Is there anything quite as magical as the sound of a voice or instrument floating through a large space like a concert hall? It’s how humanity has enjoyed live music for centuries.
Because of their natural size, Hall reverbs often have very long decays. And their strong early reflections help give a sense of “air” or space around a sound, making them the best choice for many different elements of a mix.
These qualities tend to make Hall reverbs perfect for adding space and thickness to things like strings and pads, where longer reverb tails expand the sound and add a sense of depth.
Hall reverbs can be incredibly useful when you want to fill out the back end of a mix. The long reverberation time adds distance, without overpowering other sonic elements in the front end of a mix.
Furthermore, the long, smooth and even decay can be used to “glue” tracks together. When applied to a buss or an entire mix, it gives your tracks the impression that they are all in the same sound space.
So, Hall reverb can be an incredibly powerful tool. But beware….with great power comes great responsibility.
If overused, a Hall reverb’s thick, layered sound can easily make your mix sound “muddy”. And when examined in context, the long reverb tail can cause the affected sound source to seem distant, washy and lacking clarity and definition.
So always be mindful of this, and let your ears be your guide.
As well, not all reverbs are created equal. Differences between one Hall reverb and another often reside in the timing and volume of the early reflections, as well as the diffusion and shape of the reverb tail.
“Over time, some reverbs have gone on to become the “go to” choice for many legendary engineers and producers based partly on their sound, and on their amazing track record on so many legendary recordings.
One such legend is the Lexicon 480L digital reverb unit. Since its release in 1986, it has seen the inside of more major recording studios than probably any other effect unit…ever. “
Many reverb effects units and modern-day plug-ins have tried to recreate the exact magic sound offered by the Lexicon 480L, but none have succeeded. Until now.
Relab Development’s LX480 family of plug-ins have the most precise emulations of the original sound of the Lexicon 480L to date.
In fact, many engineers claim that our premium LX480 Complete plug-in is indistinguishable from the original iconic, yet quite cost-prohibitive, hardware unit that is still being used in major studios today
For an example of a Warm Hall preset from the LX480 Essentials plug-in, take a listen to how 8x Grammy-nominated Nashville-based recording engineer and mixer Joe Carrell uses it on a vocal to add a big, warm lushness.
The LX480 Essentials Hall reverb algorithm was designed to emulate a real medium-sized hall where the sound source is placed in the middle, away from walls and nearby surfaces that create reflections.
This creates a sense of space and depth that doesn’t color or muddy the sound source, making it a great option for many applications.
“On occasion, there is nothing better than a lush hall reverb to paint the image of an instrument or vocalist being in an impressive, massive space. The grandeur and “bigger than life” image of being on stage in a concert hall singing your heart out for example.
When you need to give the listener that experience, there is nothing like the classic halls of the Lexicon 480L. Whether it’s on a track from beginning to end or just hitting a few special words or a guitar solo for impact, 480L halls are the sound of hits.
Start with a decay of 2.5 seconds and increase as needed to make the virtual space feel as big or haunting as needed. Just be careful to not overuse and turn your lyrics into mush.” – Joe Carrell
In your own mixes, try the “Hall” reverb algorithm as a starting point for your vocals, synths, strings, acoustic instruments, or anything else that could benefit from a rich and lush spacious sound.
And as always, simply adjust the reverb time (RTM) to better suit the tempo or feel of the song or sound as you blend in the Hall reverb with the original signal.
With the LX480 Essentials, you can spend less time searching for sound and more time creating them.
Want to dig deeper with your reverb?
If you’re the type of engineer or producer that likes to dig a little deeper (OK a LOT deeper!) and wants to have tons of control of your reverb parameters, you need to check out the LX480 Complete from Relab.
LX480 Complete is a fully-featured reverb plug-in and considered to be the most accurate recreation of the original Lexicon 480L reverbs, including additional features and enhancements that meet the demands of the modern production workflow.