Reverb Techniques: Mono vs Stereo
We all love Reverb, who doesn’t? It instantly gives life and depth to our sounds, but when using too much... It can really muddy up our mixes, so we have to be careful with it.
In this post I will be showing you 2 different techniques regarding Reverb positioning, the theory is pretty simple and you can experiment with both to see which works best with your sounds...
Let's get to it!
Mono vs Stereo Reverb
When choosing reverb, the first thing we need to know is if our sound affected is in Mono or Stereo, the easiest way to know is taking a look at the volume metering... In this case we are using Ableton Live 10.
Ableton gives us different metering options in our volume faders, one of them help us in visualizing if our sounds have the same or different information playing on the L and R channels... Here are examples of what sounds look like in Mono and Stereo
*See how the volume information is the same on both channels, this tells us that this sound is playing at the same amplitude on both L and R channels, making it balanced to the centre.
*On this instance, we notice how the levels are not the same, there's more amplitude on the R channel thus making this sound not completely balanced to the center.
Knowing if our sounds are in Mono or Stereo will make it easier to make Reverb decisions
This technique is pretty simple, it consists of knowing when to put our reverb in Mono or in Stereo.
*We are going to be using sends to apply the reverb, this helps to maintain our main source playing on its full amplitude and clearness and not get fully drowned in FX
If our sound is in Mono, we want to apply our reverb to the Stereo field, this because we want to add depth and stereo image to the sides because our main source is playing in the center. This will help in having control of our Stereo image and will give our sound a much fuller, wider sound.
*See how the reverb exists on a different realm than our original source, this will help our mix sound cleaner and wider.
If our sound is in Stereo, we will do the opposite, put our reverb in Mono. Since we have information playing differently on the L and R channels, a reverb playing in Mono will not stand in the way of our original source and it will give a cleaner sense of depth in our mix.
See the difference?
For this example I used Evolution Of Sound: Paradox for the Lead sound, and Valhalla Vintage Verb for the reverb.
How do I make my reverb in Mono? Pretty simple! Just add an utility and activate the Mono option just like this...
Hope this was helpful! Experiment with delays and other effects in Mono or Stereo... You can create pretty sick spatial effects switching between both!