Pretension is a Brisbane based electronic producer who is determined to make his mark on the Australian dance music scene. This blog explores how he uses various production techniques in his past and present releases. Check them out!

Reverb für Nichts

Over the years I’ve slowly narrowed down the short list of plugins that I like to use. Most of these plugins have been chosen for these three reasons.

  1. They are easy to use.
  2. They are cheap or free.
  3. They sound good.

Now these three points apply to both instruments and effects and by sticking to a few good plugins it is possible to quickly and easily get the sound that you want - you know, that one that is rattling around in your head.

So today I’m going to go over a little plugin that has been getting a workout in some of my recent tracks - TAL Reverb. You’ll be happy to know that it’s a free plugin that you can get from here: Remember, I've already told you about TAL-Bassline.

Just looking at the number of dials on this one shows you that you’ll get your head around it in no time.

Room Size - adjusts the length of the reverb tail.

Pre Delay - adds a delay time before the reverb kicks in. Can be used for great rhythm effects.

Damp - adjusts how quickly a filter cuts the high frequencies. Imagine the difference between a room with hard straight walls and a room with pillows stuck to the walls.

Low Pass - adjusts the cutoff frequency of a low pass filter.

High Pass - adjusts the cutoff frequency of a high pass filter.

Stereo Width - Adjusts the stereo width of the reverb.

Dry/Wet - you know what this one does.

Now you can use this reverb on almost any sound and it can also be used to create some great effects. Here are a couple of examples.

Example 1

This vocal recording has been run through the TAL-Reverb to make it sound like you are listening to the vocalist in a small empty room:

This is a great way to create a nice intimate setting. If you increased the Damp value you could even achieve a more natural sound. Here is the dry vocal:

And now in the context of the song:

If you listen carefully, you can hear that I have adjusted the dry/wet on a second reverb with a larger room size to create the builds at the end of each phrase.

Example 2

Now this second example is on a bell type synth that I have created. To start with, have a listen to the wet signal only:

Can you hear how the pitch is changing on the reverb? Can you tell why? Now with both the dry and wet signals:

You can hear that the reverb is in fact changing behind the original sound. By adjusting the room size while feeding a signal through the reverb you can a very interesting effect. The reverb is re-pitched depending on the change in room size. Map it a knob on your controller and have a play.

And here it is in the context of the song:

I've once again used a second reverb to create the building, whooshing reverb in the background.

So now it's your turn:

Throw this reverb after any synth that you have. Play with all of the settings and get to know exactly what each one does. It's simple and you should be able to get some great effects pretty quickly.

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