My Reverb Tests And Results
Mertay
Nov 4 2020, 10:55 PM
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So these past few days I've been demoing new or testing existing reverb plug-ins I could get my hands on. I actually opened a topic on another forum to also get ideas on how others test reverbs in case I miss something but unsurprisingly, majority just "plays around" with them and depend on their feel.

I've done that too and this time took the long road. Matched settings as close as possible (meaning having to get familiar to every parameter, not depending on a preset or default state), render and match levels (lufs match), playback on a different player so my eyes won't deceive my ears...and did this with different sources (drum, ac guitar, piano).

First what determined "better", cause all reverbs can sound great;

-Some reverbs hype or cannot hide some freq. bumps/ringing etc. enough, though these can be considered "color" by some when not being able to adjust you'll need to add pre/post eq which isn't ideal.

-When the same plug-in keeps becoming a problem constantly when you're trying to match to another. "less is more" is great, but I took this as with-in the simplifying process, too much can be cut out. This was a surprising result for me, indicating I wasn't aware I needed stuff the plug-in didn't offer at the time or before even doing this test.

-Overall duration it took me to match them individually. This might be personal maybe among several other things but I didn't have in mind to share results with anyone before I went on testing.

And some results;

-Fabfilter pro-r; This was the most surprising for me, I never cared for the GUI and the very few parameters of this plug-in always made me it doesn't give a professional feel. But it performed great, specially if one is really aiming for the extra depth feel its really good at that. Can't win in every aspect but for me can be considered the overall winner.

-Valhalla vintage reverb; Low budget winner, get the Plate too (amazing on drums) and also with their freeware you're covered and can feel very confident.

-Eventide; The SP2016 stood out not only with its character but quality too,so best character reverb goes to it.. The others were great too even if not winners; Ultra-reverb with its features and 2016 stereo room for its simplicity/speed were also impressive for daily/traditional usage (I didn't try the crazy stuff like blackhole etc.)

-Nimbus; I was expecting this one to get the most points but somehow always sounded thinner to me when compared...my guess is I kept the comparison parameters as simple as possible, likely being unfair to its design goals.

-Relab lx480; Adored its coloration (among with Voxengo crtiv reverb) but not flexible regarding that coloration if that makes sense smile.gif. But if you're mixing console style (only 1 maybe 2 reverbs and use sends for every channel/group) this will work amazing (as expected cause Lexicon smile.gif). But since computers became so powerful, I really enjoy my freedom to simply insert multiple reverbs if I want to.

...and there are a bunch more plug-in I tried but just wantd to share the notable ones. I hope it will be useful

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This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 4 2020, 11:06 PM


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klasaine
Nov 5 2020, 04:07 AM
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Very cool and perfect timing!
I need a spacious reverb and I was looking at both the Valhalla 'Rooms' and 'Plates'. Any more detail you could add to the Valhalla stuff?

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Mertay
Nov 5 2020, 07:50 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Nov 5 2020, 03:07 AM) *
Very cool and perfect timing!
I need a spacious reverb and I was looking at both the Valhalla 'Rooms' and 'Plates'. Any more detail you could add to the Valhalla stuff?


Sure smile.gif

The developer started to get attention specially after making EOS for audio damage. I really liked that reverb at the time as it was simple and sounded great. There's EOS 2 now but I never saw it as an improvement to be honest. Anyway, soon later he started showing-up with great reverbs for great prices. Valhalla room if I remember right made him famous, here's a cool vid. comparing it against other amazing reverbs (though to me worth it, its a bit long but time jumps on comments sections);



I never got into the room to be honest as at the time likely was happy with something else, but like many I'm a fan of the plate and vintage reverb. While doing my tests I had near no problem matching sounds or time spent with them, I think aside sound/vibe their strength is despite having lots of knobs you learn them really quick and not depend on presets.

Right after opening, the "mode" function I think is the magic trick. Plate for example is super easy to use, after opening just select a color from "mode" switch and thats basically %70 of the adjustment you'll likely make as one mode from other sounds so obviously different. VVR has more knobs but same thing applies.

As I eliminated my options 1 by 1, VVR remained one of the last and (with a piano, didn't notice this with strum guitar or drums) I couldn't filter out some unwanted reflections. This gave me the impression with very delicate material and if one really zooms in to nail a reverb, its only then it starts showing a weakness compared to the expensive stuff. But as said I didn't test the room reverb, its possible this may not be the case with that one.

