The Boxing Day Hunt (for a Reverb Plugin)

It being Christmas and all I thought I would get down and make progress on the Professor Karmadillo album that is being recorded at the moment. Being dis-satisfied with the freeware reverb plugins I have and ones that came with my Cakewalk Sonar package I decided to go on the hunt for something new. Tally Ho!

I have one friend who works for Sound on Sound Magazine. His personal favourites are EastWest Quantum Leap Spaces and Flux IRCAM Tools Verb, which came with a its-quality-but-pricey warning. I investigated those and while I don’t mind paying a price for quality reverb I don’t particularly want to have to carry a dongle around to use my laptop for recording, which ruled those two out.

His third recommendation was Valhalla Room, though he hadn’t used it personally. Immediately I warmed to this software. It has effects that are named Sulaco and Nostromo for starters. The price was much less that the other two and the developer is donating 10% of all ValhallaRoom proceeds to the American Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund. Liquid Sonics also did something which he highlighted.

Another muso friend pointed me to a page rounding up the 10 Best Reverb Plugins you could get. The first humungous plus about this site was the clear and simple explanation on what reverb is and how it works. Then comes a good roundup of various plugins – covering a range of types and and price points including freeware. Some of those required dongles again which left them off my list. In addition some hadn’t been updated in a while and one didn’t exist anymore (which they pointed out but it is no longer downloadable) – the article is from a year ago. Essentially the useful list I got off that site, at the time of writing, was

  1. Redline Reverb
  2. SIR (1 is freeware, 2 is paid for)
  3. WaveArts MasterVerb
  4. AudioDamage EOS (though more geared towards electronica)
  5. PSP EasyVerb (simple to use but too basic for my liking)

Finally two other recommendations came via a fellow artiste Matt Parker – King Dubby and Blue Cat. The former was Mac only and the latter was stuff I couldn’t get into. However the Blue Cat tools seemed excellent for analysing and mastering stuff, so I’ve made a mental note to check their stuff out down the line.

The next step is the process of trying these out and seeing which I like the most!

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