A Songwriter’s Guide To Reverb Types

In this video, Isha “The Mad Scientist” Erskine discusses some different types of reverbs, what they are, and how to use them in a musical setting.

In this video you will learn about the origins of the various reverb types that are now all available as plugins.

Below are some brief descriptions of various reverb types in no particular order. To hear these in action be sure to check out the video.

Plate Reverbs

A Plate Reverbs is when signal is sent to a transducer similar to a speaker that vibrates a huge metal plate generating a rich sound which is picked up by microphones. Plates with long decay times are fantastic on Lead Vocals, Shorter Plates work well for drums especially snare.

Hall Reverbs

These are Emulations or Impulse Responses recordings of concert halls, and churches. They often have very long rich reverb tails that are excellent for orchestral instruments like Strings and also anything you want to wash out into the background of your mix such as background vocals or ambient pianos, pads, etc.

Spring Reverbs

A Signal is sent to a transducer that drives a Spring to vibrate which is connected to a pickup. Springs have a metallic boingy sound.

Studio stand alone units are out there but mostly these were put into guitar amps especially prominent in the surf genre. So naturally these work great on guitars, as well as FX hits from a side-stick or timbale in reggae.

Chamber Reverbs

Are real acoustic spaces with a speaker, and 1 or 2 microphones. There are only a few big studios in the world that have these such as Abbey Road, United and Capital, and each chamber is quite unique.
I’ve had the pleasure of using some of these. They really sound amazing on vocals, however I have never been a big fan of the fact that aside from moving the microphones and speakers around you can’t adjust the decay time.

There are many variations on these but that covers the basics.

If all this seems like greek to you, and you would rather have a professional handle your mixing please check out my airings listings linked in the description.

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