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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Nov-16 > Reverb and Space Designer

Reverb and Space Designer

Logic Pro X’s Space Designer lies at the heart of creating a mix with greater spatial depth and perspective. Mark Cousins unlocks its secrets

Logic In Depth

On the disc

Accompanying project file included on the DVD

When it comes to defi ning the ‘spatiality’ of your mix, Logic Pro X’s Space Designer has to be the go-to plug-in for many engineers and musicians. In truth, though, many of us can take a slightly lazy approach to reverb – simply selecting a two-second Hall (or thereabouts) and routing through a group of instruments. Listen to a commercial track, though, and you’ll hear a well-crafted use of reverb: contrasting different room sizes, reverb colours and relative wet and dry ratios to create a coherent and existing acoustic space. Exploiting the full potential of Space Designer, therefore, is a tangible way to improve the quality of your mixes.

As the name suggests, the beauty of Space Designer is its ability to tailor the sound of the reverb. Although the wide selection of presets are a great starting point, the real benefit comes when you start tweaking various aspects of the reverb’s sound. An experienced Space Designer user understands how different sounds can work with reverb and how relatively simply controls – like pre-delay, or the tail’s EQ setting – can be exploited to best effect. In this workshop, therefore, we look at the intricacies of Space Designer, from the basics to its more creative applications.

Reverb nation

Logic Pro X includes a number of different reverb plug-ins, but it’s Space Designer that’s the real star of the show. While the other plug-ins create their reverb synthetically, Space Designer is powered by a technique called convolution. The reverb in Space Designer is created using short Impulse Response (or IR) files that are acoustic snapshots of either a real physical space, or a vintage reverb unit. The process of convolution effectively combines the original dry source with the Impulse Response file, resulting in an output that sounds like it’s been recorded complete with a room’s acoustics.

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About MusicTech

The idea of this month’s MusicTech is to give you a flavour of what it’s like to record a band, with all the technical know-how that goes with it. We asked MT expert Mike Hillier to imagine you are sitting watching him prepare the studio and mic the band up and in doing so, Mike offers a hell of a lot of advice. Like I say, it’s like you’re with him... At the other end of the scale we have the new Pioneer Toraiz, a unit that, on the face of it, is packed with DJ appeal. Yet dig beneath the surface and you’ll find an incredibly powerful piece of hardware for the music producer. Talking of scales, we go from dance music remixing and production with Mason (p34) to mastering it with Label Worx. So we cover the complete process of recording to release which, quite handily, brings us right back to our cover feature! The November issue of MusicTech is out now!