Can you guess which plugin can be equally important in a mix as EQ and dynamic control?
Reverb plugins are a must! And in this article, you will learn everything about them!
By explaining all reverb types and providing you with the top recommendations, finding your next reverb plugin will be a no-brainer!
But why is reverb such a useful tool in sound design and music?
As you probably know, reverb is a natural phenomenon that happens everywhere in nature.
Consequently, we perceive all our sound experiences with various kinds of reverb, and we need this effect in a movie or game, in order to feel that the sound design is natural.
The same thing happens with music: adding reverb to a track that has been recorded in the studio brings it instantly to life.
Besides that, there are many kinds of reverb that offer “unnatural” reverberations that let you create unique sound effects and musical tracks.
Before we move to the selection of plugins, let’s first briefly take a look at the various types of reverb.
In principle, electromechanical reverbs use transducers to generate vibrations which are then captured by a pickup.
Specifically, Spring reverb leverages on the unique nature of coiled spring to create vibrations. It achieves this by fitting transducers on one end of a spring and the pickup on the other.
Obviously, the character of the results will vary depending on the nature of spring used. But, by and large, they tend to be darker and edgier.
Next, Plate reverb is also created based on the same line as the above. However, in this case, metal plates are used with springs attached at both ends to cause tension.
As the plate gets vibrated via a signal originating from a transducer, the vibrations are take in elsewhere on the plate using a mic.
In essence, the idea is to imitate the sound of space by bouncing the signal off a metal plate.
As the name hints, Algorithmic reverb is based on a mathematical system simulating delays usually experienced within natural spaces.
Ideally, software relying on computative algorithms to create echoes in a hypothetical space is used in effect simulating delays typical of a reverb.
So, yes! You can think of it as the use of synthetic digital tricks to generate illusions of acoustic reflections.
Of course, they may not be quite as natural-sounding as convolution reverbs they are preferable owing to their light nature.
Now, get this- convolution reverb relies on Impulse Responses (IR) of digital imitations of real-life spaces to create effects. Actually, IR is simply a depiction of how signal changes when passing through an acoustic environment.
In other words, IR can be described as the sonic profile bearing given reverberation characteristics of an ambiance of any real-world space as excited by a signal such as footsteps or sweep tone.
It means convolution reverbs records and processes vibrations of unique acoustic spaces though hypothetically.
In recent years, this type of reverb has become popular with sound designers all thanks to accurate simulation, diversity, flexibility.
Perhaps the only drawback is that they require relatively high processing power.
So, based on this, you can always sample the impulse response of a place you like and load it into a convolution reverb plug-in to better the characters of your tracks right from the DAW.
Unlike the above, non-linear reverb is a little different.
Bother to know why?
Well, given that its an artificial reverb, unnatural tricks can be applied to generate something out of the ordinary.
To a great extent, they mirror the classic reverb effects traceable to the '80s which unlike most space simulations that decay in a naturally predictable straight line, in this case, it's abrupt.
Probably, the perfect examples in this light are the gate and reverse reverbs.
When it gets to usability, non-linear reverbs are great for creating specially distorted effects.
In case you need to treat your mixes to avoid sounding too ordinary, reverb plugins of this nature could serve you right.
The 10 Best Reverb VST Plugins of 2021 include:
Ever imagined getting a highly customizable and open-sound reverb plugin?
If yes, the FabFilter Pro-R could just fit that bill.
Want to know why?
Allow me to explain.
First and foremost, this product was designed with musical touch and intuitiveness in mind.
And so it offers controls that speaks to this reality.
To be specific, parameters such as Distance, Character, and Brightness creates the impression of a complete musical approach.
And don’t forget, smart controls such as Decay Rate EQ, Post EQ curves are also available.
You will also appreciate the versatility of this plugin all thanks to the vast selection of modeled rooms/spaces in all manner of shapes and sizes.
But, without a doubt, you'll love even more the signature Retina interface with a large interactive display optimized to ensure seamless operation.
Summing up this list, the Waves H-Reverb opens new dimensions of reverb technology.
Unlike other alternatives pegged on simple concepts, it goes a notch higher by converging classic reverb concepts with some of the most advanced dynamics of digital reverb processing.
