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Led Zeppelin's Studio Reverb


CreepyCarol
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I've been wanting to learn more and more about studio engineering, mixing, and recording techniques, and have had multiple questions pop up in my head over these past weeks. One I've had in mind was, how was reverb implemented to Led Zeppelin's studio tracks? It was never really just one studio for them. For their first album, I figure it's just an echo chamber or plate reverb system at Olympic Studios, where it was recorded, but pretty much every album after has confused me, especially the albums following Led Zeppelin II. Plenty of their recordings were recorded inside the rolling stones mobile studio, which they took along with them from Bron-Yr-Aur, Headley Grange, and the rest of their travels, with songs being listed to be recorded in it from Led Zeppelin III all the way to Physical Graffiti. Now for such a minor detail that no one should really care about, from a producers standpoint, where would adding reverb fit into all of this? Did the mobile studio have it's own reverb system, which I'm guessing to be a plate unit, or were they all added in post at a separate studio. I've been looking into Led Zeppelin IV, where after the recording has been finished, the tracks were taken to Sunset Studios, but the masterings were found to be terrible, so they were taken to Island Studios. Would the remastering process include reverb, did they stick with the reverb that might've been recorded at Sunset studio's in their own echo chamber? Did the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio have it's own reverb system? Anyways, thank you for reading this nonsensical post worrying over reverb, and if you happen to have any information, please share it, thank you for your time.

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While it has numerous issues, you might want to pick up a digital copy of the "Led Zeppelin Gear" book by Jeff Strawman. It's currently US$4.99 on Amazon. It has numerous entries on reverb, and you can easily find them in the electronic copy of the book using the search functionality.

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29 minutes ago, SteveZ98 said:

While it has numerous issues, you might want to pick up a digital copy of the "Led Zeppelin Gear" book by Jeff Strawman. It's currently US$4.99 on Amazon. It has numerous entries on reverb, and you can easily find them in the electronic copy of the book using the search functionality.

Never heard of it, but thank you, haven't seen any other source detail that so i'll definitely check it out!

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Reverb is generally (but not always) added at mixdown. It won't be tracked, but will be used as a buss effect during the mixing process and only printed onto the mixed master tape. You might want to do a little bit of reading about signal flow on a mixing desk and how and why 'buss' and 'insert' effects are implemented. I can point you at some useful resources if you're interested. 

The Rolling Stones mobile may have had some basic reverb units (spring reverb probably. Plate reverbs are way too big, heavy and delicate to put in a mobile studio) to help with tracking vocals (for the benefit of the singer, rather than printing onto the track) and rough reference mixes.

Finding out where each album was mixed, rather than where it was recorded, will answer your question. 

Generally it would have been a studio with a high end plate reverb. By the time of ITTOD and definitely on CODA a Lexicon digital reverb was used (I recall somewhere reading about how shocked Jimmy saw at the price of the Lexicon that was bought for The Sol studios and insisted on using it on everything so he got his moneys worth! Might have been an interview with Stuart Epps? Steve Jones might have it on file somewhere) 

 

Edited by woz70
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/24/2021 at 2:20 AM, woz70 said:

Reverb is generally (but not always) added at mixdown. It won't be tracked, but will be used as a buss effect during the mixing process and only printed onto the mixed master tape. You might want to do a little bit of reading about signal flow on a mixing desk and how and why 'buss' and 'insert' effects are implemented. I can point you at some useful resources if you're interested. 

The Rolling Stones mobile may have had some basic reverb units (spring reverb probably. Plate reverbs are way too big, heavy and delicate to put in a mobile studio) to help with tracking vocals (for the benefit of the singer, rather than printing onto the track) and rough reference mixes.

Finding out where each album was mixed, rather than where it was recorded, will answer your question. 

Generally it would have been a studio with a high end plate reverb. By the time of ITTOD and definitely on CODA a Lexicon digital reverb was used (I recall somewhere reading about how shocked Jimmy saw at the price of the Lexicon that was bought for The Sol studios and insisted on using it on everything so he got his moneys worth! Might have been an interview with Stuart Epps? Steve Jones might have it on file somewhere) 

 

Thanks for the reply, and the breakdown on how and when in the process reverb was generally added was really useful as well! I would love some extra resources if you have the time to link me some, but otherwise, that alone was pretty useful, so thanks once again!

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