Reverberation, or reverb, is a prolongation of a sound. What does this mean? Well when you and I hear a sound in the real world, we not only receive air vibrations from the sound source directly, but we also receive a large amount of reflections of that sound created by the space near by. These frequency colored reflections bounce off of objects within the space and may continue to be audible even after the original sound source has stopped. Arriving to our ears milliseconds apart, we identify all of these separate individual sounds as one cohesive sound.
The physics of all of this is successfully reproduced and recreated in a few different ways. We can categorize this recreation of reverb into three categories: Acoustic, Mechanical and Digital. In this video, I break down how to use one of these digital reverbs via Ableton Live's stock reverb plugin. By the end of the video, you'll be able to use just about any algorithmic, digital reverb on the market.
When should you actually be using this effect? I use reverb in two different ways. One way is purely as an effect. By this I mean, I use reverb to change a sounds timbre or tone color. The second way I use reverb is for mixing. Reverb allows me to take sounds in the foreground and put them in the background to create space in my mix. Beware the beginners mistake of using too much reverb though!!! Too much reverb, or heavy reverb on every single channel in your DAW, will make your mix sound weak and potentially ruin it completely.
Good luck with your reverb endeavors!