Author Topic: Reverb - On or off?  (Read 577 times)

Offline Dobly

Reverb - On or off?
« on: April 14, 2018, 06:45:42 AM »
Well that was me.. You have reverb and you add some or a little but I never really understood it.

Search on YouTube for how much reverb (if any) should you add to a live kit, e or otherwise.

I found this video. This dude seems supremely knowledgeable about reverb and what it does.

This it good for anyone who records drums or like me, thinking about a little reverb on my kit live.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGCdLUyRR0w

As a side, what do you think? Reverb on a live gig for the kit, or just dry sound and let the rooms own natural reverb rule?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 06:04:08 AM by Dobly »

Offline Iggford

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 09:31:55 AM »
I use light reverb on all three of the live kits I built for my Strike.  We record our gigs, so effects can be added later if the overall sound calls for it.  It's easier to for us to edit reverb settings when working from a track with less to begin with.

I like a little more reverb on my cymbals, as it seems to enhance the longer decay settings.  I like for the cymbals to ring for a bit.  My toms have slightly less, and it's mainly for the same reason, they can tend to sound a bit too dead without it.  I have very little applied to my snare and kick, I just bump their volume levels up a bit in the mix.


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 05:00:26 PM »
I have the strike.  And let me be the first to say the reverbs suck.  They are like alesis nano verb bad.  But I come from guitars where my amp alone cost more than my strike.  So for me, it really all depends on the situation and what it calls for.   But I ALWAYS, try to run things dry first.   Live.  Recording.   If the situation dictates I put a little ambience on it or use some light reverb on some of its less shocking modes then I do it.   But I would be weary of feeling you need it.   At the end of the day no matter what, trust your ears.  You know what sounds good.   

Offline Iggford

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 09:47:31 AM »
I have the strike.  And let me be the first to say the reverbs suck.  They are like alesis nano verb bad.  But I come from guitars where my amp alone cost more than my strike.  So for me, it really all depends on the situation and what it calls for.   But I ALWAYS, try to run things dry first.   Live.  Recording.   If the situation dictates I put a little ambience on it or use some light reverb on some of its less shocking modes then I do it.   But I would be weary of feeling you need it.   At the end of the day no matter what, trust your ears.  You know what sounds good.   


I now have a question for you as a fellow Strike user.  Since I made my post about using light reverb on my kits, I've had a little more insight into the sound.  We were also in the middle of our 3-week mini-tour, so I have just now been able to go back and listen to some of the recordings from the shows. 

I've taken on the responsibility of mixing our audio down and producing the videos we post to our various outlets.  I am more or less happy with the way my kit sounds through our PA.  I've been told that it sounds great, and I've not noticed any major issues in practice or on stage.

However, in listening back to the show audio, I'm hearing a totally different result.  The kit just sounds a little washed out in my opinion.  Through my headphones, my amp at home and the band's PA, everything has a nice pop to it, and it has a great presence in the mix.  But, in the audio recordings, it loses a bit of the amazing sound.  The toms especially sound pretty dead.  The get a bit lost in the mix.

I did see, on the Alesis community forum, a link to a video about using compression to improve the sound, but I haven't had a chance to work on any of it.  Would that be a good starting place for me?  Is it mainly going to be instrument selection? 

We've got another show coming up on May 19, then we're on the road quite a bit in June, so I'd like to improve, if not altogether fix, this problem before then.  I think we run everything pretty dry through our mixer on stage, but even so, the kit sounds amazing through my home amp and headphones also.  So, I'm just not sure which route to take.

Sorry if that seems a bit like rambling!


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 05:27:09 PM »
One thing you need to understand.  This module, is EPIC.  Even with the samples you have you can really change the sound and character of each instrument on each kit.  You just need to know how and where to do it. 

The compression tutorial is awesome.  And it was the first video I watched that got me really diving into the module.  The compression is going to give you toms that pop and impact.  But too much compression will sacrifice dynamic range.   But you can also use the compression feature as only a volume boost.  Just note that on no kits is the fx turned on.  So you can turn on and tweak compression all day and it wont change the sound because you have to turn it on individually for each zone.  Its tedious but effective for those who don't want compression on their cymbals.

Now, if you just want to add some zip to your dip and custom tailor the tone there are two things you can do.  One is layers. You can layer a second instrument on top of the other if you want.  Many run out of space quickly and feel cheated because they cant get their whole kit sounding as fat as the next because you reach the 200mb limit fast.  But what many don't remember is that you can double the same sample and get a super fat tone and fatten your sound really well but it wont have any effect on your 200mb limit.  The same sample only has to load once.  So a 4mb tom hit doesn't get doubled if you use it more than once. So you could actually run the same toms sounds on each drum and just tune them up and down.   But doubling them and layering them with themselves is a great way to add that punch you talk about instantly.  Just note your volume will jump up too.


