How To Control Reverb Tails on Vocals

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Reverb is an essential tool to master in order to create depth and color around a singer, or as Fab likes to call it, "The Sauce".

In this tutorial, Fab Dupont explains all of the controls used to tweak the reverb tail and then shows you how to dial in the settings to create the perfect sauce around your vocal track.

"Learn how to feel what these knobs do as opposed to thinking about it, so you can be inspired when you go to use the reverb plugin" - Fab

Once you get a feel for the various aspects of a reverb, it will be easier to connect your ears to the final result and achieve the perfect space around your vocal track.

Topics covered include:

  • Reverb as a "Feature" vs. "Enhancement"
  • When to use Aux tracks as opposed to the Wet/Dry knob
  • Tweaking the reverb tail and feeling the time and size parameters
  • What is absorption
  • Using presets as starting points
  • Using compression to control the reverb "bloom"
  • Keeping reverb out of the way of the track

For more tips on how to shape the space around your vocals, check out:

Plugins Used:

  • Sonnox Oxford Reverb
  • Sonnox Oxford EQ
  • Avid Dyn3 Compressor/Limiter

Featured Music:

"Prisoner" by The Arrows - iTunes or Spotify

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


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2021 Feb 20
I really like how you focus on listening to the differences. I have learned a lot from your reverb videos - and have spent quite a few hours now listening to my halls, plates and ambiences and the different effects they create. Hall = height was a highlight!
2021 Jan 20
Fab I love your personality man. Wish I had a friend like you! Thanks for making these videos.
2019 Feb 24
Great video. On a personal level, though, I'm discouraged that I can't tell the difference between most of these A/B comparisons.
Fabulous Fab
2016 Dec 16
@soundspace2001: I only really use the pre setting to show you guys how it sounds or for special effects. When mixing I'm 90% of the time in post mode.
2016 Dec 16
Really great video. I just have one big question: do you keep the PRE-button ON all the time - meaning also when mixing? Or do you switch the PRE-button OFF, as soon as you start mixing - or does it make NO difference at all?! I noticed, that you keep it ON all the time and not only for pre-hearing the effects of your editings (I noticed this also in other videos).
2016 Jan 16
You are really on top of your subject; terrific vid as always Fab. Cheers
2016 Jan 05
@FAB, Great video. However do these "principles" also apply when mixing Hip-Hop? I ask because such tracks usually seem awash with reverb.
2016 Jan 02
Merci for the video! I did not think that the vocal matched the track. Thus it was hard to hear a perfect blend. Maybe some of the instrs verbs on the vocal next time and a session instead of 2 track ref. for the "summing" to be all over and more coherent
2015 Mar 23
Informative and fun as always. Thanks Fab!
2015 Jan 21
Hope the cold's gone. A tes souhaites! Thanks for the video, always a lot to learn. Salut.
2015 Jan 08
Fantastic video. Concise, with JUST the right amount of detail. There's a technique I use from time to time; most commonly on drum room mics: I use a short delay, 100% wet on the insert of an stereo aux/sub out. After panning,the room mic's outputs to the same aux/sub, I calculate the delay time to the value of a 32nd - 64th note according to the songs tempo. They'll sound huge: a way to naturally make a smaller room sound larger w/o excessively tacky 'verbs. Anyone ever try anything similar w/ reverb? I still tend use a touch of 'verb w/ it. To my ears it adds another spatial dimension
2015 Jan 08
Fabulous Fab
2015 Jan 06
@vgabriel: the idea is to tame the transient peaks so they don;t over excite the reverb engine and it stays more discrete. So pre makes sense. If you want a denser reverb then post makes sense. It'll bring the decay up and make it sound unnatural and present.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Jan 06
@hbguitar: Good question. The reverb trio idea works. This works. It all works. In an effort to ease viewers in without overwhelming them with information, we chose to break things down into pieces. You can use the reverb trio only. You can come up with a reverb quartet system for yourself too. You can use the trio and add a bit of the concepts in this video to sweeten the vocal or the kazoo, whichever is your lead instrument. For myself I use the trio and I use these principles to tune them to my liking. If I still feel the track needs something I'll add discrete spaces to the lacking tracks.
2015 Jan 03
@DenisD This video is currently in post production! Soon available on pureMix.
2015 Jan 03
Where is "Using DELAY on vocals" video? I can't find it.
Saul Santilli
2015 Jan 01
Fab , you are the French Jesus of Reverb
2014 Dec 30
Thank you, very useful! And I really like that you incurage us to think musically about mixing - learn to get a feel for different kinds of reverb (insead of fiddling knobs), what they do to the music etc ;)
2014 Dec 29
Hi Fab. Thanks for the video - great as ever. It may be an a obvious question, but how does this fit in with the office/plate/hall set-up? Would you have an additional vox verb or would you get the office (for example) to work for the vox. Cheers
2014 Dec 29
Hi Fab... REALLY useful tutorial,thank you... One question please...we always prefer the compressor pre ( put before the reverb in the inserts ? ) or we can also try it post?...which one is the most common?....thanx!!! Vasilis
2014 Dec 28
Man Fab, your the best at explaining Audio.. never stop..making video's :) Greets Ravian.
2014 Dec 28
I love the cooking analogy. It helps explain so much. Now I don't feel so intimidated when dealing with reverb. Thank you.
2014 Dec 27
FINALLY , someone who has explained the use of reverb that has not left me more confused than ever. Fab , thank you , thank you , thank you!!!!!