How to use FMOD's default reverb to make a world sound outdoors

I am applying a global reverb send to all of my sound effects for an outdoor, open world game. My issue with the fmod reverb is that it sounds like you’re in an empty room when applied to the sound effects.

Is there a set of adjustments (wet, dry, density, etc) made that help achieve an “outdoors” reverb effect? Thank you!


Large outdoor spaces aren’t typically very reverb-y, unless you’re in a space with lots of reflective surfaces like large geological formations or city streets, in which slap-delay/slapback reverbs are useful to simulate the reflectivity. This could be done a couple of ways:

  • Delay, using a short delay time (50 - 200ms, depending on the size of the space), and 0% feedback to only have a single echo
  • Reverb with a short reverb time and increased early/late delays

You’ll want to dial in the wet levels appropriately, and a mix of both delay and reverb can work well. It can also be good to apply some form of low pass to the wet signal depending on the size of the space, as lower frequencies travel larger distances that high frequencies. Densely cluttered spaces like forests will block high frequencies even more. The reverb effect gives you the option to apply both high frequency decay and a general high cut, which is useful for this.

However, It’s difficult to give you a set of adjustments that will “just work”, as it depends on the space you’re trying to simulate, and it’s typically more than solely reverb - recorded ambiances are especially helpful in “selling” the feel of the sounds being outdoors.That said, an easy way to simulate the reverb of specific environments would be using a suitable impulse response with with the convolution reverb effect, though this is more computationally expensive that the default reverb.

It’s a bit general, but I hope this helps!