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What's reverb and should you use it when producing voice prompts?

Using reverb to enhance your voice service

Artificial reverb is an audio effect which can be very helpful when producing voice prompts. The effect re-creates the sense of space and place that’s removed by close-miking voices (In close miking, a microphone is placed relatively close to a sound source, within three to twelve inches, producing a dry or non-reverberant sound.). 

Reverb is created by sounds reflecting from surfaces in a space. The geometry of the space and the materials from which it is made affect how acoustic reflections evolve. This produces specific sound characteristics from which our brain derives information, enabling us to learn something about the nature of the space without necessarily seeing it.

Your specific use case and the context of your service should determine whether or not you should use reverb, and how you should use it when producing voice prompts. For example: When your voice experience includes immersive storytelling, re-creating a sense of space and place adds a lot of value and appeals to the human ability to imagine a reality without seeing it. Although a “dry” voice recording might not add as much character and context to a voice prompt, it’s more clear, functional and intelligible. 

I use a little reverb to subtly enhance the quality, character, and color of a voice. Because reverb does not only re-creates a sense of space and place, it also slightly changes the tone of a voice. 

I like to think about reverb as a natural phenomenon. Because in real life, the acoustics of a room and its reflections always affect the sound of your voice. So why not recreate this experience to enhance the quality of your brand’s voice(s)? 

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