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The reverb on Eddie's mic, by the way, is set at like 7 on the Richter scale. Seriously, there's so much echo it sounds like he's singing in the Dwarf halls of Khazad-dum.
—The Agony Booth recap of Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!

Echo and reverb - two sides of the same coin. Where the echo refers to the reflection of a sound that's heard after the original sound is played, reverberation is a mass of echoes that makes the sound persist in a certain space after the original sound is played, decaying very slowly.

Echoes and reverb can be used to give something a "massive", imposing sound, as Power Echoes demonstrates. Echoing Acoustics refers to the use of lots of (often electronic) echoes and reverb in music. This isn't that bad - for every album where one can't make out the lyrics because they're buried in layers upon layers of reverberation, there are albums where this trope is deployed to create something that sounds damn cool.

Examples of Echoing Acoustics include:


  • This trope can be frequently found in Psychedelic Rock or any genre influenced by Psychedelic Rock.
  • Rock And Roll used a lot of echo fx to give the songs a bit more punch, from a single 'snap echo' to a whole bunch of echos, all produced by tape loops with multiple playback heads one after another.
  • The Verve's early albums Verve and A Storm in Heaven used this trope heavily for psychedelic effect.
  • Spiritualized's material between Lazer Guided Melodies and Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space uses this a lot.
  • The dream pop genre, represented by This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins, lived and breathed this trope.
  • Yes' "Leave It" intro - a typical 1980s reverb-saturated production.
  • Perry Farrell, the lead singer of Jane's Addiction, can't resist adding Power Echoes to his voice. Go ahead, name a single JA song without any reverb or echo on his voice. Also on Nothing's Shocking, since it was made in 1988, producer Dave Jerden threw a ton of gated reverb over the drums. Despite how these sentences sound, that's actually not a bad thing since it makes the drums sound punchier and Farrell way larger-than-life.
  • The heavily-echoed and processed vocals on Joy Division's "She's Lost Control", meant to amplify the song's bleak atmosphere. Producer Martin Hannett was particularly known for this kind of production.
  • Cream's "Mother's Lament", combined with Gratuitous Panning.
  • Stan Freberg's version of "Heartbreak Hotel" parodies excessive echo.
  • The album version of "Miami 2015 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)" by Billy Joel has a very fake and shallow-sounding reverb effect applied to the whole thing.
  • One of the main complaints against the US releases of The Beatles albums between 1962-1966 was that Capitol added excessive reverb and echo to the original tracks.
  • A truly bizarre example, with an element of Subversion: Throbbing Gristle's "Convincing People" and "Spirits Flying" both use extremely long echo effects on Genesis P-Orridge's voice, set to the exact same volume as the main vocal line.
  • Jethro Tull is really good at this, particularly in such songs as "Pibroch(Cap In Hand)", "No Lullaby", and "Dark Ages".
  • Sonic Youth's "Diamond Sea".
  • Many, many black metal releases employ gratuitous reverb, often mostly natural, starting with the UK band Venom.
  • Phil Collins, or more specifically, Phil Collins' snare drum, is known for embodying this trope. He popularised what's known as "gated reverb", after all.
    • Gated reverb being a combination of reverb and a noise gate (muting sounds that are under a certain volume). Essentially a unnatural, choked sound.
  • My Morning Jacket is known for drenching Jim James' vocals in reverb. They once lampshaded this in a video promoting the album Z where his speaking voice was given a lot of reverb too.
  • The guitar intro to "Sorrow" by Pink Floyd sounds like it was recorded in an empty stadium. It was.
  • Lichens perform music that is, for the most part, entirely made up of vocals and guitar run through multiple delay units.
  • Radiohead's album OK Computer qualifies.
  • Echoes are part of the secret behind Phil Spector's famed "Wall of Sound" Signature Style of production. To elaborate, the Wall of Sound worked by having six or seven guitarists play the lead guitar part in unison, four or five bassists play the bass line in unison, a chamber ensemble of backup singers sing the backup, and so on -- essentially creating rock orchestras -- and recording the whole thing in an echo chamber. The result was a HUGE, REVERBERATING sound that fast became Spector’s trademark. A great example of the Wall of Sound in action is "River Deep, Mountain High" by Tina Turner, largely considered to be his, and Turner’s, crowning achievement.
  • British, synth-heavy duo Hurts have a lot of this.
  • Hair Metal, especially the drum sound, was all about this.
  • On the remastered and reissued version of Electric Light Orchestra's A New World Record is an outtake that had remained unfinished for years called "Surrender". The finished version was this trope.
  • Many songs on Led Zeppelin's fourth album have this, especially the (quite frequently sampled) booming drums in "When the Levee Breaks".
    • The latter of which was achieved by going into a stairwell at the house where they were recording, setting John Bonham's drums up at the bottom, and putting the microphone two floors above him.
  • The Moody Blues demonstrate this trope beautifully in the vocals of the song "The Sunset/Twilight Time" from Days of Future Passed - It appears throughout the whole song, though the best part starts at 3:45.
  • Umm, the entire genre of surf music?
  • The original version of Night of the Stormrider by Iced Earth had a huge amount of reverb, even on the vocals. Much of this was removed in the remaster.
  • Chiodos' third album "Illuminaudio" has this in spades, particularly on the intro, "Caves", "Love is a Cat from Hell" and "Stratovolcano Mouth".
  • For their 2006 album Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell, Killing Joke chose to record in a basement studio in Prague, using 70's era equipment. It shows.
  • Most of Everything Else's first album.
  • "What Do You Want" by Jerrod Niemann has a heavily echoing kick drum throughout.


  • As mentioned in the page quote, Eddie and the Cruisers II.
  • Arch Hall Jr's singing in films like Eegah, Nasty Rabbit and Wild Guitar are positively drenched in reverb.
  • The Veronica's use this sparingly

Real Life

  • Karaoke providers frequently turn the echo knob all the way up to cover for most participants not knowing how to properly sing into a microphone.
  • A rare non-musical example in Lou Gehrig's retirement speech, also known as the 'Luckiest Man' speech


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