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In this tutorial, I will briefly talk about reverbs. We'll explore the main parameters, and at the end of the article, you'll find some good practical advice.

There are many types of reverbs that try to emulate the characteristics of different rooms and ambiences. In this tutorial, I will talk about digital emulations of reverbs (i.e. plugins), but the concepts apply to hardware reverbs too. Reverbs in nature are formed by the bouncing of a sound to a room’s walls (and/or obstacles) coming back to our ears.


Depending on the plugin you are using, remember that you can find all or part of the following parameters.

Dry/Wet — We identify the dry sound as the original sound without any reverb. We recognise the wet sound as the reverb sound. These parameters are expressed in percentages and indicate how much wet sound we want to apply to the dry sound.

Early Reflections — These are the first group of reflections that hit the wall and returns to our ears. Usually, these are more audible.

Pre Delay — This is the time that elapses between the original dry sound and the first early reflection.

Use the pre-delay to give your instruments a bit of extra intelligibility by leaving some space between the original sound and its reverb.

Decay — This is the part of reverb created by the sound that continues to bounce to the walls.

Room size — This indicates the dimension of the room. The bigger the room, the longer the decay.

Damping — This concerns the material of the wall’s room. In fact, the harder the material the walls are made of (e.g. stones), the brighter the reverb. The softer the material the walls are made of (e.g. wood), the darker the reverb. At a basic level, think of it like a sort of EQ.

Diffusion — This parameter is related to the early reflections. Increase the diffusion to pushing the early reflection closer together. Decrease the diffusion to separate the early reflection.


  • Use sends to apply reverbs. This will help to save computer resources as you can use one reverb for multiple instruments.

  • Don't mess up the mix by using over two or three reverbs per mix. If you need more reverbs, be very careful.

  • Create contrasts between dry and wet instruments.

  • For a more natural reverb, darken the sound with an LPF.

  • Don't abuse of reverbs. Most of the time, you want to hear it barely. An excess of wet sounds usually is synonymous with a poor mix.

  • To keep the mix tidy and add space, consider using stereo delays instead of reverbs.

  • Saturate/compress/EQ the return of the reverb if you want to customise it and give it some extra character.

  • A good amount of diffusion works well for percussive sound. A lower amount of diffusion works better for pad sounds.

  • Usually, the pre-delay can vary between 20ms and 50ms, but you can always experiment trying longer pre-delay's times.

I hope this article was helpful.


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