In this post, we will talk about what does reverb effect does, reveal the 11 best reverb plugins for 2021 as well as the 10 free bonus reverb plugins.
- 1 What Does A Reverb Effect Do?
- 2 How Do I Add Reverb?
- 3 The 11 Best Reverb Plugins 2021
- 3.1 1. iZotope Neoverb Review
- 3.2 2. Valhalla VintageVerb Review
- 3.3 3. FabFilter Pro-R Review
- 3.4 4. iZotope R4 Review
- 3.5 5. Audiority XenoVerb Review
- 3.6 6. sonible smart:reverb Review
- 3.7 7. Audiority – Polaris Review
- 3.8 8. Audio Damage Eos 2 Review
- 3.9 It uses four different reverb algorithms and multiple controls to shape it into numerous styles of reverb.
- 3.10 9. Sonnox Oxford Reverb Review
- 3.11 10. Eventide Tverb Review
- 3.12 11. W.A. Production Mutant Reverb Review
- 4 The 10 Best FREE Reverb VST Plugins
- 4.1 1. Magnus Ambience Review
- 4.2 2. Reverb SOLO Review
- 4.3 3. Denis Tihanov Oril River Review
- 4.4 4. Safe Reverb by Semantic Audio Review
- 4.5 5. Valhalla Supermassive Review
- 4.6 6. Voxengo Oldskoolverb Review
- 4.7 7. epicVerb Review
- 4.8 8. Lisc-Verb Review
- 4.9 9. NuSpace Audio Riviera Review
- 4.10 10. u-He ‘Protoverb Review
- 5 7 Reverb Plugins With A Big Potential 2021
- 6 Conclusion
What Does A Reverb Effect Do?
Reverberation or the reverb effect is meant to replicate external acoustics so that we can use them in our mix. In real-life, reverb hits a hard surface and bounces back at the listener at varying amplitudes and times to create complex echoes. Reverb effects in your DAW simulate natural or unnatural reverberations.
The environment informs every sound we hear in real life. The environment a sound is in can give it several different qualities, including large, thin, dark, bright, and more.
Reverb provides mixes with a sense of depth, though it also provides listeners with clues as to where the sound exists. With reverb, you can bring listeners into a cave, a concert hall, a cathedral, a chamber, or a smaller, more intimate room.
How Do I Add Reverb?
- Setting Up A Send
Using reverb effects on every channel can cut into your CPU very fast. This is why we want to create send/aux/bus channels to put our reverbs on instead. We can then send the sounds that we want to be affected to our reverb bus.
Plus, setting up a send rather than sticking your reverb directly on the track gives you more control of your sound.
- Selecting The Type of Reverb
If the reverb you are using has presets, try testing them out to get a sense of what they sound like. One question you might ask yourself is: What space do I want to put my sounds in?
Choose the type of reverb that suits your mix in the best way possible, whether you are using it on multiple instruments or a single source.
- Setting The Size
The size parameter gives you control over the size of your space. The smaller the size, the shorter your reverbs will be, and vice versa. It is important to note that size can also impact the stereo image. Larger reverbs will give you a longer, fuller sound, while shorter reverbs will provide you with a narrower, more intimate sound.
Tip – If you are using longer reverbs, keep them quieter in the mix. Long reverbs tend to wash out a mix. You don’t want your mix to feel like it’s lost in space. Shorter reverbs, on the other hand, can be brought up a bit more without adding mud.
- Setting Pre-Delay
Pre-Delay provides you with space between your dry signal and reverb signal. A short pre-delay time will give you little to no time between your dry and wet signal, creating the sound of a room. On the downside, no pre-delay can make your reverb sound messy.
Larger pre-delays will create a small delay before your reverb kicks in, giving you the sound of a larger environment. Plus, you get the benefit of maintaining a clear signal while still hearing your reverb.
Tip – Always make sure to time your pre-delay to the track you are working on.
Here is a handy delay and reverb calculator that you can use to improve your mixes.
- Setting Early Reflections and Diffusion
Early reflections are categorized by sounds that arrive at the listener after being reflected once or twice off of a surface. The more early reflections you have in a mix, the more of an echo or doubling effect you get.
Diffusion, on the other hand, gives you the ability to add or reduce reverb texture. Setting your diffusion levels high gives you more complex space with obstructive objects. We like to think of a church with a ton of people in it. Setting your diffusion levels low gives you a more basic sound. We like to think of an empty garage with reflective surfaces.
High diffusion levels breed smoother and warmer reverb while low diffusion levels breed bright, less-colored reverb.
Now, let’s share our selection of the 11 best reverb plugins that we think to deserve the place to be there.
The 11 Best Reverb Plugins 2021
1. iZotope Neoverb Review
Neoverb by Izotope is an AI-based reverb plugin. The ability to quickly analyze the song and set up a suitable reverb without any hassle might be the highlight of the plugin.
Released in October 2020, it holds unique capabilities in analyzing the track and applying appropriate reverbs using its advanced AI-based features.
- Different types of spaces, i.e., Reflections, Plate, and Hall, can be controlled separately.
