Is outboard reverb *really* better than plugins?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by michaeltk, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. michaeltk

    michaeltk Guest

    I've been told that outboard reverb is better than even the best plugins. But is it *that* much better? If I spend $2,500 on a t.c. electronics Reverb 4000, for example, will it sound a lot better than the best plugin reverbs (like Waves, for example)?
  2. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    What would the margin of difference have to be for you to say that an outboard reverb was "that" much better?

    I mean, if you like plug in reverbs and they are doing exactly the job you want them to do and doing it well, then I would imagine that the difference would need to be huge for you to think that the outboard was "that" much better.

    There are some good plug-in reverbs but my brain thinks that the outboards sound better for whatever reason.

    Convolution reverbs can be the best of both worlds and them's be plug-ins.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    It has been my experience that outboard reverbs such as the TC-2000, 3000 and 4000 sound better than any plug-in. There are some very good sounding reverb plug-ins but hardware sounds better overall. If these hardware devices are correctly used they can actually approximate the sound of a real hall or church to the point where I can use them to augment the sound of a classical recording session and not feel as if they are doing anything strange to the music. I have never been able to do that with plugin reverbs although I have tried on many occasions.

    Your experiences and others on this board may be different.

    Best of luck!
  5. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    it comes down to the dedicated CPU for the outboard reverbs.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I'll weigh in on the opposite.

    I think plug-in verbs are very valuable today and can do wonderful things in comparison to outboard units.

    It also depends what you want to do with it.

    The TC4000 is a great unit that can work beautifully with longer reverbs, but cheaper box reverbs simply don't stack up. Also, the dedicated CPUs don't offer that much (if any) performance gain over current PC CPUs and dedicated PCI card solutions.

    I've found a few plug-in reverbs which are quite hard to rival if not impossible by outboard units. SIR and Altiverb are amazing. What I like about SIR is the Lexicon 960L impulses that I have for it plus the amazing hall impulses that are publically available (and several I've made myself).

    The fact that I can use more than 2 channels and the lack of needed conversions from higher sample rates helps a LOT too.

    Don't get me wrong - mega-buck outboard units are great and even the best plug-ins struggle to keep up, but when it comes down to it - a good plug-in will spank even the better inexpensive reverb units.

    (Tom - you should try SIR - it will change the way you think about plug-in reverbs. I've used it on some VERY high profile clients and they LOVE it!)

  7. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    While you're at it, what is the difference between "regular" reverb, if there is such a thing, plate reverb, and convolution reverb?

    Spring reverb I understand.
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I have used it but it is always freaking out my computer. It is a very nice reverb and I agree it is one of the best BUT the code and my computer don't get along too well together. I can use it once but if I try and change anything it dumps my application and I have to restart it. (mostly tried it with WL and Samplitude)
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    - in FX units, these are created by stacking multiple delayed samples of the original signal, with changes in amplitude, phase, frequency and time between delays.

    - true plate reverb is simply a large sheet of metal that vibrates when an audio signal is sent to it via a transducer, they are created in an FX unit in the same fashion as the "regular" verbs.

    - uses impulse responses created from real space mixed into the original signal.
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, that sucks! Such is the nature of the computer beasts. Just as I tried that Izotope set and it crashed on my machine. Ideally, things should just work, eh?

    I am curious to see the new PCM 9X series from Lexicon. It's based on the old PCM system but uses USB or Firewire to act as a plug-in inside the box using the chips, etc. outside the box. I might be very interested in owning one of these!

    I dumped my old PCM90s since they couldn't do higher sample rates and I wasn't content with multiple AD/DA conversions. Color me excited.
  11. Pootkao

    Pootkao Guest

    My Lexicon 300 beats the pants off my Waves Rennaissance Verb every day.

    The IR stuff is the first plug-in verb that I've actually found useable, so it seems the gap is shrinking.

    That said, I've got a Sony R7 on the way which I'm really excited for!
  12. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

  13. davidonut

    davidonut Guest

    Outboard reverb has it's uses. Frankly, it's processing is much faster, rather than weighing down your computer with VST processing in real-time! Then again, they both have their uses in different applications.
  14. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    the R7 is nice, but I am a real sucker for a TC 6000, just to bad the chances of me ever working with one again are slim.
  15. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    I prefer Altiverb (v 6) over my TC Electronic M2000.
  16. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Try Pristine Space instead then. (I don't use it myself as SIR works fine for me, but my other Voxengo plugs are great.)
  17. BluesDimeBag

    BluesDimeBag Guest

    Any opinion on how this TC Electronics built in Reverb compares?

    (Dead Link Removed)
    TC effects inside
    TC has built two of the newest and most innovative TC effects into the Konnekt 24D Fabrik C channel strip and Fabrik R reverb, both known from the PowerCore platform. Once you're connected you have instant access to superior reverbs and dynamics processing. In fact what you get is rack-mount quality processing that you normally only would find in a dedicated 19" rack unit. The effects can be used in stand-alone mode and offer unique direct monitoring capabilities, even between devices. Both Fabrik C and Fabrik R are based on MINT Meta Intuitive Navigation Technology a completely new approach to working with audio. The MINT technology allows you to execute complex audio adjustments simply by moving icons around the screen.
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    It's funny you should ask. I just bought a Konnect 24 and have started using it only over the past few days. I have played with the reverb a little but plan to play with it a little more.

    My initial impressions:

    Overall, usable. I found it made some very odd sounds on pristine soprano, but this could have been operator error as I've only played with it for maybe 20 minutes total.

    On rock material, I found it to be quite nice.
    Classical...ummm - I need more time. I still prefer the SIR so far.

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