Tone Report Weekly Issue 114 - Page 34

Among guitarists, there seem to be two schools of thought about reverb: one theorizing that no guitar should ever go without it, and another suggesting that all reverb should die. I tend to be of the latter persuasion, but as a recording engineer I find that wise use of fake ambience based on the circumstances is a more practical mode of operation. If recording with a lovely, naturally occurring room sound isn’t possible, as it often is not, then the subtle application of a carefully tweaked and blended room ‘verb applied at mix time can make a dry, claustrophobic guitar sound much more natural.  Beyond just making things sound more natural though, there are many guitarists for whom reverb is an essential element of their playing style. For instance, trying to convince a surf band to record without spring reverb would be ridiculous, and a lot of players raised on Eddie Van Halen are all but married to that early EVH plate tone. Where many neophyte recording guitarists go wrong, however, is going too heavy on the pedal or amp reverb when laying down guitar tracks. This can lead to muddy, distant tones and a recording that sounds like a terrible demo. If your reverb unit really is essential to your style then by all means record with it, but when it doubt, dial it back or turn it off. There’s little that can be done about too much reverb on a recording, but if it’s not quite enough, most audio mixologists will have plenty of options for adding sweet reverberations after the fact. Keep in mind that many of these will likely be of much higher quality than your average reverb stompbox.  34 TONE TALK // Get it on Tape: Tips for Nailing your Sound When Recording PHOTO BY ANIRUDH KOUL, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Wise use of reverb