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Do my ears deceive me? - Printable Version

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Do my ears deceive me? - jmcmillan - 11-09-2017

I think I’ve ready enough and watched videos to the point that I have more questions.  Smile  I’m finding out that mixing is quite a different skill than composing, and I think my ears need training. 

When I apply early reflections, how should the sound change? It seems very subtle and I don’t think my ears are trained to hear what it should sound like after ER’s are applied.

What is the main purpose of ER’s? Is it to make the samples sound like they are recorded in the same room, or is it to do most of the front back placement?

What are the important settings of ER? Room length/time or amount/dB level?

Predelay...I change the time from 0 to 20 to 40ms, but I’m not sure I’m hearing much difference. What should this parameter change sound like?

Should predelay be applied to ER’s or LR’s or both? I’m not sure I’m hearing correctly the effect of adding pre-delay. 

Thanks in advance for any advice!!!


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Viktor - 11-09-2017

I'm still struggeling with reverbs myself, I can just tell you, that predelay changes the time to when the reverb kicks in. It's kind of like an attack knob, but attack is more for slowly increasing while predelay determins the start the of the the actual reverbed sound. If Predelay doesn't change anything I would presume, some other parameter makes the start of the delay rather ambivalent to hear. One easy trick to really hear what predelay is doing, is setting the mix button of the delay to a 100% and vary it between very extreme settings like 0s predelay and 20 s predelay. Now you should hear a difference, if not, there must be something funky with your reverb Big Grin
What reverb are you using? Also Mattias wrote some articles on his website about the use of reverb, this helped me out quit a bit in understanding some stuff, if you haven't checked that out yet, I'de recommend that. http://mattiaswestlund.net/?page_id=440


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - jmcmillan - 11-09-2017

I’m using FreeVerb Hibiki and Oril River.
I definitely read all of Mattias’s areticles. They are a great resource.
In my experimenting I did try turning predelay way up to hear the effect. It definitely is working. For predelay and for some other parameter settings, when they are small like 20ms, I’m not sure I’m hearing what the effect should be creating.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Michael Willis - 11-09-2017

(11-09-2017, 01:47 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: When I apply early reflections, how should the sound change? It seems very subtle and I don’t think my ears are trained to hear what it should sound like after ER’s are applied.

What is the main purpose of ER’s? Is it to make the samples sound like they are recorded in the same room, or is it to do most of the front back placement?

A little bit of both, but the late reverb is also both. I would suggest that you first decide what room characteristics you want, set up all of your reverb rows with identical parameters to fit the room, and then adjust the ER and LR parameters to give each row its own front/back stage presence.

(11-09-2017, 01:47 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: What are the important settings of ER? Room length/time or amount/dB level?

I think that the ER size/width/length/time parameters should be set based on the room characteristics, and then the amount/db should be set based on front/back placement. The front row should have the highest level of ER, the middle row should have less, and the back row should have no ER.

(11-09-2017, 01:47 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: Predelay...I change the time from 0 to 20 to 40ms, but I’m not sure I’m hearing much difference. What should this parameter change sound like?

Should predelay be applied to ER’s or LR’s or both?

Predelay should only be applied to late reverb. If you're using Hibiki, you don't have to think about this, it's designed to only apply the delay to the late reverb.

Give the front row a fairly long predelay like 30 or 40 ms, middle row a shorter one like 10 or 20 ms, and back row zero.

The combination of LR predelay and ER amount should make it sound like the source is closer or farther away.

Hibiki has some built in presets that are a helpful starting point, but they're strangely not available from its user interface. Does your DAW show presets for Hibiki?


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Samulis - 11-09-2017

Clap your hands in a small drywall room. That "splattering" or "slap" sound is basically ER. Wink

ER are the initial, still somewhat clear reflections that occur shortly after your signal. Their function is vital in the realism of the perception of space, as they are what cue us to the size and dimensions of the room. They're also essential to the placement of the instrument within the space it exists in stereo recordings. However, they sort of sound like crap on their own (who wants slappy half-digested reflections? Oh wait, yeah, guitar FX enthusiasts! Wink ), so that's why we need the actual decay after them, and why you should be careful about how much to turn them up.

Regarding predelay, I have found predelay can be used roughly as a proxy for mic distance from the instrument vs. space (i.e. what Michael is saying), but perhaps more practically, as a tool to increase the sense of space/size without muddying the mix too much. Excessive predelay will sound very odd indeed, but values between 30-120 are not too uncommon and is a "cheap" way to make a little reverb sound bigger without making it sound bad or add lots of mud as reverb does so well.

