One of the most common used effects in recording today is reverb. Reverb is a popular way to make a flat sound, sound like it is in a different kind of room. Using the reverb effect you will be able to make a person in a small dense room, sound like they are in a large echo chamber.

Although it is nearly impossible to listen to a a record that has no reverb at all, you can create that dry sound with modern software like pro-tools. If you use reverb properly you can really make a song have a total different feel my making the “room” that is was recorded in sound bigger or smaller. Do get to carried away, because you will begin to have an effect that will sound something like a echo chamber, which could be quite annoying.

There are many different forms of reverb that are available to use. Let me list a few of them to help you better understand this…

Room Reverb – This is simulating the size of the room and how the sound in reflecting off of the walls. When you play around with room reverb you can sound like you are stuff in a cabinet or you could sound like you are yelling across the grand canyon.

Plate Reverb – Is a re type of reverb that basically sounds like a old metal plate. This effect often simulates the vocals and sound of old radios.

Hall Reverb – Simply put this is the type of reverb that basically creates echos. This is usually used with short phrases in songs to make a point of it.

Chamber reverb – is a simulating a echo chamber, this can really bring out a guitar or drum sound if it is used correctly. Often, chamber reverb makes a recording sound “bigger”.

Spring Reverb – is a type of reverb where that is commonly found in guitar amplifiers. It is used to help push our the noise and make it sound bigger also. It is a recognized sound, and what I like to call the “boring” reverb.

So now, lets get to the good stuff, the tricks & tips to really make a great songs with reverb.

1.) Make it feel Bigger than life!
If you really want to make those drums and guitar really stand out for a anthem rock song, you will need to add some spring, chamber, or hall reverb. It will really bring out the sounds and make it sound larger than life.

2.) Mix it up.
Play around with the different types of reverbs, and mix and match them to create unique sounds to go with your music. You could take a vocal that has a very flat sound, and make is sound like an old radio song, recording in a big open room by using plate and hall reverb.

3.) Try gated reverb vocals
I personally think that gated reverb sounds really really cool. You can create a dramatic effect buy starting and abruptly stop reverb effects in the song, it can help you really make strong point in the song.

4.) Pan it:
Use flat sounds with reverb (like plate reverb) source and pan them to a different location in the mix. It can give an interesting impression. You can really make something sound cool moving between speakers.

5.) Try reverse reverb
This can be a really cool effect, where it will create a swoosh sound, and if used correctly can emphasize a particular point in a song or vocal.

6.) Only use reverb on certain instruments
You might want to experiment with using reverb on only certain instruments and vocals and not others to careate a unique one of a kind sound on your recording. You may want to use it on your guitars and vocals, but not the drums. Mix it up how ever you want.

7.) Get the real thing
If you have the opportunity, trying getting the real reverb sounds from being in a big room, outside or a small room. The real thing can sometimes have a better sounds than added a reverb effect yourself.

If you use a little bit of reverb in your recording you can really make you song stand out. Never over do it when it comes to reverb, but know how to best using to achieve the sounds you want can rally enhance your recording and take it to the next level.

About the Author: Wes


  1. Eddie Wright March 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Wow, I enjoyed reading that, you are very knowledgeable on this topic! I agree with you, it is not a good idea to over do it, although a common mistake. I remember how we experimented with all kinds of sound effects and never could agree on the proper use of reverb in our songs 😉

  2. Joshua Buchman January 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

    The content was great.
    The piece needs editing, though.

  3. Peter April 24, 2015 at 2:27 am

    This article is full of misinformation. Poster doesn’t seem to understand the difference between reverb and echo.

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