Chris Heil has a mixing career spanning several decades working with acts as diverse as David Bowie, Bryan Adams, Tin Machine and The Scorpions. Here he shares 5 tips for using reverb and delays when mixing rock.
1. Rock And Roll Off
To make space for the dry signals’ shape, I tend to roll off low and top end unless there is musical need and space within the arrangement.
2. Sweep And Shift The Returns
In order to make the space behind the respective instrument even wider, I throw some sweep or shift across the delay returns before sending them to a reverb unit or plug-in.
3. Listen To The Other Mic Tracks
Whenever you have a live setup with the guitar amp in the same room as the rest of the band, listen to all the mics on the other instruments e.g. drums, percussion or piano. By accident you might pick up some great natural ambience.
4. The Secret To Reverb On Power Chords
Very long, gated reverbs make for a great, inoffensive ambience on power chord guitars since they hardly have a tail to cover the rest of the playback in an unintended way.
5. The Dirty Clean Trick
When stacking rhythm guitars always add a good, clean track to your distorted tracks to give shape, tone and definition to your wall of sound. The clean tracks get even more firepower, when you play them into a tiled room and re-mike the room sound - and compress the hell out of it.