- Pre-EQ and Reverb-EQ allow us to keep track of the overall EQ expansion and graph.
- The blending module in the middle allows us to give a fair reflection, plated or spacious tone for our reverb.
- The Chorus effect can be applied using the “MOD” controls on the upper right section.
- The smooth knob keeps a clean balance tone reverb.
- Reverb assistant allows adjusting between multiple tones, sizes, and styles for our reverb: these predefined settings and minimalistic controls in the reverb assistant help achieve the desired reverb quickly.
By selecting the “Reverb Assistant” button, it will direct us to its AI-based reverb detection:
Playing the audio in the background will analyze the audio, give us an AI-generated reverb to start with, and will allow us to modify it to our taste using the following parameters.
- We can select the style by adjusting its slider depending upon how realistic or dramatic we want it to sound.
- The “Size” slider allows us to choose between five different reverb sizes.
- In the ‘Tone’ section, we can choose between four different modes Clean, Dark, Bright, and Airy.
- Clean mode will give us a clean signal after reverberation.
- Dark mode will add some muddiness to the track.
- The bright mode will boost some harmonic frequencies in the audio giving us an excellent high-end sounding reverb.
- The airy mode will add high boost frequencies and give the track a friendly surrounding.
Izotope Neoverb supports 64-bit Windows 7 or above and macOS 10.13-10.15 and is available in AU, AAX, VST2, VST3 formats.
The intelligent EQ and AI features make this a unique reverb plugin. Reverb-Assistant in Izotope is one of its main features. Neoverb is quite resource-hungry, so it is recommended to use this plugin in combination with other plugins if you own a low-end computer.
2. Valhalla VintageVerb Review
Valhalla VintageVerb simulates the bright and warm reverb sound of the 70s and 80s and some digital reverb.
It guides us about the function of each parameter in the lower section of the interface when the cursor hovers over it. The VintageVerb’s most promising feature is that it shows what every control does at the interface’s bottom section. It has a dedicated 2-band EQ and a separate shelf control EQ too.
Various factory presets and three different emulations give the reverb unique colors. We can choose between 17 different modes. It follows a signal flow from left to right.
- Three different colors offer different tones and textures.
- “MODE” allows us to choose between different attacks, echo density, modulation, and tones for reverb.
- Damping and dedicated 2-band EQ helps to adjust the EQ of reverberation. The “EQ” module is a post-EQ to control the reverb’s shrillness and muddiness, while damping helps to shelve different low and high frequencies.
- Modulation controls the Chorus effect on reverberation, and the diffusion section gives us control over the early and late reflections of the signal.
In the Lower Section, we have three different controls.
- “Preset” will let us choose between some predefined reverb settings.
- “Mode” will let us choose the type of reverb we want for our audio.
- “Color” will let us choose between three different options:
1970 will sound warmer compared to the bright reverb sound we had in the late 80s or as compared to today’s modern reverbs.
Valhalla VintageVerb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST2 and VST3 formats and AAX format for 64-bit only. It is also available for macOS 10.13 or above in VST2, VST3, Audio Units, and AAX formats.
Overall this plugin offers one of the best metal plate reverb emulations. So, if you’re looking for a dark sounding reverb, this should be your go-to reverb plugin. Different modes combined with three different colors make this plugin’s sound versatile and clean.
3. FabFilter Pro-R Review
FabFilter Pro R, released in November 2016, offers a very sleek interface consistent with the design of other plugins offered by FabFilter.
It is extremely user-friendly and provides a ton of great presets. The interface of Pro R is relatively easy to use if you are a user of FabFilter plugins. It has a dedicated 6-band EQ. Moreover, it is transparent and doesn’t color the signal.
- Tone and texture controls give clean and ambient smoothness to reverb.
- Distance and space controls allow controlling the overall space of the reverb tail.
- It offers a Pro-Q style EQ with a high and low cut, high and low shelf, and notch filters.
- Post-EQ and Decay rate 6-band EQ helps in controlling the overall reverberation impact and change the color of the sound.
- The analyzer at the bottom of the interface will show us the pre or post-reverb EQ graph, and the “In-Out” buttons control the input and output levels.
The bottom bar has four different controls:
- Midi Learn
- The Midi-learn button lets us control different parameters of the reverb from our midi controller knobs.
- Pre-delay allows us to choose between the delay time in our reverb from 0ms to 500ms.
- We can also freeze pre-delay time by checking the lock button on the pre-delay knob.
- The analyzer will show us the graph of the pre or post-reverb EQ.
- The “In-Out” buttons control the input and output levels.
FabFilter Pro R is available for 32-bit & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST and VST3 formats. AAX format is only available for 64-bit systems. For macOS, it is available in VST, VST3, Audio Units, and AAX formats.
Pro-R is a digital transparent and versatile reverb plugin with easy to use interface and controls. FabFilter users get a special discount on the Pro-R plugin. The EQ and space control on this reverb is minimalistic and very easy to use.
4. iZotope R4 Review
The iZotope R4 by Exponential Audio promises warmth without compromising clarity, as well as allowing for greater creative control.
