Modern Music Tips is a series that examines practical and creative ways to use effects processing in contemporary music productions.
Create Contemporary Sounds With an Iconic Room
Tony Visconti’s Tverb is a triple reverb plug-in modeled after the iconic Meistersaal recording hall at Hansa Studios in Berlin. In addition to being known for its outstanding acoustics, it is also where David Bowie and Tony Visconti recorded the iconic Heroes session. To capture Bowie’s incredible dynamic range within this space, Visconti carefully positioned three microphones in the room to capture the subtle close ambiance as well as the longer, lush room sound and reverb tails. This trio of directional cardioids was brought up on the returns of the console with a compressor inserted on the close ambient mic and variable noise gates on the other two, wider channels.
After the Bowie era, the Meistersaal at Hansa Tonstudio became famous within the music industry and was the recording studio of choice for many pop stars from around the globe. U2’s Achtung Baby was the last album to utilize the space before it was decommissioned in 1989.
As you begin to explore the Tverb plug-in, one of the first things you notice is how naturally it responds and sounds in its highly reactive virtual world. Under the hood, Tverb boasts three completely separate reverbs that are processing the effects algorithmically. The typical impulse response-modeled convolution (IR) reverbs, traditionally used to emulate natural acoustic environments, have been foregone here in favor of the higher performance metrics of algorithmic-based effects processing.
Now, you can create unrealistic sounds in a realistic space, such as having the microphones dance around the room, in real-time; impossible in real life, but easy with Tverb.
Tverb In Action | A Practical Example
The demo track, “More Than Words,” was made with a small collection of Eventide effects processors with a clear focus on the dynamic sound of Tverb. Additional plug-ins used include UltraChannel, Omnipressor®, H949 Harmonizer®, H3000 Factory, Octavox, Saturate, and Elevate.
All the presets for the plug-ins used here can be downloaded for FREE at the link below, and if you don’t have the plug-ins, you can try them out with FREE, fully functional demos.
Part 1: Vocals
For the main vocals, the effects chain starts with a direct insert of UltraChannel. The preset below uses almost all aspects of the channel strip’s modular sections, from Gating, EQ, and Compression, to Micro Pitch Shift, Stereo Delays, and side-chaining of the onboard Omnipressor (aka O-Pressor).
The first Tverb setting is a Chamber Room with a darker space, a medium-length reverb tail, and the high-end rolled off. This is sent to an effects return for blending of the overall effect into the mix.
The third effect on this vocal chain is brought to you by the legendary H949 Harmonizer. It is set up in Dual Mode, making the harmonies on the vocal mix very wide. This classic harmonizer effect comes in handy when wanting to make something new sound familiar.
Using the H3000 Factory plug-in version of the famous H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer, this setting features a Detuned Doubling effect, which continues to thicken up the polyphony of the main vocal centerpiece.
The second Tverb space goes very wide, as you can see by the mic placements in the room. A large bright hall reverb was used in the onboard room EQ to create vocal sheen. Check out the comparison between the two Tverb settings below, noticing the difference between the wider angles of the second setting.
This next H3000 Factory patch is used to modulate a stereo delay. Taking a stock preset and zeroing in on the perfect blending of the wet/dry signal and delay times creates a pseudo-stereo effect.
The last plug-in on this chain is Octavox. Using a factory preset and altering the expansive delay of the eight-part unison harmonies, this is the icing on the cake of this highly polyphonic vocal sound.
Part 2: Drums
The drum programming on this track is a combination of classic TR-808 bass drops, claps, and hi-hats, with a few progressively building drum loops to punctuate the arrangement. Using a few different Tverb settings combined with a classic H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer effect, the drums give this mix the punch and space it needs to sound exciting and compelling.
Tverb offers the ability to do many things in one place, like achieve the classic Gated Snare Reverb made famous in the ’80s by the likes of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. The Tverb total spatial control platform can do many tricks, and sounds even better than the digital plates of the ’80s. The GoGagetRoom preset used on this snare track was modeled after this famous drum sound.
For the second layered drum track, which features a repetitive 808 Hi-Hat pattern, some distortions in time are used to give it a totally different space. Pulling up the Micro Pitch Shift preset—an effect so popular that there’s even a stand-alone MicroPitch plug-in and a MicroPitch Delay Pedal—this preset gets altered to fit the drum pattern.
On top of that previous H3000 patch lives this Tverb preset centered in the stereo field with a shorter reverb tail. Tverb was constructed to intentionally leverage the computation edge that algorithmic DSP modeling still mathematically has over Impulse Response and Convolution design. This process is how the preset can adapt and act quickly while mixing.
Lastly, the whole drum mix is widened by using a super-wide mic placement with a pretty long tail, diffusion, and light compression on the front Tverb mic. Then, the L/R stereo image is spread out by the longer reverbs of the other two mics.
Part 3: Synths
The main synth parts are mixed using the four processors below, including various room reverb simulations with Tverb to create more depth, width, and natural space to these very dry electronic synth patches.
For the intro synth, a large hall setting is used and the closest mic is muted on the Tverb mixer. The two further mics are hard-panned and opened up for a very long-tail reverb time of 6secs, and the diffusion is pulled back halfway.
For this second Tverb setting, a small hall space and a short reverb time of 1.65secs is used. The mics are panned in the center and a very slow gating cutoff effect is used to contrast the space already built.
For the two different synth bass parts of this arrangement, the harmonic distortion from Saturate is used to get them to stand out so they are perceived to be the same overall volume.
The final Tverb setting on the synth section uses a mid-length reverb tail, wide L/R stereo image, and slow-gating with a louder compressed center. It gives an increase in overall volume, but at about half the reverb time of the first LargeSpace preset—3.65secs—and with a brighter high-end.
15. Tverb | Synths – GateFreak Preset
Part 4: The Stereo Mix
To finish off the final overall summing of this demo track, two effects are inserted onto the Stereo MixBus. The first is a subtle use of the classic dynamic do-it-all, the Omnipressor, with the SloverEasyMastering preset. This gets paired with a punchy and warm effects chain on the Elevate mastering suite from Newfangled Audio.
Starting with a light compression dusting from the Omnipressor with a stock mastering preset called SloverEasyMastering, the output is pulled back by -3db to set us up for the final effect in this track’s mixbus chain.
For the final meat and potatoes of this mixdown, Newfangled Audio’s Elevate limiter is used, starting with the Funky Warmer setting, and then tweaking it a bit further to fit the dynamic needs of the track.
The Endless Imagery
From minimal to maximal with the flick of a fader, Tverb is a multi-use spatial design tool with the ability to quickly and effectively take lifeless direct signals and make them come alive.
As you can do a multitude of things in just this one plug-in without killing your local processor, this unique plug-in saves you time and money, allowing you to focus on the music without distraction.
> Check Out: In the Studio with Tony Visconti and Tverb <
>Hear More: The Plug-in Overview: Eventide Tverb Preset Demo <
>Check out Reverb’s Recreating Herrmann’s Score from Hitchcock’s “Psycho” Using Music Software for more Tverb tips.<
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