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Reverb, anyone? #3012968 10/19/19 09:30 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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I'm curious to get a read on what people like in terms of reverbs. I generally like algorithmic reverbs more than convolution, although I'll make an exception for Waves Abbey Road Chambers.

Still, there are so many, and taste is so subjective...do you have any favorite, go-to reverbs? I'm quite a fan of Overloud's Breverb 2, and had the free Cakewalk version. I lost the use of it for a while, and was disappointed I didn't have anything that sounded as cool as the Breverb preset I use for just about anything where I need reverb. I opened up the IK Classik Hall, but it didn't sound at all the same...then...I started messing with the parameters, and was able to duplicate 99% of the Breverb 2 sound I like so much.

What do you look for in a reverb? Which ones do you like? Any tricks? One of my favorite tricks is highpass filtering before the reverb to get rid of most of the lows, except when I want the "giant kick drum of doom" effect.

My prediction: There will be no consensus, or even close to one, on the "best" reverb. Then again, this forum has surprised me in the past smile

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3012974 10/19/19 10:02 PM
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Considering that I often do atmospheric, ambient music, I actually am not too fussy, I don't think. Or maybe I just got lucky and found something decent for not very much money. I use a TC M300 Electronic hardware unit that I purchased a hundred years ago for about $160 used. I have it hooked up digitally to Pro Tools. I like the sound of it, and I like that it uses just about no CPU.

I always roll off at least everything under 100Hz unless I hae some compelling reason to use it. I frequently have a high-shelf and drop the high end as well, particularly for vocals. I use these as a starting point and adjust accordingly. I also often compress the audio going into the reverb to even it out a little bit.

I look forward to hearing people who are connoisseurs with reverbs and what they use.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: KenElevenShadows] #3012986 10/19/19 11:57 PM
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some very respectable people on MPN use this one

https://www.reverbfoundry.com/


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3012998 10/20/19 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
My prediction: There will be no consensus, or even close to one, on the "best" reverb. Then again, this forum has surprised me in the past smile

Well, the most powerful one from a processing power POV is the Bricasti M7. Six Blackfins - the equivalent of twelve SHARCs. It excels at recreating and controlling real spaces.

Expensive as hell, and worth it. I love mine.

That being said, there are plenty of reverbs that I've known and loved - even some funky ones by companies such as Roland, Alesis and Sony.

dB

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013045 10/20/19 04:44 PM
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"You gotta start somewhere..." I started out with an ART Multiverb. Reverbs were muddy and it clipped internally too easy (even though the level LEDs did not indicate clipping) so you had to keep the signal low, which meant poor signal-to-noise ratio. I auditioned a few other consumer level digital reverbs and did not like the sound of the reverbs so I pretty much gave up on cheap reverbs. Having been raised on knob-laden analog synthesizers, the LCD and menu driven user interface with up/down buttons of the Multiverb proved to be awful. I love tweaking sounds and that kind of user interface with deep feature sets like multi effects is just too ineffective.

As my ears developed I was hearing effects from professional releases I couldn't get with simple delays and that Multiverb. How were they getting those effects? Not the long reverb tails, but the short ambient room effects. I started reading about brands like Lexicon, AMS, EMT, Quantec, Eventide... "pro audio"

Mind you I live in a rural area where "pro audio" does not exist. You can't find the good stuff in local stores, and having heard the glut of poor reverbs I wasn't about to take the leap of faith with mail order. And "pro audio" were expensive puppies. This was before "plugins". So I decided to hunt for the Good Stuff at a NAMM show where I could try them out in person. Eventide had their 2016 digital reverb with choice sample loops playing through it to demonstrate their product. I was immediately sold on the 2016 and ordered one when I returned from NAMM. I'm now up to three of them. Hard to get a bad sound out of them. Very good reverbs and an excellent user interface for tweakers like me - no menu interface! This box excels at short room ambiences that have an uncanny ability to "lift" a sound out of a mix. I tried that with other modern 'verbs and can't get that effect.

At the same NAMM show I looked into Lexicon. They had their PCM96 at the show but it was not hooked up thus no audition was possible. I was also turned off by the same menu/LCD interface used on the Multiverb. Research found the same interface on most of their products. Then I read a discussion thread about the Lexicon Model 200 with a panel full of knobs and NO MENU/LCD interface. Not as well known as products like PCM70/80/81 or 224, but the M200 algorithms were in that class. Bought a fixer-upper from the 'bay and that was a good purchase. Not much overlap between the M200 and the 2016, they both co-exist nicely. The 2016 has plate and room algorithms, the M200 adds chamber, rich plate, hall - THE legacy Lexicon "sound of the 80s". I don't often use long reverb tails but when I need them I reach for the M200. I also enjoy doing MIDI orchestras of classical works and the chamber algorithm puts you in a concert hall. Have yet to hear a bad sound out of this thing.