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This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 5 2020, 07:55 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
Nov 5 2020, 02:38 PM
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Hi Mertay! This post is so valuable mate! Thanks for all this info.

Valhala is definitely in my list of favorites. Have you ever tried Neural Dsp Archetype Plini's reverb (and delay)?





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Mertay
Nov 5 2020, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Nov 5 2020, 01:38 PM) *
Hi Mertay! This post is so valuable mate! Thanks for all this info.

Valhala is definitely in my list of favorites. Have you ever tried Neural Dsp Archetype Plini's reverb (and delay)?


Unfortunately no, my focus was more on the universal mix type reverbs and as you imagine there are so many. However I did demo some reverbs that came with guitar suits;

THU; It does include hall, plate etc. reverbs and but so few parameters I just couldn't see myself opening THU regularly just for the reverbs. It's nice of them to include for convenience but they aren't suited for universal use.

Guitar rig 6 Pro; This suit has much more serious tools when it comes to reverb.

-The RC series does have a nice sound which wins to actually remind the lexicon sound and has a relatively wide user base, its just that while comparing they quickly felt too strip downed.

-Their newest reverb Raum got most of my attention cause its flexibility. For a creativity inspired reverb it can sound very lush, but I had problems with its ER handing (damp) as on longer reverbs the reflections can sound fake (or lets say not natural enough...). By the way, this and the RC reverbs (as bundle) are also competitively priced. I'd still prefer Valhalla but they are nice alternatives if one want to experiment.



-There are also a few more reverbs bundled in it but swapping them in a workflow to me isn't ideal. My engineer side didn't prefer it but as a guitarist working in his/her homestudio I still consider it to be an amazing bundle when fx are the focus.

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klasaine
Nov 5 2020, 03:54 PM
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Thanks Mertay!
The V 'plate' is now on my short list.

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Mertay
Nov 5 2020, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Nov 5 2020, 02:54 PM) *
Thanks Mertay!
The V 'plate' is now on my short list.


Excellent, I really find it enjoyable to work with and hope you'll feel that way too smile.gif

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Mertay
Nov 5 2020, 09:57 PM
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Just a note in case anyone interested, I didn't test and don't use Convolution (ir) reverbs and here's why;

To quickly sum-up, convolution reverbs are real spaces (church, concert hall etc.) measured by sending a sound o a room and recording it. We use the same tech. with capturing guitar cab. only focus difference is with guitar cab.s we keep the reverb part of it (room reflections) extremely short to get the most out of the cab.s character.

A major downside of convo reverb's are, you can't freely tweak adjustments like you can do with algo reverbs. Every tweak you can make "fakens" the reverb more and more so the best practice is working on a preset-to-preset basis as much as possible. I had bad experience with this when I was learning this stuff years ago, with individual instruments you can't really catch that quality degradation quickly but as your song start to finish, the mix tends to end-up overall boxy in a bad way if you tweak settings too much.

This is why Convo reverb products take a lot of space on your drive. Now the tech. has improved quite a bit since my experience on the tweaking vs fakeness part but this didn't change the fact that they still take a lot of space.

Still, if you are ok with the idea of sticking strictly to presets with minimal adjustments (film score guys are more into this than others groups in music) here are your options from what I know;

https://www.audioease.com/altiverb/ One of the oldest, sort of a "standard" solution for ir reverb enthusiasts. Very expensive, their reverb engine didn't improve too much over the years but their collection is amazing. This reverb is featured on the Spitfire video I shared.

https://www.liquidsonics.com The popular choice for today, these guys invested a lot of time on their engine and can be considered the most tweakable ir reverb solution in the market right now. They focus mostly on high-end reverb devices. They have reasonable priced options, seventh heaven (bricasti) and reverberate 3 are most popular.

https://impulserecord.com/convology-xt/ these guys offer freeware which seems to be gaining popularity. It's not limited to reverbs but has delays etc. too and you can buy libraries individually. Often recommended to beginners.

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This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 5 2020, 09:58 PM


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Mertay
Nov 7 2020, 03:19 PM
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I had no idea they made a second part of the video, sharing just for fun;

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