Sidechain Reverb: The Secret Reverb Trick All The Pros Use

I trust that you enjoyed my previous tutorial about gain staging. Today I’ll show you a secret reverb trick that all the Pros Use to get a clean and great sounding reverb sound. This trick is known as the sidechain reverb effect.

Even though reverbs are great to put sounds in a certain space, create contrast and depth in a mix they can also create clutter and make a good mix muddy.

They can destroy your groove, overpower the dry signal and push it at the back of the mix. So, the technique I’ll be showing you today will help you avoid all those pitfalls by adding a compressor on your reverb and sidechain it to the dry signal.

That way, whenever the dry signal is playing the reverb signal will duck to keep the dry signal clear, in your face and punchy.

If you’re still confused about when to use this effect then to make things much easier for you, I would say add it if you want a sound to cut through the mix better but at the same time you don’t want that sound to be too dry.

So, this sidechain reverb technique works best when you add it on your lead vocals, drum sounds, synths and guitars.

It will not be necessary to add it to sounds that you want at the background of your mix. These are sounds such as Pads, Strings, Arps etc.

However, those are just guidelines you can use this reverb trick on pretty much anything.

In the video below, I’ll give you a step-by-step process on how to use reverb sidechain on a lead vocal.

How to Use Sidechain Reverb on Vocals

Even though I'm using Cubase 10 Pro for this trick, it can be applied on any reputable software including Ableton, Reaper, Fl Studio, Logic, Pro Tools etc.

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Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the sidechain reverb technique or if you just want to add to the discussion.

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