The 10 Best Reverb Plugins In The World 2016

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We’ve scoured the audio landscape to bring you the definitive, updated list of the very best reverb plugins available in 2016.

The very best reverb plugins for every style and price range are here, including the best free plugins, classic emulations, and algorithmic and convolution models.

To make this list the most useful and comprehensive for you, we’ve broken our selections down into ten broad categories, and provided plenty of alternative choices for each category. This way, you should have everything you need to build your ideal reverb plugin arsenal with the minimum of fuss, and give you some ideas for experimenting – all so that you can get on with making great, expressive music, which is after all the real point!

Why Is Selecting Reverb Important For A Good Mix?

A lot of mixes stand or fall on their use of reverb – the process is used to give the impression of sounds being in a real acoustic space, providing your mix with front-to-back depth, and is often referred to as the ‘glue’ binding all the different parts of a mix into a coherent whole. Using just enough reverb to do these jobs, without overdoing it and turning your track to sonic mush, is one of the major components of the mysterious pro sound.

But, as a great writer once said, not all reverb plugins are created equal. Different types of reverbs are good for different applications, so it’s unlikely that you’ll want to use the same plugin for everything. You might want to use a plate reverb for drums, and a high-grade convolution reverb for strings or background ambience. Often, you don’t want the most ‘natural’ sounding reverb – you want to add a particular colouration to the sound, and that’s why there are so many variations on this vital effect.

Adding to this idea, most of us have grown up listening to music processed with rather artificial-sounding spring, plate and digital reverbs, and those sounds are ingrained in our subconscious as musically appropriate – it’s what we’re used to hearing. So don’t sweat about ‘realism’ too much.

Before we get to the Best 10 selections, check out this quick primer on the key aspects and features that apply to all reverb plugins:

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Reverb: A Pocket History

Ever wondered what all the preset names on reverb plugins actually refer to?

Room / Hall / Chamber: The first reverb effects used for recorded music were created with echo chambers – a loudspeaker would play the sound back in the chamber, and a microphone would pick it up again, including the echo of the room itself. The same principle still applies for simulated ‘room’ and ‘hall’ reverbs -you’re capturing the ambience of a particularly sized and shaped space.

Plate: Next came plate reverb with the EMT 140 in 1957. Used a lot in the ‘60s and ‘70s, plate reverbs use a transducer to create vibrations across a large ‘plate’ of sheet metal. A pickup captures the vibrations as they bounce across the plate, and the result is output again as an audio signal. Plate reverb tends to be bright and clean-sounding, and it holds a special place in many producers hearts.

Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates - EMT 140

Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates features both a control panel and a graphic representation of the reverb plate itself in it’s casing

Spring: Uses a similar principle to that of plate reverb, but with a metal spring instead of a plate. A transducer at one end and a pickup at the other are used to create and then capture vibrations within the spring. Being compact and relatively cheap to manufacture, many guitar amp designs ended up incorporating a spring reverb unit. Spring reverb adds a distinctive metallic colouration to the sound, and in the days of classic rock ‘n’ roll it was known that you could shake the reverb cabinet while recording so that the springs clashed together for a properly unhinged sound. We wouldn’t recommend attempting this with a plugin version though :)

UAD EMT 250 Digital Reverb

The UAD EMT 250 plugin faithfully models the levers of the original hardware, allowing you to control your reverb in the same way as you might fire the Death Star.

Digital: EMT built on the popularity of the EMT 140 plate reverb with another world first in 1976: the EMT 250 digital reverb unit. However, it was the arrival of the Lexicon 224 a couple of years later, followed up by the 480L in 1986, that took digital reverb into virtually every professional studio, and it’s the Lexicon name – and sound – which is now cemented in our minds as the archetypal digital reverb of the 1980s. Since then, we’ve also seen many highly-regarded and much-loved digital reverb units and guitar reverb effects boxes from the likes of Eventide, TC Electronic and Yamaha, such as the Eventide Space pedal, TC Electronic Reverb 4000 and most recently, the Bricasti M7 rack unit. Meanwhile, the awesome Strymon Big Sky has virtually taken over the world of guitar reverb.


The Difference Between Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb

Almost all reverb plugins (as well as hardware digital reverb units) use one of these two digital processing methods.

