The success of your track will primarily depend on the main elements you have in your track, how they are arranged, and how they are mixed in. What often gets forgotten in a professional song are the ear candy effects.
These ear candy effects give your track that professional polish that is needed to create detail and interest throughout your track.
In this article, I am going to show you how to create a very popular but effective reverb tail effect.
Reverb is used in every single music production
The human ear is used to reverb as every sound we hear in real life has some sort of reverb on it. This makes it the perfect effect to add to your tracks. This reverb tail effect can be applied to any sound in your track.
I recommend using this effect on the main elements of your track as this will highlight your important elements and give more complexity to them. The one sound I would avoid using this technique on is your drums. Your drums will need to be punchy and rhythmic and this reverb tail effect could cause some issues for the overall power of your drums.
To begin creating this reverb effect, you must first duplicate the element that you would like to add this effect to. Next, place your favorite reverb plugin on this duplicate channel. We are now going to wash out this sound with a strong reverb effect. Set your dry/wet control to around 85% and adjust the decay or time of your reverb to around seven seconds.
Once we have this big reverb effect on our duplicate sound, we are going to record this effect to a new audio channel. Create a new audio track in your DAW and set the input of this channel to the duplicate sound with the big reverb effect. Hit record in your DAW and let it run for four to eight bars of where the element is most busy in the arrangement.
This will give you a copy of this effect that is printed to audio.
You can now delete the duplicate channel in your DAW to avoid adding any other strain to your CPU.
Here is where the fun begins…
We are now going to cut up and place the effect in our arrangement to add more interest and excitement in the mix without the effect being too overpowering.
This reverb effect works best as a reverse effect that plays right before the element comes in the arrangement. Take the first few reverberated notes in this audio and cut it out from the long reverb audio.
Now reverse this cut out audio clip. This will be our reverse effect that will act as a cue to the listener that a new instrument will be brought in.
Now place this effect right before the instrument begins playing where the end of the reverb effect goes right into the first note. The reason this effect works so well in the mix is it blends seamlessly with your track because it is derived from your main element. No sample pack effects are added here.
This same technique can be used to bring in all of your main elements.
Not only can you place this reverse effect right before the instrument, but you can place it at the end of the musical passage that the instrument plays to signal that the instrument will stop playing and a new section will start.
When working with effects, it is all about creativity
Taking this reverb tail effect even further, we can add additional effects to the reverb tail and chop up the audio. Try adding a modulation effects plugin (chorus, flanger, phaser) on the reverb tail channel. This will add even more stereo and timbral interest to the effect, creating a more complex mix.
My favorite technique to add even more interest to the reverb tail is to chop up the effect. Take out small little slivers of the tail effect and this will now create a rhythmic component to the sound.
The main elements in your track are the biggest contributors to the overall success of your song. Producers spend hours upon hours working on these main elements to make sure they shine in the mix and rightly so.
But what producers often overlook when trying to create a successful song is the ear candy type of sounds. These sounds that give your track its professional polish and shine.
By applying the few basic processing techniques listed above to your main elements, you can create a reverb tail effect that will add this professional polish to any track you are working on.
Daniel is a caffeine-dependent entrepreneur, music producer, sound design junkie, and world traveler crazy about teaching modern electronic music production through his site SoundShock.