Off-topic: Reverb?


Recently we retired the venerable Roland VS2480. It was a good run but this was our second unit to get glitchy faders and it just isn’t worth the hassle.

So, I’m now doing all tracking in Cakewalk, which is cool in a lot of ways but I’m having trouble with reverbs. The Roland had amazing verbs. They just sat right. I’ve tried Breverb, the Eventide verbs, Valhalla… all great, but on vocals they all seem to have an “apart” quality, if that makes any sense. The vocal doesn’t seat into them. I want a Roland verb- funny they aren’t doing vritual verbs yet.

Any ideas??


Highly subjective on my part but Seventh Heaven from Liquidsonics ( I use both standard and pro in the studio) and the the Nebula / Analog In the Box E.A.R reverb libraries. I know they are expensive and hungry beasts but do a decent jog of letting the source co-mingle the dry and reverb signals. Seventh Heaven is Ilok and a lot of folks won’t have it but the standard version is representative of the tech they use and is reasonably priced. Like I said, I use it and the pro version a lot.



Cool… it’s probably worth the expense for one magic reverb


The Studio A patch alone is worth a ton to me in post production to be sure. You can really change the story of the dry source with it.



One Eventide reverb you might not have tried that does not have the “vocals apart” effect is the Eventide SP2016.
Download page:

Dave Pensado LOVES this one, as you can see in the video below.



Others I also own and can recommend are the LiquidSonics Reverberate 2, the Exponential Audio (Now part of Izotope) R2, and some of the Lexicons from their PCM Native Reverb collection.



Ah, the new SP2016 does look very good. I haven’t been a big fan of the Lexicons in the past but it’s been a while since I’ve played with them.


A typical reason for the “apart” feeling is that the reverb is mostly tuned for its tail, with not enough early reflections to give a sense of space. Especially with modern rather “dry” mixing, the reverb is usually turned so far down that vocals don’t have enough space around them.This makes the vocals feel glued to the front, with the tail following in the distance.

A trick to counter the “apart” feeling is to add a small amount of slapback delay (short delay time, no feedback) to your vocals, either parallel to your reverb or serially before the reverb. Use different delay times for left and right, start with e.g. 80ms left and 95ms right and tune to taste. This gives a more powerful “early reflections” impression and adds space to the vox without too much of a reverb tail.

You can also emphasize the early reflections in your reverb plugin if it allows you to balance early reflections and reverb tail, but I rely more on more on the approach outlined above. This way, I can keep reverb levels down when I want to and still get vocals to blend in with the song.




I actually do almost always put a slapback on the vocal for that very reason.


+1 on the Eventide reverbs. I have Black Hole (currently on special offer at $29, or was) and the SP2016.


As to live performance reverbs…

The special offer on Blackhole has passed (it was only for two days), but I will admit to you right now - my secret sauce is to have Blackhole on almost every mix at the end. Often the presets are Blackhole, FishHole, Cargo Ship, Sigur Ros.

UltraReverb also gets a lot of use in shows: due to one of the “extra” presets that came included - “Lyle Mays Piano Verb” by ROCASound. also gives away a nice preset bank for it here.

KResearch’s fairly broken KR Space is used a lot for its ‘Bubble-marble-tunnel’ fairly early on specific lead instruments. You need to use the VST2 1.61 version that is included - his 1.7x VST3 version is not liked by any of my software. He has foolishly (IMHO) decided to only develop that for VST3 going forward, but version 1.61 works fine. KR Space incorporates a lot of motion with delays and is cool for its unique character.

I practically always have at least two (often three) reverbs going on in layers and one delay somewhere.

I also use ‘Diffuse’ and ‘Modnetics’ by Surreal Machines quite a lot. (Their “Dub Machines” bundle.)

I know this was probably a “One Reverb to Rule Them All” kind of request, Fred, but that doesn’t work for me. I wear my “Reverb Junkie” colors proudly!



Oh I’m a huge fan of Blackhole, but it’s a specialty thing. I’m looking for that meat and potatoes reverb that sounds warm and not overbearing that I can put on any vocalist in any genre to track and they feel comfortable. In the mixing phase there’s unlimited time to mess around and find things that sound great. When tracking you have to put something on the voice and make the singer happy and go. That’s my concern. That’s what those basic stock Roland reverbs did so well. Breverb has potential but I’m still dialing it in. Ultraverb should work… I need to play with it again. I love it on instruments.


AITB E.A.R. reverbs
Liquidsonics Seventh Heaven
Liquidsonics Seventh Heaven Pro

tried a lot of the others and these are what I use for studio work. For live work I use MangledVerb Black Hole and UltraReverb. I’m also an EchoBoy addict … some one get me a doctor!



I still suggest you try for what you seek, very quick to dial in and highly adjustable. (The pro model is freakishly adjustable IMO)


And I thought you were secretly performing inside the hold of a cargo ship :grinning:

I’ve been listening to the “Way Out Sounds!” episodes of your live performances on my near fields while working - sounds great!.


I hope you are listening here rather than at YouTube! :slight_smile:

Wayout Sounds at



I’m going to look at Liquidsonics for sure!


Thanks for reminding me about fidbak - will use that next listen.


BTW I fired up Ultraverb again today and it sounds great. Just need to dial in the right setting.


Favorite reverbs:

Fabfilter Pro R
Valhalla Room
U-he Uhbik A
Voxengo Old School Verb