How do you handle reverb tails?

edited July 2013 in Techniques

I find Loopy a very intuitive way to build up ideas; and it's just fun. But when I go back to assemble the resulting tracks into actual songs, I sometimes find that the front end of a track is mangled in some way. If overdubbing is on, the front end might be "contaminated" with the reverb tail from the end of the loop; this is something that's easy not to notice when you're in the middle of a jam. If overdubbing is off and the tail is cut short artificially, that doesn't sound good either. Is there a secret trick that I'm missing? Or is the secret trick "Make sure everything fits in the loop, including reverb tails"?

Comments

  • One way to handle this is to add your reverb after Loopy. Of course, that only works for your general "make-it-sound-nice-overall" reverb, and won't help when you want to have a specific "special effect" reverb like an ambient guitar solo or a linear drum effect...

  • If you goal is to be able to use the loops to create a finished (as in clean, without leading and trailing artifacts), then everything has to fit. That might be why people use multi track recorders instead of loopers for recording songs. Having said that, you can perhaps get by with duplicating the track you are going to overdub. That way you have both the clean track and the one with the "contaminated" front end. The clipped end is a little more problematic, but keeping everything on separate tracks would be essential. As @Chadsell mentioned, recording the dry sound and adding the effect after. This can be done real time, but becomes a bit burdensome. For live jamming while still having clean recordings for latter assembly would require multiple recorders (loopers) for wet and dry tracks simultaneously. At that point, you almost need someone to run all that while you play.

    My final thought, is to get what you can from the loops to make the song, load it back into loopy and fill in the missing parts.

  • or fudge it when you're doing the arranging by fading it in or some other creative means.

    Generally, when looping, you want to have the reverb tail from your last notes as a part of the start of your loop; without it each loop iteration sounds abrupt. Of course, it depends on the material. If you know you're going to want to keep it, you could record it twice - once with and once without the tail, even if you keep the 'one for later' muted while you continue to develop the song.

    I was for a while of the "let audiobus be loopy's effect processor" mind but without multitrack AB support, I'm still missing some time based effects (reverb and delay) inside of loopy. The problem you're running up against is a common one for people who use loopy to start songs (to arrange and mix later) vs using it as a live music making tool.

  • Thanks, all of you. Following your advice, I recorded the parts for my last song dry and added reverb with AUFX:Space.

  • Leaving overdub on is a good technique for live reverb tails, but I agree if you want to export the files for reassembly elsewhere keep them dry to start with.

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