First of all, Happy New Year to everyone!
Well, it’s not about any new year’s resolution, I’m not that type, sorry. Rather, it’s about some perspective. Amidst the big mixing sessions I seldom have time to really experiment with different plugins, try absolutely new things, so I thought as the start of the new year is a bit more calm, I make some tests.
My lovely reverbs for post production and for music. Many fellow engineer recommended me different reverbs for certain tasks and as I’m admittedly a reverb fan, well, downloaded most of it to hear what they can do for me. After many hours of testing and tweaking things in Pro Tools I came to this very succinct conclusion:
If you need very high quality, really stellar sounding verbs with reliable automation, use Exponential Audio’s Phoenix and R2 and Avid’s Revibe.
Probably many of you just raised your eyebrows, but I must say that Revibe is still a exceptionally good reverb, I would go as far as to say if you’re in post production, it’s a must have. From time to time I love to experiment and test new things, but for a reason I always use this trusty old friend. I think the difference lies in the thought process that went into designing and updating this reverb. The original idea was to make a great and versatile room modelling plugin that suits for post production. At least that’s what I think and that’s what I feel when I use it. Very well made presets gives you direction, but if you want, tweak the parameters until you hear what you want.
I know it’s probably strange that I don’t mention any convolution verbs. I have my reasons for it. Because I hardly use any. First, the most popular one cannot be automated properly, there are many issues with its automation, if you’re more interested in it, dive into some real user forums or test it yourself. The second, and this is the biggest one for me, is that for some reason many times they sound flat, lifeless and not really convincing. I’m not an expert so I don’t know the reason behind this, but it seems to me that algorithmic reverbs tend to sit better in the mix. They sound more organic and frankly, many times more realistic.
I started to test the few remaining upmix plugins. Two things:
- they are expensive
- all require magicians and witches to code one
Right now, I’m testing the Auromatic Pro 2D up-mixer which seem to be preferred by many excellent mixer. I think the reason why many of these up-mixers failed to convince me is that I need them for multiple things. One day for music, the other day for complete mixed material, and after that for some special effects things. I’ve found that most up-mixer is good maybe only for one thing, but fail when it comes to multi-faceted work, not to mention that it must downmix perfectly. I have high hopes in this Auro up-mixer simply because the engineers who recommended it I trust.
The next few days going to be very interesting ones for me during these tests.
It is only a small discovery, but for me, a very enlightening one. I checked my recent templates and discovered the fact that I’m using only a few different ones. If you’d take a look at my iLok list, I have many different types of EQ and Dynamics, etc. but it seems I only use a very small percentage of it.
From EQ I usually use 2 types, 3 types of dynamics and as you might have guessed, the aforementioned reverbs, that is all. And the real discovery is that I don’t even miss the rest!
This, again, proves the point for me that we don’t need a hundred different compressors or EQs for a mix.