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I am writing a piece in Sibelius and export the audio and play it in some room for people. I suppose the geometry of the room produces some reverberation of the sound coming from the speakers, probably large speakers.

What should I try to achieve in terms of reverberation in the sound I hear in the headphones such that the reverberation in the room with large speakers is nice but not excessive?

I imagine there is not a precise answer but this. Maybe the only way is to try it out. But what I am asking is a general vague guideline. Should I make the reverberation in the headphones slightly less than what I find ideally pleasant so that in the room speakers it sounds better (taking into account this equation in which larger volume of the room gives more reverberation)? Or does the, less than zero, coefficient in the equation tells me that the difference doesn't matter too much?

Sibelius 7 has several options according to the feel of reveb of the room one wants to obtain: Dry, small room, ..., Ambient Hall, ... , Cathedram. Should I put the option that sounds more pleasant in my heandphone or should I put less reverb so that playing it in the larger room with larger speakers is ideal?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Generally, yes - you would play it through headphones and set it up so it sounds as good as you can get, then back the reverb right off for playing it in a large room, if that room has a fair amount of echo anyway.

If the room isn't too large, is full of people or has sound deadening surfaces (wall hangings, carpets, etc) then don't worry about it too much, but if you are playing it in a church, for example, you won't want to have any reverb in the mix as you'll get plenty.

In this situation I might even save two versions, and give them both a test in sound check (remembering that empty room reverb will be more than a full room.)

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