 Now if you want to go deeper and change attack and smack, thud or boom to each drum and change its resonance characteristics while still retaining that dynamic range I spoke of you can instead go into voice and into velocity.   I wouldn't play with velocity level too much.  Turning that down can add impact to soft hits but there will be no volume transition.  The sound will change but your light hits will be just as loud as your hard ones.   Might be fine for rock but subtlety and finesse both go out the window. 

the next one down though is velocity filter.  This depending on the instrument I have heard it have different effects.  On a snare turning it down made it sound very full and deep.  Turning it up made is sound thin and shrill with no depth.  But on toms it seems to give them more punch and pop.  More oomph in the mid section if that makes sense to you.  Cymbals it can add some chime or reduce it on ones you find too shrill.  Kicks is where I REALLY love it.  Say you have a kick you like but you feel the initial hit is way to smacky.  Like a metal drum kick that you know they sampled with a metal beater plate for that metallic sound but you just feel its too well, smacky reducing this will take the edge off and say you think a kick needs just a little more oomph to the initial hit you can turn it up and make the effect more dramatic.   This really plays off of velocity decay.

Decay.  This is really fun stuff now.  This can make a cymbal have a really fat resonant swell or make it ring out but in a unique way that is independent of your overall decay.  It works differently you see.  Velocity doesn't seem to manipulate the overall tone of the drum but rather the initial hit and that alone.  And the decay seems to stretch or compress the length of time in which that attack of the strike Is heard and how it effects the rest of the way the instrument will behave because of it.

The next is pitch.  This is almost like you are micro tuning the pitch of the attack itself.   Really neat to play around with and give a deeper sound to a kick without touching the actual tuning which can make all ready low tuned kicks sound flabby.  With these 4 things all working in tandem so experiment and you will see just how powerful of a tool velocity is.

That is one thing to understand about this module that many dont understand.  It IS a flagship module.  People are just afraid to go deep. And its partly because there is no information out there much less a usable manual that goes deep.  And the other part is on most modules, lesser than this which is where many of us come from the same parameters had horrible effects.  Ever try to use decay on a crimson or a forge? its almost unusable.  But with the strike its not just that the module has capabilities rivaling many others its exisiting features while they may seem similar in name to other modules of the past they work infinitely better in the strike module than most others.  At least anything alesis made previously.   And when you start getting into the strike editor?  Well that is where whole new worlds await.  I have kicks in my arsenal that were actually free and kill anything you will find in the presets for rock and metal.   And once you learn how to use that software and you see just how well this module gets things done?  Well let me just say one day as this kit gains more traction you will be seeing a whole lot more "holy crap! I didnt know it could do that!" type responses on forums and social media.   Hit me up any time if you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, lol.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 05:38:42 PM by Purpledc »

Offline rhysT

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 05:03:50 AM »
... It IS a flagship module. People are just afraid to go deep. And its partly because there is no information out there much less a usable manual that goes deep.  And the other part is on most modules, lesser than this which is where many of us come from the same parameters had horrible effects.  Ever try to use decay on a crimson or a forge? its almost unusable.  But with the strike its not just that the module has capabilities rivaling many others its exisiting features while they may seem similar in name to other modules of the past they work infinitely better in the strike module than most others.  At least anything alesis made previously.   

Actually the Strike module inherited most the original DM10's parameter controls, so for more useful editing info refer to its manual. (http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3.0)
Maybe Alesis should have just added DM10 to Strike's name instead of trying to mislead new users with various pseudo MKII models.

Regarding reverb, I prefer using an external (Pandora Mini) effects module with 4 switchable multi-FX presets.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:16:27 AM by rhysT »

Offline Purpledc

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 07:23:52 AM »
... It IS a flagship module. People are just afraid to go deep. And its partly because there is no information out there much less a usable manual that goes deep.  And the other part is on most modules, lesser than this which is where many of us come from the same parameters had horrible effects.  Ever try to use decay on a crimson or a forge? its almost unusable.  But with the strike its not just that the module has capabilities rivaling many others its exisiting features while they may seem similar in name to other modules of the past they work infinitely better in the strike module than most others.  At least anything alesis made previously.   

Actually the Strike module inherited most the original DM10's parameter controls, so for more useful editing info refer to its manual. (http://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=3.0)
Maybe Alesis should have just added DM10 to Strike's name instead of trying to mislead new users with various pseudo MKII models.

