Review: IRID By Tritik (Versatile Reverb)

Review: IRID By Tritik (Versatile Reverb) | integraudio.com

Tritik IRID is an algorithmic reverb plugin specializing in deeply customizable shimmer effects.

The artists/engineers Brian Eno, Roger Eno, and David Lanois were the first to use the shimmer reverb effect in their 1983 album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. However, it wasn’t until the 1984 release of the album The Unforgettable Fire by U2, Eno, and Lanois that the effect became renowned. They used hardware units with manual routings to produce the effects. But before we get into that, let’s talk about what a shimmer reverb is.

When you feed the wet output of a reverb plugin into a pitch-shifter plugin and route it back to the reverb, you will get a constant increase in overtones. And you could also use multiple pitch-shifters without feedback (routing back to the reverb) to get a custom harmonic reverb. Either way, the result is an effect that sounds atmospheric and beautifully textured. This effect is called a shimmer reverb.

Tritik has created a comprehensive yet easy-to-use plugin to add the shimmer effect to your production. You can use IRID to create luscious textures using the simplest sounds like a basic pad or voice or even generate simple reverb without any shimmer effect. It features three voices or engines, two with identical options and the third with more manual control.

Of course, as soon as I had my hands on IRID, the first thing I did was compare it with other similar plugins. Valhalla Shimmer is likely the gold standard of shimmer reverbs, with ToneBoosters Reverb 4 as the versatile, budget-friendly option. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that IRID held up its own against both very well. It provides similar controls and deliciously lush sounds but adds a few twists.

Category
Rating
Summary
GUI
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
IRID features a clean, straightforward, and resizable GUI with no hidden panels or complex wordings. You can understand it from the moment you open it without reading or watching any tutorials.
Features
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Compared to other shimmer reverb plugins, IRID offers more features than many. It has three voice engines with necessary controls for each, alongside other fundamental parameters in a reverb.
Sound
⭐⭐⭐
IRID can sound expansive and beautiful when creating pad sounds or textures using your guitar, synth, or piano. However, it tends to sound slightly metallic with specific types of sound.
Value For Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐
If you are looking for a shimmer reverb that is easy to use, has extensive features, and provides decent sound quality, look no further!

User Interface

IRID features a modern, minimalistic user interface that makes sense immediately. You won’t have to do any complex menu-diving or hidden panels. Furthermore, it’s completely resizable by dragging the UI from the lower right corner. So, you could use this plugin on a small portable computer or a desktop rig with a 4K screen.

You’ll find a preset selector at the top of the user interface. You can choose from over eighty presets, each showcasing the surprisingly versatile sounds you can get from this plugin. Next, let’s go through the various parameters of the plugin, starting from the left. You’ll find a pre-delay fader, some typical reverb controls, the three engines for the shimmer effect, and dry/wet faders. Likewise, you can add modulation, control the reverb width, and apply a couple of filters to shape your sound.

Features

Based on my impression, the minimalistic user interface doesn’t do this plugin’s features justice. Overall, it looks like a straightforward, digital reverb plugin with a couple of pitch-shifters. And yes, that is what it is on the surface. However, it’s when you start mixing two or three voice engines, each with a contrasting or complementing effect, that you discover the lengths IRID can take your sound.

The Engines

As I mentioned previously, IRID features three-voice engines, each of which pitch-shifts the reverb effect. Furthermore, you can control the level of each engine individually using the slider next to their names. However, only two (Shift I and II) are identical. They both feature a whopping twenty-nine types of pitch-shifting styles. These include fundamental ones like a minor second, major second, perfect fifth, minor sixth, etc., which are essentially just increasing or decreasing the pitch by semitones up to one octave (12 semitones).

Similarly, you’ll find a few rarer types of pitch shifts, including +/- 10 cents, + 1 octave + 5th, and + 2 octaves. The +/- 10 cents is excellent for adding richness to your sound as it’s essentially like detuning your reverb. However, the second one adds the 13th note to your sound, which can be quite dissonant but sounds great for sonic textures.

Conversely, the third voice engine offers frequency shifting instead of pitch-shifting. You can shift the sound down by 100 Hz, whereas shifting up goes up to 2,000 Hz. As you may know, our ears hear frequency shifts differently based on the position of the original signal. For example, a difference in 50 Hz will not be audible if the original signal had a fundamental frequency of 3,000 Hz. Contrastingly, if the fundamental frequency were 100 Hz, a change of 50 Hz would be drastic. And since most of our melodic instruments have fundamental frequencies below 1 kHz, IRID allows only up to 100 Hz of shifting frequencies down to compensate for our hearing.

