Reverb/effects in plugins

I am working with several VST instruments with built in reverb. If I want to mix this and make it sound “glued” I get the feeling that I should try to avoid using many different reverbs and avoid the built in ones and apply an external reverb. But I think the reverb in the plugins has so great effect on the sound off the instrument, its hard to get the same effect with a external reverb. How should I do, should I dial the built in reverb down a bit and also use a external reverb?

Depends of the involved instruments, IMO. As an example, when using Alchemy, I often use its built-in reverb/effects, deactivating any “external” reverb send. But it’s not the case with other ones.

As a rule, I try to not mix different reverbs on one source : the audio result is usually confusing. But again, it depends of the source involved : sometimes, i use two different reverb sends on an incoming audio guitar signal. All is about experimenting…

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Thanx. I use HZ Strings and Epic Choir among others, they are Spitfire Audio. I want everything to sound as if they are in the same room of course, thats the idea with mixing. I am not sure if the sound is confusing really but there seems to be an obvious risc. Is it very wrong to use a little reverb in the plugin and use more on an external one as well, is that even “worse”?

I don’t have the Spitfire Audio stuff but, at least, and even if you are using a mix of integrated reverb effect and external ones, they should be setted more or less the same way for the different tracks you are using with it.

After this, again, it’s about experimenting and having a objective way to evaluate the result : an added pair of ears often helps in this case…

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But it would be a mix of konvolution reverbs and electronic ones, they can not be set in the same way? The external on eI prefere is seventh heaven?

No, I meant that the different reverbs involved should be set more or less the same way, each one with its own parameters. In example, for a given reverb, the early reflections should be set more or less the same way, as well as the tail duration, among others : presets help for this.

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If you want all the instruments to sound like they are in the same room, personally I would probably disable any instrument internal reverbs and use reverbs in Cubase as sends, probably two or three with the same overall settings, but e.g. different setting for predelay (higher for instruments that should sound more upfront, lower for those in the background), as an example.

If you want the reverb as a special FX sound for a specific instrument, to make it stand out, you can use whatever you want, of course

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This book is inexpensive and very well done. Perhaps you will find in this document a way of doing things that could be suitable for many mixing situations.

This is how Nyquist sounds…


Thanx! Yes, thats what I thought. But in plugins, I feel that built-in reverb is sometimes very specific for that instrument and also does other things to the sound, things I like, that are not possible to do with a external reverb.

A real book! Or is it digital? Thanx, it seems very usefull.

I think it is possible to have one or the other. I prefer the electronic version, which is less expensive and very easy to use with the Kindle application, which is free.

@Rolf, since reading this book, I never use the reverbs from the presets; the same is true for Delays unless the Delay has a sound that would be very difficult to reproduce or is essential to the nature of the preset. On the other hand, I generally keep modulators like chorus, flanger, phaser, this kind of effects.

All the books produced by Nathan Nyquist are of very, very high quality. It’s a way like so many others of approaching or designing mixing which, for me, allows me to achieve a very professional result.

You won’t regret it, I’m sure. Good reading.


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Thanx, you sound very convincing. I feel there are so many knobs to turn on the effects, I want to sing and arrange, compose, and mixing is an art of its own, I get a bit tired when I need to do that as well.

@Rolf, it’s true that the suggested reading I made is for that stage of mixing.

Achieving a musical production that will have a so-called professional appeal with an environment like Cubase is a process that may take longer or shorter depending on the musical genre and our respective skills.

The composition aspect and the mixing aspect, even if it seems intimately linked, the fact remains that they are two very different stages. Each of these steps takes time and patience.

It just takes time, and time doesn’t matter when you want to achieve a satisfying result. But despite everything, keep in mind that you will never be unanimous, because people will like what you do and others will not.

C’est la vie!

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There is a problem with time, and that is that you get a bit tired of you song if you keep working on it for to long, and this risc is greater if you, like me, does everything yourself. I have the possibility to send stems to Justin Coletti on Sonic Scoop and he can do mixing/mastering for me, I dont know how good he is, nor how ambitious he is. I am very ambitious and will not settle for a half-good result.

OK, get it. But a convolution reverb will be different than a algorithmic, even if they are set i similar way.