This high-pedi­gree reverb plugin vir­tu­alises three clas­sic hard­ware al­go­rithms in Vin­tage and Mod­ern styles

Computer Music - - Contents - Web www.even­tideau­dio.com

In 2012, Eventide’s de­li­cious 2016 Stereo Room gar­nered an 8/10 score in 178. That par­tic­u­lar plugin was an em­u­la­tion of the tit­u­lar reverb al­go­rithm from Eventide’s leg­endary SP2016 hard­ware, a 1980s clas­sic with the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the world’s first pro­gram­mable ef­fects unit.

Stereo Room and two other ’verbs from the SP2016 were repack­aged in 2004 as the (£2000+) 2016 Reverb. And the com­pany’s lat­est soft­ware re­lease, SP2016 Reverb (VST/AU/ AAX), em­u­lates all three of those al­go­rithms – Stereo Room, Room and Plate – from the orig­i­nal SP2016, plus the al­ter­na­tive, cleaner ‘Mod­ern’ ver­sion from 2016 Reverb (see Space time). Still with us…?

Old is new

As you might ex­pect, given its old-school na­ture, all of SP2016 Reverb’s con­trols are on the front panel, with no pop-outs or menus apart from the pre­set li­brary (which is huge and in­cludes ‘artist’ con­tri­bu­tions from Dave Pen­sado, George Massen­berg, Richard Devine and Sasha, amongst oth­ers). The Lev­els sec­tion han­dles I/O gains, and fea­tures the use­ful Kill but­ton, which sim­ply shuts down the in­put when ac­ti­vated, so you can hear the tail in iso­la­tion. At the top, the Mix and I/O Lock but­tons ren­der the dry/wet Mix and/or I/O lev­els im­mune to pre­set changes, for con­sis­tent au­di­tion­ing.

The reverb it­self is re­fresh­ingly light on pa­ram­e­ters, with just four main slid­ers to get to grips with. Up to 999ms of Pre­de­lay can be di­alled in, and be­yond its es­sen­tial role of main­tain­ing clar­ity in the source ma­te­rial by mak­ing space for it be­fore the reverb kicks in, the slider can also be pressed into ser­vice for short de­lay ef­fects.

The Decay slider sets the reverb time (RT60) and runs from a peppy 200ms to an in­ter­minable 100s, while Dif­fu­sion af­fects the den­sity of the tail by al­ter­ing the ‘flat­ness’ of the sur­faces mak­ing up the vir­tual space. The lat­ter is one of the most sub­tle im­ple­men­ta­tions of said pa­ram­e­ter you’re likely to come across, but it can make a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence with tran­sient-heavy ma­te­rial.

The Po­si­tion con­trol al­ters the bal­ance of early and late re­flec­tions to sim­u­late mov­ing the source sig­nal to­wards the front or back of the room. It has a pro­found ef­fect on the char­ac­ter of the sound, mak­ing a dra­matic dif­fer­ence in terms of the pres­ence and en­ve­lope of the tail.

Lastly, high and low shelv­ing EQ fil­ters are on­board for non-sur­gi­cal shap­ing of the tail, of­fer­ing gain ad­just­ment of up to -8 to +4dB cor­ner­ing at 50-500Hz, and -8dB at 1-8kHz.

The full SP

SP2016 Reverb is a flaw­less recre­ation of Eventide’s time­less hard­ware, in both its orig­i­nal and newer in­car­na­tions. Those smooth, ex­pan­sive, nat­u­ral-sound­ing tails still send shiv­ers down the spine al­most 40 years on, and while all three al­go­rithms are par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive on drums, vo­cals and gui­tars, they’re worth try­ing on just about any sound.

As for 2016 Stereo Room, that’s still avail­able for $199, but you’d be mad to not drop the ex­tra $50 on the full en­chi­lada, es­pe­cially as that al­go­rithm is “im­proved” here. Ex­ist­ing own­ers of 2016 Stereo Room or An­thol­ogy XI can cross­grade for $99.

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