Strategies for using reverb

There are probably thousands of philosophies of how to add reverb to a recording. Especially with orchestral tracks, many people are concerned about creating a proper field of depth within the orchestra and create a proper impression of distances of the instruments. Mixing strategies go from putting an individual reverb on every track to putting a reverb on the sum and anything in between. So there doesn’t really seem to be one right way. However don’t go for the first reverb you get under your fingers. A bad reverb can ruin a perfectly fine recording. Here are a few strategies with reverbs that I observed with mixing engineers or heard about, not necessarily to use them but giving them a try and see whether you like them: 1.) Low cut the signal before you send it into the reverb to avoid low frequency mud that gets even worse after it went through a reverb. 2.) Use several sends of the same reverb but EQ these reverbs differently so you have a darker and a brighter version of the same reverb and can use them according to mood (and automate them). 3.) Automate the amount of reverb and/or add additional reverb just for special passages on special instruments. E.g. instrumental solos benefit from having a bit more reverb on the spot mic while they play. 4.) Combine different reverbs as sends (often an IR reverb and a processed reverb) to have flexibility on the “air”.

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