Reverb is one of the most magical effects you can add to a voice or instrument to make the sound come alive. And “alive” may be one of the best ways to describe the affected sound.
The sound itself stays the same. But the attributes of the plate or space, whether real or artificial, color your original sound source with so much character that it can completely change the way it is perceived.
Because reverb can alter the sound of something so drastically, it’s critical to know which type is the most suitable for any given voice or instrument, and also how much of it to use.
Different reverbs were created for different purposes. A long, lush Hall reverb might sound amazing, but might sound completely wrong on a drum kit, if you’re trying to increase impact or energy.
On drums, many engineers often choose to try a room reverb first.
Room reverbs are closely related to both Ambience and Hall reverbs.
All 3 are designed to simulate the natural sound of acoustic spaces. But there are subtle yet important differences.
Rooms are smaller than Halls, but a little longer and more “coloured” sounding than Ambiences.
They tend to sound most like the normal ambiences we’re used to hearing in the real world. Meaning they are very natural and realistic sounding.
The purpose of a Room reverb is to add the ambience of the space where a particular sound or vocal was recorded. It gives tracks a certain color and an authentic liveliness.
They are also one of the easiest reverbs to tastefully fit into a mix. Unlike the bigger, longer Hall reverbs that can potentially make a mix sound muddy or washy, Rooms offer added size and space without potentially sacrificing clarity.
Meaning it’s much easier to accidentally overuse a Hall reverb than a Room.
Room reverbs are also very multi-purpose. They can sound great on vocals, guitars, pianos, drums, etc…
“The purpose of a room reverb is to add the ambience of the space where a particular sound or vocal was recorded. It gives tracks a certain color and an authentic liveliness.“
The Room reverb algorithm in Relab’s LX480 Essentials is the most faithful emulation of the Room preset in the legendary Lexicon 480L digital reverb unit that you will ever hear in a native plug-in.
It is a full stereo, short room reverb sound with a short decay, designed to help place an instrument in its own space, while maintaining its natural characteristics.
Take a listen to Relab’s LX480 Essentials Room preset being used on drums, chosen by 8x Grammy-nominated Nashville-based recording engineer and mixer Joe Carrell.
Here’s Joe explaining his choice to use the LX480 on this particular drum sound, and how he tailored his preset.
“More often than not, room type reverbs are my choice for drum tracks. A great patch, like those found in the Relab LX480, makes a close mic’d drum kit sound more alive and add a sense of stereo width to the image. While a one-second decay time seems to be a common magic number for me, experiment with 0.75 – 1.5 seconds to see what fits the tempo and “space” within the track.” – Joe Carrell
Getting a great room sound can be as simple as that.
In your own mixes, try the “Room” algorithm as a starting point for your Drums, synths, guitars, acoustic instruments, or anything else that could benefit from a warm and natural 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 Relab LX480 Essentials, you can spend less time searching for sound and more time creating them.
Want to dig deeper into 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.