How to use Reverb for Electronic Drums

Almost every social group or forum I visit the question that always rears its head is ‘ can I use reverb on my kick drum and if so how do I do it?’

The problem is that certain drums sounds, predominantly sub based low frequency sounds like kick drums, don’t sit well with reverb. Reverb tends to smooth out the strong attack transients that we want to keep and if you don’t know how to use reverb confidently definition and clarity will be compromised.

If you are still a little unsure about how reverb works and how best to use it watch this video I made explaining everything that you need to know about this wonderful effect:

Using reverb on acoustic drum sounds is another subject entirely and if I had to be honest considerably easier to achieve than using reverb on electronic drum sounds. Not having natural acoustic harmonics to play with means we have to find workarounds to getting the best results using reverb for electronic drum sounds.

In this video I use Steinberg’s Groove Agent’s built-in reverb effect to process drum sounds triggered by the module. I show you how reverb works, what to watch out for when processing waveform generated drum sounds and finish off by showing you how to create custom presets to use on all your drum sounds.

Topics covered in this video are:

  • What are Echoes and Early Reflections
  • Energy – the build up of and dissipation of
  • Density and Diffusion and how they effect the sound
  • Timing Early Reflections
  • Filtering Practices
  • Feedback and Decay and how best to manage them
  • Colour and Transparency and what the differences are
  • Relationship between E/R and Tail for fine tuning your reverbs
  • Tips and Tricks