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Reverb affects distortion tone


Paulzx
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Hello guys,

 

Small detail, but hey, we're always discussing small details, we're fussy guitar players right?

 

So I'm doing one of my usual periodic overhauls on a couple of my high gain patches, see if I can tweak a few improvements etc, and my main rythm snapshots

are always set up with a reverb switched on. Any time i build a patch, I've always had the overview that a reverb is a given, just for the ambience, slightly bigger tone etc,

I think most would agree that's a standard approach.

 

However, as I was A/B'ing the distortion tone with the reverb on and off, I noticed a distinctive difference in the 'bite' of the distortion. When the reverb is on, it takes a slight edge

off the bite or cut of the distortion tone, which of course is theoretically undesirable for this type of tone. I never noticed it before either. Delays and other effects you expect to

slightly muddy the distortion bite, or cover it slightly, but I never suspected to hear that with a reverb. I will add that the reverb effect is low as well, so now I'm thinking the only

way to get the distortion at it's best sound, is completely dry, no reverb. The reverb i'm using is the plate.

 

Has anyone else encountered this at all? I didn't expect the reverb to partly cover the distortion itself, there's no real 'ducking' reverb effect that I know of.

I'm also wondering if this is noticeable due to playing at low volume, whereas a live situation at higher volume you may never hear the difference.

 

Has anyone else noticed this and ended up not using reverb as a standard?

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Try placing the reverb in a parallel path... and set the mix to 100 so it is only reverb. There are several ways to control the amount of reverb.... from the reverb itself if it has a level control, from the merge block, or by placing a gain block in front of the reverb.

 

This prevents the core signal from going through the reverb and possibly being manipulated by it. It simply adds some reverb to your existing tone. 

 

On 3/17/2021 at 8:10 AM, Paulzx said:

Has anyone else noticed this and ended up not using reverb as a standard?


I don't use "effect" reverb on overdriven tones... eg: plate, spring, hall, etc...

I will add a little "room" reverb so it isn't complexly dry... just enough to put some air around the tone. 

 

If you use stock cabs, other natural sounding options are "early reflections" and/or setting the mic distance further from the cabinet. 

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On 3/17/2021 at 2:10 PM, Paulzx said:

... I noticed a distinctive difference in the 'bite' of the distortion. When the reverb is on, it takes a slight edge

off the bite or cut of the distortion tone, which of course is theoretically undesirable for this type of tone...

Increase  the reverbs High Cut. Think of it this way: you mix the dry signal with duller reverbed version of it which makes the sum of both duller, too.

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On 3/18/2021 at 9:08 AM, codamedia said:

Try placing the reverb in a parallel path... and set the mix to 100 so it is only reverb. There are several ways to control the amount of reverb.... from the reverb itself if it has a level control, from the merge block, or by placing a gain block in front of the reverb.

 

This prevents the core signal from going through the reverb and possibly being manipulated by it. It simply adds some reverb to your existing tone. 


Well,  none of the reverbs will affect the dry tone, even if they’re not in a a parallel path. As long as the Mix parameter is at 50 or lower, the dry signal will be the same entering a reverb block as it is going out.

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On 18/03/2021 at 2:08 PM, codamedia said:

Try placing the reverb in a parallel path... and set the mix to 100 so it is only reverb. There are several ways to control the amount of reverb.... from the reverb itself if it has a level control, from the merge block, or by placing a gain block in front of the reverb.

 

This prevents the core signal from going through the reverb and possibly being manipulated by it. It simply adds some reverb to your existing tone. 

 


I don't use "effect" reverb on overdriven tones... eg: plate, spring, hall, etc...

I will add a little "room" reverb so it isn't complexly dry... just enough to put some air around the tone. 

 

If you use stock cabs, other natural sounding options are "early reflections" and/or setting the mic distance further from the cabinet. 

 

Great idea.. never thought of using parallel path! Will try that

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On 18/03/2021 at 3:01 PM, Schmalle said:

Increase  the reverbs High Cut. Think of it this way: you mix the dry signal with duller reverbed version of it which makes the sum of both duller, too.

 

I will try that too, thanks

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2 hours ago, phil_m said:


Well,  none of the reverbs will affect the dry tone, even if they’re not in a a parallel path. As long as the Mix parameter is at 50 or lower, the dry signal will be the same entering a reverb block as it is going out.

 

Haven't checked the mix level but it would be unusual for me to ever use it as high as 50, but I can I can say with absolute certainty that it is slightly muddying the bite of the distortion. Its only slight but it is apparent

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3 minutes ago, Paulzx said:

 

Haven't checked the mix level but it would be unusual for me to ever use it as high as 50, but I can I can say with absolute certainty that it is slightly muddying the bite of the distortion. Its only slight but it is apparent


Well, it doesn’t affect the dry tone. It could just be the way the high end of the reverb is mixing with the dry tone.