Algorithmic reverbs use calculations based on hypothetical rooms and other spaces to generate their reverb sounds. Generally this gives a sharper, more artificial sound, typified by most hardware digital reverbs of the last 30 years. This is not necessarily a bad thing though – as mentioned above, musically we’re not always after the most ‘natural’ sound, but the one that has the right ‘character’ for the track. Algorithmic reverbs also tend to be far lighter on the computer’s CPU than convolution reverb processing.

Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb closeup

Convolution reverbs use pre-recorded samples of real rooms and spaces to build Impulse Response (IR) files of those spaces. The impulse response is then ‘convolved’ with the incoming audio signal you want to process, hence the name.

Convolution reverbs then, are generally far better at simulating real spaces than algorithmic reverbs – the downsides are that they also require significantly more CPU processing power to work, so you are more limited in terms of the number of instances of the plugin you can run simultaneously, and they often require a bit more work than algorithmic reverb to sit comfortably in a mix.

Recent Developments: Emulations & Future Reverb

In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in the popularity and innovation going into a new generation of algorithmic reverbs, often based to a greater or lesser extent on the Lexicon 224 and 480 digital hardware units as a gold standard. We’re also seeing progressively more accurate and accessible plate reverb emulations, often using the EMT 140 plate as the benchmark for having the most legendary mechanical plate reverb sound.

Happily though, it’s not all copies of hardware: we’re also starting to see a greater range of more unusual and forward-thinking reverb plugins, led by 2CAudio’s Aether but joined by the likes of Waves H-Reverb, UVI SparkVerb and the Valhalla DSP range.

We’ve taken all these developments into account with our list below.


The 10 Best Reverb Plugins – The List

So now we know that choosing the right plugins for each job is crucial, and we’ve covered the basic differences between the types. Here’s our rundown of what we consider to be the very best reverb plugins, whatever your price range.

As before, we’ve covered every type of reverb and all price ranges with the categories, and included plenty of alternative choices for each category.  There’s definitely something for everyone here.

Don’t forget: “In the end, ‘best’ is highly subjective when it comes to reverb – there is a lot of choice out there, and picking a personal favourite is literally a lot like choosing a favourite colour.”

1) Best Free Reverb:

TAL Reverb II

Togu Audio Line TAL-Reverb-II

The second iteration of TAL’s popular free reverb plugin, TAL-Reverb-II combines a classic plate reverb algorithm with a 3-band EQ section to allow you to sculpt the frequencies and colour of the reverb tail. With an attractive interface and just the right number of options for both quickly finding decent working settings and making a few finer adjustments, TAL-Reverb-II is a great reverb plugin for beginners or those simply looking to expand their existing reverb options.

We must also mention the TAL-Reverb-III, another free plate reverb plugin that strips the controls down further to a series of sliders, and the TAL-Reverb-4 which is a free standalone version of the reverb section from the TAL-Sampler plugin. Both of these are of course worth checking out, but to our mind the TAL-Reverb-II strikes the best balance of sound and control out of the bunch. More info and download here.

Also check out:

Freeverb3Our previous top choice in this category was the Variety Of Sound EpicVerb, and if you’re a fan of developer Bootsy’s other fantastic free plugins this should certainly find a place in your collection.

Smartelectronix Ambience was also mentioned and still holds it’s own as one of the best freeware algorithmic reverbs.

Despite having a GUI design that could best be described as “functional”, Freeverb3 is all about the sound and is undoubtedly another strong contender for best free reverb.

Voxengo OldSkoolVerb delivers a nice classic stereo reverb sound that is designed to blend well within a mix.

Variety Of Sound EpicVerbWe must also cover the free versions of two of the convolution reverb plugins mentioned below, Liquid Sonics Reverberate LE and Knufinke SIR1.


2) Best Convolution Reverb:

Audio Ease Altiverb 7

Audio Ease Altiverb 7

The established industry standard convolution reverb plugin. Convolution reverb uses Impulse Response (IR) files that contain the recorded reverberation characteristics of any space, from the inside of an oil drum to the Sydney Opera House, and applies those characteristics to the source material. A large part of what makes Altiverb so special is the attention to detail and the time and trouble taken by the Audio Ease team to put together the vast Altiverb IR library. Users also get access to new Impulse Responses as they are made available each month on the Audio Ease website.