No they're not the Real Thing but they sound pretty damn good.

I'm not dismissing the excellent presets of the menu/LCD products like the PCM70. While they are good presets, I prefer to dial up my own effects and don't want to sound like everybody else.

Got back into gigging and wanted to exploit the ambient effects I had been experimenting with. The M200 was just too bulky to cart around. On a whim I got a PCM60 from the 'bay and it wasn't bad, just not as good as either the M200 or 2016. But it has a decent ambient room sound similar to the 2016. By then I had abandoned the "one master effects unit" concept to provide effects for all my keyboards and had instead adopted individual effects for each synth. With dedicated effects I decided that MIDI control was not necessary. The PCM60 was far more economical to that approach, they were "set and forget", and the buttons/controls don't budge during cartage.

The PCM60 is the "crippled" version of the big boys but still had that legacy Lexicon sound, "crippled" meaning they didn't have the stereo movement of the bigger units. But I also had been experimenting with the Korg SDD-3300. I had been using it for stereo modulated delay processing, it's a triple delay unit with a flexible internal matrix routing and inputs/outputs for each of the delays. I had them configured as mono in/stereo out and found a 3rd output and two inputs looking for a home. What if I merged the 3300 and PCM60...? So the 3rd output routed to the mono input of the PCM60 and stereo outputs of PCM60 to two inputs of the 3300 gave me programmable reverb level of the PCM60, and serial/parallel processing of digital delay and reverb. I also found that using modulated delay effects of the 3300 on the reverb tails of the PCM60 got the stereo movement of the big boy Lexicons. So now I have dedicated effects with studio quality without the high price!

I'm completely OTB. I checked out plugins at some friends' studio and have yet to hear the quality of OTB units.

Bricasti is a very good machine, developed by former Lexicon algorithm developers. I already had the others and didn't need the Bricasti, but for a brand new product they are a VERY good reverb and highly recommended.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: davedoerfler] #3013046 10/20/19 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
some very respectable people on MPN use this one

https://www.reverbfoundry.com/


Yes, it's really good. But your mentioning it made me realize something. My time is so limited that my go-to is to grab a plug-in for which I've developed many presets over the years, because I know exactly what to expect. Then I can get on with making music. But, that means a lot of my choices are plug-ins that have been around for a while. I still use the Sonitus plug-ins all the time, which came out in 2004 eek

I've developed what I think are some pretty good presets for the HD Cart, but what I really need to do with it is sit down with a bunch of multitrack songs, insert HD Cart in a bunch of tracks, and create presets for all the usual suspects I use in my tracks (vocals, guitar, synth, drums, Kontakt sounds, etc. etc.). Hmmm...maybe I'll do that this afternoon.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: The Real MC] #3013047 10/20/19 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by The Creepy MC

I'm completely OTB. I checked out plugins at some friends' studio and have yet to hear the quality of OTB units.


Are there very many OTB convolution reverbs? I remember some astronomically priced hardware units from back in the day, but not sure what the status is these days.
It seems to me that's the main strength of having a reverb in a computer. However, something like the Abbey Road Chambers mentioned above - which I think sounds excellent - draws a huge amount of CPU power compared to algorithmic reverbs. I suspect if you basically have to put a computer in a box anyway to get convolution reverb, you might as well just get a computer and insert a plug-in smile

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013054 10/20/19 06:03 PM
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I am enjoying this thread, reverb is an important effect. Not here to convince anybody and I am still experimenting.

Lately, I've been busy with parallel processing. I'll make at least two copies of a track. I may EQ the original track or just a touch of compression but I don't put ambient or modulation effects on it.
Among my experiments I've put two different reverbs on different tracks and set them for 100% effect, no uneffected sound.
If you change the pre-delay, the room size, the resonance, etc. you can create two (or more) very different spaces.
Then I can automate the effects tracks seperately, volume - panning - parameters of the effect - etc.

That makes it possible to change the space front to back and side to side. It is easy to go from dry to immersed, narrow to wide, close to deep. Once I get the automation curves tweaked the way I want I can work on other parts of the mix.

