fun of it too much. I did this last night, all right? It looks great. Really realistic. Look at that car. Uh, so this is like having your things panned all crazy. This is having your singer over on the left side of the stage while having your drums over there And, like, someone will listen to and be like what? It's totally I have no idea what's going on. Um, so it's important to have a sense of realism with your placement as far as where they go. I have no idea. There's no fact to this you might have 20 elements, so they all need to be placed differently. You might have five. You know, just where might they be if you have elements than you think of it in terms of sections, right violin section. So maybe they're all slightly panned. Just a little bit, but still a clump. And then if you had all your tracks slightly panned, then you can move the whole group and move the whole violence section. That's a fun way to control that. That's a more advanced way of moving them in space, right? So bad perspective. We went over that. But there's 1/3 1 which, um, if you can get to and if you can, your mix is going to totally awesome. And that is using all of these tools to make realism surreal, right? Using by neural painting to makes things move very strangely, using, um, mid side to create big and small spaces and a sense of realism. But also it's very abstract. How does that work? I don't know. That is hopefully where you can if you want to go to Grant. If you're mixing a band, you probably never very standard band. You want to do this like a blues group that very strange possible. But if you're doing something that like electronica music and you're gonna play with these, then really take the cynics next level. And that's why knowing how to do the standard thing is going to help you move into the advanced kind of crazy in the questions. On that, Yeah, who don't know what I have. Good question. I reverb still eso lives. Reverb is is pretty basic, pretty straightforward. And there are obviously lots of other options. Do they actually give you having all those other options that actually, that's something that's actually useful? Or is it just Yeah, this is a question. A lot of people ask, um, and thing there is You have to understand Able to live is amazing in terms of its organization, in terms of its ability to patch fantastic and that you can play. You can perform your songs live and develop the ideas. It is developed to be fast and Leighton see free. And that's the give and take. The better a reverb, the more lane see a convolution. Reverb takes tons of lane C. If I have 10 convolution reverb on a track, it is bogged down like I'm talking 60% CPU because of that lives. Reverb is very stable very fast, but not the best quality in my opinion. That's why they introduced things like convolution, which is very advanced. But I wouldn't use that in a live setting because it's not stable as we've seen. And it's also more links e Because of that, I don't use lives reverb all that much. If I'm using more of an effect DSP reverb I use Valhalla. Valhalla. Fantastic. They have a bunch. So gorgeous Shimmer, if you want to sound like Brian, you know so good. Um and then I use in a convolution reverb. So I used those two I will use lives, but sparingly. Yeah, I have noticed Using the three chains with those movements adds way more effect in realism that I wouldn't get out of it anyways. And I am happier, but I will usually replace that with competition. Other ones wanted towards the the end. Resuming back out, That's the big, bigger picture. Uh, before we even do that, well, I'll just do as we go. But I want you all to be really excited with these ideas. We've gone over tons of different concepts, talk about volume through pink noise mixing so we can get very stable volumes to then work. From there, we know that ends it out of compression, all sorts of things. And I want you all to feel excited and ready to use these techniques in your music. The sooner you can, the better.

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Drum Placement
Frequency Worksheet
Read Me - Mixing with Ableton Live
Sharing Tracks
Ableton Live Pack

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Ratings and Reviews

Jose Gerardo Rendon Santana

Excellent Course, Isaac Cotec is a great instructor and a great producer. The course is very well organized explaining each important step of the mix. as well as great tips and techniques. He also includes a great deal of support material with the course including an Ableton Live Pack with tons of great presets and tools to put to practice the knowledge acquired in the course.

a Creativelive Student

Isaac covers an amazing amount of material in a clear and concise way. Great intro to mixing with Ableton or review for the intermediate user who wants to solidify their best practices, DAW knowledge as well as gain some production tips.

Ian turner

this is the best thing money can buy in my life. Isaac makes it look easy and the way he teaches makes you understand everything and makes it easy for you as well. its exactly what i wanted to learn in each video! i cant even sleep because another video loads and im like "ohhhh i need it" lol. i thank god for this class being affordable and the real deal.

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