The XL version also includes 5.1 surround reverb support and a TDM version for Pro Tools.

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Alternatively:

HOFA-Plugins IQ-ReverbHOFA Plugins IQ-Reverb sounds similarly fantastic to Altiverb and is billed as a convolution reverb that can be controlled much like one of the classic algorithmic hardware units that it replicates with it’s IR library. IQ-Reverb has some great features in terms of how you can manipulate the IR files by reversing, timestretching etc. and includes a Position control where you can place the sound in left/right and front/back space. It doesn’t have as comprehensive a library of IRs as Altiverb, but you can import 3rd-party IR files so this won’t be a problem for any but the most demanding professional users. The real-time graphic representation is a cool and inspiring touch, although it can be a little heavy on computing resources as it redraws. Recommended.

Also check out:

There are plenty of great options now for experimenting with convolution reverb and Impulse Response files, including plugins from the standard libraries of many of the major DAWs. Special mention here must go to Logic Pro Space Designer, FL Studio Convolver, Convolution Reverb Pro in Ableton Live and Reaper Reaverb.

Some other top contenders are Waves IR-1 (discussed in more detail below), the newly updated Liquid Sonics Reverberate 2 and Knufinke SIR2. As mentioned above, there are free versions of these last two plugins, Liquid Sonics Reverberate LE and Knufinke SIR1.


3) Best Reverb For Sound Design & FX:

2CAudio Aether

2CAudio Aether

Aether is unquestionably the sound designers algorithmic reverb plugin. It was 2CAudio’s debut plugin in 2009 and essentially set a new benchmark, being unmatched in terms of audio quality, scope and usability. Yes, it looks relatively complex and isn’t necessarily going to be a first choice for quickly setting up basic reverb sends for a typical mix (although of course it can do that with bells on). Where Aether really comes into it’s own is as the ultimate reverb for dramatically enhancing sound design, ambience and spot FX: hits, cinematic booms, club track-style swirls of shifting reverb clouds that can add a lot of extra movement, vibe and overall epic-ness to a track.

More info here.

Also check out:

The Eventide Blackhole plugin is based in part on Eventide’s hardware processors and Space reverb guitar pedal. It’s another great choice for sound design and spontaneous effects creation, with a ribbon strip for super-easy real-time morphing between different reverb settings. Best reverb for live performance/DJing, anyone?!

Waves H-ReverbWaves added to their excellent “hybrid” series of plugins (some of our favourites) with Waves H-Reverb, and  2CAudio’s B2 dual reverb is another interesting and top quality variation using the expertise they’ve honed with Aether. UVI SparkVerb features a novel coloured frequency graph which illustrates which areas of the frequency spectrum will generate reverb from the sound being processed. Independent Hi and Lo Decay controls allow you to set different reverb tail lengths for high and low frequencies, and through one of the three core algorithms – Lo-Fi, Bright and Dark – you can introduce a range of subtle modulations to further colour and characterize the reverb ambience. You can also select presets with SparkVerb’s Preset Voyager window, which gives you a constellation of potential reverb settings laid out over a navigation-style grid. Overall a great combination of sound and interface design, and very nice to use.

Valhalla Shimmer is an obvious candidate whenever you’re looking to achieve huge, quality reverb ambience. The new-look eaReckon EAReverb 2 is another reverb that also offers something different to the norm with style and flexibility.

We must give an honourable mention to CamelSpace: since it’s creator Camel Audio has been snapped up by Apple it’s no longer supported, but we guess/hope it will eventually pop up again in some form, possibly as a native plugin for Logic Pro.


4) Best Bundled / Series Reverb:

Waves Renaissance Reverb

Waves Renaissance Reverb

Some of the most useful reverbs are parts of bundles or series of plugins that work really well together.  As previously mentioned, the Renaissance Reverb is still one of our go-to reverbs, as are quite a few of the other Waves plugins. A well balanced reverb in terms of overall sound, versatility and interface/usability, with simple but effective graphic EQs for quick shaping of the reverb return signal – great for efficiently slotting the sound into a busy mix without adding clutter or low-frequency mush.

BUY NOW via Waves.

Also check out:

Waves TrueVerbWaves TrueVerb is more of a room emulator than a conventional reverb like the Renaissance Reverb. Together, they’re an excellent combination.

