Your thoughts on using effects in recordings

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I was wondering what some of your thoughts are about using reverb and delay in recording trumpet pieces. I am not so much talking about fusion pieces or wah wah type of things. It's more about reverb and delay. Sometimes I hear a recording where the delay is a bit over the top and it hides the true sound of the trumpet... I would call it a crutch. My gut is a little bit of delay or reverb gives the recording more of a live feel because the trumpet recorded straight into a microphone is very dry and doesn't blend well with a pre-recorded track. I just wonder if the purist and pros hear that stuff and feel it's not giving an honest recording.
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I think when it is done so you don't really notice it has been done then it works best. Sometimes watching Nick Drozdoff's videos I feel it doesn't work so well when he goes from talking without effects to playing something with effects within the same video (though would probably be fine if the video was just the music with the effect). In my own case I try to record in rooms where the acoustic is already good and I often face the microphone into the room (away from me) so it hears what I hear.

  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    IMO recording is much dependent on place, type of microphone, placement of the microphone ... and a professional audio engineer and his or her equipment. Until then ... self recording is what it is.
  4. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    A touch of reverb makes the sound approximate that of a performance hall. It adds space and depth to the sound. Any time you record without playing toward the microphone you are using ambient reverberation. When doing studio work with an engineer I trust I play past the microphone but off to the side so that the sound is going by but not directly at the diaphragm. I get the truest sound without the clutter of articulations which are picked up by a sensitive mic.
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    ... and then there are high tech scientific microphones ... some with parabulas that could hear you breathe.
  6. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    It definitely depends on the piece. Simple arpeggios, suspended chords without backing, delay will work. The problem with delay is in a live setting it can mess with the rhythm section pretty badly.

    Reverb, really depends on the reverb there is a huge difference in quality and style from dedicated live room approximations to more eccentric and noticable artistic effects. I like the modern digital ones based on short randomly moving digital delays, but the older coil and plate based ones ares also good, I would avoid most of the older digital reverb.

    The effects style will suspend your music in time.
  7. dorkdog

    dorkdog Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2012
    I add reverb to the entire mix. I EQ the sends to the reverb to keep the bass out of the reverb tank. I turn it down till I can't detect it and then up a notch.
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I'm not one for too many effects, simply because I like to hear the real sound however a little bit of trickery to get the right sound and feel as long as it isn't hiding the horn is okay
  9. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    All my $.02 from my expoerience....

    Depending on whether you closed-mic'd the track, or how much you like the sound of the room otherwise, reverb and delay are essential for placing a isolated tack in a mix. In general, Delay places the source and reverb defines the space.

    So, the "solo" (lead track) will by definition want less delay that the backing tracks, because you;ll want it more present in the mix. The use of reverb here should reflect that (short pre-delay and early reflections).

    If you were to close mic a track (that is, elimate the sound of the room in the track as it were), it would sound very unatural to the ear.. we expect some amount of reverb and delay - in fact, it is the early reflections that allow our brain to place objects in soace.
    So yes, I put some amount of reverb or delay on almost every track except those consisting of low frequencies - longer wavelengths.

    While the use of reverb is a matter of taste, generally my rule of thiumb is that I have the right amount if I cannot hear it but also don't miss it (that is to say, if I turned it down, I would notice the lack thereof), if that makes any sense.

    I use just a touch of verb on my master bus, just enough with the compressor to make things fit rogether.

    Another important factor is the quality of the reverb - the lower the quality of the verb, the less I'll want it present in the mix.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  10. dorkdog

    dorkdog Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2012
    I record everything as dry and clean as I can. Printing reverb to each track individually doesn't work for me. I add reverb to the entire submix as an aux bus; each individual track gets a portion routed to the reverb bus (bass instruments get none; in fact, I eq the bass out of the verb sends on all trax but lead).

    I find a little compression useful in recording the horn; but again I record it dry and add the comp after. If I don't like it I can mute or delete the comp.

    I'm also no stranger to DSP timing and pitch adjustments - if I am playing with a mute in and it's just a tad sharp on 3rd valve notes I can fix that, and just those notes, after the fact, a la Britney Spears.

    My typical rock tunes employ 30-40 tracks. It's important that each part be assigned its space in the spectrum both in terms of frequency and spatial position L-R-F-B.

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