AnsweredMusic for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb?

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rogeriodec
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2017/11/02 01:14:55 (permalink)

Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb?

I'm having a first experience producing music for a TV cartoon series (Nickelodeon).
The point is that although the end result sounds great, I've noticed that the orchestral tracks, in which I use some impulse reverb (Altiverb), they do not sound so good, at least when listening on my TV (Samsung).
Instead, the tracks that I use less reverb, get better.
My question is: is there any rule, like never use reverb for cartoon music, or something?

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Jeff Evans
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/02 03:44:03 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby rogeriodec 2017/11/02 14:20:07
There are no hard and fast rules. I think it just comes down to taste and where any orchestral type of music is being used. If its a big Zimmer type thing (e.g. in Blade Runner 2049) then maybe yes some reverbs here and there are going to work better. For cartoons if you listen to early Bugs Bunny stuff etc you will find the sounds are more intimate and dry. 
 
It sounds like to me you are trying to get reverb to solve your problems! If the musical ideas are good and the sounds are really great then either no reverb at all or very short spaces that are not obvious will work and stand up well.
Cartoons tend to have a sense of dry immediacy so go with that flow and keep the reverbs low and well out of the way. 
 
I check TV soundtracks on my small mono speaker down at low volume to ensure parts are not getting lost either. Reverbs tend to sound less obvious with this form of monitoring but it is good for other things like keeping ideas stronger and simpler and don't try to get into complex dense passages too much.

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MBGantt
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/02 14:18:17 (permalink)
Check your TV settings as well. Make sure there is no surround setting on or something of that nature. Everything colors the sound these days. 
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rogeriodec
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/02 14:27:56 (permalink)
Jeff, you washed my soul man! 
Thank you very much!

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sharke
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/04 00:15:31 (permalink)
You might appreciate the functionality of a VRM box. It simulates different kinds of speakers and listening environments through your headphones, and has a TV speaker option. It's great for doing quick spot checks to see if your mix sounds weird through a particular speaker type. 

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telecharge
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/04 05:15:12 (permalink)
Some great feedback here. As a fan of cartoons and animation who has watched (and listened!) to many, many hours of programming, I suggest you consider how the music and FX relates to the action. It can be very powerful and greatly impact the mood/perception of what is happening.
 
Often with cartoons and animation, there is fantasy, where the laws of physics and the rules of this world do not apply. That is something else to consider.
 
Good luck, Rogerio, and congrats on the gig!
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dubdisciple
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/04 05:23:13 (permalink)
I worked for an ad agency for 5 years and i was always careful with reverb. Even when i felt it was truly needed i often used settings in reverb to exclude frequencies crotical for clarity.
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Jeff Evans
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Re: Music for cartoon TV: use or not use reverb? 2017/11/04 06:22:32 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby rogeriodec 2017/11/04 14:56:43
I am not suggesting reverb cannot be used either.  For example a giant orchestral phrase might end abruptly and some reverb hanging on at the point might be perfect for the visuals.  Reverbs can be used at spot times.  For emphasis on something. 
 
There are other things to consider.  It is handy to get a mix of the audio with dialogue and even some effects in there. I have been caught out creating a big musical effect at a point only to find out a massive effect was placed there and the music was turned right down in the mix.  But hearing dialogue and effects is not always possible. Sometimes you only have to ask.  If there is lots of dialogue going on too, musically you have to be careful at times not to distract.  At other times the music takes right over and gets thematic. 

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