With the release of version 1.2 of its 2445 reverb, PSP now has the official blessing of EMT, the company that made the outboard reverb units modeled in this plug-in. We figured that was a good reason to take this baby for a test drive. read more…
Most software reverbs offer a choice of halls, plates, rooms and other types of virtual spaces, but Valhalla DSP takes a different approach. The company has separated its reverb offerings into individual plug-ins for different reverb flavors, and sells each for only $50. As a result, you can get a high-quality reverb, albeit of a single type, for a very low price. So let’s take a closer look at ValhallaPlate, the latest module and fourth in the series. read more…
When you think of spring reverb, the sound that probably comes to mind is the “boingy” one associated with guitar amps. For mixing sources like vocals, drums and pianos, you probably wouldn't consider a spring reverb. But the AKG BX 20, which was just released in Universal Audio’s UAD v8.3 software, might just change your mind. read more…
User reviews on Software algorithmic reverb products
An excellent shimmer with huge capacities (Valhalla DSP - ValhallaShimmer)
By melski44, 26/08/2017
I’ve used this plugin in my original songs for several years, especially on guitars. There’s no question that this shimmer is excellent and very comprehensive. It’s a real effect section on its own – an octave-pitched reverb, resulting in pad sounds close to a synth. This plugin allows to set:
- the mix (with up to 100% wet)
- the pitch (how many half-tones the reverb is pitched to). Ranges from -12 half-tones for a very darkish sound to +12 (traditional shimmer). At 0, there os no pitch, resulting in a “simple” yet very wide and beautiful-sounding reverb.
- the feedback, which is one of the most interesting features (I’ll get back to it)
- diffusion (if I understood correctly, it’s a sort of pre-delay: the lower the setting, the more the sound rebounds; the higher it is, the most it is spread in space). You can even get a reverse reverb (at 0.618)
- size (that of the reverb, of course) [real-time tweaking of the knob changes the pitch, ala analog delays !]
- Low cut and high cut : very useful to reduce this huge reverb, especially in the low end (allows to keep the mix clear)
- add to this modulation (mod rate –speed- and mod depth). It’s mostly heard on the reverb tails.
The color (bright or dark) can also be chosen. I prefer the bright flavour, especially for such an effect.
The controls are very well explained when you hover over it with your mouse.Although complex, its use is very intuitive and the factory preset is a very good start (I almost never change it btw).
What a sound !
So first, we already have a great reverb, excelling for everything ambient. I could play with it for hours, each note resounds and you’d let it take you away. Beside a great effect, it’s also a very good composition tool to leave the beaten paths.
And when you push the feedback setting… This is when the shimmer shows its real color! The notes are pitched one octave higher, resulting in a sound close to synth pads.
In the samples that I’ve included, I’ve strummed a very compressed electric guitar. Then, I put it through the shimmer while taking the dry sound away: here’s how to imitate a synth using a guitar!
Its possibilities are very numerous. You can manage the shimmer’s stereo width (small, average or large) or keep it mono. The result is very different from one setting to another.
A shimmer set large with a small diffusion gives the impression that each note rockets in, blossoms at the octave. Listen to the included "blossoming shimmer" sound sample. This impression is reinforced by the small stereo setting. Keeping in that direction, playing short notes with no feedback, you’ll get a slapback-type reverb.
A shimmer to be tamed !
Inversely, the larger the stereo and the more it sounds like waves, the ocean… beware not to get drowned, though ^^! Listen to the "extreme shimmer" sample, where the dry progressively vanishes as the waves of a shimmering ocean progress… Or the "Shimmer la mer" sample, where I imitate the sound of a wave crashing on rocks. With this plugin, soundscaping is now within reach! Finally, when you change the size parameters in realtime, you can imitate a rocket taking off… The "crazy shimmer" sample renders just this. Beware your ears and definitely DO use compressors, or the sound can literally skyrocket!!!
Four pitch types can be chosen from : normal, dual, reverse and dual reverse. You’ll need to experiment, but beware though as the shimmer can be very invasive. In my samples, I put a compressor beforehand (to straighten the source as much as possible) and another after it so as to limit the volume variations. Playing has to be as delicate as possible, with very little notes (with a guitar at least). The shimmer doesn’t react very well to an overdriven guitar, perhaps because a distortion and reverb sound too close to each other.
Valhalla makes very good plugins, this shimmer is excellent and includes a very high number of features that make it the number 1 in its category, according to me. It can be used “as is” very easily, but those who want to tweak its various functionalities will find ground for exploring and experimenting!
A Multitude of Reverbs that Sound Utterly Real (Eventide - SP2016 Reverb)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 09/09/2019
This overview considers the 2016 Stereo Room, the SP2016 and the Blackhole plug-ins by Eventide, which with its own demo.
