LX480 Elements Ambience
As mixers and producers, we interpret the concepts of ‘space’ and ‘ambience’ in many different ways.
We may use similar definitions like cold and bright, or warm and dark, but we’re not talking about the temperature and light – we’re talking about sound.
We’re in “real acoustic spaces” every hour of every day and though you may think you haven’t noticed what they soundlike, if I say ‘giant parking garage’, ‘bathroom’, ‘school gym”, or ‘arena’ you probably have a good idea of what those places sound like
When most people think about reverb, often the first thing that comes to mind is long, lush decays – but that’s often only half of the equation when trying to create the sense of space in a mix..
Short, discrete ambiences play a crucial role when trying to create space and depth in a mic; whether it be true-to-life, or a more “artificial” and stylised approach as an effect.
Traditionally, getting the sense of space while recording a live instrument was accomplished by using mic distance or a combination of a close mic and one or more “ambient” mics, blended with the source in a way to capture a sense of the “space” of the room
However, In many modern recording situations, sounds are often coming from electronic sources, or from close mic only home and project studios – resulting in clean and direct sounds, but little to no sense of depth or space around this stark, dry source.
The Ambience algorithm from Relab’s LX480 Essentials is a short reverb designed to help place an instrument in its own space.
It can be used to add realistic depth to a source recorded with close microphones to help create that sense of a “composite” sound of a close mic with ambient mics.
Ambience is one of the most powerful and profoundly influential tools in our creative arsenal. It’s such an effective way of creating space in any mix, and giving overdubs a distinct ‘composite’ sound.
Using ambience is a great way to inject space and dimension to things like lead vocals, synths, guitars and amp simulators, as well as unique effects on background vocals.
Let’s start with one of simplest examples – drums.
We often want drums to feel immersive and emulate how it feels to be in the same room as the drum kit in a room with sound coming at you from all angles.
Let’s hear an example of an ambience reverb preset from the LX480 Essentials.
Here we have a drum track, recorded fairly dry with only a little ambience in the room…
DRY DRUM EXAMPLE HERE: https://soundcloud.com/relabdevelopment/drums-dry
The reverb sound chosen for this tutorial is the “Short Ambience” preset from the LX480 Essentials by Relab.
The LX480 Essentials Ambience algorithm was designed specifically to become a part of the direct sound and it is very effective in adding space and depth to a dry sounding track for an impression that is more felt than heard.
Here are the drums with the reverb preset applied.
WET DRUM EXAMPLE HERE: https://soundcloud.com/relabdevelopment/drums-small-ambience-80-20
A 80:20 mix of the reverb is chosen so that the ambience is audible, while not being so high that it overtakes the sound source and couldn’t realistically be used in a real-life mix.
In your own mixes, try Small Ambienceas a starting point for your drums, synths, loops, guitars – or anything that often starts with a direct or close-mic’d sound.
As always, simply adjust the reverb time (RTM) to better suit the tempo or feel of the song or sound as you blend in the ambience with the original signal.
You can also use the low frequency and high frequency cutoffs (LOF and HIF) to remove unwanted low end or high end from the reverb.
Getting a great sense of space can be as simple as that.
With the LX480 Essentials, you can spend less time searching for sound and more time creating them.
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If you’re the type of engineer or producer that likes to dig a little deeper and wants to have a bit more control of your reverb, check out the LX480 Complete from Relab.
LX480 Complete is a fully-featured reverb plug-in and considered to be the most accurate recreations of the original 480L, including additional features and enhancements that meet the demands of the modern production workflow.
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