Multitracking and reverb?

Discuss everything related to production, recording, composition, etc.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe., lisa

Post Reply
User avatar
commodorejohn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1150
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

Multitracking and reverb?

Post by commodorejohn » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:27 am

So I'm preparing to record a piece I've finally started seriously sketching out after toying with the idea in the back of my head for a while, and one thing I'm trying to sort out ahead of time is my recording process (not that I can't go back and re-do stuff if I need to, but I'm trying to improve on my workflow as this is gonna take me enough time as it stands.) So one thing I'm curious about is this: what's a good solution for using a hardware reverb unit with what is fundamentally going to be a recording process of multi-tracking the same instrument(s) multiple/many times over?

Of course I can (and plan to) just experiment a bit with the options beforehand and see what works, but I'm a little curious to hear some different opinions on this - when doing something like this, do you get everything mixed to satisfaction and then feed the final track into an outboard reverb and then back into the recorder? Mix down the separate parts and do them individually? Or just run everything straight through the FX unit into the computer the first time? Interested to get some feedback on this.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000, Ensoniq SQ-80

"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

nuromantix
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:34 am

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by nuromantix » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:48 am

I would record dry and add effects at mixdown.

User avatar
ndkent
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:59 am

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by ndkent » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:29 am

Depends if hearing the fx are influencing your playing style and and if you have enough tracks.

If you have enough tracks there shouldn't be an advantage to "bake" the effects and dry track together, you can't adjust the balance later, you can't use the fx to "glue" the multitracks if you wanted to do that. So the ideal would be to record the fx on another track so you could use them, not use them, or remind you as reference and replace on mixdown.

I think hearing the fx often do influence the performance, but if you don't then it's not really a choice needed, don't record with them.

The tough call is if you are track limited. You could try monitoring with fx but not tracking them?

User avatar
Kattefjaes
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1272
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:47 am
Location: UK

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by Kattefjaes » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:23 am

I find that even if I'm using effects in a patch, if I'm multitracking it (rather than just recording a stereo mixdown from the rack), I tend to take the effects out and record it all dry, re-constructing the general feel of the mix and effects in the DAW.

It can sometimes be too weird if something like a tempo-related delay is completely integral to (for example) percussion- especially if that clocking alters over time. That might get left in. Stuff like general reverb, EQ etc. is easier to re-establish relatively painlessly.

I think "it depends". It can be worth the hassle to record as much stuff dry as possible if you can be bothered to tap the rack for multitrack recording. The benefit of being able to adjust the mix later when your ears aren't tired and so forth is often well worth it. That said, sometimes the immediate nature of just doing a plain old stereo recording out of the rack can be liberating and fun. It's situational, depending on mood and what I'm trying to achieve.

I am a lazy dilettante though, so I often love just having at it and banging something fun and chaotic out in stereo anyway.

User avatar
midifail
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:19 pm

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by midifail » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:29 pm

i like to record the fx together with the dry sound on separate channels. e.g. 1+2 dry stereo 3+4 reverb 5+6 delay.
i can record this as a 6-channel track then (a handy reaper feature) and put it in my sample material folder for example.
the benefit is the tracks are tied together as one multitrack-audiofile but i can separate them out again and change balance and the like anytime later.

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 688
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by BenA718 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:43 am

I would record with my live effects in an aux bus and create a separate track just for the aux. Record it along with your dry track and blend to taste, or use the aux tracks as a guide for later.

User avatar
commodorejohn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1150
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by commodorejohn » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:26 am

Well, I need to verify this, but it sounds like the reverb unit I picked up is only pseudo-stereo anyway, so I can quite easily just run the wet and dry signals on the left and right going into my sound card to keep my options open...
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000, Ensoniq SQ-80

"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

User avatar
strettara
mufferthucker
Posts: 6776
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:16 am
Location: das Land der eisernen Wurst

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by strettara » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:29 am

midifail wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:29 pm
i like to record the fx together with the dry sound on separate channels. e.g. 1+2 dry stereo 3+4 reverb 5+6 delay.
i can record this as a 6-channel track then (a handy reaper feature) and put it in my sample material folder for example.
the benefit is the tracks are tied together as one multitrack-audiofile but i can separate them out again and change balance and the like anytime later.
Very cool solution.
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."

New album: OZ

maxl0rd
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by maxl0rd » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:50 pm

I like to record everything together when I am working quickly, but print effects separately on their own tracks when I know the track is something that I'll come back to and fuss over.

One thing to look out for is that if you print really diverse reverbs on individual instruments, you can kind of paint yourself into a corner where the tracks won't really gel with each other. But if you have a good feel for what you are doing, it can work great.

