Ye Olde Tyme Reverb for Vocals - HELP!

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JeremyEngle
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Ye Olde Tyme Reverb for Vocals - HELP!

Post by JeremyEngle » Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:24 pm

Howdy, folks! I'm new to the board & was hoping some of the great minds here could steer me in the right direction re: vocals and reverb. Yes, I've searched the board for all related threads that have come before this, and I've come up with some good leads, but because I have basically no budget, I can't really afford to try a bunch of different units in my effort to chase down this specific sound.

I'm looking for the closest possible approximation of the reverb sound you hear on Dylan's vocals on "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". That's about as deep a reverb as I want, and pretty much exactly the type of reverb I'm looking for. What's it called? Where can I get it?

Another example: the second verse of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man." (Yeah, Donovan. What can I say?) I'm talking about the second verse only, not any other part of the song. The part that goes, "Histories of ages past, unenlightened shadows cast..." etc. Again, I'm talking strictly about the reverb on the vocals. I have no problems finding adequate reverb levels for my guitar --or anything else I might be playing-- just through my amp (was a Fender Deville, now a Vox Pathfinder) or with the built-in effects on my Tascam DP01-FX.

Another great example (this time with an mp3 link!): the 4-track recordings Liz Phair made as Girly Sound before Exile in Guyville. Here's a sample: http://girlysound.com/tape3/Easy.mp3 That's about as light a reverb I'd want on my vocals in this instance.

I play guitar, sing, and record songs alone in my bedroom. I do not play drums or add drum tracks to my songs. I do not use a computer to record or mix with and don't intend to any time soon; all I have is my Tascam Portastudio DP01-FX, so any recommendations involving plug-ins are useless to me.

I've tried running my vocals through the Danelectro Spring King with adequate -- if perhaps too 'springy' -- results. I used to have an Alesis Nanoverb & really liked the Plate settings, but it still didn't quite sound like any of the stuff I've referred to above. I've since sold the Nanoverb and the Spring King.

Based on what I've outlined so far, what do you think is my best bet? Ideally I'd go with a 20-year-old analog spring reverb unit, if that was what delivered the results I'm looking for, and I'd buy it on eBay for real cheap. I've noted past suggestions for the Furman RV-1 (that's analog, right?) and the Alesis Wedge (clearly not analog). I'm looking into all things Lexicon as well, although the going rates on eBay are a tad steep for me right now.

So what should I do?

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Re: Ye Olde Tyme Reverb for Vocals - HELP!

Post by mjau » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:40 am

JeremyEngle wrote:So what should I do?
Don't really have a "buy X reverb box" piece of advice for you, but I can say that, more than the type of reverb, the way it's predelayed makes the biggest difference, IMO. Once if figured that out, almost every reverb I used instantly sounded more useful / better.
Anyway, 2 cents.

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Post by drumsound » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:03 am

Pre-delay is really important.

The records you referenced probably have a real plate or a chamber of some sorts. Is there a big room in your house, or maybe an empty basement?

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Post by Mane1234 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:51 pm

If you're on a small budget I'd suggest an Alesis Wedge. They're pretty cheap these days and they're 1/4 inch in and out plus you have a lot of control over the various parameters. +2 on the whole pre-delay thing. It makes a world of difference.
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Post by syrupcore » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:22 am

+6 on pre delay.

The liz phair definitely sounds like a spring of some sort. It would be pretty easy to get something close to that sound on an rv-1. I wonder what she was actually using. it's super boxy.

Just a guess but I think part of the sound there is she's doubled her vocals and applied the reverb heavily to only one of them.

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Post by channelcat » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:29 am

I've been thinking about picking up a Demeter RV-1 2-ch. spring reverb. I've seen them for @ $525 new, but you may be able to nab one used for about half that. I believe it has both XLR and 1/4" I/O, so you would have some options when connecting to your Tascam. FWIW - I think Ry Cooder used to endorse this one.
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Post by madtho » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:56 pm

-IF- you are recording in the computer, and -IF- you have a PC then you could get SIR impulse reverb (FREE), find impulses for the chambers where X & Y recorded (or make them yourself).

If you have a Mac you must spend money to get impulsable 'verbage (how can this still be true?)

You could also research what the chambers where they recorded looked like (if it's just chambers) and try to track down a similar enough space, pump your tracks out + re-record.

yeah.

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:20 pm

If you're on a Mac (and PT) you can get the Jk_irr for free. It's a pluggo so you need to download the fre pluggo runtime to make it work.
It's pretty great and there are a few free impulses out there online. You can also make your own.

+1 on the whole pre delay thing. It makes a world of difference.
+1 on the spring reverb too
also +1 on the wedge.
While we're at it +1 on setting up a room in the house as a chamber. You don't need a church or concert hall to get a good room sound.

All of the above are good

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Post by 0-it-hz » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:50 pm

Ok, here's a fun one.

Take yur tune or mix of tracks you want reverberated.

Double the sample rate of the playback engine, now everything is twice as fast and up an octave. Hoo-ray

Send this signal to a speaker (or pair for stereo, whatever that is...) in your room. These should be flattish full range boxes, move them around maybe? see what sounds cool.

Record this audio, with a mic or 2 or 3.

Bring it back down to normal speed/pitch, now you have a pretty huge sound from your not so huge room.

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Post by drumsound » Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:14 pm

0-it-hz wrote:Ok, here's a fun one.

Take yur tune or mix of tracks you want reverberated.

Double the sample rate of the playback engine, now everything is twice as fast and up an octave. Hoo-ray

Send this signal to a speaker (or pair for stereo, whatever that is...) in your room. These should be flattish full range boxes, move them around maybe? see what sounds cool.

Record this audio, with a mic or 2 or 3.

Bring it back down to normal speed/pitch, now you have a pretty huge sound from your not so huge room.

True story.
That sounds like fun... :D

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Post by JeremyEngle » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:06 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys!

I guess I'll be looking into the Alesis Wedge first, since it seems like it's the most affordable. As far as pre-delay is concerned, does the Wedge allow you to add pre-delay to whatever reverb you've selected so that it all works in the same algorithm? or do I need to get a separate delay box? Simplicity is key in my 'studio'.

Thanks!

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