Word of the Day


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a musical effect produced by a piece of electronic equipment in which a sound is repeated like an echo

Origin and usage

The word reverb is a shortened form of the word ‘reverberation’ that dates back to 1961. ‘Reverberation’ comes from the Latin word ‘reverberare’, a combination of the prefix ‘re-‘ meaning ‘back’ and the root word ‘verberare’ meaning ‘to strike’.


Reverb refers to a special effect that can add fullness and depth to a piece of recorded music. Reverb is the unique sound or echo musical notes make in a particular space. Every space has its own special reverb characteristics. For example, the sound of singing in a small tiled bathroom is much different than the sound of that same song being sung in a large concert hall.

Music producers often use reverb in different spaces to give pieces a distinct richness of sound that can enhance the recording. A number of variables can impact the reverb of a room; these include things like the size of the space, the materials used to build the walls and ceilings, the kind of flooring in the room and more.

Sometimes, producers will record in unusual places or locations in order to add reverb to a piece of music. It is also possible to add reverb effects artificially using modern technology and advanced recording equipment.


“I think we all think we sound really good in the shower, where there’s that nice reverb, and the water’s drowning you out, and there is some liberation in the freedom of being totally alone and really going for it.”
(Meryl Streep)

“The instruments that bleed into each other are what creates the ambience. Once you start cleaning everything up, you lose it. You lose that sort of halo that bleeding creates. Then if you eliminate the halo, you have to go back and put in some artificial reverb, which is never as good.”
(Jimmy Page)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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