2016 Stereo Room Natural and organic sounding, Eventide’s 2016 Stereo Room set the standard with its unique sound and spin on room reverb. Originally from the SP2016 rackmount, this plug-in offers delay lengths, reflections, and other properties that are truly distinct. The parametric controls are simple and intuitive to achieve various room sizes with unique characteristics (including a control for precise mic placement, diffusion from sharp to rich and dedicated EQ controls). There are plenty of reverb types for guitar, drums, vocals, strings, horns and synth, with some artist presets by Joe Chiccarelli, George Massenburg, and Dave Pensado. All in all, you can get some very lush and subtle sounds, but also cavernous reverbs that almost echo in their feedback.
Overall, I am impressed with the number of great drum reverbs, with each sounding utterly unique and different from the next – and all useable. However, I am equally impressed with how a small boost of reverb from the 2016 Stereo Room plug-in thickens up a guitar tone without it sounding like traditional reverb (the Subtle Stereo and Vocal factor presets are awesome). When used in moderation, the reverb combined with an acoustic guitar sounds utterly life-like – as if you’re sitting in the room listening.
SP2016 Reverb Developed in 1982, the SP2016 set a standard for its signature and lush reverbs that have been used in several top hits and with top artists. Now available for DAW, you get six distinct reverbs that are some of the most natural sounding in the industry. There are authentic emulations of Room, Stereo Room, and Hi-Density Plate algorithms, each available in two versions: Vintage and Modern. The Vintage algorithms are the same found in the original rack-mount SP2016 version, including bit-depth, whereas the Modern algorithms are brighter, more diffuse, and use a higher bit-depth.
There are many reverbs and versions of each reverb possible with this plug-in, besides all the adjustments possible, but I kept my demo simple by integrating short, medium and long reverbs on synth (and instrument emulations, like flute, violin, sax and choir), a drum track, and electric guitar. As you listen to the demo do keep in mind that I recorded all tracks dry, while adding the SP2016 (which does not swallow much memory and I could apply the plug-in to several individual tracks). What will be obvious is how authentic these reverbs sound, from the early reflections to how the echo density increases with time, but also the smooth decay of the reverb tail. All in all, like other Eventide effects, these reverbs sit so well in a mix that they naturally sound part of the music atmosphere, rather than an added effect.
Besides some basics, including unique reverb for various instruments and voice, there are several presets created by top studio mixing engineers, including Dave Pensado, Richard Devine, Joe Chiccarelli, Sasha, etc. Their creations are based on the parameter control capabilities of the SP2016’s pre-delay, decay, position and diffusion; as well, there is an EQ section that allows for high and low (cut/boost) filtering of the reverb with adjustable filter ranges.
Not your typical reverb, but one of an extraterrestrial nature that defies typical sound effects. If you’re looking for that creepy, eerie and lingering reverb with harmonic tails that places your instrument in a different realm, this plug-in is it. And for that cinematography edge you can’t do much better. It is without question that when I created a demo for the Blackhole plug-in I focused on a cinema-based soundscape – it seemed so obvious a choice.
Although some of the reverb presets are extreme and otherworldly, Blackhole works so well in creating drones and subtle effects that sound utterly real and three-dimensional. And with a host of editing options there’s nothing you cannot do to create that ethereal reverb you always heard in your head, but couldn’t create until now. And so, not only do you get 50 great presets, but there is a ‘Gravity’ control to reverse time and invert the reverb’s decay. There is a Kill Switch so that you hear only the reverb effect. There is a Mix Lock to allow for the scrolling of presets or settings while keeping the wet/dry constant. There’s a Ribbon and Hot Switch that allow for changing any combination of parameters simultaneously. And you can apply Blackhole in mono or stereo. To appreciate its full capabilities, I encourage you to investigate Blackhole with a free limited trial download.
From Lush to Chaotic - Delay into Reverb into Distortion (Eventide - MangledVerb)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 24/09/2019
When you combine reverb with distortion you get some darn freaky results. Although MangledVerb offers some straight-up presets to add zing to your drums and other instruments, those with a longer decay and more drive are fantastically unique and sometimes downright creepy and eerie. This plug-in derives from the Eventide H9 hardware (combining a variable pre-delay into a stereo reverb, then into a distortion), and although the algorithm can allow for some lush reverbs, you can make them extremely edgy and chaotic for a modern and industrialized sound.
MangledVerb is very flexible as you can have mono-in/mono-out, mono-in, stereo-out or stereo-in/stereo out (for those who don’t care if it’s mono and for those who demand nothing but stereo). And although ideal for studio use, it was designed for live use, as well. The Ribbon feature control allows you to program two settings/combinations while transitioning between the two; and the HotSwitch permits you to jump instantly to alternate settings at the push (click) of a button. Other useful features include the Wobble control (for detuning effects) and the MixLock (which keeps the wet/dry mix constant while scrolling through presets). With over 180 presets at your disposal, several are artist-based, from the likes of Vernon Reid, Danny Gomez, Headsnack, Richard Devine, Symbion Project and others.