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Spice Up Your Drums With Reverb

Adding Reverb to Drums,

Don’t mind the spicy at the beginning of the video.. thought it would be funny :).

It’s Time to Add Some Spice and Flavor to YOUR BEATS!

When we as beatmakers make beats, we get in a routine. This calls for nothing but lack of creativity!

I remember in my early days of FL Studio I would add flanger, phaser, and chorus on to my claps/other sounds, just to see what they did. Did it sound good? Well, that’s not the point. What I’m trying to get across is the creativity and experimentation of applying these effects, even though I was applying these effects cause I didn’t know what they did, we still should have that mentality, and creativity.

So let’s think about your drums. Do you ever add any effects on them? I know EDM producers do, but they’re in a different category. All they’re productions are filled with cool effects and twists.

But hip-hop, and rap beats are not that style. So when applying a cool effect here and there, this really stand outs in rap/hip-hop beats, and learning how to use these effects, at the right time and place, is just as much of a skill as creating the beat itself! Adding these kinds of effects allows you to drastically change up your song, and build cool arrangements!

With that said, this brings me to this tutorial. Putting Reverb on your kicks to spice them up!

Not Too Much Low-End on the Reverb — Low Cut

For me, I find using the low cut knob very important.

This doesn’t just go for kicks, but practically all sounds I apply reverb to. I feel the low-end of reverb creates a rumble sound that clogs up my mix. So simply dialing up the low-cut knob, to take away the low frequencies, will keep our mix clean.

Reverb also helps to fit things in the mix better. If you’ve ever recorded a vocal, no matter what you’re doing you feel that it doesn’t fit in, a gentle bit of reverb blends it in instantly!

Kicks and Low-Cut,

When applying reverb to my kick drum, I will first listen to what the reverb is giving me (what it sounds like). From here, I make my adjustments.

My first choice of move regarding reverb with a kick drum is the low-cut knob. I will dial it in so I hear the reverb, yet it keeps my bass tight. I will then start to reach for the other knobs, and maybe use different shapes that most reverbs give you (triangles, cylinders, square, small, big etc).

Pre-Delay on the Reverb,

Pre-delay on reverbs is a nice feature. If you noticed near the beginning of the video, the reverb wasn’t too noticeable, but once I applied some pre-delay, wow, what a difference, hey!?

Pre-delay does just like the name says. It delays the reverb for however long you have set the number. If you set it to 20ms, the reverb plugin will wait 20ms until the reverb plays. This allows for a much more audible sound of reverb. (Since reverb can clog up tracks, this allows you to not have as long of a tail on your sound, but you’re still able to hear it nice and clear!).

Anywhere above 70ms and it might start to sound unnatural.. but I hear on a lot of Anno Domini Drums, they have a bit of a longer pre-delay on their snares. (Maybe they use 2 reverbs, one for that nice tail, then one for the cool effect of having a pre-delay come a quick pause after).

Fruity Reverb 2, oh, Fruity Reverb 2,

Personally, the FL Studio reverb can be a bit tricky to get a nice sound out of sometimes. It all comes down to tweaking the knobs till you get what you like, and having an understanding of what the tools do, just like most things in audio ;).

I usually find having a 100% wet is a good place to start while adjusting your reverb, then once you have your spot, just dial down the wet to suite your needs. Too much reverb can easily clog up a mix. Learn to get a clean mix with less reverb!

Sub Group with Reverb

In a lot of my tutorials, I’ve shown how to create sub groups.

This allows for HUGE flexibility over your routing and mixing options, plus makes mixing simple, keeping your CPU not sweating as hard!

Using reverb with Drum Samples — Last Minute Thoughts,

Long story short, reverb makes things sound good and pleasant to our ears. Too much.. and it can be annoying, clog up the track, and just way too over the top. But hit the settings on the reverb just right, and you’ll be amazed with the impact just a bit of reverb can do!

Check out more tutorials by Beatstruggles!

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