Reverb is invaluable when mixing. It can add character to the song and makes an instrument come alive. Depending on what type of song and character you are after, there are different types of reverbs that you should use. Big powerful ballads require long and lush hall reverbs, rockabilly-type tunes need short slap-back room echoes.
In Logic Pro 8 there is a very powerful reverb engine called Space Designer, which has a lot of functions that may intimidate someone opening it for the first time. It has all the features of a typical reverb unit, but works by feeding it impulse responses that generate the room's characteristic. In the following Plus tutorial I will show you in-depth the versatility and intuitive way that Space Designer handles the reverb in your projects.
A Little About Impulse Responses
Space Designer is a very powerful convolution reverb engine. It takes an impulse response from certain rooms - taking the characteristics of the room tones if you will - and simulates it. It can take a room with a sound you like, and create a reverb out of the reflections. If you have sound files with the impulse response from a room you like you can load it into Space Designer easily. Once you have the sound of the room you like, you can modify it. Space Designer allows you to tweak pretty severely. Logic comes with a lot of preset impulse responses that are almost enough for any home recording session.
There are various impulse response categories sorted into small, medium and large sizes. These presets are sometimes modeled after famous and commonly used spaces in the recording industry.Some of the preset impulse responses (IRs) you can find in Space Designerare:
- Rooms – These range in sizes from small drum rooms, string chambers and live chambers. They have early reflections and are good for a smaller sound.
- Halls – These range from small ambience halls to lush balladesque cathedral tones.
- Plates – These IRs are modeled after various plate reverbs. They range from short plates that sounds ideal for vocals to bigger plates ideal for choirs or percussion.
- Gated – Instead of having to go through the trouble of making a gated reverb using your gate's side-chain, Space Designer has some convincing gated reverbs for you to choose from.
- Spring – These emulate the spring reverbs most commonly found on guitar amps. Although some IRs are emulations of vintage spring reverbs, the dominant IRs are of various types of amps.
- Indoor spaces – Say you like your trumpet solo to sound like it's played in a smoky New Orleans jazz club, Space Designer has some options for you. From basements to cathedrals, these convincing indoor emulations give you various options to choose from. Also, they give you realistic options if you need to put your foley sounds into certain situations during post-production if you are working in sound for picture.
- Outdoor spaces – These include street-type ambience, mountain echoes or forest type loneliness. These emulations can enhance your post-production, or for experimentation.
- Warped spaces – These spaces are weird, and range from the not-so-untypical room next door to weird black hole and thunder wave emulations. It is best to have a clear idea of the effect you are after before using the weirder ones.
These are just some of the impulse responses you canget from Apple. If this isn't enough, you canload your own IRs, or search for more on the Internet. IRs I have found range from vintage units to inside somebody's mouth.
Step 1 – Load Your Impulse Response
Clicking on the arrow besides IR SAMPLE you get the option ofloading your own impulse response.