Reverb upgrade strategy

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by BobRogers, May 25, 2009.

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  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I'm running Pro Tools 8 Le through a Digi 002 rack and I am currently using the stock reverb plugins. Mostly doing jazz, folk, alt-country, etc. I tend to use setting tweaked from medium room or plate reverb presets. I rarely use settings with very long tails. I don't use it heavily, but it gets used all on about every recording. I have no real complaints, but I can hear the difference between my results and really top level gear. (Cucco played some classical recordings treated with a Bricasti when we were over his place. Damn!)

    Anyway, I'd like to hear people's recommendations for both pugins and outboard units and comparisons with the PT plugs. I've used several of the Lexicon and TC units when running live sound, so comparisons with those would be helpful. I'd like to hear reviews of the various Waves plugins since those are so widely used.

    My preference is to stick with what I have until I have the money to buy something really good, but if there is something inexpensive that would be a significant improvement I'll look into it.

    P.S. Searches related to "reverb" are really low yield.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Wow Bob a lot of no responses to this one? Probably because that no one here have ever heard a real EMT plate? If you've ever owned, heard or played with an EMT, your life with reverb will never be the same again.

    You're a mathematician & mathematics professor, dammit, design a better algorithm. What are we paying you for? Or assign this to your students so we can get these lazy kids to come up with some better reverbs for us.

    So, mathematically speaking, how many actual reflections occurr from edge to edge on a four foot by six-foot piece of coldrolled, sheet-metal, that's undamped? And will these new 64-bit operating systems be sufficient? Or will we need 128, maybe 256 bit operating systems? Well I still be alive?

    Reverb is as reverb does.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I would suggest you try convolution reverbs. eg: Altiverb or Waves IR1

    Convolution reverbs do 'real spaces' much better than traditional reverbs, but can also be used to 'sample' artificial reverbs like real plates or classic Lexicons. If you haven't tried one yet I strongly suggest you do.

    I have to say though... that seems like a LOT of money to pay for something I can do for free in PC/VST land: SIR has been available for years, and there's a very capable convo reverb built into Reaper!
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA

    One of the things I predicted to myself when I put up this post was that you would tell me to build an EMT plate. As much as I'd love to, I don't think I can pass it off in the living room as a modern sculpture. (Though it would look better than some that I've seen.) On your suggestion that I design an algorithm - you probably are not aware, but all mathematicians have to sign a contract stating that all of the work we do will be completely useless. If I do anything practical they'd have to call me an engineer and double my salary.

    IIRs (and anybody)- What are the differences in the "light" version Waves IR-1. (I'll go to the web site and read that for myself eventually - but if you have practical experience I'd appreciate hearing.)

    I have not used any of the VST wrappers available since I have not been into playing with a lot of plugins. SIR may be the plugin that gets me off my butt to try. Has anyone used PT Le / wrapper / SIR? If so, which wrapper and what was your experience?
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Hi Bob,

    I'd love to hear the Bricasti myself someday. You may be spoiled now.

    For PT reverb plug-ins I have always disliked the stock Digidesign reverb - it lacked subtlety in the controls and the sound quality to me. I think you will be very happy with an upgrade in the reverb department. Even if you use reverb sparingly, like I do, I think you'll appreciate one with more air at the top.

    I have the Waves Renaissance Reverb, which is really really good. It's got large lush halls, a variety of room sizes, and plate settings that are easy to control. Manipulating the pre-delay, early reflections, and tone couldn't be easier. Sonically, these are very thick lush reverbs, but tweakable in whatever direction you want to take them. I could see it in the same category as a TC or Yamaha.

    But lately my favorite has been RealVerb - which was available for PT LE when it was introduced by KOLT. Now that it is owned by Universal Audio, the big question will be, whether or not you can still get an AudioSuite or RTAS version since they're tied in with Universals' UAD line of DSP cards.

    It's easy to control the room characteristic resonances, and you can experiment with different room shapes as well as plates and spring. One of the coolest things is the ability to change proportions of different surface materials in the virtual room, which include things like hardwood, brick, empty seats, audience, glass, heavy curtains and so on. If I need the reverb to be on the brighter side, it sounds better to me to change surface materials to simulate a brighter room, than to apply an EQ to a darker reverb. Sonically I would compare this closer to a Lexicon in density of reverb and airier sound overall.

    Also, if you do venture into VST land, another option that may interest you is something like the Lexicon MX200 rackmount reverb. It's got 2 independent effects that can be used completely independently or in parallel or series with one another. That's all good, but the interesting part is it's ability to be controlled by a VST plug-in in your DAW. And since quality reverb algorithms take a lot of processor power, this takes the reverb number crunching out of your DAW and leaves it in the rackmount box - connected via USB. Obviously, it sounds exactly like a Lexicon. It even has a couple of the same reverb algorithms from the $3k model.

    Describing reverbs is kinda like Phil's signature 'dancing about architecture' line, so I hope this is of some help to you.
  6. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Even though this is still "dancin' about architecture" - I'll throw in my .02. I own the Renaissance verbs as well and would agree with the hawk that its a good one. My problem is that I have an older Mac system and a new laptop with PT8. I can't run the Waves on that unit without upgrading everything - :evil:

    I was not happy with any of my classical/ jazz things and especially my own voice until I began using a Lexicon PCM 91. I borrowed one at first and it convinced me. I'm not saying there arent' good plug-ins, but your description of hearing Jeremy's set up was the same reaction I had, except I was doing the tweaking.

    I use it via spdif cables and it keeps all my gozintas/gozoutas free for other stuff on an 003r. As long as you've got to bounce to disk anyway, outboard should be a real consideration.

  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I have wave Rverb and TrueVerb, and realverb now. Plus a few Lexicon rack units. But to be honest, my favorite is the most artifical sounding unit of the bunch. THe lexicon Alex, its sounds completely like a fake reverb- I love it. Its just got a sound that works well with my ears.

    Anyway when I am trying to be real, I use trueverb by Waves quite a bit. Rverb is good, but I think I lean towards trueverb more often.

    The UAD realverb has a great interface, but I am always tweaking and never quite get the sound I want.
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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