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Author Topic:  When to add reverb to choral voices?
Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 6:38 pm    
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I'm helping my wife put together 'quarantine videos' for her church choir. Each singer sends me their video and I strip out the audio portion for mixing in a DAW. Since I like to have some reverb on the voices, is it preferable to add a touch of reverb to each singer's individual track prior to mixing or mix them all dry and then add the reverb just once, after mixdown?
Thank you in advance.
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Jim Park

 

From:
Carson City, Nv
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 7:08 pm     Reverb on chorale voices
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I think I would try and imitate the Decca Tree method by dividing the group into Left, Center, and Right, sending the designated members to an Aux track ( L C R )with a Large Hall reverb on it. Fool with the reverb time and %mix to get a good sound, also start with L&R hard panned then bring them in to blend. Sounds like a fun project!
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Godfrey Arthur

 

From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 8:41 pm     Re: Reverb on chorale voices
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Jim Park wrote:
I think I would try and imitate the Decca Tree method by dividing the group into Left, Center, and Right, sending the designated members to an Aux track ( L C R )with a Large Hall reverb on it. Fool with the reverb time and %mix to get a good sound, also start with L&R hard panned then bring them in to blend. Sounds like a fun project!


In addition to the AUX track/channel you could try getting a sum of the DRY voices on another AUX track/channel and side chain that AUX track to control the reverb on the reverb AUX channel to try and get the dry signal of the voices to appear first BEFORE the reverb with the reverb trailing. If you know how to do this.

Depending on if your reverb software has sidechain/key parameters. If not you can put a limiter or compressor on the reverb AUX track/channel that does have a sidechain/key feature and sidechain/key from the DRY VOCALS AUX send.







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Jim Park

 

From:
Carson City, Nv
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 9:18 pm    
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I try to do that with PreDelay, and get the reverb to trail with the RT60 time. What kind of time do you use between dry vocal start and reverb start? Your way sounds interesting Godfrey.
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Godfrey Arthur

 

From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 11:01 pm    
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Jim Park wrote:
I try to do that with PreDelay, and get the reverb to trail with the RT60 time. What kind of time do you use between dry vocal start and reverb start? Your way sounds interesting Godfrey.


Jim, there is no set time. To use this way to its best it has to be a custom set of tweaking knobs and faders to go along with the track. IS there music? Can take the side-chain off an instrument too. But basically you have to play with the entire set of tracks to create a reverb wash that ebbs and flows with the song. Not that it's static and just lays there as one setting.

I think if you experiment with this you'll get what I mean.

Sometimes a delay is preferred over reverb as reverb tends to push the track towards the back.

An overall vocal track, how, when and where it peaks in the song. If with the vocal providing the key for the sidechain, rather than the vocals being buried in reverb, setting the vocals to dry on their own channels but sending them (bussing) to use an AUX as the reverb effect and then "gating the vocals" with the MAIN DRY vocals by bussing the vocals to the reverb/limiter/compressor/gate themselves allows the voices to be heard as dry for milliseconds before the reverb comes in. In order to do a choir if there are several separate tracks and not just a stereo recording of everyone, then the easiest way is to buss all vocal tracks to an AUX so they can be balanced and trigger in tandem and under just one fader instead of (X) number of vocal tracks. Then depending on the amplitude of the vocals it will gate the reverb commensurately. Hence it's really something you have to fine tune listening to the tracks and how this side-chaining can be made to work best with the song. It takes some experiment but once you get the idea, it will open up numerous possibilities.



I have this old first version of Pitchblender.

See the trig and BPM sections? There are pull down menus that allow the key to control numerous parameters of the delays/chorus effects.



Where it says "no key input" that's where you set the Bus number for example assigned to the vocals. So if you assign all vocals to Bus # 1 then send that Bus # 1 to the key input to side chain the Pitchblender's effects.

I write this so Jim Co can follow along.

You can also use a snare or a kick as the key for the side-chain. It will be up to you mixing how you want this to work out. The possibilities are almost endless. But sooner or later you will come to what is practical and then once the learning curves are sussed, it will be intuitive.

Also consider that more than one delay/reverb effect with corresponding AUX channels are a normal part of mixing. Meaning you can have two AUX channels providing delay and/or reverb. The idea is to blend them so they don't take over the tracks but support them with subtle nuances and stick out in glimpses rather than washing over everything. Using gates, limiters, compression on the reverb, delay tracks and adjusting everything to taste to get the effects to enhance rather than take control of the mix. Then since each AUX channel has it's own fader and panning, you have more control on the amount of reverb or delay that follow the vocals.

You can even automate the faders to ride the song.

As I said it's almost limitless.

It's up to your imagination.

You can put reverbs before delays and delays before reverbs so one affects the other. There's no set way.

The Pitchblender is a stereo delay/chorus and other effects so you can hear panning as a call and response trail where you can use an LFO to control the panning of the effect across the stereo spectrum. Speed it up slow it down. Sky's the limit!

If you're trying to model your mix after a particular popular release, have those tracks up so you can refer to them.


If you have other questions let me know.

I'm betting you'll discover many possibilities on your own.

Have fun! Smile
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Al Evans


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 5:40 am    
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Godfrey Arthur wrote:

[detailed suggestions for adding reverb to a choir]

Have fun! Smile


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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 5:42 am    
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Thanks, guys, for all this great info! I'm gonna have to take some time to digest it. Appreciate it.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 11:35 am    
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If you want a simple explanation of what to do look up creating a "reverb aux track" and then you can blend the reverb into your mix to taste.

For plug in reverb choices I would look at convolution type reverbs. The ones that sound best are the ones you don't notice. Try pushing the reverb up to where it sounds good and then bring it back to where you are not sure if you can hear it. The sweet spot is right in there someplace.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 1:40 pm    
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Like Bob says, if you can hear the reverb it's overcooked*.

If the object is to create a virtual choir, then assuming that the contributions are essentially dry and recorded in similar perspectives, then once they are balanced (the crucial part) they can be put in a virtual space by sending them all to the same reverb.

Start with around 1.2 seconds with a 20ms predelay.

(* I guess the same applies if you can hear your dinner)
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