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  • Posted On: 26 Oct 2021
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What is Reverb in Music

Reverberation occurs when the noise occurs in a room and sends sound waves in all directions. These waves are reflected from surfaces in space and decrease in amplitude until the reflections finally fade. Many closely-spaced reflections are created in most rooms without extensive sound insulation, reaching the listener soon after the dry sound initially. We tend to hear this series of reflections as a continuous, single sound that we call "reverberation."

Understanding what music you are making and how you want it to sound is essential. This will help you if you want to add depth to the mixing and mastering of your music. Understanding reverb can also help you decide what type of room to record your music in.

We will first evaluate and break down how sound forms and changes in a real room or space. Second, we'll look at how reverb plug-ins and external devices emulate real rooms or hallways, a technique known as convolution reverb. Third, we'll cover how plug-ins, hardware, and even metal springs and plates can create spaces and artificial sounds to enhance a sound and give it a creative touch.

We hope that you feel comfortable with the different types of Reverb, both natural and artificial, after reading this article!


Reverb in music production can be created in one of the two ways, either by mechanical methods or acoustical methods. However, modern productions are usually inclined toward using digital rever for additional control and flexibility. So let's dive deeper and know what digital Reverb is all about.

Types Of Digital Reverb

Mainly, digital Reverb can be classified into two types, Convulsion and Algorithmic.

Most digital reverbs use either algorithmic or convolutional Reverb, but some use both in hybrid systems, like the Reverb module in the Nectar. This approach realistically recreates classic reverb sounds without the heavy CPU load of full convolution reverbs.

Let's learn the difference:

Algorithmic Reverb

Algorithmic Reverb replicates Reverb through a series of calculations (one algorithm). By mathematically creating reflections, you can mimic the sounds of real spaces or design new sound environments that would not be possible otherwise. Examples of algorithmic Reverb include:

  • Our new Reverb plug-in.

  • The venerable Lexicon reverb.

  • The Sonnox Oxford Reverb.

  • The Exponential Audio reverb.

Convolution reverb

Convolution reverb, also known as IR or sample reverb, creates Reverb by processing an impulse response ( IR), recording the signal played in real space or transmitted through the device. This signal contains all frequencies (often a burst of white noise, a gun starter, or even a sine wave spanning the audible frequency spectrum), which is done to enable the full acoustic response of the room.

Using convolution reverbs, we can make things sound like they are in real space (like the Sydney Opera House, for example). Examples of convolution reverb include Audio Ease AltiVerb 7 and HOFA IQReverb, although there are many others.

Digital Reverb Controls

In a digital context, we can customize our reverb sound. Below are some of the common controls on digital Reverb.


Pre-delay is the time between the direct sound and the start of the initial reflection, a reflection that bounces off only one or two surfaces before reaching the listener. Larger rooms naturally have a longer pre-delay because it takes longer for sound to reach the surface and bounce back.


When we say "types of echo sound", we are talking about the method by which the echo is made. So let's have a look.

Hall Reverb

Hall Reverb results from the unique characteristics of a concert hall, which is usually a large acoustically designed space for long, smooth decay.

Room reverb

Room reverb is derived from physical characteristics of a smaller room such as a study or family room, usually with a shorter decay time and closer reflection.

Room reverb stems from the unique physical characteristics of a reverb room, which is a reflective space such as a corridor or staircase designed to accommodate speaker and microphone arrangements for reverb activation and recording.

Plate Reverb

Plate Reverb is the result of vibrating metal plates. In actual plate reverb, a large sheet of metal is suspended in the enclosure. Several transducers, small drivers, and at least one small contact microphone or pickup are attached to the platen. A dry signal is sent from the console or audio interface to the driver, which causes the platen to vibrate.

Contact microphones pick up these vibrations and transmit them for use in mixing systems. The larger the plate and the farther away the transducer is, the longer the reverberation time.

Without the built-in high-frequency roll-off, plate reverb will tend to sound brighter and more diffuse because the bounce distance varies less.

Spring reverb

Spring reverb is produced by a small spring vibrating. Like plate reverb, spring reverb units rely on vibration to create Reverb. The dry signal is routed to a transducer, which is connected to one end of several springs. The signal passing through the transducer causes the spring to vibrate. Another transducer detects this vibration at the other end of the spring. The longer the spring, the longer the reverberation time.

Halls, rooms, and bedrooms will have a three-dimensional quality because sound can reflect (in the space). Plates and springs will show a two-dimensional character due to the physical vibration mechanics of the plate and spring.

How and when do you use Reverb?

Reverb Techniques and Effects can be found in almost all modern productions. To know how and why Reverb is used, take a quick look at the history of Reverb in music production, and to understand musical considerations for adding Reverb, go here.

General tips for using Reverb

Don't treat Reverb simply as an "effect" you add to your sound. Instead, you are introducing a new signal into the mix, which should sound good to others and be treated as elements of your mix.

The typical way to practice this approach is to use a return/aux channel to add Reverb, with dry/wet balance at 100% wet. This keeps all your dry and wet signals separate, which not only allows us to process our dry sounds more deliberately but also processes our reverb signals independently. Of course, you can use insert reverb as a sound design tool, but it's best to separate wet and dry signals in any standard reverb application.

Reverb on drums

Given the variety of drum kits, there is no one acceptable way to apply Reverb to drums. So instead, find out what sounds good to you, but you can follow some general considerations that will help keep your Reverb consistent in your mix.

First, consider that it seems unnatural for each drum sound to be in a completely different room. You can use different reverb sounds to give your drums some character, but a single reverb for a kit can also help stick it together. Remember that bass drum reverb should generally be avoided, so don't send kick drums to your reverb bus.

Because drumming is a transient sound, and its impact comes from its ability to cut the mix, you may want to lower the drum reverb signal a bit in the drum sound.

Voice Reverb

How you apply Reverb to your voice generally depends on the desired vocal sound. You will probably need a longer reverb tail. Are you aiming for a rap sound in your face? A short reverb, or even no reverb, maybe the best solution.

Are you combining genres with certain reverb standards, such as spring reverb in dub and reggae? Again, give people something they want or play around with their expectations and give them something completely different.

How do you use Reverb for post-production and other audio projects?

We've just scratched the surface of using Reverb in audio production. All of the tips above should serve you well for music, but you can work with Reverb in a post-production context, mixing and mastering anything from TV and movies to short films and podcasts.

Also, because Reverb behaves differently at different locations in space and because people and objects can move around the screen, post-production involves more automation than Reverb than music production. For example, the reverb character, decay time, and panning position can change when something in the scene (or camera) moves.

How to remove Reverb from audio?

You may sometimes be dealing with Reverb baked into your audio, like the room noise you might hear on a DIY home recording. Unless you're explicitly looking for a DIY vibe or the room you're recording in plays an important role in the sound (like a concert hall), you're best off minimizing this Reverb. If you try to add your Reverb to an already wet signal, you risk creating mud in your mix.


If you take the time to fiddle with your Reverb, you'll unlock some additional sonic qualities. Try it in mono, stereo, and enjoy extreme settings when it's not busy. Plus, open your ears for exciting natural Reverb as you face life!

Last but not least, if you are struggling to achieve an effective reverb for your musical composition, you can opt for an online music production company like Carry A Tune that will undeniably prove to be the best of all! Choose Carry A Tune for your next best hit!

Kalpit Rao Ganesan
October , 2022

Reverb in music is a bit typical topic to understand. But I must say that this is the easiest explanation about the reverb in music. It helped me to understand this topic in a better way.

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