Reverberation is the effect that is used mostly in studies. Currently, it is common to use reverberation, it is necessary, and when it is not used is strange, it seems that the sound we hear is not entirely correct. As for example in a concert in a room, the reverb helps us to feel the live correctly.
Next, we will see what this term consists of.
What is reverberation?
“Reverberation is a phenomenon derived from the reflection of sound within a closed space. It consists of a slight prolongation of the sound once the original source has been extinguished. This prolongation is due to the waves reflected by the different surfaces of space” (Casadevall, 2008).
The change of the surface of the space influences totally in the reverberation.
Logically, the reverberation is not equal to the sound that originated it, but it distorts it in a subtle way, expanding it in time and space, filling the room and making it longer, and ending later than the original (Víctor GA, 2010 ). We can get this reverb either natural (recorded directly in some suitable space) or digital (through audio programs that allow sound to be edited).
The best places to hear the reverberation are large spaces such as churches, where the sound is not quickly captured by the walls and, consequently, it travels through space until it ‘goes off’.
Reverberation is a term that is used a lot in music. Before the music could be recorded or reproduced, it was important to listen to it in a suitable place and control the reverberation.
In the first recordings of classical music it was already trying to capture this sound in churches or theaters. But, it was with the beginning of the jukeboxes that the sound became bad quality and the disks began to be recorded ‘dry’. Thus, the studies were made of materials that absorbed sound and did not produce any kind of distortion (Víctor GA, 2010).
It was in the 50s when the quality of recordings was greatly improved and the reverb was added. “The first time this was done was around 1947, when Bill Putnam created not only the first reverb in a studio, but he also invented auxiliary sends and return channels for his mixer tables. Curiously, he used the women’s bathroom as a reverberant chamber, placing a speaker (which received the signal from the auxiliary delivery) and a microphone that returned the sound to the table” (Víctor GA, 2010).
At the same time, natural reverb came back, for example, in Mercury’s discography to capture the sound of the orchestra.
What is reverberation time?
“The reverberation time (TR) is a parameter that is used to quantify the reverberation of a certain room. It is defined as the time that passes – until it decays at a certain intensity – the reflections of a direct sound” (Wikipedia, 2017).
In that sense, it is the time it takes the reverberation to disappear, technically disappearing is losing 60 dB compared to the volume of the original sound (Víctor GA, 2010). The duration depends on many factors: the size and shape of the room, the number of parallel walls or construction materials.
The types of reverberation will depend on the size and shape of the room where the sound is bouncing. There are 5 common types:
- Hall reverberation
- Room reverberation
- Chamber reverberation
- Plate reverberation
- Spring reverberation
This type of reverb would be what we hear in a concert hall. Normally, these types of rooms are made in such a way that they produce a reverberation of 1.2 to 1.3 seconds or more (Jon, 2017). Thus, you get that excellent live sound, giving it authenticity.
The sound of this type of reverberation depends very much on the size of the room where the sound is being recorded. In this type of room, the reverberation can be recorded from the natural sound or it can be digitized as in other cases.
Camera reverberation occurs in a smaller type of space than a concert hall. These cameras are covered with materials that reflect sound very well, small noises are amplified. That is why they are also used to measure sound power and make investigations of materials, to know if a type of material absorbs sound well (Raya, 2017). In addition, it allows the sound to be heard more clearly. That is why, it is used in many cases to record sounds of stringed instruments.
It is a type of reverberation that occurs with a metal plate. It plays with the bounce of sound on the plate to create a vibration against the surface with the use of transducers.
This type of reverb can now be achieved digitally.
This is another type of artificial reverberation, which is similar to plate reverberation because it is also a device that uses transducers to produce and receive sound waves through a physical device, in this case a spring.
This type of reverb is commonly used in guitar amplifiers. It is perfect for mixing instruments such as the guitar along with the voice.
In conclusion, we can see that the reverberation has become necessary for our ears and has helped a lot better editing of digital sounds.
Acústica Integral. (2015). Recovered from: http://www.acusticaintegral.com/reverberacion.htm
Casadevall, D. (2008). Resonancia y reverberación. Recovered from: https://www.acusticaweb.com/teoria-acustica/blog/teoracca/resonancia-y-reverberaci.html
GA, V. (2010). DEFINICIÓN: Reverberación. Recovered from: https://sonsonoros.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/definicion-reverberacion/
Jon, H. (2017). Los 5 principales tipos de reverberación. Recovered from: https://www.audioproduccion.com/los-5-principales-tipos-reverberacion/
Raya, A. (2017). La diferencia entre explotar un globo en una cámara reverberante y una cámara anecoica. Recovered from: https://omicrono.elespanol.com/2017/07/diferencia-entre-una-camara-reverberante-y-una-camara-anecoica/
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Wikipedia. (2018). Bill Putnam. Recovered from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Putnam
Wikipedia. (2018). Guitar amplifier. Recovered from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_amplifier
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Wikipedia. (2018). Spring. Recovered from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_(device)
Wikipedia. (2017). Tiempo de reverberación. Recovered from: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiempo_de_reverberaci%C3%B3n