Waves IR1

Waves IR1 is a convolution reverb, with some great presets that are based on many famous venues and spaces from around the world. So if you want to hear what your music would sound like in the Sydney Opera House or at legendary NY punk rock club CBGBs, this is the reverb for you.

As far as we know, the IR1 is also unique for it’s parametric controls, whereby you can plot your settings on the interface display in the same way as you would on a parametric EQ.

The IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb (‘CSR’) bundle is a one-stop reverb shop for many producers and guitar players, featuring four reverb plugins, covering Plate, Hall, Room and Inverse types. Each module can work in either Easy of Advanced mode: Easy for when you just want to get something down fast with the minimum of fuss; Advanced when you want to spend more time finessing the perfect sound. Which of course also means it’s perfect for beginners, who can gradually get to grips with the more advanced parameters at their own pace.

Sonnox Oxford Reverb is included in the high-end and highly regarded Sonnox (or “Sony Oxford”) range of mix plugins. We should also mention iZotope Ozone’s Reverb module as a solid “bundled” reverb that you could easily overlook when perusing your plugin list. Finally, Acustica Audio Nebula Pro 3.5 of course includes a range of classic reverb unit emulations within it’s expansive library.


5) Best Streamlined Reverb:

Valhalla DSP ValhallaRoom

ValhallaDSP Room and Shimmer

Quite often you don’t need the most complex and processor-intensive plugin for mix processing tasks, and the best solution will be something that keeps the audio quality high while stripping the controls and parameters down to a well-honed essence.This sums up Valhalla’s Room and Shimmer reverb plugins quite well. The Valhalla interfaces are in fact “influenced by NASA Human Interface specifications & the Swiss School of graphic design”, and since their initial release in 2011 have become staples in most producers toolboxes. More info here.

Valhalla DSP ShimmerValhallaRoom is very versatile on it’s own, but to bring the epic-ness to your sounds you might also want Shimmer, which is specifically designed to create large, smooth-sounding tails for booms, trailer hits and other more ambient elements. More info here.

Also check out:

Before founding ValhallaDSP, plugin designer Sean Costello was the man behind Audio Damage’s reverb plugin Eos, which featured in my original list. 2CAudio Breeze strips down the complexities Aether to provide a plugin more suited to simpler tasks while maintaining the audio quality.

Exponential Audio PhoenixVerb is a newer reverb plugin from the creator of none other than the Lexicon PCM Native Bundle, so is certainly worth checking out. For simple, low-CPU tasks, PSP EasyVerb is made for the job.


6) Best Algorithmic/Digital Hardware Reverb Emulation:

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Bundle

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Bundle

We could virtually fill an entire category highlighting emulations of famed Lexicon hardware reverb units, with particular attention to the 224 and 480 models. However, this official software bundle version from Lexicon themselves uses the algorithms and presets from the more modern PCM96 hardware unit (the PCM series was originally conceived as a more streamlined live reverb option compared to the cumbersome 480L). While still the benchmark for “that Lexicon sound” in a native plugin format, there is now some real competition, and if you’re in the market for a Lexicon-style reverb, which you consider to be the best will likely be based on a range of factors including price format and interface style, as there is so little to choose between the sound of the top contenders.

The ReLab LX480 is a favourite of many producers, undercutting the Lexicon PCM on price. It is also now included in the growing array of high-end plugins available in the Mix/Master/FX subscription bundles from Slate Digital. Universal Audio always deliver authenticity and incredible sound with their hardware emulations, and their take on Lexicon reverb with the UAD Lexicon 224 doesn’t disappoint, although of course you will need one of their DSP hardware units to support it. Native Instruments teamed with Softube for the RC24 and RC48 “Reverb Classics”, which are available individually but also of course included in the Komplete 10 bundle.

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Also check out:

PSP Audioware 2445The recently released PSP 2445 features emulations of the EMT 244 and 245 units, offering a welcome variation on classic digital reverb sounds beyond the Lexicons.

ValhallaDSP Room could already get remarkably close to the fabled Lexicon sound. With VintageVerb, which focuses more specifically on taking direct inspiration from the classic hardware with it’s nine algorithms, you get by far the best value Lexicon-style plugin.

