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Reverb on singers?


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I do PA for a church and some live band stuff 2.. I've never managed to get reverb on the singers that sounds good.. part of that might be due to the fact that I'm using a Zoom studio 1202.. anybody got any good suggestions what I could do with this to get a good sound.. or perhaps what would be a better unit to use for live sound?


I've played around a few times during the sound check but never got anything I like so I've never used it during a gig..




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I've just bought a Lexicon MPX 100 to use when I do sound at my church as I was always borrowing a mates!

I use them mainly to'thicken' up vocals especially when its a quiet song with just a guitar and vocalist. I also put a bit on the lead singer and try a chorus effect on the backing singers. Seems to work well.

Another effect I quite like is to put a bit of delay in when there is a vocalist and maybe some strings in the background (like on the Soul Survivor album - first song if you've got/heard it). I find the lexicons good because of the 'tap' button, you can tap along to the beat and the box will delay in time to the beat.

I think it all depends on personal preference really,


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The reason we need artificial reverberation is that our ears are listening not just to diret sound from the people talking to us, but also to the natural reverberation of the room (bouncing off walls, ceilings, floors etc.). Then we go and put a microphone so close to the direct sound that it doesn't pick up any of that natural reverberation itself.


Putting this back artificially works great in a concert hall or theatre where the sound produced comes direct from the speakers to our ears, but in a church the sound from the speakers bounces off walls, pillars, high ceilings and all sorts so the natural reverberation of the room is put back again but, as the amplifier has made everything louder, with a vengeance!


So you need to look at your speakers taking the most direct route to people's ears first of all - i.e. getting the angle they're hung at right. That'll make your reverb work better for a start. Secondly you need to look at what it is that you actually need to add. In a church the building itself normally gives you all the long delays you want, so it's just the short delays you need to add (reverb is basically just a collection of delays at its most basic). Go for short reverb times of less than 1.2 seconds just to sweeten the sound then let the building do the rest of the work for you.


See how that works!

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As JSB says it realy does depend on the acoustics of the church you are working in


I've worked in a couple of big old anglican churches, one huge victorian one with a natural reverb time in seconds and a smaller medieval one with very nice natural reverb. In these cases It would be silly for me to put reverb on any clean vocal chanel.


(I know you are talking about singers but the exception to this is when you have gated drums. If you are gating hard then you might find they come off a little clipped and un-natural so a bit of reverb might help)


I also do stuff for churches in dead rooms without any natural verb. Here, depending on what style of music I might add some in (SPX 990) I have a Zoom RFX-1000 but only normaly use it as a silly effect for pantomimes etc.


It also depends on the track, Reverb on groups like 29th Chapter, AFG Nexus, Dynamis etc would not be appropriate, wheras Matt Redman or Martin Layzell's style of music do suit reverb quite well.


Hope this helps.


Good Luck



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I did a Google search on the Zoom and came up with the following quote from one user:


"There's only one

good overall reverb for a warm sounds which is: Effect: Vocal Patter: 7 Edit1: 7 Edit2: 10"


The review does go on to say "mostly it's cr*p", though I'm afraid!


Still, why not try the effect mentioned above to see if it works.


If not remember what all the different edits can achieve:


Pre delay: alters the delay before the reverb starts. This can allow you to hear the definition of the words properly before they get muddied up with the reverb.

Reverb time: long reverb times sound more like traditional churches but mean you don't hear the next word so well as it's obscured by the reverberation of the previous word. Up tempo songs need shorter reverb times.

Feedback: affects how much of the reverberated signal is sent back to be treated again

High cut (or HF damping): Makes the reverb less obvious and can make the sound appear like it's further away (good for backing vocals).


All in all, just set things up and play with the editable settings to see what works for the room and the style of music. Have fun!


Hope some of that helps.

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