Reverse

You’ll find the reverse button below the pitch-shift type selector in each voice engine. As you probably guessed, it reverses the sound of the reverb. However, it’s more evident with shorter sounds than slower or longer ones, especially when using pitch-shifting engines. So, try it out on a snare with one engine set to +0 (no pitch-shifting).

Reverb Controls

IRID features several parameters that allow you to customize the reverb style. Let’s first talk about the pre-delay. You can set the pre-delay from 0 to 500ms. Similarly, click on the quarter note icon at the bottom of the pre-delay slider to turn on beat sync. Now, you can set the pre-delay from 1/64 to 1/1 note lengths, including dotted and triplet modes.

The next parameters include Size and Diffusion. Size controls the reverb length and behavior to simulate the size of the space. Similarly, Diffusion controls how grainy or smooth the reverb is—lowering Diffusion to zero results in three, almost delay-like echoes. Furthermore, you can adjust this faux delay’s rate using the Size knob.

Now, let’s talk about the four knobs in the center. The first is modulation, which adds a chorus-like pitch modulation to the reverb effect. So, if your reverb doesn’t sound as lush as you’d like it to, try increasing the modulation amount. Similarly, the Width parameter controls the stereo width of the reverb, where 0% represents mono, and 100% represents fully stereo.

After that, you’ll find two filters—a high-pass and a low-pass. The high-pass or low-cut filter acts from 10 Hz to 5 kHz, whereas the low-pass or high-cut acts from 20 kHz to 100 Hz. You can use these filters to clean up any muddiness or harshness of your reverb effect. And while the plugin doesn’t mention the slope steepness of these filters, the sound makes me inclined to believe they’re somewhere around 24 dB/octave.

Feedback

The Feedback parameter routes the output of the pitch-shifter(s) back into the engines to pitch them up or down yet another time, repeating the process to create a wash of overtones. An important thing to note here is that the engines work in parallel. So, when you add feedback, the pitch-shifters will affect all three harmonics or however many engines you have enabled simultaneously. In other words, the Shift I engine will also affect the Shift II engine’s sound. This behavior makes the result sound incredibly grand and immersive.

Freeze

You’ll find the Freeze button to the left of the Feedback knob. When you click it, this button “freezes” or pauses the reverb at a snapshot of the reverb sound. So, it makes the reverb effect infinitely long. You could use this feature to create a background texture from a simple sound like a percussion sample. Similarly, you could use it to generate pad sounds from instruments like the piano or acoustic guitar, neither of which are sustaining instruments.

Sound

There’s a small test I do whenever I’m checking out reverbs. I play a castanet sample (or any other similar ticking sound) and listen to whether the reverb is completely smooth when the diffusion is turned up high. And I can confidently say that IRID passed the test with flying colors. It doesn’t sound annoyingly cranky even when the diffusion is turned down! Instead, I find a lower diffusion creatively satisfying.

However, I wouldn’t recommend using IRID as a general reverb plugin. It sounds too slow when turning the Size knob high up. And when Size’s turned low, it has an unfortunate metallic twang that I found somewhat like plate reverb but on steroids. Nevertheless, it works excellently for shimmer effects, where we appreciate a glassy feel.

Value For Money

Tritik IRID offers a three-voice shimmer reverb plugin at a fairly reasonable price. You can pitch-shift by semitones in two of the voice engines, whereas the third offers frequency-shifting. The latter is fairly uncommon in shimmer reverb plugins. Furthermore, it has a Freeze feature, built-in modulation, and filters. These features help create lush, elegant textures and soundscapes easily.

However, the clear competitor to IRID is Valhalla Shimmer, which is similarly priced. The main difference is that Valhalla’s plugin is undoubtedly smoother-sounding, most notably when applying it on short sounds. Conversely, IRID provides far deeper controls than Shimmer despite the slightly metallic sound. And since the smoothness is negligible when using it on melodic instruments, IRID is arguably more creative. So, if that’s what you’re after, you will find a lot of value in IRID for your investment.

Verdict

IRID is far more than a mere shimmer reverb. It offers comprehensive control over its three-voice engines and other fundamental features that create exciting results. Furthermore, combine its pre-delay with the echoing effect from a low diffusion amount, and you’ll have a lot of inspiring results fast. I recommend using it to create new patches using unusual instruments (piano for pads, for example) or textures from percussions and voices. Then, try sampling the sounds by rendering the results. You might end up with a whole new sample pack with unheard-of sounds for your next project!

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