Many producers swear by ArtsAcoustic Reverb (‘AAR’), which was designed specifically with the purpose of delivering flexible algorithmic reverb that rivals convolution realism, whilst also keeping CPU overhead to a minimum.

Wave Arts MasterVerb 5 is another excellent professional algorithmic reverb, that holds it’s own amongst some classy competition.


7) Best Vintage Or ‘Character’ Reverb:

Softube TSAR-1

Softube TSAR-1 

Several of the plugins on this list could arguably lay claim to this category, but special mention has to go to Softube’s TSAR-1. A point worth noting about the TSAR-1 is that, unlike the UA EMT 140 Plate for example, it’s not a straight ’emulation’ of any one piece of celebrated vintage gear. Rather, it takes the common characteristics of much of the best-loved classics, and brings them all together with a highly useable, somehow ‘authentic’ sound (if that’s not an oxymoron?), and a very cool interface. The best of all worlds, and perhaps an example of where more plugin designers will (hopefully) go in the future. More info here.

Also check out:

We’ve mentioned UAD reverbs in the digital reverb and plate reverb emulation categories, but we must also touch on the UAD EMT 250, their version of the very first electronic reverberator, and the UAD AMS Neve RMX16. The RMX16 plugin features the nine reverb programs of the original, the most famous being the Nonlin program that helped create the unmistakable 80’s gated reverb drum sound as used by Phil Collins and many more.

112dB Redline Reverb is not a vintage-style plugin exactly, but this reverb has as much character and warmth as anything out there. Maybe it’s because 112dB seem so good at bringing the warmth in general, with their very tube-sounding compressor, limiter and preamp plugins also being highly regarded. Developed by Martijn Zwartjes, who used to work at Native Instruments, the Redline Reverb’s first incarnations were the Rev-6 and Space Master ensembles for NI’s Reaktor.

 

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8) Best Plate / Spring Mechanical Reverb Emulation:

UAD EMT 140

UAD EMT 140

Much like Lexicon being the king of digital algorithmic reverb, the EMT 140 reverb unit represents the pinnacle of the physical plate reverb sound. This large hardware unit was originally released by German phonograph manufacturers Elektro-Mess-Technik (EMT) in 1957, and quickly became a studio favourite, remaining in production for a further 25 years. Up until that point, the only reverb options for producers were to use spring reverb units (only really suitable for guitars), or to record or re-record tracks in an appropriately reverberant room, hall or custom-built chamber (inconvenient and/or expensive). The EMT 140 literally revolutionised studio reverb, not only offering a new level of convenience (a 7′ long, 600lbs box was of course considered amazingly convenient, relatively, at this time; imagine what a 1950’s engineer would make of plugin reverb..!), but also doing it with extreme style, providing the kind of lush, thick and diffuse reverb sound that is still revered today for it’s warmth and musicality.

Once again, Universal Audio nail it with the UAD EMT 140 Classic Plate Reverberator, an incredibly faithful emulation that is based on the combined emulation of three different original EMT 140’s.

Also check out:

Waves Abbey Road Reverb PlatesEven if you don’t have UAD DSP hardware, there are still some equally great-sounding options for native plugin users. Waves Abbey Road Plates is the obvious first choice, while Valhalla DSP ValhallaPlate is also a classy option.

On the spring reverb front, Softube Spring Reverb is arguably the best spring reverb plugin available and is a huge amount of fun to use. There is also the more recent release of the UAD AKG BX 20. For lower budgets, we’d certainly also recommend the PSP SpringBox. Also not forgetting the CSR Plate Reverb in the IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb bundle.


9) Best Unsung Hero Reverb:

Ableton Live Convolution Reverb Pro

Your DAW’s Reverb

DAW developers continue to cram as much quality and processor diversity as possible into their offerings in order to get or stay ahead of the competition in a crowded market. This is great news for us producers, as the processors and effects now bundled with most DAWs as standard are not just stripped down versions or nominal, low-grade offerings merely there to fill out the spec sheet – they’re often at least as good as the third-party options (and in fact are sometimes based on acquired former third-party designs).

The best things about using the reverb plugins supplied with your DAW are that a) you don’t have to pay more, and you’re getting the most out of the investment you’ve already made, and b) they are likely to run that bit more efficiently within their host program than a third-party plugin might, having been optimized purely for that platform.