The outcome is a versatile, feature-packed, and sensationally-sounding plugin well suited for limitless creativity.
Basically, it rides on a simple yet efficient system called (FIR) Finite Response Technology.
The technique is responsible for more richer and deeper decays with all the liveliness that comes with it.
The FIR engine enables users to shape and customize reverberations with increased accuracy in an effort and beyond ordinary linear forms.
With this, attaining perfect quality that blends well on a mix, comes automatically.
And that's not all, because it includes an incredible library of leading artistic-specific presets as well as inspirations by vintage and contemporary classics alike.
No matter your needs, you have the perfect space option to get started.
Other notable features worth highlighting include Advanced Analog modeling and drive control and EQ and dynamics module for compression, ducking, and de-essing.
So if you wish to enjoy exceptional sound quality and unlimited creative control, you know where to stop.
Think you have all the best reverb plugins you need?
Well, you could be wrong, especially when the ValhallaPlate is absent in your mixing toolkit.
Why do I say so?
Allow me to explain.
First, unlike its predecessors which modeled vintage digital boxes, it emulates hardware plate reverbs and other initially unheard of plates.
Secondly, it avails up to 12 original modes realistically emulating the physics of plate reverbs.
Even better, all the modes can be executed as mono-in/mono-out, mono-in/stereo-out, or stereo-in/stereo-out plugin.
Beyond that, it improves on ValhallaDSP's heritage with a minimal, resizable 2D user interface.
The UI has a self-serving tooltips section to provide guidance where necessary.
It also gives way to an extensive preset browser tailored to simplify user settings.
Other key features include frequency-dependent decay time, variable size, and width sound control, not forgetting lush modulation.
All things considered, ValhallaPlate is simply a classic algorithmic reverb too that extends the dimensions to levels that you can dream of with hardware plates.
Generally speaking, UAD's EMT 140 Plate holds the bold promise of producing the lushness very few alternatives can rival.
I could be blowing things up here, but granted; there is justification why UAD is has kept its feet in the game all this while.
To be clear, the EMT 140 Plate emulates three rare hardware counterparts installed at The Plant Studios in California.
And interestingly, the emulation is quite striking, delivering an edge that only natural plate reverbs can achieve.
With this plugin, you can treat your mixes to definitive plate textures like never before.
And apart from priceless natural plate sound, UAD has labored to improve the workflow by including more efficient controls.
Talk of High pass filters, Pre-delay, Two-band shelving EQ, and Pre-delay element, there less more you can ask.
Remember, it has Width, Balance, and Modulation controls to boot.
In short, the EMT 140 Plate is a good pick if you need to treat your instruments or vocals to a realistic sense of natural ambiance.
Quite simply, the PSP SpringBox is a virtual imitation of a hardware spring reverberator.
Designed to emulate various features expected of spring reverbs such as the notable “boing” on transients and repeatable musical elements with flexible presence, its everything a classic analog emulation.
Are you wondering what makes it tick?
The SpringBox comes with multiple spring configurations, including the ability to control the stereo spread and balance to match different mix setups.
Along with that, it has dual settings system, channels A and B plus a range of presets to ensure control is quick and easy.
And there's more.
For instance, if you need to manipulate high-frequency damping, you have a magical damp knob to make the necessary adjustment.
There's also the High Pass Filter Knob to help keep frequencies in check and let the mic pop.
Most of all, the interface is quite a piece of cake with nothing too overbearing to trick your eyes.
So regardless of where you want to add the ghostly vibe it simply, this is a valuable asset to the creative replacement of analog practicalities.
Now hang on!
If you are looking for a contemporary plugin inspired by the virtual hardware reverbs of the '70s and '80s, the Valhalla Vintage Verb is worth the moment.
Perhaps you're already wondering about its outstanding features.
Well, to begin with, it is based on multiple mostly Lexicon algorithms depicting various natural spaces offering different characters.
Talk about an array of halls, plates, rooms, spaces and more; it has everything figured out.
Impressively, all the algorithms are subject to the same parameters including Mix, Pre-delay, Decay, Hi EQ, Bass reverb times, shape, early and late diffusion, depth and rate modulation, HF and LF EQ, and color mode.
