Two Ways To Play Around With Natural Reverb

  • 0
  • January 29, 2016
natural reverb

Bridget Smallwood is an emerging sound engineer who is currently working as an intern and assistant engineer at Enmore Audio. We asked Bridget to share some of her experiences with recording and reported back with some reverb experiments, using unconventional tools and spaces.

Reverb is one of the most important tools for creating space and depth in music.

In essence, reverberation is the product of reflected sounds in any given chamber. Therefore, if the size of the chamber is altered, or the reflective materials (walls, carpets, curtains, glass etc) are modified, the nature of the reverb will change.

NATURAL REVERB

 We take a brief look at using unconventional techniques, tools and spaces to experiment with natural reverb.

Bigger rooms have longer reverb lengths, smaller rooms shorter; hard surfaces like glass and concrete will sound more “live”, carpets and foam more “dead”. Usually this is reproduced digitally by using outboard effects in the mixing stage of the production. However, there are a couple of ways you can create natural reverb. This will help create a dreamy sonic atmosphere for your piece.

The first way involves using a tube, anything from a flute or a pipe on a marimba to a tin can or plastic pipe. Creating reverb with this method is as simple as putting a microphone inside your tube at one end and then playing or singing through the opposite end.

Generally this produces a more breathy kind of reverb. Cupping or tapping the end of the tube while holding the microphone is another technique worth trying to add a touch of a flanging effect.

Placing a bowl of water at the end of the tube or using a tin can produces more effects. The water in the bowl absorbs some of the sound and generates a more muffled tone. Using a tin can results in a tunnel sounding effect, which is quite different to instruments or pipes. This is effective because the tunnel sound combines the breathiness of the tube recordings, as well as the echoic qualities of recording in a large enclosed space.

The second way is to record in a large enclosed area where you can utilise the existing reverb inherent to the space. Think churches, auditoriums or an indoor pool/sports centre. These places are basically reverb goldmines because of the reflections that cavernous spaces offer.

If you’re in a space (such as a church) where fixtures restrict movement, it can be fun playing around in that environment. For a rich, resonant vibe it is generally best to direct the sound at a specific source (for instance a church altar), so the sound doesn’t reflect too much. Alternatively, recording in between the different parts within the space or hanging microphones in various areas can be a good way to get a more bouncy effect without too much redirection of sound.

So there you have it, two simple ways to naturally incorporate reverb into your track. Expensive reverb units or specifically designed chambers are not necessary to be innovative or creative in producing professional quality reverb when recording tracks. With some experimentation using materials or reshaping your environment you can produce reverb that can rival results you get in a professional recording studio.

Related Posts

  • Plates, Springs and Digital Spaces: A Look at Artificial ReverbPlates, Springs and Digital Spaces: A Look at Artificial Reverb We’ve all heard it, but maybe not all of us has recognised it by its name. The boxy sound of bathroom conversations, the cacophony of sonic information in a crowded school hall, the […]
  • Voice Over Recording with Enmore AudioVoice Over Recording with Enmore Audio The right voiceover recording can be a critical part of a successful sonic brand. Enmore Audio has the capacity to deliver voice over recordings with energy and character, suitable for […]
  • Getting choppy with the Soundtoys TremolatorGetting choppy with the Soundtoys Tremolator Since emerging on the software scene, Soundtoys have been creating sonically fresh and mind-bending sound processing tools for DAW based recording. The company has steadily built a world […]
  • Voice Over StudioVoice Over Studio An engaging voiceover can be integral in building a sonic brand. Enmore Audio has a wealth of experience in delivering voiceover recordings with energy and character, suitable for both […]
  • The Studio at Your Feet: Old School Studio Reverb Techniques in Pedal FormThe Studio at Your Feet: Old School Studio Reverb Techniques in Pedal Form Natural reverb is the sound of reflections in a given space. The differences in size lend character to the reverberated sound, and devices both mechanical and algorithm-based have been […]
  • Beginner Tips: Recording Cello DemosBeginner Tips: Recording Cello Demos Mikaela Grob is an emerging composer and performer. She also interns at Enmore Audio. We asked her to reflect on her experiments in recording and producing music at home and in the […]

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

  • Plates, Springs and Digital Spaces: A Look at Artificial ReverbPlates, Springs and Digital Spaces: A Look at Artificial Reverb We’ve all heard it, but maybe not all of us has recognised it by its name. The boxy sound of bathroom conversations, the cacophony of sonic information in a crowded school hall, the […]
  • Voice Over Recording with Enmore AudioVoice Over Recording with Enmore Audio The right voiceover recording can be a critical part of a successful sonic brand. Enmore Audio has the capacity to deliver voice over recordings with energy and character, suitable for […]
  • Getting choppy with the Soundtoys TremolatorGetting choppy with the Soundtoys Tremolator Since emerging on the software scene, Soundtoys have been creating sonically fresh and mind-bending sound processing tools for DAW based recording. The company has steadily built a world […]
  • Voice Over StudioVoice Over Studio An engaging voiceover can be integral in building a sonic brand. Enmore Audio has a wealth of experience in delivering voiceover recordings with energy and character, suitable for both […]
  • The Studio at Your Feet: Old School Studio Reverb Techniques in Pedal FormThe Studio at Your Feet: Old School Studio Reverb Techniques in Pedal Form Natural reverb is the sound of reflections in a given space. The differences in size lend character to the reverberated sound, and devices both mechanical and algorithm-based have been […]
  • Beginner Tips: Recording Cello DemosBeginner Tips: Recording Cello Demos Mikaela Grob is an emerging composer and performer. She also interns at Enmore Audio. We asked her to reflect on her experiments in recording and producing music at home and in the […]

WE ARE HAPPY MEDIA

happy music blog

if you build it

enmore audio

monday records