Preset 2: Small Natural Drum Room
In the last preset, we looked at a short reverb which works nicely with drums, but can sometimes sound metallic. Here, we have made the preset less metallic sounding. The only parametes we have chaged are “HighFreq” and “HighCut.” While these changes make the sound more subtle, especially on computer and smartphone speakers, they also remove any metallic sound the last preset has.
Here is a Sound demo (Reverb cuts out at 0:16 in the recording); the drum machine is a Korg ER-1.
This is a preset for Valhalla Vintage Verb (VVV) which adds air and space to drums. It works really well with the drums on a Korg ER-1 and other similar sounding electronic drums, and should work nicely with acoustic drums too.
This preset uses the newer “Smooth Random” algorithm for VVV.
Let me go over each parameter:
The mix is 100.0% because I use the reverb in send mode; the mixer mixes the reverberated signal with the dry signal.
There is no predelay because we are simulating a small room where the reverb becomes part of the drum’s sound.
The decay is fairly short, under a second, because anything longer can muddy up the drum beat.
HighFreq is fairly low, 2020 Hz, to give the room a natural warm sound to it; the high shelf is only about -6 dB (half-volume) because this damping is fairly modest.
BassFreq doesn’t actually do anything because BassMult is 1.00X; low frequencies have the same decay as mid frequencies (0.72 seconds).
The room is very small; its size is only 6.8%. While a small size can result in ringing with long reverb tails, since the tail is under a second long, we use the small size to ensure that none of the sounds “rattle” in the reverberant wash.
A long attack will cause the reverb to take longer to build up, and can also make percussive sounds rattle a bit. We minimize it here because it’s a short reverb for drums.
We also maximize diffusion (“Diff”); while a high diffusion can make some melodic sounds metallic sounding, here it ensures that the drums do not rattle in the reverb wash.
We modulate the tail to minimize the amount of ringing in the tail; while this may slightly detune melodic sounds, this preset is tailored for drums.
We have a rather low high cut (only 2400 Hz) to make the room sound warm; our high cut is pretty high (270 Hz) so that the low-frequency kick drum doesn’t result in a muddy reverb sound.
Here is the preset; on the left is the XML which Valhalla Vintage Verb loads; on the right are human-readable versions of the parameters. To load it in to VVV, copy the left side parameters, click on the preset name (to the right of “Presets”) in VVV, then choose “paste from clipboard.”
<ValhallaVintageVerb pluginVersion="1.5.0" presetName="Small Drum Room 2" Mix="1" PreDelay="0" Decay="0.23299999535083771" Size="0.068000003695487976" Attack="0" BassMult="0.5" BassXover="0.51200002431869507" HighShelf="0.7279999852180481" HighFreq="0.26399999856948853" EarlyDiffusion="1" LateDiffusion="1" ModRate="0.72000002861022949" ModDepth="0.23600000143051147" HighCut="0.29199999570846558" LowCut="0.17599999904632568" ColorMode="0.77777779102325439" ReverbMode="0.58333331346511841" />
100.0% 0.00 ms 0.72 s 6.8 % 0.0 % 1.00 x 1080 Hz -6.53 db 2020 hz 100.0 % 100.0 % 7.23 Hz 23.6% 2400 Hz 270 Hz 1980s Smooth Random
Note that this preset requires Valhalla Vintage Verb 1.5.0 or higher; owners of previous versions of VVV can upgrade to 1.5.0 for free.
Now that we have looked at a couple of tight drum rooms, let’s look at something at the opposite end, a really long ambient wash.