Well, there’s a lot more to it but in general it’s a good habit to adjust the level and EQ your sound before it goes into the reverb, low frequencies often make a reverb sound muddy and it will also take too much space in the spectrum, masking other frequencies and sounds. Then the type of reverb you use and it’s settings ( pre-delay, size and timing is important ). You can also EQ after the reverb to fine tune what’s coming out and also automate some reverb settings or the dry/wet of the reverb to follow the track.
Putting a compressor with side-chain to your kick ( or something else ) after your EQ and before the reverb can also give interesting results.
And in general there’s 2 different reverb scenarios usage : when it’s just about sound design and putting a sound in a space ( so let’s say you have a very dry Snare sample and you just want it to sound more as if it was recorded in a room ) then you can use a reverb on the snare channel itself and set the dry/wet knob accordingly ( 1st technique ) but then, when it comes to get the all drum kit sounding more alive and organic, you will put your reverb on a return channel, set the dry/wet knob to 100% wet and adjust the sends levels of your drum bus or individual drums channels to control what’s being passed to the reverb.
Always good to think IN & OUT, before & after the effect, doesn’t only apply to reverb but all effects in general.
But yes, the levels ( volume ) and frequencies being passed to reverb & other effects is important, especially if you’re using effects modeled after their vintage hardware counterparts, those devices were/are designed to work well at some input levels, often -18 dB, and except if you want to get extreme saturation and distortion for sound design purpose, it’s usually not good to send too much volume into those effects.
It’s different for everyone, but try the following : keep your master at 0 dB but set all your instrument channels at -14 dB instead of 0 dB ( I mean the max output reference here, you don’t want to exceed -14 dB ).
So you will need to gain stage all tracks again, i.e your Kick will be -14.5, your Bass -16.3 , your synth lead - 17.1 and your noises fx and risers maybe as low as -24 dB or even more ) … Just random sound examples and values here of course, but you get the picture.
It’s another way of monitoring and mixing, at low levels, the benefits are clarity and plenty of headroom left to use compressors, limiters on your master.
There’s no secret, it takes time, a lot of time, you need to experiment with things and techniques, the learning curve is a never ending one, but just try to keep it fun and make music you like. This 1st track here is certainly not perfect but there’s something catchy in it’s musicality and arrangement and it’s the pillar of music : it needs to be attractive and pleasant for the ears
And that’s enough talk from me I believe…
Cheers & have a great weekend and keep it up and do not worry if some things I wrote are non sense right now, it will come in time with the other parts of the puzzle.
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