I could go on and on…
And that's not all. Vintage Verb takes it all out by displaying everything on a clean and scalable interface.
The access is instant with all controls beautifully housed under one new minimalist panel.
Needless to say, the flexibility is enormous.
With this, you can enjoy in-depth creativity based on the nostalgia of dry hardware reverbs of yesteryears.
For all it presents, this re-make of Lexicon 224 released in 1979 remains a real breakthrough in the art of reverb emulation.
To put things into context, the original digital reverb that has inspired this product in many ways defined sound from its onset.
And it all boils down to its practical slider-based controller and the celebrated lush reverb tail.
Now, this recent re-make adopts the same algorithms and control processor code as the original creation it models.
Think of the great variety of slider controls catering for among other bass and mid frequencies, Crossover, Treble Decay Time, Reverb Depth, and pre-delay.
Don’t forget; there’s also the stand-out Chorus program on drums, vocals, guitars, and so on.
All in all, given all its features UAD Lexicon 224 can do a perfect job bringing realness and dynamics of vocals or tracks quite effectively.
Are you looking for an original pro-grade convolution reverb?
The Audio Ease Altiverb is in every right matches that description.
At its core are exceptional samples of real spaces.
Specifically, it features a celebrated Altiverb library of acoustics which sample top of the line actual recordings of some of the most wished-for spaces around the world.
Imagine anything from the legendary Opera House to a Jumbo jet cockpit, famous concert halls and so much more.
And guess what?
If you need vintage reverb gear, you can sit pretty considering it features a massive selection.
From EMT plates and purpose-built echo chambers such as Beach Boys, you have no excuse getting creating every conceivable classic sound.
Beyond that, it provides multiple parameters for making adjustments.
Notable capabilities to this end include Experimental responses, Stage positioning, EQ, Brightness and chaos, musical gates and delays.
But, perhaps the best part is the automatic recall automation.
You can automate everything, including impulse choices, which is great if you want to achieve more in no time.
For starters, the AMS RMX16 was the first ever microprocessor-controlled full-bandwidth digital reverberator.
And for this reason, it’s considered a legend in when it comes to the use of reverb plugins in audio production circles.
Having captured the unique sense of the original easily recognized reverb programs, it has now been polished with improvements in samples and design.
If anything, the design now includes an added set of features including new purpose-built custom controls.
Talk of exclusive Dry/Wet Mix, Wet Solo, and easy click-and-type editing of control and applying different sets of effects, it offers all it takes to harness the natural feel the exact iconic reverb it emulates.
To top it all, it avails presets from talented artists in the industry so you have the perfect pool to draw inspiration.
Now, for the conscious mix master focused on achieving high acoustic quality, a simple yet extraordinarily powered native reverb plugin would excellent.
To that end, Liquid Sonic’s Seventh Heaven is a worthy contender.
Designed with the sole focus of reproducing Bricasti M7’s finest reverbs, this plugin excels thanks to power within.
Notably, Seventh Heaven is anchored on breathtaking Fusion-IR processing, which delivers authenticity and quality not easily achievable via convolution technology.
You'll be pleased to know every preset is sampled with incredible detail to allow unmatched flexibility in producing high organic reverbs.
This makes it possible to exercise control over early, low, and late frequency components on organic reverb of up to 30 seconds.
Again, it enables altering crucial parameters, including reflection patterns, full-bandwidth roll-off positions, and frequency-dependent decay times.
Interestingly, the extraordinary power is accessible via a simple single interface, essentially making it a breeze to find ideal reverb from any of the ensembles.
Think of the best halls, plates, rooms, and so on.
In a nutshell, Seventh Heaven owes its revolutionary capability to detailed multi-sampling and characterization of the native Bricasti M7 reverbs.
The level of accuracy makes a great for wide-ranging mixing projects.
No doubt, the choice of reverb will by far influence the vibe of a record or mix.
Of course, this list hasn't exhausted everything out there but any of the above products can elevate your mixes when used the right way.
So you can go on and recreate coveted spaces for your vocals or instruments.