Regarding reverb, I prefer using an external (Pandora Mini) effects module with 4 switchable multi-FX presets.



maybe the basic architecture.  But reading through that manual it reads much like any other alesis manual including the strike.  It tells you where to change something but it doesn't go into the hows or whys of it.  And many of those parameters are different in the strike than on the DM10.  And I would argue that the strike sounds not only better but different and that the dm10 manual would confuse most strike owners more than help.  My issue is really with all manuals by alesis.  For instance, I have 6-7 compression settings.  rok1, 2, 3, master, jazz  ETC.   But they dont tell me the characteristics of each one and why I should choose one over the other.  And audible differences are hard to pick up on.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:31:13 AM by Purpledc »

Offline rhysT

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 09:23:51 AM »
Yeah most of the current Alesis User guides are inadequate and I mainly suggested the DM10 Op manual to supplement the Strike U/G info, just like some Medeli manuals can be useful for other Alesis modules.

I'd expect the Strike kits to sound better than a DM10 and after spending many hours fine tuning its kits I can understand why you're impressed with how much the Strike module allows you to tweak each instrument.
I agree the compression settings can be tricky and I usually choose a preset for my preferred snare sound.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 09:41:48 AM by rhysT »

Offline Iggford

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 09:24:28 AM »
Holy crap, thank you so much for the detailed response!  I have toyed a bit with layering and some of the velocity and decay settings that you mentioned.  I just don't think that I've taken a deep enough dive into any of them. 

I will go and get as much out of the compression tutorial that I can, then I will dive into the settings that you have laid out. 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to lay all of this out.  I want to learn this module inside and out, so that I can provide as much helpful knowledge as possible in the future as well.  Most of my tinkering with this kit, as was the case with my DM10 before, has been with expansion and not enough delving into the features of this amazing module.

I've got a couple of weeks to get things ironed out, so I have a great feeling that I'll be able to get the sound I want out of my kit, or at least be well on my way. 

Thanks again!!


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 05:09:44 PM »
Yeah most of the current Alesis User guides are inadequate and I mainly suggested the DM10 Op manual to supplement the Strike U/G info, just like some Medeli manuals can be useful for other Alesis modules.

I'd expect the Strike kits to sound better than a DM10 and after spending many hours fine tuning its kits I can understand why you're impressed with how much the Strike module allows you to tweak each instrument.
I agree the compression settings can be tricky and I usually choose a preset for my preferred snare sound.

Its not even so much the internal power.  Its that strike editor software.  Being able to buy or download sample libraries and just drop them into the sd card on my module and combine any samples I desire to create any instruments I desire.  And to have it custom make that instrument for me with one click is awesome.  But then being able to fine tweak it and cut and paste whatever samples I want into the mix.  Its just a lot of control at my finger tips.  And its hilarious to me because right now my favorite kicks on this module I actually got for free from themetalkickdrum.com.   And like I said its not just the capabilities.  I had a DM10 MKII pro briefly. And while that thing had infinite amounts of control it didnt do things very well.  Like on this module if i turn down the decay of a kick it still sounds natural even at 20%.    If i did the same thing on the DM10MKII that same kick would sound like a cricket cracking his knuckle.   So its not just the amount of control, but the fact that features that it has work incredibly better on it than they do on lesser units.  Put it this way, ive done things with settings in this module that in other units the sounds would be unusable.

Offline Purpledc

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 05:37:17 PM »
Holy crap, thank you so much for the detailed response!  I have toyed a bit with layering and some of the velocity and decay settings that you mentioned.  I just don't think that I've taken a deep enough dive into any of them. 

I will go and get as much out of the compression tutorial that I can, then I will dive into the settings that you have laid out. 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to lay all of this out.  I want to learn this module inside and out, so that I can provide as much helpful knowledge as possible in the future as well.  Most of my tinkering with this kit, as was the case with my DM10 before, has been with expansion and not enough delving into the features of this amazing module.

I've got a couple of weeks to get things ironed out, so I have a great feeling that I'll be able to get the sound I want out of my kit, or at least be well on my way. 

Thanks again!!


--
Shawn

No problem man.  Are you part of the strike owners group on facebook?  I'm on there too.  Tim Moran is my name there.   But yeah man.  Hit me up here or there any time if you need advice.  If there is a fix I probably know it and if I don't I'm pretty good at figuring them out.   

Offline Iggford

Re: Reverb - On or off?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 10:23:17 AM »
No problem man.  Are you part of the strike owners group on facebook?  I'm on there too.  Tim Moran is my name there.   But yeah man.  Hit me up here or there any time if you need advice.  If there is a fix I probably know it and if I don't I'm pretty good at figuring them out.   


I just learned of the Facebook group a few days ago.  I will go and join, from what I've seen, it sounds like a great resource!

Thanks again!


--
Shawn