I have an instrumental here (not particularly a fan of, but great reference for this question.)

This instrumental starts off with and contains a synth pluck with a simple melody. My interest in this synth pluck is how a single sound can fill out the sound spectrum all by itself.

What is the process behind achieving this in mixing? I suspect its a reverb with a long decay but i could be completely wrong.

How is it done?

Thank you!

  • 3
    I don't think the first sound does fill out the sound spectrum - it leaves a lot of space in the spectrum for other elements to come in around it. Perhaps the question is more how it sounds 'interesting' on its own?
    – topo morto
    Nov 30 '19 at 9:35
  • 2
    Hiya, how's it going. it wouldn't sound a fraction as wide... - Perhaps the relevant term is soundstage, rather than spectrum? 'Spectrum' is about the frequency content of a sound, which is actually quite restricted in this case.
    – topo morto
    Nov 30 '19 at 9:43
  • 2
    It's nothing to do with gain-staging, it's how it fills the stereo field - similar yet different aspects of the sound are spread wide across the entire 'sound stage', the 'theatre of sound' you can create between a simple speaker pair. In this particular case it doesn't sound like the instrument itself is doing that, but the reverb is, which is how it appears to be pushed back behind the first dry vocal.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 30 '19 at 12:46
  • 1
    Could well be the way the sound and the reverb are panned - which is probably where topo came in.
    – Tim
    Nov 30 '19 at 14:32
  • 2
    I think you should fix the question. It isn't about the spectrum at all. If you want to fill the spectrum, you use noise. Nov 30 '19 at 15:12

From my answer to your stereo reverb question

It's worth noting that (mono-in stereo-out) stereo reverb is one way to artificially create a stereo field from a mono input. Other stereoization methods include comb filtering with a delay on one of the stereo channels, complementary comb-shaped EQ curves for left/right, and special stereo chorus effects.

Here's an example of how to widen a sound with Ableton's stock chorus and reverb:


From the comments you seem to be asking not about the frequency spectrum, but about the stereo field.

Yes, this is probably done by adding pseudo-stereo information using a 'stereo reverb' plugin.

It conceivably COULD have been achieved by recording the (marimba?) sound in a very reverberant room with stereo microphones, but I suspect it's a dry sample with artificial reverb applied.

  • I don't think this was recorded with microphones lol. The grand grand majority of hip hop, pop and dance music producers depend solely on virtual instruments and by the texture of the sound i'm pretty sure it's from a virtual instrument too or synthesizer keyboard at the most. I think it could be reverb too. Thank you!
    – Seery
    Nov 30 '19 at 23:41
  • 3
    Yes, it's doubtless a sample. But a sample has to be originally created. Maybe synthesized, maybe recorded. Most marimba samples take pride in being recorded from a REAL marimba... Dec 1 '19 at 12:37

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