We’ve already mentioned some of the standout convolution reverb plugins bundled with DAWs, such as Ableton Max For Live Convolution Reverb Pro and FL Studio Convolver. There is also the Pro Tools native Reverb One, apparently based on the old favourite Wizooverb W2, as well as Avid ReVibe II. These are just a handful, but we’re pretty sure your DAW will have something to at least get started with too.


10) Best Reverb For Electronic Music:

D16 Toraverb

D16 Toraverb

D16 are perhaps best known for their software versions of classic drum machines and the TB-303. Toraverb generates lush, ‘punchy’-sounding reverb that is just what you need for all kinds of modern music.

For electronic music production, you generally want a healthy selection from all of the different categories mentioned above – there is obviously a big crossover here with sound design/FX-style reverbs, for example – but there are also some plugins that are undeniably essential for producers of electronic and dance music. D16 Toraverb stands apart in this respect, for its ability to cover all the bases with style, relative simplicity and ease of use, and the way it can be called on for everything from vibey classic plate or spring emulations to more out-there, sound design-oriented, abstract textures.

BUY NOW via PluginBoutique.

Also check out:

Everything from Valhalla DSP, in particular Room and Shimmer; and 2CAudio Aether is a no-brainer here.

Exponential Audio, creators of the Phoenix Reverb mentioned earlier, have also recently brought out a hardware controller plugin for the Bricasti M7 digital reverb unit. Bricasti was founded by ex-Lexicon engineers and the M7 is something of a modern classic. Although there are impulse response files available for emulating the M7 sound, to our knowledge it has yet to be directly emulated in pure software form, so this plugin “front-end” interface for controlling the rack unit is currently the closest we have come, and is certainly an interesting development for reverb aficionados.

Beyond the reverb plugins we’ve already discussed, the excellent Soundtoys EchoBoy delay plugin may seem a left-field choice but does good atmospheric reverb, and should at any rate be in any space-obsessed producers arsenal – see more about this one in our 10 Best Delay Plugins In The World article.


That wraps up the best reverb plugins in the world today. We hope we’ve provided you with a definitive outlook on the state of reverb in 2016. As always, leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below!

And if you found this post useful, you’ll probably also be interested in this:

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73 Comments

  1. Acoostic Zoo Recording Studio on

    Real Glad you added space designer. :) put a smile on my face. Great write up btw. I enjoyed reading it. What about this fairly new reverb Aether that’s all the rave on the net atm? Any thoughts/experiences? I love VSS3 by tc electronics and offcourse the Lexicon PCM Native Bundle.

    Josef Horhay
    Mixing Engineer
    http://www.acoosticzoo.com

    • Hey Dave C, thanks for the links – I havn’t tried any Acustica stuff yet, will get on it!
      I just spent far more time than I should have browsing the rhythm in mind blog – I wish I could design my own plugins and sounds as simply as this guy seems to… :)

  2. Hey George, fantastic article. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a good vintage spring-verb plug? Everything I’ve tried seems inauthentic. Looking for something that represents an Orban spring, or something like that.

    Excellent writing man, really looking forward to there being more to come.

    Cheers

    • Hey tuned in, thanks for the comments – yeah, there definitely is a shortage of good-sounding spring reverb plugins around.
      I would suggest a couple of things: first, try the SIR reverb that I mention up top, and go to Noisevault where you can find a great selection of free IR files for download. In the ‘Springs’ folder, you’ll find a IR file from an Orban 111b Dual Spring…
      If that’s not doing it for you, experiment with putting extra effects inserts on your reverb send channel – or in English, don’t use reverb clean, but put it through EQ’s, distortion, tremolo or other modulation effects. You can get much more subtle sounds and variations this way, which may go some way to achieving that ‘vintage’, ever-changing sound.

  3. You should write more on this topic. Just one quick word of advice, please check your page load time. It took me a little while to load.

  4. Hosea Glavin on

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and great style and design.

