How often do you use reverb in mixing sound effects?

I know it's essential for dialogue, however, how do you apply it to effects?

Do you have a template which automatically assigns all of your spot effects to the same reverb your dialogue is set up with?

Or do you selectively choose which effects to send through it?

And how do you handle effects which are supposed to be outside and have a reverb on them? I run into this when I get turned over to me a lion roar which is outside on screen but the effect put in there was done in a cage or indoors and there is a noticeable effect on it. Do you bite the bullet and leave it? Or are there any tricks you use to help alleviate it?

Also, do you ever put reverb on your ambiences?

  • 1
    That is a good question. I have a tendency to mix too much reverb especially through audiosuite when i'm making sounds.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 19:34
  • So when you're cutting, you process the audio files with the reverb as audiosuite? I've never heard of doing it that way!
    – Utopia
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 19:44
  • 1
    Super question I've always been asking myself but have never had the idea to pose. Thanks Ryan and all the participants! Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 22:20
  • Its not the most amazing technique but it gets some quick results and I'd say that it's not as accurate as using a template. Often though I find myself wanting to remove some of the reverb. You can't control the stereo panning in audiosuite like you can on the channel strip.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


I have a template for a mix session that outputs all FX and Atmos tracks to their own bus but has 2 sends to a reverb aux.

All the sends are set to -10 so if I want to add reverb to the fx in a scene I simply have raise the aux track volume and voila! It's then simple to refine that in case some fx in a scene don't want reverb by lower the send level on the fx track.

I sometimes add reverb to atmos tracks, it depends on the sound. There's a cave atmos in the 6000 Series that already has the reverb on it so I wouldn't add to that. However I created an atmos for a high tech evil lair room which I added copious amounts of reverb.

I normally ask the guys in tracklay to leave their work dry (or at least give me the dry sound as well) as the reverb plugins they have are the standard PTLE ones and are not a patch on the likes of ReVibe or Waves IR-L which I prefer to use (really wish they'd get and install TL Space, it's even free FFS!).

  • Never seen this term "Atmos". Is it short for Atmosphere? Meaning ambience/backgrounds?
    – MarGin
    Commented Dec 9, 2010 at 22:29
  • I've come across a variety of terms but yes you are 100% correct. Is it a UK thing I wonder?
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 7:52

Following is my view on how it should be done. I'm young, fresh out of school, just taking part to a debate, and the answer to this question may not be found in my participation, only elements of it if anything.

The fairy tale of post...

I see two disciplines in post, editing (and sound design) and mixing. Ideally, the mixer will be given as dry a material as possible, implying that the editor/designer deals with problematic sounds cues like the one depicted in the first post. There are solutions to the problems we may find - in this particular case I'd think of multiband compression - but this belongs to the preparation of the material, i.e. the editorial. Some sounds however do come to the final mix with their own reverb, and that's part of the designer's job, but if it doesn't work for you, you should send it back for re-editing (that's what all the books I read say). Unless you think you know of a solution, I'd say "leave it to when you have extra time to spend on mixing."

When mixing, the further the sound source, the wetter it'll get. If I don't use reverb, I find it sticks out and just brings it really close to you. Well, I say "I find" but that's the definition of a dry sound: if it's dry it's in your head, then the wetter the further... On the very few mixes I've done, I like to start cutting up my space into three slices; close, medium-range and far, and still the further the wetter, so in Pro Tools 3 aux channels with the reverb on it receiving spot effects tracks "by slice". I sort of grind it coarse first and then refine.

I hope this serves the discussion and I'm not off-topic.

And they live happily ever after...

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