audio tips

Truth Behind Bathroom Singing, Revealed.

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Ever wondered why many people enjoy singing inside bathrooms / while taking shower !!!

If you are singing or speaking inside a closed room your sound is usually added with a special effect, what is it actually?

The answer is simple, it is the ‘the reverb effect‘.

For sound engineers, they are quite familiar with ‘this glamour factor‘ and they have been applying the same during studio recording or for live programs.

With regard common man, it is quite sure that they have experienced the effect in one way or the other but not aware of what was exactly going on, so for those who are not familiar about the concept we are quoting the definition of the same from wikipedia which every one can understand,

It is the persistence of sound after a sound is produced. A reverberation, or reverb, is created when a sound or signal is reflected causing a large number of reflections to build up and then decay as the sound is absorbed by the surfaces of objects in the space – which could include furniture, people, and air. This is most noticeable when the sound source stops but the reflections continue, decreasing in amplitude, until they reach zero amplitude.” Source Wikipedia.

In simple terms if you add to the main voice source with 20ms second delay of the same it will be much louder and the output will be impressive and it otherwise called precedence effect.

This effect is being creating while singing in a closed environment where there are limited options for the sound wave to travel outside.

Talking a bit about the history of creating the reverb effect, the usage of reverb chambers was prevalent during the earlier days of music recording.

Reverb chambers are rooms with detachable walls. On moving the walls to and fro, the recording engineers can change the intensity of reverb effect.

Reverb effect is usually added to melodious songs and singers who are performing live asks for the same during their show.

Now a days there are processors available to create the effect and it has got different parameters, some of which being Early Reflections Level, Pre Delay, Decay Time, Damping, High Frequency Attenuation, Low Frequency Attenuation etc.

Even though it is a commonly used effect, it has become a matter of hot debate among the sound engineers whether to rely on reverb effect or not especially during mixing.

But all the sound engineers agree upon the fact whethe to add it or not solely depends on the song, style, arrangement.

Tips you can use

  • Possibly the easiest way to add depth and space to your mixes is to simply use one reverb for everything.
  • If overused the reverb can cause your mix to go muddy.
  • Reverb is commonly applied to vocals.
  • During drum miking reverb is applied to microphones that capture the sound of cymbals.
  • While applying the reverb effect keep in mind that combining different reverbs on different instruments shouldn’t cause cancellation or comb filtering.
  • The challenge involved with the usage of reverb effect is maintaining the mix choerence and sense of space with individual instrument needs.
  • Simply treat the send levels as the amount you want to push the elements of your mix back.

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