This is all done post-tracking. I don't care about CPU load too much, you can set your latency for something really long and ease up on your resources that way. A long latency is inaudible when mixing, everything is still in sync, it just starts a little later when you click Play.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013055 10/20/19 06:13 PM
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As a side note from the Crazy World, I am going to try singing into my Rainsong 12 string. It has a pickup and a microphone built in.
I've heard it ringing along when I leave it out, it's very sensitive.
Not a reverb per se but a sort of sympathetic resonance that might be nice in some places.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013089 10/21/19 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton


Are there very many OTB convolution reverbs? I remember some astronomically priced hardware units from back in the day, but not sure what the status is these days.


The only one I know of was the Sony DRE-777, at about $9,000. It had a built-in CD drive for loading the impulse responses. At the time, it was too expensive a concept for anyone else to jump in, and general purpose computer hardware hadn't become fast enough to handle the number crunching in real time.

I'm assuming that "OTB" means "Outside The Box" and not the more common "Off Track Betting." Isn't it funny how we have to make up new replacements so that they relate to new products? Back in the good old days, we used to say "hardware" until "the box" became common use for "a software based system." Similarly, "line array" speaker systems brought us "point source speaker systems," which are just plain ol' speaker boxes. And in computers, we used to have the ATA disk drive interface, which used parallel data transfer. When they developed a drive that used the same data format but transmitted it as a serial stream, they named it Serial-ATA, or SATA, which of course meant that we then needed to refer to the old type disk drive as PATA.



Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3013095 10/21/19 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
As a side note from the Crazy World, I am going to try singing into my Rainsong 12 string. It has a pickup and a microphone built in.
I've heard it ringing along when I leave it out, it's very sensitive.
Not a reverb per se but a sort of sympathetic resonance that might be nice in some places.


I think I know what your next download is going to be...

http://www.pspaudioware.com/plugins/reverbs/psp_pianoverb/

It's REALLY cool, and free.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3013096 10/21/19 02:55 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am enjoying this thread, reverb is an important effect. Not here to convince anybody and I am still experimenting.

Lately, I've been busy with parallel processing. I'll make at least two copies of a track.


I'm with you, I do a lot of parallel processing with reverb. I also bi-amp a lot with parallel processing by creating a crossover.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013151 10/21/19 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am enjoying this thread, reverb is an important effect. Not here to convince anybody and I am still experimenting.

Lately, I've been busy with parallel processing. I'll make at least two copies of a track.


I'm with you, I do a lot of parallel processing with reverb. I also bi-amp a lot with parallel processing by creating a crossover.


Once you have 2 or three reverbs going or one reverb with several settings, it becomes difficult to evaluate in the same way.
I would do that just for the lead vocal, the "placement" of the singer can change the emotional impact.
So, I havent named the plugins I've tried. I am not commited at this point. Even "bad" reverb can be good if you find the right spot for it.

And yes, one could hook up a Briscati, an Eventide and a Lexicon in parallel processing. I would love to do that but I would purchase room treatment and a mic or two first since I have reverbs already.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013161 10/21/19 05:21 PM
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I don't do much fancy stuff with reverb. Just don't have the time to play around with it.

My go-tos are:

UA EMT-140 plate. Can't go wrong with this one for the usual stuff plates work for.
Waves Hybrid Reverb. For general use, rooms, halls, cathedrals, caverns, etc.

nat

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013204 10/21/19 08:55 PM
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I use the 80/20 rule when it comes to reverb. Although I do heavy music, I don't like super dry spaces. But there is so much going on in my mixes that reverb is more understood than heard. But cheap digital verbs have too much midrange, which immediately muddies up everything. I like to create a send that is highly processed with EQ to get something really predictable back.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: zeronyne] #3013470 10/23/19 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
I like to create a send that is highly processed with EQ to get something really predictable back.


Yeah, EQ on the way in is crucial. I also created some FX Chains I call "tighteners." They put steep notches at four frequencies related to the key (e.g., 110, 220, 440, and 880 Hz for the key of A). Putting this after reverb can help prevent sonic conflicts with the instruments themselves.

Last edited by Anderton; 10/23/19 05:04 PM.
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3013559 10/24/19 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
As a side note from the Crazy World, I am going to try singing into my Rainsong 12 string. It has a pickup and a microphone built in.
I've heard it ringing along when I leave it out, it's very sensitive.
Not a reverb per se but a sort of sympathetic resonance that might be nice in some places.


On the Motown Museum tour (highly recommended) people are encouraged to sing into the opening that leads to the attic. That was the reverb used on countless hits from the 60's/70's!

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Greg Mein] #3013561 10/24/19 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
As a side note from the Crazy World, I am going to try singing into my Rainsong 12 string. It has a pickup and a microphone built in.
I've heard it ringing along when I leave it out, it's very sensitive.
Not a reverb per se but a sort of sympathetic resonance that might be nice in some places.


