Create real acoustic reverberation, even if your interface doesn't have multiple outputs

Create real acoustic reverberation, even if your interface doesn't have multiple outputs

Real acoustic reverb has texture and character, and it's much more fun than using a plug-in. But how?

Audio Masterclass

The essence of real acoustic reverberation is to send a signal to a loudspeaker in a reverberant space, pick up the reverb with a microphone and record it back into your DAW. Let's assume you have a vocal already recorded, and your audio interface only has stereo inputs and outputs. To keep things simple we'll record the reverb in mono, but you can easily do it in stereo with two mics.

Connect one output of your interface to an amplifier and loudspeaker. A guitar combo will give an interesting result, but a hi-fi or studio monitoring amp and speaker will be cleaner. Place the loudspeaker in a reverberant room. (Don't take mains-powered equipment into a bathroom.)

Play the track and make sure the audio is coming through OK.

Now set up a microphone and connect this to one of the inputs of your audio interface. Point the mic away from the loudspeaker so that it picks up mostly reflected sound. Create a new track to record the signal from the microphone. Now comes the important part...

You must mute this new track, so the audio doesn't feed through to the outputs of the interface. You can do this by clicking the mute button or by pulling down the fader. If you don't do this, you will get howlround. This will be unpleasant and you will spoil your recording.

You're all set to go now. Have a run through and set the gain for the microphone, then go ahead and record.

Since you were not able to monitor the reverb, you'll need to play back your recording and see how it sounds. You may find that an adjustment in the mic position will be required. Adjust as necessary and go again.

Hey presto! Real acoustic reverb!

Publication date: Sunday June 24, 2012
Author: David Mellor



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Earlier discussion on this topic...

Avi, Haifa, Israel

hey Lance , the way to record your speakers like mentioned above is simple ... make genuine reverb of your own environment that no one had before, I am sure the plugin you are using is good and pro enough , but is it really yours? does it genuine ?
I some times like to re-record the same thing out of my studio monitors to get fuller sound... for example record your vocal and than play it back and record it again you will get a flavor of your room once again and a mic with a pre will make another flavor , than mix them both to get nice balance , some times can be some phase issues so nudge some of the tracks a little bit to fix it :)
try it and you will understand why David wrote this article :) and this is a great technique and a great article :)
Tuesday June 26, 2012

Lance, Shardwick

I would just use a plug-in. Why go to all that trouble?
Thursday June 21, 2012