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1 minute ago, phil_m said:


Well, it doesn’t affect the dry tone. It could just be the way the high end of the reverb is mixing with the dry tone.

 

I don't know why its doing it, I just know it is. I'll try some of the above suggestions. I think I'll check my other patches for comparison

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On 3/17/2021 at 2:10 PM, Paulzx said:

I've always had the overview that a reverb is a given

Well, it depends. Anyway I also like a little reverb to avoid a very dry sound, but just a little to avoid a muddy sounding guitar.

I'd also suggest to use very narrow frequency cuts, for example using almost the maximum low cut (about 400-500Hz) because you don't need lows in the reverb, and about 1.5/2kHz as high cut. About mix you could try between 15-25%. If you use 50% it means you're using the maximum reverb level, and more than 50% it means you're cutting the dry tone keeping only the reverbered sound. 

 

Adding reverb to a sound means also changing a little the frequency curve of your sound (because reverb will always add/remove some amplitude somewhere) and hiding a little the attack or transient of your sound. About the attack anyway you can get a little help if you use the "pre-delay" option with some 20-30 ms, so that the reverb will start later, leaving more time for your mind to hear the transients of your notes.

 

With the "reverb" block effect (and many other fx, too) it isn't necessary to use a parallel line because the "mix" parameter will do just that, keeping some dry tone directly and adding some effected sound. A separate parallel reverb line can be anyway interesting if you want to add other effects to the reverb sound only (for example a compressor before reverb, and some delay and modulation after the reverb fx). In that case the "reverb" block will need 100% mix, because you will control the dry tone level from the splitting and mixing blocks.

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What you're probably hearing is the reverb smearing the dry signal when mixed -- that's just the nature of the beast -- reflections causing phasing and comb filtering. I keep my high gain rhythm tones as dry as a bone as to not add low end buildup and smear the high end.

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On 3/21/2021 at 6:57 PM, Schmalle said:

My personal settings for an ambience reverb that I tend to forget it's until I turn it off:


Plate - default values with those changes:
Decay 2.6
HiCut 6.5
Mix 20%

I listen through studio monitors in moderate levels.

 

Yours is a touch more dialled down, I'm around 30% mix with 4.5 decay

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On 3/21/2021 at 7:25 PM, zappazapper said:

Can you post some before and after audio clips? Any words you use are never going to fully describe the phenomenon you're experiencing. Maybe post your preset too.

 

Yep I know what you mean - I'll try and get some audio

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On 3/23/2021 at 2:09 PM, efrati said:

Well, it depends. Anyway I also like a little reverb to avoid a very dry sound, but just a little to avoid a muddy sounding guitar.

I'd also suggest to use very narrow frequency cuts, for example using almost the maximum low cut (about 400-500Hz) because you don't need lows in the reverb, and about 1.5/2kHz as high cut. About mix you could try between 15-25%. If you use 50% it means you're using the maximum reverb level, and more than 50% it means you're cutting the dry tone keeping only the reverbered sound. 

 

Adding reverb to a sound means also changing a little the frequency curve of your sound (because reverb will always add/remove some amplitude somewhere) and hiding a little the attack or transient of your sound. About the attack anyway you can get a little help if you use the "pre-delay" option with some 20-30 ms, so that the reverb will start later, leaving more time for your mind to hear the transients of your notes.

 

With the "reverb" block effect (and many other fx, too) it isn't necessary to use a parallel line because the "mix" parameter will do just that, keeping some dry tone directly and adding some effected sound. A separate parallel reverb line can be anyway interesting if you want to add other effects to the reverb sound only (for example a compressor before reverb, and some delay and modulation after the reverb fx). In that case the "reverb" block will need 100% mix, because you will control the dry tone level from the splitting and mixing blocks.

 

Good suggestion on the cuts - I usually leave that as stock, but I'm nowhere near 50% mix. I only use a small amount of reverb but even that just seems to take a slight edge off the attack of the distortion. I'm probably a bit over sensitive to it compared to most because I'm always trying to get maximum bite and attack from my high gain tones so what has stood out to me lately is that I've been leaving reverb on all the time but if I switch it off on my dry patch, it does sound a little better, it's just not my 'go to' way to build my patches, I pretty much always put an active reverb on every patch or snapshot.

 

We all know that when you temporarily engage a delay or some other modulation effect, that will affect your high gain tone, but I never considered reverb to compromise it slightly, and I need to check all my patches now to see if it's happening anywhere else. I don't think it's anything wrong with the Helix or the modelling, it's probably just the way I'm setting it up, and perhaps just being a bit too fussy. Worst case scenario is I turn it off altogether.

 

 

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