reverb types

A sound that’s created naturally and everyone in the world is aware of, but how does it work, what are the different types and how is it used in guitar playing? We take a look at Reverb.

Posted: 30 March 2021

Reverb explained

Reverberation is created when a dry sound or signal is reflected in a space, bouncing against walls, floors, ceilings before gradually losing energy. The reflections eventually decrease until the reflections are absorbed. Reverberation is more noticeable in larger spaces such as churches and large empty rooms etc. but is audibly noticeable in much smaller spaces too.

Reverberation time is commonly measured as RT60, the time in which it takes the sound level to decrease by 60db. Rooms with an RT60 time of less than 0.3 seconds are flat and ‘dead’, whereas rooms with an RT60 time of more than 2 seconds have an echo.

Reverb can be an issue for certain scenarios, for example in a recording studio when you need a precise, direct sound and accurate response, or in a classroom or theatre where an echo would make it difficult to understand speech, but reverb has also been used on purpose as an effect for many years in music.

Types

There are 3 distinguishing types of reverb. Acoustic, Mechanical and Digital. We’ll go through the variations within the 3 types below

Acoustic

Mechanical

Digital

Fast forward to the digital music age and almost every type of reverb can now be replicated to a meticulous standard within Digital Audio Workstations. The advance of technology also allowed for a much wider array of reverb types to be created.

Shimmer reverb is one such fan favourite which combines higher octave signals with the original reflections, creating a very angelic, wide effect.

Modulated reverb is also common where the reflections have a modulated, chorus sound added. Reverse reverb is also popular, this is where the reflections are reversed during the decay and creates an epic wall of ambience.