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Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:13 pm
by HUBA
So I'm into strange, spooky and "jazzy" small room reverb effects for drum sounds, and also cool "canny" or small chamber effects for anything between drums & percussion to blibs & bloops, bass and lead synth sounds.

I don't have any examples, really, but I like these cool live jazz recordings where the snare drum, along with the placing of the drum set in the room, makes that cool hypnotic sound that you only hear in jazz, particularly cool with brush, and I'm after reverb effects for similar moods.

Allthough maybe not related to this cool jazz effect, I also like canny small chamber reverb effects that seem to make sounds a bit more metallic, wet, glossy or shiny without getting soft or muddy or loosing energy or presence, if that makes any sense. Like the metallic sounding reverb on R2D2. I really doubt that was caused by the ARP 2600 spring reverb if that sounds ANYTHING like the spring reverb in my RE201. I also doubt the character is all about the dry sound and that just about any reverb with the right settings would do the job, but I might be wrong.

I sometimes manage to achieve effects like these, but usually they're mostly caused by the dry sound itself, maybe along with some messing with phaser and short delay chorus/flanger, and some small room reverb. Given previous threads here or at gearslutz regarding spooky sounding vintage reverb units with no specific talk about small room reverb, I was thinking whether there are some "magic" fx units that would be inspirational and more immediate for pushing things in said spooky and strange or shiny and canny direction.

If it's of any help, It's (mostly) for experimental minimal techno/acid somewhere between illbient and moody minimal techno like Jiri Ceiver, only different and more jazz inspired.

Any remotely constructive input is of great interest

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:16 am
by HUBA
Well, or just a recommendation or two about effects boxes with inspiring small room reverb..

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:42 pm
by tomorrowstops
I've been thinking about this all week.

Your reference to the live jazz stuff - probably what you're hearing is coming mostly from performance. If anything, compression on the snare smoothing out the natural room ambience. Can you give me an example for reference?

The 'canny' reverb stuff - look at boxes like the Yamaha SPX90. Or some of the early digital Roland boxes. Just my initial instinct there. The cool thing about these types of boxes is that they're usually multi-effect units, so lots of sounds to mess with. And they can be found pretty cheap.

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:06 pm
by HUBA
Sorry, can't think of any examples. Live 60's and maybe 70's jazz I believe is what I'm thinking of, so I guess no compression. I'm not really sure whether this has all that much to do with the room, more than just a cool snare sound in a pleasant sounding real room. Like the sound of a standing bass alone probalby is the main cause of the awesome bass sound you can hear in these jazz recordings as well, when you hear a little room sound blended in with the bass. As it sounds so damn good I've always assumed the instruments was placed this way intentionally, to achieve the effects I'm talking about, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, I usually can't get these effects even close to sounding right with reverb, but I'm not overly experienced. It always sound too bright and artificial. Id never blends in right with the dry sound. I guess I'd need a complex algorithm reverb unit of some sort to get realistic rooms of different variants.

Many thanks for the tips regarding canny reverb by the way! I'll check them out. :thumbleft:

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:47 pm
by tomorrowstops
HUBA wrote:Live 60's and maybe 70's jazz
Yeah man, its players/instruments, mic technique, and probably a little natural compression from the tape machines. But mostly its the players.

Using artificial reverb to imitate natural room sounds is definitely one of the toughest things to wrap my head around most of the time. I tend to use reverb more as a special effect instead.

In any case - experiment using it on a send bus of your mixer, that way you can retain separately your original dry signal and effected wet, mixed anyway you like.

That and try mixing reverb with specific parts of your drum sounds, like only snare, or only overheads.

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:46 pm
by HUBA
Yeah I've though about recording specific sounds the old fashioned way through speakers and experiment with mic placement for some natural room information, but I've just moved and don't have anything near a decent sounding room yet. I understand the Bricasti M7 is supposed to be good for natural room reverb if you have the money. It's way out of reach for me. Thanks for the input. :)

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:49 am
by Cruel Hoax
For "itty-bitty room" and early reflections, I've always had good luck with Yamaha. SPX units do well, if you're looking for a metallic character. (And the post-SPX90 SPX units have a semi-hidden second layer, where you can insert some filters and such, to more precisely tune your fake room.)

I've never thought of them as deep or spacious, but that doesn't sound like a drawback for what you're trying to do.

I also dig "rolling my own" with several short delay lines, feeding into themselves and each other. One tip I use very often: crank the feedback WAY up and adjust the delay time 'til the resonation is in key with the song. Then back off on the feedback. Adds a subtle reinforcement of the song's key, and generally sounds better to me. You can also introduce some modulation, if you're going for "shimmer."

I recommend 100% wet. Although you can get some metallic comb-filter stuff by using some dry signal in there, too. So maybe that would work for your sound.

-Hoax

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:46 pm
by HUBA
Cruel Hoax wrote:For "itty-bitty room" and early reflections, I've always had good luck with Yamaha. SPX units do well, if you're looking for a metallic character. (And the post-SPX90 SPX units have a semi-hidden second layer, where you can insert some filters and such, to more precisely tune your fake room.)

I've never thought of them as deep or spacious, but that doesn't sound like a drawback for what you're trying to do.

I also dig "rolling my own" with several short delay lines, feeding into themselves and each other. One tip I use very often: crank the feedback WAY up and adjust the delay time 'til the resonation is in key with the song. Then back off on the feedback. Adds a subtle reinforcement of the song's key, and generally sounds better to me. You can also introduce some modulation, if you're going for "shimmer."

I recommend 100% wet. Although you can get some metallic comb-filter stuff by using some dry signal in there, too. So maybe that would work for your sound.

-Hoax
Great tips! Thanks! :thumbleft: Yeah I use the feedback trick a lot too. :)

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:17 am
by pflosi
If your 'verbs come out sounding too bright, try to simply add an EQ after it. Has to be in a parallel send / return loop though of course...

Another trick I really love is sending an effect back not to the return, but to another mixer channel. That way you get that post-EQ for free, plus you can add all the other effects you got in your send / return loops. Also, try to back down the decay of your reverb (or feedback of your delay), and create the feedback loop yourself by sending the return channel back to itself with the respective send. You can make every boring delay sound totally awesome that way.

Are you looking for hardware only? I think the Valhalla Vintage Verb would be awesome for what you're looking for... Cheap as chips as well.

Cheers!

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:19 pm
by HUBA
Hey great tips! :thumbleft:

Yes primarily I am looking for hardware. Especially if I can find something cheap or something that's otherwise interesting in addition to having nice small room verb. Like maybe a kick a*s flanger or even a synth.. :mrgreen: I see a lot of praise for the valhalla stuff though. Seems to offer a lot for the money.

Re: Reverb unit with cool small room effects

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:15 am
by Stab Frenzy
pflosi wrote:If your 'verbs come out sounding too bright, try to simply add an EQ after it. Has to be in a parallel send / return loop though of course...

Another trick I really love is sending an effect back not to the return, but to another mixer channel. That way you get that post-EQ for free, plus you can add all the other effects you got in your send / return loops. Also, try to back down the decay of your reverb (or feedback of your delay), and create the feedback loop yourself by sending the return channel back to itself with the respective send. You can make every boring delay sound totally awesome that way.

Are you looking for hardware only? I think the Valhalla Vintage Verb would be awesome for what you're looking for... Cheap as chips as well.

Cheers!
+1 to all of this.