Natural Reverb or Artificial Reverb?

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Natural Reverb or Artificial Reverb?

Natural Reverb or Artificial Reverb

Sometimes this might seem like a no-brainier -- "of course, natural reverb is the way to go." But is it and always?

At the end of the day, changing anything inside a mix or changing an instrument's tone should always advance the music, and how someone experiences it. You don't want someone to just hear your music, you want them to feel your music and make a connection, right?

If that's our goal, then it's amazing how we can transform our sound and add character with a few conscious decisions. If our music sounds better coming from the emptiest concert hall of all, then let's go for it! Let's add that artificial reverb, because our bedroom sound isn't going to cut it. 

How is artificial reverb even captured?

This is a really cool process. Sound designers take extremely high fidelity and quality condenser microphones, and capture a very loud, yet short, sound in a space. The resulting echo is our convolution, and this impulse is what our reverb is made of.

What's fascinating is how every room sounds so different.

Capturing reverb in a real space, instead of having a math algorithm that artificially creates the sound, introduces those little imperfections that uniquely characterize any sound. Imperfections that wouldn't exist in the perfect world that computers live in. Like recording takes, little imperfections end up breathing life into a record. And for reverb, these perfect little imperfections can be captured and applied into a track, like a transparent photo.

Take a photo and a painting of the same scene. Each has its own character and life, and make us feel different things.

Technology makes anything possible.

Want to get really detailed reverbs onto your track? Want to sound like you're in Sydney or playing the Orange Peel or Carnegie Hall? As long as the reverb helps your music emote and better affect your listeners' emotional state, do whatever works!

This is one of the many great things about having the power of studio quality sound production with you, everywhere you go. You can capture the world around you, and see where your music shines the brightest.

So if you're deciding between using natural reverb or artificial reverb, be sure to keep an open mind, and try it all. Pick the one that makes your recording more accessible, and feels good to you. You cannot go wrong.

—The Audiohand Team

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