User avatar
3hands
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1833
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 pm
Location: Ottawa Ontario

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by 3hands » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:33 am

Record dry, put each multitrack onto its own channel, create a group channel, put all those multi tracks into the group, adjust each volume independently on the appropriate channel, but any FX, apply to the group channel.
Gum is fun, but not on a cat.

My minds an art gallery.

Quiet Wilds
Common Wiggler
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:45 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by Quiet Wilds » Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:00 am

As others mentioned, if you're multi-tracking into a DAW anyways, the power you can get from VSTs/AUs is so wildly beyond most euro rack modules, unless you need very specific modulation of your effects to achieve what you're looking for, you're best off tracking dry and adding effects in mix-down. Also, you can always add more reverb on if you want it later, but you can't take it off.

User avatar
commodorejohn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1150
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:55 pm

I'm using all-hardware except for the actual mixing by choice, so as useful as VSTs are, they're not what I'm looking for here. But the advice about recording a dry and wet channel has been very useful, and I figure on doing a second pass for the reverb after that.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000, Ensoniq SQ-80

"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

maxl0rd
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by maxl0rd » Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:35 pm

A single “main reverb” to glue everything together into the same space at mix time is key to a coherent, plausible sounding mix. But If that main reverb isn’t something really nice, the whole mix could have an overall sort of gross, grainy quality from too much of that final reverb pass.

I’m experimenting with another approach of printing individual tracks each with their own unique early reflections, and then adding just a little bit of the late reverb at the end to fill it out. It seems like you can use less of the main verb overall, but still have a lot of dimensionality in the mix.

Eventide ultrataps or something like that is really useful here for the reflections.

MisterJ
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:38 am

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by MisterJ » Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:23 pm

The way I learned it in school was to always track dry and add reverb in mixdown. I have generally done that but not without some exceptions. I have it set up so I can listen as I play with reverb on and record the tracks dry. I don't do much tracking these days, I mostly sequence and record the mix of live instruments from the sequence. I do mix reverbs. I have a TSR24 reverb with a PPC card that can do two stereo reverbs at once and that is my standard reverb these days. I started in a university electronic music studio that just had one rack mount spring reverb that had 3 knobs as I remember and that is pretty much how I use the TSR24. I almost never tweak it or use other effects. I've found that putting vocals through a second reverb adjusted a little differently makes them stand out much better in the mix. So that setup would be everything going to the TSR24 but vocals also going to a DSP128 as well and then I do a reverb submix. It wouldn't be any different if it was tracked or sequenced.

User avatar
slumberjack
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1655
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:27 am
Location: 44G
Contact:

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by slumberjack » Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:54 pm

I do record as other mentioned reord the FX on a seperate channel too but I tend to use reverb only for dedicated tracks in the recording setup. All this little here and there reverb on stuff like percussion etc I add in the mixdwon process later on. I would need to much hardware FX units to cover all the tracks that benefit from a mostly unrecongiseable verb.

One thing I learned when multitracking is to not put more then one instrument in an FX chain because when I edit the arrangement later on and take a track (at least partially) out it's obviously still in the FX chain track.
> WTB ADDAC502 <

www.stefanrudin.bandcamp.com / www.soundcloud.com/stefan_rudin / www.youtube.com/user/slumberknut



Carefully crafted dj set meandering between deep house, minimal and electro.

BlinkyLights
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by BlinkyLights » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:00 am

Bite the pillow, I'm going in dry.

Technologear?
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:08 am
Location: Straya

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by Technologear? » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:23 am

slumberjack wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:54 pm
One thing I learned when multitracking is to not put more then one instrument in an FX chain because when I edit the arrangement later on and take a track (at least partially) out it's obviously still in the FX chain track.
Adding to this insight: if hardware fx chains are key to the way you create, and you like multiple instruments through them, focus on the fx return levels when you mix live rather than the individual instruments. You can adjust the dry levels of individual instruments later via the recorded multitrack but you can't adjust them in the fx returns later as Slumberjack noted.
My preferred way is live mixing mainly on Aux levels of channels rather than faders, purposefully aiming for a really smeary effected mix. Once it's DAW time I blend back in the dry signals for definition. So I can be creative and wasted the first pass, and clinical and clarity-focused when in front of my DAW.

maxl0rd
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: Multitracking and reverb?

Post by maxl0rd » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:10 am

Technologear? wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:23 am
So I can be creative and wasted the first pass, and clinical and clarity-focused when in front of my DAW.
Sure! That is the oft-quoted advice to "write drunk edit sober."

Like hopefully BlinkyLights will come back sober and edit his inappropriate, rapey reddit jokes.

Post Reply

Return to “Production Techniques”