I think of predelay as the difference of long it takes for the very fastest of the ER to get to the mic compared to the time it took for the signal to take the most direct path from instrument to mic. Honestly though, this value is near-trivial and can be widely adjusted with little negative effect to the believability of the reverb.

It takes 2.9 ms for sound to travel one meter, so 10 ms equals roughly 3 meters, or a bit more accurately, 20 ms equals roughly 7 meters.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - jmcmillan - 11-10-2017

Thank everyone for your replies!
Michael thanks for the settings to try. I can't find any presets though in Hibiki. Just the level sliders but no preset selector.
Sam thanks for the info/theory.

I think I understand the theory of reverb and how it should work, but I'm not sure I am hearing it properly in practice. I will try to post some audio examples soon. When I apply the reverb, for example, I'm not sure I am hearing the trumpets go "backward and forward" in space.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Viktor - 11-10-2017

I found out for myself that even more important for going forward and backward in space is an appropiate stereo field. Stuff that is closer takes up the whole field while stuff more far away tends be rather close to mono or even mono. As well es an appropriate eq and gainstaging (closer things are louder). I don't know if you tried your luck with that so far, but that might help you also a little bit.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Michael Willis - 11-10-2017

(11-10-2017, 01:01 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: I can't find any presets though in Hibiki. Just the level sliders but no preset selector.

I only saw them when I loaded Hibiki in a plugin host called Carla:

http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Applications:Carla

Despite the fact that it's hosted on linuxaudio.org, there are also versions for Mac and Windows.

Alternatively, if you want to go into the rabbit hole, you can look at the Hibiki source code:

https://osdn.net/projects/freeverb3vst/scm/hg/freeverb3_vst/blobs/tip/VstMain/Hibiki_Reverb.cpp

Look starting at line 45 for preset names, line 94 for preset values, and line 24 for the order of parameter names.

If it would be helpful, I made a spreadsheet of these presets for my own use, I could put it online somewhere to share.

Edit:

Here's the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ry_zrVNO7g1c4lOgxKqCJQp3awhrCFUagKH-UROBjGc

Even if you end up able to access the presets as Mattias suggests below, I found it handy to be able to compare presets at a glance like this.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - Mattias Westlund - 11-10-2017

(11-10-2017, 01:01 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: I can't find any presets though in Hibiki. Just the level sliders but no preset selector.

That's weird. What OS/DAW are you using?

Edit: Aaaah... you're on REAPER, right? Try resizing the Hibiki plugin window, and the preset selector will pop up. For some reason it doesn't show when the window is less than [x] width.


RE: Do my ears deceive me? - jmcmillan - 11-10-2017

(11-10-2017, 02:31 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote:
(11-10-2017, 01:01 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: I can't find any presets though in Hibiki. Just the level sliders but no preset selector.

That's weird. What OS/DAW are you using?

Edit: Aaaah... you're on REAPER, right? Try resizing the Hibiki plugin window, and the preset selector will pop up. For some reason it doesn't show when the window is less than [x] width.
On Tracktion 6...let me try that...never thought to just resize the window. Thanks!

(11-10-2017, 01:11 PM)Viktor Wrote: Stuff that is closer takes up the whole field while stuff more far away tends be rather close to mono or even mono. As well es an appropriate eq and gainstaging (closer things are louder).

I read this and I think I have a lot to learn still Huh
I think I understand gain staging from a video posted by Paul B. But mono/stereo field/"appropriate EQ" and I start to lose comprehension. I think I need a basic mixing class!

(11-10-2017, 02:08 PM)Michael Willis Wrote:
(11-10-2017, 01:01 PM)jmcmillan Wrote: I can't find any presets though in Hibiki. Just the level sliders but no preset selector.

I only saw them when I loaded Hibiki in a plugin host called Carla:

http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Applications:Carla

Despite the fact that it's hosted on linuxaudio.org, there are also versions for Mac and Windows.

Alternatively, if you want to go into the rabbit hole, you can look at the Hibiki source code:

https://osdn.net/projects/freeverb3vst/scm/hg/freeverb3_vst/blobs/tip/VstMain/Hibiki_Reverb.cpp

Look starting at line 45 for preset names, line 94 for preset values, and line 24 for the order of parameter names.

If it would be helpful, I made a spreadsheet of these presets for my own use, I could put it online somewhere to share.

Edit:

Here's the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ry_zrVNO7g1c4lOgxKqCJQp3awhrCFUagKH-UROBjGc

Even if you end up able to access the presets as Mattias suggests below, I found it handy to be able to compare presets at a glance like this.

Thanks! I will check this out.