1960s-style reverb

Hello, all. In case any of the programmers, etc., frequent these great forums, I feel that any new guy’s post should begin with a very loud and uncompressed THANK YOU for making your software available free of charge. It’s phenomenal and efficient, and you have this new user’s deepest gratitude.

I’ve been recording my own music for twenty-odd years, overdubbing all of the instruments and vocals myself, as well as mixing the stuff. I come from the analogue days, and my first transition to digital recording a few years back involved Nero Wave Editor.

I learned to use it so well, and got so accustomed to its effects, that I find myself struggling with the various settings in the only Audacity reverb plug-in that it evidently comes installed with, GVerb, as the relative values are of course quite different from NWE’s.

I’m running Audacity 2.0.3 on WinXP, using a PC with plenty of RAM and disk space. I’ve had no technical problems, and Audacity gets along perfectly with my sound card, USB mic, etc. My question has more to do aesthetics, your opinions on GVerb, and…well, it’s about a fun discussion topic rather than seeking precise assistance, I suppose!

I’ve always been in love with the non-harsh but certainly quite “present” reverb on Pet Sounds, which is strikingly similar to the smooth reverb on Zeppelin’s debut, Love’s Forever Changes, and in fact most of the rock music recorded around that time, which is, I suppose, how I could have begun this sentence.

I’m aware that Brian Wilson used the echo chambers at Western, Gold Star, etc., and that many of the others used massive processing units, as everything was necessarily mechanical in those days. But I’m wondering if anyone has achieved a similar reverb sound to the chambers/processors of old using Audacity without having to mess around downloading extra plug-ins.

If nobody knows what I’m talking about, then if anyone feels like sharing his GVerb settings concerning a smooth vocal reverb that he likes, that would be helpful on its own.

I can always get the reverb types that I want in NWE like the back of my hand, but Audacity’s effects are generally of much higher quality, and I’m hoping to eventually phase out NWE altogether and make the complete transition to Audacity. I’m already overdubbing all of my parts in Audacity as it is.

There are two other effects in 2.0.3 – Echo and Delay – but these seem to do the same thing. This is actually accurate, as they actually mean the same thing, but I know that reverb, which is a different effect, was mistakenly called “echo” on many of the old boards. It appears that GVerb is the only effect that actually allows for true reverb, as opposed to a mere repetition of the signal (i.e. a delay/echo).

The difficult thing about applying anything at all is, of course, Audacity’s inability to allow the user to adjust a particular effect’s settings while listening to the track and hearing the differences as the settings are played with. That’s the main reason I’m having such difficulty even figuring out what the various settings in GVerb “do.” The manual’s explanation of the settings is all very well, but one doesn’t really know what each setting alters until he can actually hear it, which is an obvious thing about mixing audio, of course.

Thanks very much for any tips or opinions that might be forthcoming!

Don’t get to familiar with GVerb, there’s another reverb coming with the next release.
I believe it can already be tried out in the alpha built versions of Audacity.
Gayle can tell you more.

GVerb’s claim to fame was it was better than the one that came before. That’s pretty much it.

The problem with tools like this is the physical effect has an infinite number of delays and an infinite number of return sounds both positive and negative. Software products get their bragging rights by faking it better than the next guy. You can’t actually do this tool without a ton of processing behind you.

I think my complaint about GVerb was the controls. I’m not interested in controlling the polarity of the Laplace restructured gradient derivation. I want a slider called “Room Size.”


Thanks for the replies. I suppose I’ll have to look for a separate plug-in after all, then, unless I want to export each track as a WAV file, add reverb in Nero Wave Editor, and then import it back in. The trick will be in lining up the clips that don’t begin at zero (time-wise) when I import them back in.

I suppose I could just delete the old clip, leave the cursor there, and then import its newly altered version, hoping that it’s inserted at the cursor in spite of the fact that a brand-new track is created for each import (unless I’m mistaken).

What I’m especially concerned about – and here’s where I truly reveal how new I am to Audacity – is that I already have several Audacity projects half-done. If I add a plug-in to the effects menu, which is where I’d imagine it will show up, will it corrupt or mess up projects that were begun and originally saved without that plug-in?

I appreciate your time, guys. Have a terrific weekend – I won’t have Internet access again until Tuesday. Thanks again!

Adding effects should not damage anything. I wouldn’t take any effects out.

Even so. I would make special copies of your show with different filenames. If you add an effect that’s not fully supported in Audacity, you could cause program instability or in extreme cases, cause Audacity not to start. This is typically caused by someone who decides to load all the effects he can get “Just In Case.” Audacity has to catalog them all and it takes forty minutes to launch. You can also get this problem if you load an effect that takes a high degree of graphics to run. Audacity doesn’t like those very much.

At one time we had a page of additional software, but I can’t find it just now…



Anwida DX lite is a free reverb plugin which works in Audacity and comes with pre-sets ,
installation instructions here … Dx Reverb Light - how to get it into Audacity??
Anwida DX lite is much smoother than GVerb, which is a bit metallic, (and Anwida it’s a Stereo reverb , IIRC Gverb is mono ).

Awesome. Thanks, fellas! I’ll try these out.

Audacity 2.0.4 is due to be released very soon. GVerb has been replaced by a new built-in reverb effect (called “Reverb” surprisingly :stuck_out_tongue:)
The new reverb effect is a true stereo reverb (also compatible with mono tracks), has built-in presets, supports user presets, and is vastly better than the old GVerb.

It will be announced here on the forum and on the main Audacity web site when 2.0.4 is released.

Very cool. Thanks, Steve. Looking forward to it!