  5. Wesly Snipes on

    It is almost unbeliveable that there is no even mentioned the most natural sounding reverb software 2CAudio Aether.
    Aether outperforms all those reverbs in definition and smoothness with possibilities to render offline with unheard quality yet on the PC DAW’s. http://www.2CAudio.com

  6. Since you listed a few IR library sources, I thought to mention a free resource called the Open Impulse Response Library ( http://irlibrary.org ). Currently, it has over 220 IR files for free download. And the cool thing is, it’s open so anyone can upload their IR files. This might also mean that the IR files might not be the best quality. But like with anything in music “quality” is in the ear of the beholder :)

  7. You have forgot the best plugin,its the Realverb 5.1 from Kind of Loud,its the best Surroundreverb for Protools ever!

  8. Pingback: A look at different reverb plugins « alycjones

  9. I would like to mention Tone 2’s Warmverb as one worth checking out, that and Camelspace are my favourite 2 plug ins .

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  12. Now you can remove the lexicon from the category of most expensive reverb :)

    Well, don’t know if their prices drop is a promo or will stand.

    BTW, I missed CSR and Valhala on this list!

  13. One of my all time favorites which I think has been discontinued for years is Sonic Timeworks Reverb. It sound so smooth on vocals and individual tracks.

    • Yes it’s a shame they’re no longer supporting anything other than their EQ plugin, it appears – was it the ReverbX you’re thinking of? I know it was a favourite for quite a few people.
      What do you use now instead?

  14. I always held Epicverb and Ambience to be the top free reverbs too, but lately Freeverb3 has dethroned them in my opinion.

  15. Very nice and useful article. Thank you very much!
    And just to let you know, Minimal System Instruments are about to release a great looking plugin: Dreamscape – Reverb and space generator. I hope it will sound as good as it looks.

  16. Valhala became one of the my favorites. I need to test Waves Renaiscensse a bit more. And D16 plugins are in a promo on jrrshop. Man, how many things for a comment :)

    I acquired your reverb guide. I really liked it a lot.

    • Hi Walter, really glad you’ve got into the Reverb and Compression Guides. Thanks for the support!

  17. I can’t believe that the ReLab LX480 complete is not on this list! Really? Have you heard it at all? Lots of us have chosen this plug over the Lexicon PCM system. I have a LOT of the reverbs that are on your list (above) and only the Lexicon gives this one a run for its money in sheer quality and detail. It’s simply beautiful…

  18. Thank you for a great article and giving some great insights to a new producer. I would be interested in your opinion on the ReLab that Neil Wright mentioned as it is a lot cheaper than the Lexicon.
    All the best
    Tim

  19. I’d put LiquidSonics ‘Reverberate’ over most of these, and they do a free ‘LE’ version.

    I’d also suggest Variety Of Sound’s (Bootsy’s) ‘EpicVerb’ as the best free algorithmic

    • Hi Ryan, I believe the Powercore DSP is discontinued now (I guess in favour of the System 6000 hardware?), but it appears you can still get the plugins for it, and VSS3 for TDM. I tend to concentrate here (for the most part) on the things that don’t require additional hardware/DSP, in favour of the best ‘pure’ software plugins. But definitely worth a mention, thanks!

  20. Pingback: Experimental Media

  21. the best reverb ever has been Wizooverb W2, by far, but because of that, M-audio bought it and made it secretly the new pro tools native reverb, shhh don´t tell anyone.
    So if you turn to have it forget about looking somewhere else, use it and listen.

    • Thanks Dhruva, it’s also a good example of why it’s generally a mistake to overlook the plugins that come bundled with most DAWs – many of them would have been created or developed, somewhere along the line, by really good designers who have also had a hand in more ‘glamorous’ third-party plugins.

  22. Also of note are the Softube ‘Reverb Classics’ made for Native Instruments aka. RC24 and RC48. Two great re-imaginings of popular Lexicon 220 and 480L Hall units. Really liking those!

  23. Hi there. You should check out Silverspike’s two reverb plugins. They have the reverb plugin Reverb.it, and the more expensive room simulator R2. They are some of the smoothest reverbs I have used. I am not a pro at all, but I edit all of my high school’s jazz band performances at home. I use Reverb.it to add some space to a room that had dead acoustics.

  24. What about East West’s Spaces? Have you tried that one? It sounds like they put a lot of effort into it and I’m curious how it stacks up with some of your others.

  25. Just to say thanks! Perfect categories, fun to read and exactly the summary I was looking for. Please write more like this!

