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How to Make Mixing Easier With One Simple Reverb Technique


Yesterday we talked about two ways to think about reverb in your mixes.

Today we’ll talk about how to create limitations in your sessions to make your mixing go more smoothly.

Because you have so many different effects plug-ins to choose from, you often spend more time deciding between plug-ins than actually using them to improve your mixes.

Even if you’re only using stock plug-ins inside your DAW, chances are it still has at least two or three different reverbs to choose from.

So instead of wasting time picking plug-ins, use this exercise to limit your reverb choice so you can focus on getting your mix finished.

Three-Verb Technique

My three-verb technique is a simple exercise in creating limitations that you can still work within.

It’s a technique I show you in detail inside Quick Mixing, but here’s how it breaks down:

  • One Short Effect – Make this a really short reverb, or maybe even a delay.
  • One Medium Reverb – Depending on the genre of the song and the BPM, the length and reverb mode may vary, but something like a short 1.2 second plate, chamber or room can work well.
  • One Long Reverb – This reverb will be used sparsely to push instruments back in the mix so a large hall or chamber can do the job nicely.

Use this reverb technique to create a blend of spaces in a mix without overloading your tracks with too many reverbs.

It’s an easy method to place your instruments wherever you want them in the front-to-back field. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create the necessary space and depth without creating a different reverb and effect bus for every single track in your mix.

You could even complicate the routing a little bit further by sending one reverb to another.

For instance, if you sent the delay to either of the reverbs through a pre-fader send, those delay repeats would sound diffuse and smooth. Or if you sent the long reverb to the delay you’d end up with a large repeated reverb, something that might sound better as an automated effect rather than a sense of space.

Put Your Limitations to the Test

The funny thing about limitations is, it fosters creativity. The irony of working within set boundaries is that it creates more freedom. You’re not spending mental energy deciding what to do. Instead, you’ve moved forward and are figuring out how to do it. 

Moving onto how is what creates action and leads to results. If you’re just wasting time deciding what reverb plug-ins to use instead of figuring out how to use them to create better mixes, you won’t get anything done.

Decide the what as fast as possible so you can focus on the how.

Tomorrow we’ll continue to talk about reverb with six things to think about when choosing the right reverb for your particular song.

How to Mix With Reverb

In the meantime, if you want further explanations on the technical side of reverb and how to use it more effectively in your mixes, I highly recommend the Mixing With Reverb course from The Pro Audio Files.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Choose the Perfect Reverb
  • Create an Effective Stereo Image
  • Create Rhythmic Reverbs
  • Use the Right Techniques for Specific Genres
  • Manipulate Reverb Parameters
  • Manipulate Natural Ambience
  • Bring Your Music to Life

If that’s something that sounds good to you, check it out here.


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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LEAVE A COMMENT

  • victor

    this is great advice, i have been doing this a few years now and it makes sense in every way. i would only add that if it’s a session with drums, i use 2 more reverbs dedicated to drums only,(a very small drum room verb for the whole kit, and a medium room for snare) because later, i will want to route all my drums through a stereo aux track…dedicating these 2 verbs to drums makes soloing/muting/automating etc a lot easier.

    • Absolutely. I like using drum rooms or gated reverbs for drums, in addition if I need.

  • victor

    this is great advice, i have been doing this a few years now and it makes sense in every way. i would only add that if it’s a session with drums, i use 2 more reverbs dedicated to drums only,(a very small drum room verb for the whole kit, and a medium room for snare) because later, i will want to route all my drums through a stereo aux track…dedicating these 2 verbs to drums makes soloing/muting/automating etc a lot easier.

    • Absolutely. I like using drum rooms or gated reverbs for drums, in addition if I need.