Top Reverb Plugins for Post-Production Sound
In simple terms, reverb refers to the sound that bounces around an enclosed space. And any room, unless it has been acoustically treated, has a certain amount of natural reverb. Reverb plugins are designed to emulate the ambiance of a real or imagined space. But they are also capable of simulating older systems that were used to create artificial reverberation sensations, such as plate, spring, or room reverbs. The effect of such environments and systems is considered to have enormous musical value and taste so modern emulation using plugin processors makes perfect sense.
There are three basic types of reverb: spring, plate, and digital. Spring reverb was an ingenious way of generating a reverb mechanically. And while it is not quite a natural echo given its rudimentary nature, it is part of the history of the effect and the vintage reverb sound. Plate reverb simulates the old Plate Reverbs used in recording studios before the advent of digital effects, and, although it is not a natural effect, it is part of the old school historical sounds. It is widely used in vocal reverb. Digital reverb, unlike the previous ones, is completely artificial and is designed as a plugin to emulate the previous effects.
This is precisely what we want to talk about today.
Reverb plugins generate a multitude of random and very close echoes to simulate sound reflected from irregularly shaped objects. The result is that each reflection is not heard in isolation but as a part of an overall ambiance. Realistic reverb sound involves a very high number of mathematical operations and calculations, so high-quality reverb plugins often gobble up the resources of the host computers on which they run. Professionals like Enhanced Media use such small amounts of reverb that they are only noticeable when they are temporarily removed from the mix.
Let’s take a look at some of the best reverb plugins for post-production sound.
Valhalla DSP Vintage Reverb
Even though its graphical interface is not its most striking aspect, the sound that can be produced thanks to this plugin is what most attracts the attention of experts. Besides the obvious, the excellent reverb you can get with it, an interesting aspect is an explanation you have when you place the cursor over any of the knobs: you can observe in the interface, such as damping, shape, diff, or decay. Therefore, it is a very good alternative for both connoisseurs and beginners. This plugin offers a decent amount of reverb modes, but you can modify all the parameters to your needs and create your own modes. It is priced at $50.
u-he Twangström — Spring Reverb
This is an excellent choice for quality sound, with the kind of details that go unnoticed by those who enjoy a good sound and don’t know exactly why things sound so good. It contains three reverb tanks, a multi-mode filter, and featuring shakeable springs (which can be manual or automatic,) among other characteristics. At first glance, it looks like an analog device, and its vintage look has turned this plugin into cult software. However, we are talking about a high-tech plugin that allows you to play with a plethora of sound possibilities. Now, the most interesting thing is, as they point out on their website, this plugin does not imitate the sonic result but the physical device: all features can be controlled and operated at will in real-time.
This plugin goes far beyond conventional reverbs. Thus, and surpassing the well-known springs, halls, or plates, Blackhole allows you to move from cathedral-like environments to a universe of out-of-this-world and other-worldly soundscapes. Because its control for input type is adjustable to various formats, you can use this pedal live or in your recording studio with any electric instrument, or synthesizers and effects loops.
The panel is quite simple, and here you will find knobs for tone, modulation, and numerous reverb settings, with the possibility of working in mono or stereo. In addition to all the tricks it can perform, it has a compact, simple, and very easy-to-use interface.
Waves Audio Abbey Road Reverb Plates
This plugin may at first seem a bit overwhelming due to the extensive amount of parameters and different names that you may not be used to seeing in a conventional Reverb plugin. Visually and aesthetically it is wonderful, just like the original Abbey Road Audio Abbey Road studio. From the moment you open it, you find that vintage look that attracts so much attention. On the technical side, an interesting aspect is that within a single plugin you have the option to choose between four plates reverbs named A, B, C, and D.