DIY ‘pseudo-re­verb’ pro­ces­sor

What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween de­lay and re­verb? The amount. Here we’ll go over­board with our de­lay plug­ins to splash in a sea of re­ver­ber­ant sound

Future Music - - FEATURE -

Re­verb and de­lay – th­ese pro­duc­tion sta­ples are of­ten seen to­gether… and that’s be­cause they’re very much re­lated. Here we’re go­ing to use mul­ti­ple de­lay lines, all fed back into each other, to build some sort of pseudo-re­verb pro­ces­sor. We’ll be do­ing it in Able­ton Live, be­cause its sends and re­turns are very flex­i­ble, al­low­ing for ex­tra meth­ods of rout­ing sig­nals. To start with, make sure you’ve got a lim­iter on your master bus.

Send A back to it­self, us­ing the A Send knob, and send it to B as well. Use B’s Send knobs to send it back into it­self and into A as well, by vary­ing amounts. Now we have mul­ti­ple de­lays ric­o­chet­ing off each other. It might not sound quite like a ‘re­verb’ yet – we’ve just crudely sim­u­lated some early re­flec­tions and given the sound a sense of space.

Next we’ll cre­ate a blank Re­turn chan­nel (Alt-Cmd-T), and we’ll stick a Sim­ple De­lay pro­ces­sor on it. Switch the left chan­nel from host Sync to Time, set the Time Base to 1. Set the Time to about 10 mil­lisec­onds, which cor­re­sponds to a dis­tance of about ten feet of sound mov­ing in the air. Set a sim­i­lar value in the right de­lay chan­nel. Now turn the Dry/Wet right up to 100%.

Let’s add two more Re­turn chan­nels, with their Sim­ple De­lays timed at about 100ms, give or take. Right-click to En­able All Sends and add th­ese de­lays into the chain. Send each chan­nel to ev­ery send by vary­ing amounts, grad­u­ally fine-tun­ing your ‘re­verb’ re­flec­tions. Too much sig­nal run­ning through one pro­ces­sor can build up and cre­ate a dis­turb­ing ring­ing. Our next stage will mit­i­gate that a bit…

Turn the Feed­back up high, to about 66%, and see how it af­fects the sound. It gives it some at­mos­phere as the short re­verbs re­peat into each other. Now cre­ate an­other Re­turn chan­nel with an­other Sim­ple De­lay on it, set to sim­i­lar (but slightly dif­fer­ent) tim­ings, with Dry/Wet at 100%. Leave its Feed­back at 0, and turn the first Sim­ple De­lay’s Feed­back to 0 too. We’ll right-click the Send knobs on the Re­turn chan­nels and select En­able Send, to set up feed­back loops our­selves.

Add some mod­u­la­tion ef­fects to taste, plac­ing flangers, phasers and cho­rus pro­ces­sors on the var­i­ous Re­turn chan­nels. Sneaky tip: real-world room re­verb doesn’t re­ally mod­u­late, es­pe­cially not in this way, but so many ar­ti­fi­cial re­verbs use th­ese ef­fects to smooth out their sig­nals that it’s be­come nor­mal. Try pan­ning your ‘taps’ pre-fade, for a more re­al­is­tic sense of space.

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