On the Motown Museum tour (highly recommended) people are encouraged to sing into the opening that leads to the attic. That was the reverb used on countless hits from the 60's/70's!


"Only one preset...but it's a good one!"

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013568 10/24/19 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
As a side note from the Crazy World, I am going to try singing into my Rainsong 12 string. It has a pickup and a microphone built in.
I've heard it ringing along when I leave it out, it's very sensitive.
Not a reverb per se but a sort of sympathetic resonance that might be nice in some places.


I think I know what your next download is going to be...

http://www.pspaudioware.com/plugins/reverbs/psp_pianoverb/

It's REALLY cool, and free.


Thanks, somehow I missed this until checking today to read the new posts. Installed, untested. I like that they allow a choice of install type, not everybody does that. I went with AU.

These are the reverb plugins I have installed at the moment. I have no opinion of any value to share right now. Oddly, many of the Metapop remix stems already have too much reverb on them so I haven't really evaluated these too much. I've dialed in some usable reverbs from the included Waveform plugin but I like to keep reverb fairly subtle so I can't tell you how it sounds (yet).
Now that I have almost all my reverbs in one folder it will be much easier to compare them.I still want to hear what singing into the guitar sounds like too.

Piano Reverb
TRackS Hall
Protoverb
Old School Reverb (Voxengo - free)
MPX Reverb
Au Matrix Reverb (Mac OSX included plugin)
Au Reverb2 (Mac OSX included plugin)
TReverber8
"Reverb" - Waveform plugin and another from the Artisan Collection- two plugins named "Reverb"


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013579 10/24/19 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by zeronyne
I like to create a send that is highly processed with EQ to get something really predictable back.


Yeah, EQ on the way in is crucial. I also created some FX Chains I call "tighteners." They put steep notches at four frequencies related to the key (e.g., 110, 220, 440, and 880 Hz for the key of A). Putting this after reverb can help prevent sonic conflicts with the instruments themselves.


In my simpler use of reverb, I just adjust the pre-delay to mask the reverb behind the initial tone of the attack. I suppose I'm relying on the old "your ear, if it gets just a bit of something first, then it perceives the tail of the thing as sounding the same as the first bit."

Are there particular situations where you rely on your notching technique - that the simple use of pre-delay doesn't really get you where you want to go?

nat

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013628 10/25/19 12:51 AM
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Of course this is highly subjective, but I rarely use pre-delay unless the reverb is mixed way back. Otherwise, I hear that discrete echo, and that can mess with the timing.

A technique that I use a lot is described in this article: "Blooming" Reverb - Better than Pre-Delay. Check it out and see what you think...let me know if you have any questions.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013638 10/25/19 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Of course this is highly subjective, but I rarely use pre-delay unless the reverb is mixed way back. Otherwise, I hear that discrete echo, and that can mess with the timing.

A technique that I use a lot is described in this article: "Blooming" Reverb - Better than Pre-Delay. Check it out and see what you think...let me know if you have any questions.


An interesting idea, it's got me thinking of other applications. Could get truly weird! I am about due for a remix anyway.

The Piano Reverb is fun, I just slapped it on an acoustic guitar track and twisted knobs. Would have to fire up the interface and monitors to really give it a spin but the laptop speakers gave me the gist of it.
Per my usual, I found some truly "wrong" ways to use it. It can get horrendous if you choose keys and detune settings carefully!!! :- D


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013665 10/25/19 05:23 AM
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I use 2C Audio's, B2 a lot. It sounds great, and is easy to get a large range of sounds. When used with some of their other software, one can get 3D spatial placement, which is excellent in my orchestral template for the Sample Modeling stuff - which is bone dry.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013676 10/25/19 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Of course this is highly subjective, but I rarely use pre-delay unless the reverb is mixed way back. Otherwise, I hear that discrete echo, and that can mess with the timing.


Indeed, it's subjective, but in the real world, any reverberant space has pre-delay. The reverberation doesn't start until the sound from the source reaches the first wall. And if you're recording, it takes some time for the first reflection to reach the microphone.

