Hey Bassadelic readers – angryrancor here. I’m an admitted audio effect nut, so I’ll be popping in every now and then to share my thoughts on them, and occasionally also a video or two.
In this post I’ll be running through some of the awesome free reverb effects I use in my own studio (also known as “The Rancor Pit”). Without further ado, here are a few of the free reverbs
that are staple in my production.
Voxengo OldSkoolVerb – http://www.voxengo.com/product/oldskoolverb/
OldSkoolVerb is a “Classic” stereo digital reverb. Digital reverbs can be used to get really spacey sounds – although they can sometimes sound “digital”, “fake”, or “unreal”.
This is not necessarily a bad thing! In a lot of electronic music today digital reverbs are used to drastic effect. Think about it – electronic music often times plays up the
inorganic nature of the material. Digital reverbs like OldSkoolVerb can help to accentuate this effect.
Typical when I use a digital reverb I tune the “predelay” first – which is the amount of time before the effected signal starts to play. So if you want, you could have your Dry signal play out, and then
the reverb “tail” coming after it. Or you could set the predelay to 0 and have them start at the same time, if you wanted. Typically the former is used to lengthen a sound, and the latter to “soften” it.
After the predelay, I will tune the “Space” (sometimes also labeled “Size”), the Damping (the amount of softening applied to the sound) the time (sometimes called “length”),
and the Wet/Dry mix. Some VSTs will use a % display for Wet/Dry, OldSkoolVerb opts for two Gain knobs. OldSkoolVerb also comes with a “Width”, which will control stereo spread effects,
and a built in EQ. Most Digital Audio Workstations (like Ableton Live!) also have these capabilities, but it was a nice thought by Voxengo to put them right in the reverb as well.
SIR1 by Christian Knufinke – http://www.knufinke.de/sir/sir1.php
SIR1 is a free impulse response (IR) processor reverb. IR processors work by taking a recording of a room / chamber and then storing information about how the space reverberates.
What this means is with a good IR plugin you can get accurate Hall, Chamber, Open space and even Spring reverb effects, all from the same plug! KVR maintains a huge list of
sites offering responses at http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/printview.php?t=62458.
Once you’ve downloaded a few dozen IR files you’ve got yourself a very useful and dynamic plugin! Christian Knufinke also has the more configurable SIR2 reverb available (not free),
which is worth a look if you want an IR processing reverb with more configurability.
DaSample GlaceVerb – http://dasample.com/products/glaceverb/
This is a really cool and fun one. GlaceVerb shows you a visual display of a room / chamber, and allows you to change the size, texture, absorbtion, and many more (a total of 14 parameters).
Notable is the lack of a predelay, however, there is a Wet/Dry control. For some reason I really like the interface of this one. I get the best results out of it if I’m specifically trying to
soften a sound.
JB OmniVerb – http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/
This is a very interesting and versatile one. Omniverb was awarded ‘best free vst plugin’ by Computer Music in June 2008.
In addition to the standard digital reverb controls, OmniVerb adds a gate control so it can be used as a gated reverb. For an example of this effect, check out the snare in Phil Collins’
“In the air tonight”. The gate control is a really nice addition, and makes it really easy to get that “80s drum” sound when you want it. Omniverb also has a built in panning control, so you
can pan the reverb effect.
Instead of a Wet/Dry control, OmniVerb allows you to let the entire dry signal through and control the gain of the reverb signal. Not the most intuitive
way to mix, but it definitely works once you get the hang of it. There is also a knob labeled “T60”, which is the time the reverb takes to fade away (to be specific, time to fade by 60db).
Personally, I really like to sound of OmniVerb. It has a really “hi-fi” sound and good resolution, and for this reason is definitely worth a try.
Alright, and with that I’ll let you get on with playing with the awesome free effects. Enjoy, and if you get a chance check out http://rancorsoft.com, which is where I release my own free
VST instruments, or hit up my soundcloud @ http://soundcloud.com/angryrancor.