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Spazio - SAWStudio DirectX plugin

audio examples
She’s So Cool - DRY (mp3 - 923 KB)
She’s So Cool - WET (mp3 - 923 KB)
by John Havlicek

Notes on Spazio to Mix “She’s So Cool” © 2006 John Havlicek
For the song “She’s So Cool”, I started out thinking about what general sound I was going for. It seemed to me that a fairly bright space, something like a large stage would be appropriate since it would take a space that big to fit a band and horn section. The mix used four instances of Spazio…as well as one instance of the AnwidaSoft C-Delay.

On the lead vocal, I was most interested in bringing it forward in the mix so a shorter roomy reverb (actually a plate) was used. To get this effect, I wanted less of an obvious reverb-y sound but still wanted to get the vocal away from the dry-unprocessed sound of the raw track. I used the PLATE algorithm with a predelay of 62, a decay of 3507, diffusion was set to full (1.00) to widen/soften the image, LP cut was set just below the main part of the sibilance or 8,000, dampening was set at .08 and the distance control set to 0 (again, I wanted the lead vocal forward). I also chained an instance of the AnwidaSoft C-Delay to the output of the lead vocal reverb with the mix set to 25% (mostly allowing the reverb to pass the delay)…the short delay added some more width to the reverb sound…while keeping the lead vocal sounding very natural.

On the background vocals I used another instance of Spazio set the same as the lead vocal instance…but dropping the LP cut to 5,000 and raising the Distance control a little…around .28.

On Pete Generous’ drum tracks…there’s a fair amount of natural ambience on the whole kit that I really liked, so the challenge here was to try and work-up a setting that would compliment the existing ambience but also bring it up a few notches so it would “fit” the space I was trying to create. Instead of processing his kit separately, I placed a single instance of Spazio over the entire kit except for the kick. I used a ROOM algorithm on the kit as I liked the response on this source…it seemed to flatter the drums rather than conflict with what natural reverb was on them. I set the predelay to 96 (the predelays of all instances of Spazio were set to multiple of 31) and the decay to a relatively long 1080. The size control was set to 72 and the diffusion was set to full…or “1”. Dampening set to .72 and the LP Cut set to 9400 which did a great job of sweetening his already sweet-sounding cymbals. I duplicated the Distance setting used on the background vocals….28 When using several instances of reverbs, I think it’s a good idea to be somewhat consistant to help them play well together.

The last instance of Spazio I used took care of the horn section and electric piano. This one worked for me because the piano track was a less-bright Rhodes sample that needed a brighter verb to be heard…and the horns’ reverb needed to be as bright as the actual source sounds to flatter them. I used a PLATE reverb (again because it seemed to work best on the two source sounds) and was very pleased with the result. Predelay was set to 31, decay set to 674, diffusion set to .90, dampening set to .08, LP cut set to 12000 (I didn’t want to really filter the verb at all on this one), distance was set to 0.00.

Professionals Say
"I have to say out of all the reverb effect plugins I have (and I have all the Waves and other popular ones), you guys have a winner here with the Spazio reverb. It blows away the newer Waves IR in simplicity and power. As far as the sound goes, it's nothing short of spectacular. Clean tail outs, powerful stereo spread and on drums, it may become the only reverb I use for mixing. The CPU usage is far more efficient than the Waves IR and I can now open a seperate reverb for different tracks. This is something I can't do with the IR without using alot of CPU."

Johnny Geib
SG Recording Studios