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How To Use Reverb and Delay in Series for a Spacious Vocal Sound

Quick vocal effect tip for you today that I used on a mix last week.

The artists referenced the song “The Mother” by Brandi Carlile and the vocals have a spacious delay sound that sits firmly in the background so I tried to emulate that.

A simple reverb wouldn’t really work because it felt like a delay was added in there as well. But a simple delay didn’t work either because it lacked the spaciousness behind the vocal.

So I added the delay plug-in after the reverb to add the effect. But that made the reverb too delay-y, so I turned the wet/dry signal to 50/50.

That way some of the reverb came through unaffected to add normal space, while some of the reverb was delayed to add a subtle echo effect.

After adding an EQ to filter out the highs and the lows, the vocal space sat nicely with the rest of the mix.

I sent that to the client and they thought it sounded “beautiful” so I urge you to try it if it fits one of your songs.

Honestly, the EQ is the underrated hero of this story. Without filtering out the lows, you run the risk of cluttering up your low-end and making your mix muddy. And if you don’t filter out the highs, you may also get unwanted hissy reflections from the reverb.

EQ’ing your effects is one of those things I focus on a lot inside EQ Strategies – Your Ultimate Guide to EQ.

If you want more tips like these that help you transform your muddy mixes into professional records by mastering the frequency spectrum, check it out here.

Alternatively, if getting a good vocal sound is something you’re struggling with, my Expert Home Vocals course will also come in handy.

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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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