I was editing a voice-over for a client recently, and it sounded like it was recorded in a living room or kitchen with hardwood floors. There was lots of resonance and room tone! With more recordings being done at home, I wanted to share how you can remove reverb and echo from some of your recordings in Logic Pro X for free. This also works in any other DAW that allows for polarity inversion and bus sends.
Here’s how to configure it:
- Create a track with the recordings you want to process.
- Create a send to a bus. Set the send level to 0 dB, and name it “De-Verb Bus”.
- Add a “Gain” Utility plug-in to the bus, and invert the polarity of the L & R channels in the stereo signal.
- Add a compressor to the bus with a very high compression ratio (20:1 or higher works well for this). We’re essentially making a customizable noise gate.
- Decrease the compressor threshold from 0 dB, until you hear the reverb being removed, but the desired audio signal comes through cleanly. For quiet recordings, you may need to turn the threshold towards -50 (or -infinity) dB or increase the input gain towards 0 dB. For loud recordings, turn the threshold towards 0 dB, or reduce the input gain towards -infinity dB. If you turn the threshold towards 0 and the bus is un-muted, you will hear that it cuts out more and more of the output because the compressor cuts out any signal that is below the threshold level. Turning the threshold down allows more signal to pass, so we’ll hear more of the unwanted reverb, resonance, or echo.
- Set the attack very fast (about 0 ms), and set the release fast too (5-15 ms). If we turn the attack up, we won’t process short reverb tails, although you might get some interesting effects doing this. If we turn the release up, our de-verb won’t remove reverb tails.
- Set the compressor knee to 1, if you have a knee adjustment. This is the most gradual change in volume reduction, so the effect sounds natural. For a more noticeable, mechanical effect, turn the knee towards 0.
- If you mute the bus, you’ll hear the recordings in their original form.
- Another trick we could do: add an EQ to the bus to select which frequencies of reverb we want to remove from the recording.
- This project is in stereo, but this process also works in mono.
- This also works in any DAW that allows for sends and polarity inversion.
- You can download a copy of the Logic Pro X file here: De-Verb Template.logicx
Note, this won’t fix all echo, resonance, and reverb problems because the desired audio signal has to stop before the bus can remove the unwanted signal. To remove the resonance and reverb from a person singing in a shower, for example, you’d need a spectral editor, which is a different tool than what we’ve built here. The cleanest solution is probably to record again in a more suitable recording space, like a vocal booth. Thanks for reading!