How Do I Add Reverb for a Vocal Computer Mic?

by Tom King

Computer microphones, no matter how good, tend to be a little flat on playback. For a variety of reasons, you just might want to add a little reverb to make the sound fuller. Here are several ways to do that.

Plug-ins

There are a variety of software plug-ins that will help you add a little reverb to your microphone. Audio Equalizer plug-ins like Sound Volume ActiveX and Voice Changer software can be pulled up to alter the quality of the sound from your microphone. These can be downloaded from a variety of free download sites like Shareware.com, CNET.com and Tucows.com. You simply plug your microphone into your sound card and start the software, and you can alter the sound to add reverb and special effects and to alter voices beyond recognition. The effects pass through to recording software, chat rooms and even Skype and Ovoo calls.

Hardware

Some sound cards come with equalizer capabilities built in, which can add reverb to the sound, usually through a software interface that is designed to work with the sound card drivers. Some microphones come with the capacity to alter the sound at the microphone and to add reverb or other effects to the signal before it enters the computer. The most effective hardware solution, however, is the installation of a pre-amplifier.

PreAmp

An effective solution is to plug the microphone into a preamp box that is made to create reverb and other audio effects and add them to audio signals passing through the box. The preamp is connected to the sound card inputs at the back of the computer. For some, a physical electronic box with slides and dials is easier to manage while recording on the fly than are software plug-ins that must be manipulated with a mouse or touchpad. Using a preamp, you can adjust the signal to remove signal problems before they reach the computer. This can help reduce overpowering elements of the signal and eliminate the interference problems that have been reported with plug-in equalizers.

Multiple Microphones

If stereo recording or multiple microphones are required, a preamp or equalizer with multiple microphone connections allows you to adjust the signal for each microphone separately. This is especially helpful if using different types of microphones, allowing you to manually adjust the signal of each microphone for optimal recording quality.

Audio Processing Software

The sound enters the computer at the sound card. From there, the signal may be processed through sound recording software such as Audacity, Reverb, Magix Music Studio, CuBase or some other audio software. These software packages can be used to add reverb or adjust a signal after recorded. Some can even be called up to correct a signal from the microphone on the fly for chat rooms, Skype or Ovoo conversations or prior to laying down recording tracks. Check your software first to see what it can do.

About the Author

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.

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