  26. So many good free algorithmic reverbs these days, I particularly like JB OmniVerb – just sounds good without much tweaking. Also Kjearhas Classic Reverb (I know it’s not spelled right!) is a good, quick workhorse for light lifting. And for Reaper users, I’ve found Reaverberate (not Reaverb, which is a convolution reverb) rarely gets mentioned, but the latest version is quite good and doesn’t suffer from a lot of the artifacts of previous versions.

  27. Love seeing two of my three favorite free VST reverbs make it to your list. The only one I’d also add myself is TAL-Reverb 2. Maybe it’s just great for the kind of music I make, but it’s has always been my goto (free) reverb.

    • Glad you appreciate the list, and thanks for adding another favourite to the discussion!
      Cheers!

  28. A lot of great free of charge algorithmic reverbs nowadays, We especially such as JB OmniVerb – simply seems great without having a lot tweaking. Additionally Kjearhas Traditional Reverb (I understand it’s not really spelled correct! ) is a great, fast workhorse with regard to gentle raising. As well as with regard to Reaper customers, I’ve discovered Reaverberate (not Reaverb, the industry convolution reverb) hardly ever will get pointed out, however the most recent edition is very great as well as doesn’t are afflicted by many of the artifacts associated with prior variations.
    Thanks.

  29. The guy who wrote this article is not serious….
    Everybody know Nebula reverb are the ultimate itb reverb weapon…
    There is fucking good program very close to hardware.

  30. David Keller on

    The Waves IR1 is a pretty good convolution but you really have to take some time to get to know all the emulations to know exactly what you want. Plus it takes a few seconds to load each impulse. AVID Reverb One surprises me at how good and versatile it is. The Lexicon PCM verbs are good so is Altverb, and Wave Arts Master verb, But where is Sonnox Reverb, AVID Revibe and IZotope? I know Waves Abbey Roads Plates is new but it smokes most other ITB Reverbs.

  31. Hi! thank you for an article! I would like to hear your opinion about what reverb is the best for church choirs?

  32. My favourite reverb is Altiverb. My second favourite reverb is Logic’s Space Designer. On the other hand, I would be willing to pay money to have Waves’ reverbs removed from all their bundles. Flowingly, it saddens me to see Waves making the top 10 (really, think about that for a while – top 10 in the world!) and not have the surprisingly versatile Space Designer mentioned at all (apart from the “Your DAW” which is a very odd category to make it into the Top 10). Anyway, I doubt that anyone will ever read this post, but if you do, take my advice and do as I do: bounce dry from Pro Tools, import into Logic and add the reverb, then bounce again and import into Pro Tools. I hate extra work, so this procedure says a lot about how much I like Space Designer. As with all reverbs, far from all settings are convincing, but the few that make the grade are totally incomparable to other reverb plugins, trust me.

  33. I have almost every reverb under the sun. I work for Manny Marroquin. We used to use Renaissance and True Verb if not hardware (Bricasti M7 or RMX16). Then Mariah Carey came in for a session in 2013. She was very hands on, and when we were discussing where she wanted the mix to go, she complained about the reverb on her more recent records in 2000s being “bleak” but necessary since reverb did not make a big comeback in Pop music until a few years ago.

    The mixers she was used to working with were using WAVES Renaissance and True Verb. On those classic records in the 90s, though, she was using a combination of Eventide’s 2016 Stereoroom, the 480L halls, and the RMX16 plates.

    We spent three days trying to recreate that famous 90s vocal sound, but we wanted something slightly less muddy. We found perfection with a combination of the TSAR-1 “vintage” Ambiance, Altiverb’s chambers, and plates from Exponential Audio’s Phoenix Verb and R2. Almost all of the vocals contained three reverb sends with a small room first, a short plate second, and a longer hall third (and one or two for delays, using either Echoboy or PSP42). We also used Soundtoy’s Microshift. To hear them in action, check out “#Beautiful,” “Make It Look Good,” “Dedicated,” and “Supernatural.”

    I was surprised not to see EA on the list, as it’s pretty much magic to the ears. It didn’t even require EQ’ing.

    • Thanks for the great insights Chris, and for listing the specific tracks for reference. We mentioned PhoenixVerb under point 5, perhaps we should add it to point 6 as well i.e. in the same breath as the Lexicons etc.! Cheers

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