I come from the planet where artificial reverberation is used to make a recording in a dead, or not as reverberant as you'd like, When using a hardware reverb that's not digital (and hence has some delay, adjustable or not) I'll typically add 20 to 30 ms of pre-delay to prevent the reverberation from sitting on top of the initial sound. But if, on your planet, the object of adding reverberation is to change the sound - essentially piling a soft attack on top of the natural attack, then anything goes as long as you like the result.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013683 10/25/19 01:20 PM
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I have 10 or so reverbs to choose from in my UAD console. When purchasing I've tried to be scientific about choice, covering the basis of vintage, modern, plate, digital, etc... To be honest, well, I don't know. I have 3 parameters that I pay attention to: short/long, clean/muddy, on/off. Beyond that, I've got nothing. Strange, with echo units I am very picky about choosing the right echo for the track. Very picky. Maybe because I love drums and rhythms. I consider my echoes to be a music instrument for building rhythms.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013688 10/25/19 02:39 PM
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While it would serve as a good thesis subject, reverb interested me since about 1980 when I found my self made organ/synthesizer sounded way to dry in my little teenage room. I had a cheap spring reverb unit, which I knew how to turn into a spring reverb, and that was cool.

Nowadays, I know very well about the connection of reverberation, both natural and artificial, and sampling issues, so there for me finally is the clearer picture what was supposed to be what in the a grade mixing area. For instance, from a while ago, I learned the Lexicons of later time, I have a MX400 from Sweetwater, need certain signal preparations to let out their wonderful sound potential, which is also connected with the incorrect sampling reconstruction DACs do:




Here's Linux discrete impulse based rever demo I did years ago which illustrates the acoustic effect of such effect:

Far from perfect



Historically, in the second half 80s as a student, my main reverb was a Yamaha Rev-7, which was actually pretty good. There still around, for a good look inside:


apart from the demonstrator's comments, this is an interesting demo of the Rev-7:


Impulse theory which is (ab-)used to promote brute force or FFT based convolution reverbs has a few boundary conditions which make impulse reverbs dead and lifeless as a consequence.

T

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3013716 10/25/19 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Of course this is highly subjective, but I rarely use pre-delay unless the reverb is mixed way back. Otherwise, I hear that discrete echo, and that can mess with the timing.

A technique that I use a lot is described in this article: "Blooming" Reverb - Better than Pre-Delay. Check it out and see what you think...let me know if you have any questions.


I'll follow your link - thx!

The Waves Hybrid reverb I use a lot lets you sync the pre-delay to the tempo. And you can set the attack curve of reverb onset, too - so it's pretty easy for me to get just what I want from an obvious slap-back to a barely noticeable slow bloom.

I also do the Beatle-ish thing of low and high passing the reverb to help it settle in unobtrusively.

nat

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Mike Rivers] #3013718 10/25/19 05:08 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
But if, on your planet, the object of adding reverberation is to change the sound - essentially piling a soft attack on top of the natural attack, then anything goes as long as you like the result.


The technique in the article "Blooming" Reverb - Better than Pre-Delay avoids piling an attack on top of the natural attack, because unlike pre-delay where you have nothing and then the reverb hits, the attack ramps up as the reverb blooms.

Another factor is I tend not to use a lot of reverb anyway, so the levels are low enough that if there is reverb during the attack, it's pretty much masked.

Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3014918 11/04/19 08:20 PM
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zeronyne Offline
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I forgot about another reverb-ish powerhouse in my studio...my modular rig. Mutable Clouds (which is available for FREE as a module in the also FREE VCV Rack) is truly inspiring.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Reverb, anyone? [Re: Anderton] #3015231 11/07/19 07:22 PM
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Dr Mike Metlay Offline
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Warning beforehand: I am an ambient musician, so reverb and delay are my Kryptonite. When I die, bury me in reverb.

The only hardware that's in current production that I truly adore and couldn't do without is the Specular Reverb from GFI System, a little tiny gang of coders and hardware builders in Jakarta. It's a stereo guitar pedal that provides multiple "tweaks" to a single algorithmic reverb they wrote themselves, that they call "Spatium." It is absolutely gorgeous: rich, lush, and clear. I have two of them and use them all the damn time.

At various times I have used and loved everything from the Nanoverb (Hall 2 is still awesome) and Wedge all the way up to the PCM96. I have a Wedge in my closet, everything else I got rid of over the years. But not that Specular! Ever!

As a reviewer, I have used nearly every software reverb ever written. Many are nice, many are forgettable. I do have some favorites, though...

On my Mac, basically anything by ValhallaDSP is a go-to for me: Room, Plate, VintageVerb, and Shimmer. (When they finally released a Delay, I basically stopped buying plugins.) Old and venerable but still great-sounding is MasterVerb 5 from Wave Arts. It was my main aux reverb for everything I did for years and years.

On iOS, I use Eventide Blackhole most of all, although I also enjoy Eos 2 and Zero Reverb.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
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