Mastering Tips Part 3

Our brains process different room and reverberation sizes every day. Even the musical layman often notices when a mix or Mastering too reverberated or created with cheap reverb devices.


Reverb / Reverb

In order to give the listener a real spatial impression of the audio, reverberation and Graduated depth in mixing and mastering indispensable. This depth gradation is achieved through the use of different pre-delay and time/reverb or Reverb times reached. The combination of a small pre-delay in the reverb (up to approx. 70ms) (late onset of the diffuse sound) with a long reverberation time creates the impression of width.

On the other hand, the longer the pre-delay in the reverb (from approx. 70 ms) and reverberation time, the closer the signal appears. 

The voice should be in the foreground and perceived as close by the listener, which means shorter pre-delay + reverberation times. This is followed by drums and bass. The leading melody is intended to underline the voice and is therefore further in the background - figuratively, the piano behind the singer. Therefore this track is provided with more pre-delay and reverb. Subsequent atmospheric effects are then provided with even higher settings, which further staggers the depth of the audio.

Important: In the low frequency range - bass, kick - you should largely avoid reverb, as it quickly makes the sound muddy and powerless and reduces the space for other tracks. Pads also often no longer have to be provided with additional reverberation, as this happens due to long release times.

Tip: In order to get a good picture of the room reverberation of a song, we recommend listening with headphones. You can also use different reverberations or reverbs in the mix of a song. This - as long as they are coordinated - ensure a varied staggering of reverbs in the Mix and mastering. Using different reverb types such as spring reverb, spring reverb or even using it as an external effects device can also make sense for some audio files in the mix.

The reverb device  


This determines the size of a room, i.e. the reverberation time.  


This is the duration of the aftertaste of a reverb tail.  


Pre-delay is the distance between the direct sound and the diffuse sound.  

HF Damp (High Frequency Damp):

With this control you can determine the reverberation time of the high frequencies.

Lo-cut, high-cut:

Some devices have a lo-cut and high-cut control. With these you can choose the exact frequency range that you want to echo.

Exemplary: If you only want the lower mids to reverberate in a played piano sequence, you have to set both controls so that you mark the range from 250-600 Hz.

Tip: Moderately lowers the high frequency component with a hi-shelf when you increase the amount of space on an instrument.


This can be used to regulate the richness of detail in a signal. This means that a close signal (small pre-delay + reverb) has more details than a distant signal (high pre-delay + reverb).

Applying reverb in the mastering process

The application should be in the mastering process NACH the dynamic change processes take place. Some of the Mastering colleagues I may claim to do this before the dynamics processing, but I only agree with that to a limited extent, since the true "reverberation component" of the mid and side signals can only really be determined after the dynamics processing. The Task in the mastering process should be the ennobling of the EXISTING audio material and not the addition of unprecedented. When using Reverb BEFORE dynamics processing, it is essential that dynamics processors, as well as stereo expansion or stereo image narrowing processors, are coordinated with the subsequent dynamics processing.

Authors: Marcel Eitle, Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

CEO - Mixing and mastering engineer. Has been running Peak Studios since 2006 and is the first online service provider for audio services. More about Chris

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