Unconventional Reverb Tips

There are no real rules in mixing; only guidelines. This means that you can always experiment with the tools you have, and sometimes you may use a plugin not in the way it should be used, and get a nice result. With reverb, there are some unconventional ways you can use it.

  • You can make a sound 100% wet as a sound design choice. When you put a synth or instrument through a reverb at 100% wet, it can sound like an entirely different sound. Usually, it’s good to set the decay time short, to still have the original length of the sound. By doing that, you change the sound, without having this long reverb tail. After sound designing, you can add another reverb to place it in the mix.
  • You can also use a 100% wet reverb on small, background sounds. Sounds like vocal fx, percussion, or noise can sound really big and interesting with 100% wet reverb. By doing that, you can trick the listener to think that the mix has a very large space, without having lots of reverb. Make sure the sound with 100% wet reverb is not playing constantly, and is very low in volume.
  • Gated reverb is also somewhat unconventional. Some reverb plugins have an option to gate the reverb. A gate is a volume controller that mutes the volume when it goes below a threshold. So it can cut the sound off. You can get interesting effects by letting the gate cut the reverb off suddenly, but it will not sound realistic. So if unrealistic is what you’re going for, this can be interesting. 

Song used in second part: Dread Pitt - Gasoline