Routing a dynamic reverb return

3rd Jul 2013 | 09:10

Routing a return effect is always pretty straightforward, but adding extra effects and an additional sidechain may make things a little more challenging

Creating a reverb return that breathes and interacts with other elements in your mix can only be a good thing, luckily it's a pretty straightforward process that only involves a few simple to follow steps. In this walkthrough we look at how to produce a dynamic reverb effect in four steps.

We'll move from a standard return buss through to a nice frequency-dependant sidechained return. Ultimately the process produces a reverb effect that pulsates in time with the lower frequency elements in the mix. The final step here involves filtering the reverb's output, but this could be replaced with any process. Once the routing work is done the fun can begin.

1. Let's demonstrate a dynamic return. Here you can hear the sound that'll be used in it's totally dry state. This is actually a sample, so it isplaying back on an audio track with nothing but some light limiting on the master output.

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2. With a return set up and a large reverb in place the result can be a little overwhelming to say the least. In this example you can hear thereverb signal is actually starting to mask the original synth. We need to add some clarity to proceedings.

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3. By using a sidechain capable compressor (with a frequency dependant key input) we can use the low frequency from the drum parts in our track to create some much needed gain reduction. This will also create adynamic link between the drums and reverb signal.

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4. Once you have this dynamic return in place you can add extra touches to make the whole thing even more engaging. Try filtering the result,then automate a sweeping effect that syncs with your project. This will take your standard reverb effects to another level.

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