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Deets
04-16-2010, 10:01 AM
Bear with me, I'm quite new to the whole recording thing...

So, I just downloaded Audacity, and have been playing around with it for a bit and I can't seem to make Gverb sound...well...not horrible. How do I tweak it to add a bit of reverb to my track without it sounding completely weird?

Doug W
04-16-2010, 01:30 PM
I don't use Audacity much but I tried it out with GVerb on a wav file of my wife singing. The first settings list gives you a slight amount of reverb.

The second one gives you a bit more without being obnoxious.

Almost a dry signal:

Roomsize 6.5
Reverb Time 1
Damping 0.5
Input bandwith 0.75
Dry signal level -7.98
Early reflection level -36.82
Tail level -44.5

A bit more reverb:

Roomsize 6.5
Reverb Time 1
Damping 0.5
Input bandwith 0.75
Dry signal level -25
Early reflection level -36.0
Tail level -44.5

I found that after using the 2nd setting list shown here, I had to normalize the wav file since it almost disappeared.

You may want to download the VST enabler so you can use some non-destructive reverb like the "Classic Reverb" by Kjaerhus, but I don't want to throw more info your way than you want to hear right now.

----------------EDIT-----------------
I did download the VST enabler and used "Classic Reverb" and unless I am misunderstanding Audacity, it appears that any effects you use are destructive-it permanently changes the wave-no me gusta!

Any full time users of Audacity out there? Is this right? All effects are destructive?

Nuprin
04-16-2010, 01:49 PM
I've never used Audacity (went to school for recording but we only studied Pro Tools) so I'm just guessing. I always create an auxiliary track and insert the reverb plug-in on that. Use any bus as the input. On the audio track, use a send to that same bus. Adjust the level of the send accordingly.

Found some more detailed explanation on GVerb here. (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/GVerb)


Usage: two approaches

Apply reverb directly to the original track
The more obvious approach of applying reverb directly to a track works badly with GVerb's default settings, but there's an excellent reason for this. Specifically, the "dry" level (no effect applied) is set to zero. Why? This is based on the assumption that you are going to duplicate your track and convert the duplicate to reverb-only by applying GVerb to it, leaving the original track untouched. Then you control the amount of reverb by mixing in different volume levels of the dry and reverb-only tracks. This is a professional yet conservative studio-like approach. A professional sound engineer would pick up the original signal from the board, send it through a reverb unit and return it through a separate input channel of his mixing board.
There are some advantages to applying reverb directly. It means less disc space and CPU usage, and lessens the possibility of playback problems on slower machines. It can give you a quick, reasonably useful reverb, if you know suitable instant reverb settings that you can apply.

Duplicate and mix together
The alternative "duplicate and mix" approach has two major advantages:
Quicker to get exactly the effect required
There are a very wide variety of sounds possible on a reverb, and it can be difficult and time-consuming to determine the parameters required for a particular sound, instrument or project. Reverb processing is not real-time: even on fast machine it may take 30 seconds or more to process a four-minute stereo track in 96000 Hz, 24 bit quality. Audacity does have a preview for effects (limited to 3 seconds in Audacity 1.2.x, but with configurable length in 1.3.x). Even so, the reverb parameters cannot be modified during preview, so unless you already know exactly what you want from previous experience, you may spend a lot of time experimenting, processing, listening, perhaps undoing, and changing parameters. To get the exact sound you want more quickly, it is actually very useful to utilize the sound engineer's method of duplicate track reverb layering. Once a chosen reverb has been processed into the duplicated track, you can mix in the amount of reverb "wet" signal in real time using just the -....+ gain control on the reverb track.
Non-destructive, and expandable
You always keep the base "dry" track as it was originally. As well as being important in its own right, this gives you the option of working with multiple reverb tracks, without destroying either the dry track or the individual reverb tracks. As a simple example, you can further manipulate the reverb track with compression, equalization or noise gating (via a third party plug-in such as Dr.Expander ), without affecting the "dry" track.
Working with more than one reverb track opens up several possibilities. You could make the reverb amount change over time by duplicating the reverb track, applying a more extreme reverb to one of them, then use Audacity's envelope tool to gradually adjust the volume of each reverb track. Or you could prepare two different reverb tracks, (say one with the Early Reflection only and a second with the Tail only). This way, you could mix both types of reverb with the dry original in real time and really fine-tune the exact sound you want with immediate feedback. Going even further with this approach, you can try different sets of parameters on different sets of tracks, muting and unmuting them to compare one set with another in A/B fashion, again with immediate feedback in real time.

Deets
04-17-2010, 04:09 AM
Thanks so much, guys!

Skrik
04-17-2010, 04:25 AM
I did download the VST enabler and used "Classic Reverb" and unless I am misunderstanding Audacity, it appears that any effects you use are destructive-it permanently changes the wave-no me gusta!

If you save as an Audacity project, you should have quite a deep level of undos -- non-destructive. Agreed, it's not as satisfactory as more sophisticated suites where it appears that you lay the effect over the waveform, but it's workable.

Doug W
04-18-2010, 04:26 AM
Thanks so much, guys!
Hope we didn't just confuse the issue for you.


If you save as an Audacity project, you should have quite a deep level of undos -- non-destructive. Agreed, it's not as satisfactory as more sophisticated suites where it appears that you lay the effect over the waveform, but it's workable.
Don't get me wrong, I think Audacity is an amazing program-even more so when you consider the price. My son is a Pro Tools user and he uses Audacity for some of his audio editing. He is especially impressed by its noise removal feature.

I have bought a few different multitrack software packages over the years but what I use the most is Kristal (free for non-commercial use). It is no longer being developed as the main programmer is off on a different project. Still I find it simple and since it uses VSTs, there are more possibilites for effects than I would ever need for recording voice and acoustic instruments.

At different times I have employed "Tiny Wave Editor", "Audacity" and "Wavosaur" as the audio editor along with Kristal.

Kristal Forum (http://www.kristalusers.net/index.php)
Kristal Home Page (http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/)