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Vocal Reverb: Discover Joe Carrell’s Technique for Stacking Short & Long Reverbs

Discover mix engineer Joe Carrell's personal technique for stacking short and longer reverbs to create captivating vocal reverbs.
Vocal Reverb Stacking

“…those reverb sounds to me, they’re just a part of music, you know, they’re iconic…”

Joe Carrell

With 11 Grammy-nominated albums, 33 chart-topping hits, and numerous Billboard Top Ten appearances, Joe Carrell is the embodiment of excellence and the heart and soul of outstanding audio production.

Today, we’ll dive into the fascinating realm of vocal reverb, exploring how Joe masterfully combines short ambience and more extended plate reverbs of the Relab LX480 Dual-Engine Reverb to create a captivating sound.

Take advantage of the exclusive video tutorial at the end of this article to get a firsthand look at Carrell’s approach.

Why Vocal Reverb Matters

Reverb is the secret sauce that can transform a dry, lifeless vocal recording into a sonic masterpiece. It adds space and depth to the mix, making vocals more natural and immersive. By carefully selecting and tweaking specific reverb settings, mix engineers can craft a sound that perfectly complements the style and genre of the music.

The Power of Short Ambience Reverbs

Short ambience reverb provides a subtle and immediate sense of space around the vocals. They mimic the early reflections in small rooms, lending vocals an intimate, present quality. This reverb type is particularly effective in pop, rock, and other genres that require a tighter, more focused vocal sound.

The Beauty of Longer Plate Reverbs

In contrast, longer plate reverbs deliver an extended, lush sound that can add depth and spaciousness to the vocals. These reverbs emulate the smooth, dense reverb tails of large metal plates used in vintage analog reverb units. More extended plate reverbs are well-suited to genres like jazz, soul, and ballads, where a rich, enveloping vocal reverb is desired.

Joe Carrell’s Stacking Technique

In the included video tutorial, Joe Carrell demonstrates his innovative technique for stacking short ambience and longer plate reverbs to craft a balanced and captivating vocal reverb. Using a dual-engine reverb plugin like the Relab LX480, Carrell can create a sound that offers both immediacy and depth, resulting in a versatile reverb effect that can be adapted to suit any musical genre.

Unlocking the potential of vocal reverb is an essential skill for any mix engineer, and Joe Carrell’s approach offers a personal perspective on combining short ambience and longer plate reverbs.

By understanding the unique characteristics of these reverb types and using powerful tools like the Relab LX480, engineers can elevate their mixes to new heights.

For an exclusive look at Carrell’s technique in action, watch the video tutorial below and get ready to change the way you think about vocal reverb.

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