With over 1200 presets, the R4 emulates classic reverb hardware units while maintaining the versatility and control of the digital era. You can tailor EQ, compression, overdrive, and more within R4, thus eliminating the need for extra plugin. Also, the all-new Freeze function stretches any late reflection into infinity, allowing for astounding creative applications.
- Pre and Post EQ: six types of filter EQ that can be selected independently. You can adjust the frequency range that the reverb will engage at three stages: before the reverb, at the early reflections, and at the tail of the wet signal.
- Pre-delay syncs with session tempo: with the R4 you can set the pre-delay time to the note value or the beat ratio. You can set the tempo source manually or allow the plugin to sync to the session automatically.
- Freeze: suspends the audio tail into a frozen state that can be blended back with the early reflections and the dry signal. It can create almost a synthesizer-like sound that can be used for designing an environment or just extending tail time.
At the bottom right of the plug-in, there is a Control Section with six groups of parameters, for fine-tuning every detail.
The six menus are:
Here are a few highlights of each section:
Attack: here you can select between different types of reverb – plate, chamber, hall 1, hall 2 – with diffusion controls to help simulate different room sizes. You can also adjust envelope attack, time, and slope, which change the character of the processed signal.
Tail: Tail suppression comes in handy when trying to set the reverb’s decay time to the groove. It also eliminates the need for side-chain compression of the reverb track. You can either duck or suppress the information, choosing how to better complement the music. It also lets you dampen specific frequencies and adjust the width of the tail.
Early: the R4 allows you to control six different early reflections parameters, including pattern, attack, and width, which change where the signal appears to be coming from in space and bring back the naturalness of a room.
Warp: here you can compress, limit, distort and add warmth to the reverb information. Also, you can change the bit word-length, which adds granular texture to the reverb, in an effort to emulate hardware reverb unit as close as possible.
Chorus: the extra density modulation, present in the Attack menu’s Hall Two parameter, adds motion to the tail, without adding pitch change. Also, you can adjust the modulation rates for the early reflections and tail section of the EQ.
Gate: this works as a regular gate, and is another great function for adjusting the reverb tail. Control how long you want your reverb and how abruptly it will end. Sounds great on snare drums and percussion.
iZotope’s R4 by Exponential Audio is a 64-bit only plug-in that works on Windows 7 or above, and Mac 10.8 to 10.15.
The R4 relies on the tried-and-true warm tone of reverb hardware while aiming at contemporary features and versatility. For its creative possibilities alone, this is a great addition to any producer’s toolkit. But the ability to tackle dynamics, EQ, and modulation, paired with extensive reverb settings, makes this a go-to plug-in.
5. Audiority XenoVerb Review
XenoVerb by Audiority is a digital reverb plugin that offers a sleek and minimalistic design.
It offers ten different algorithms for reverb emulation. Each algorithm provides various controls and knobs to control the overall reverberation. This transparent reverb also offers a dedicated low-cut EQ control.
- Ten different algorithms have different settings for each algorithm separately.
- Using “Bloom” and “Tone” knobs, we can give our reverb a clean ambient sound. We can choose between a low-end or high-end focused reverb sound using the tone knob, and the Bloom knob controls the amount of air or very high frequencies.
- The active switch acts as a toggle or bypass switch for the reverb.
- The freeze button helps to lock the parameters of the reverb.
- Limiter, when engaged, keeps the output levels from clipping.
Audiority XenoVerb reverb is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST2, VST3, AAX formats, and macOS 10.8 or later in VST2, VST3, AU, AAX formats.
The sleek and simple design makes this reverb easy to use, and its ten different diffusion sounds help achieve a wide variety of desired reverbs. The price is quite affordable considering its features and controls.
6. sonible smart:reverb Review
Sonible’s Smart:Reverb is an AI-powered reverb that automatically adjusts to the source material while allowing you to fine-tune its parameters.
The innovative user-interface offers an interactive way of automating the time-and-frequency-dependent decay, spread, and density parameters. Its versatile nature invites you to push it to its limits in pursuit of unique sounds. With the input-dependent algorithm, several parameters, built-in EQ, and freeze/infinite functions, the Smart:Reverb makes up for its name.
- Tailored for the Source-Material: select between the source-material algorithms to get the best out of the plugin. Choose between Universal, Drums, Snare, Guitar, Keys, Vocals, or Speech, and hear the best reverb for the input provided.
- User Interface: watch the reverb flow in a bubble-like pattern and adjust when and at what frequency range it will decay. Set the Decay, Spread, and Density with parametric controls. Also, shape the sound as you want with the slider controls for Width, Color, Clarity, Dry, and Wet.
- Reverb Matrix: it’s extremely easy to fine-tune the style of your reverb by dragging a thumb in the Reverb Matrix chart. Place it anywhere between Natural and Artificial on the vertical axis, and Intimate and Rich on the horizontal axis.
- Reverb Time: even if you choose not to adjust the AI-given reverb, you still have to set the Reverb and Pre-Delay times. The Smart:Reverb does not sync to your session.
The Smart:Reverb works on Windows 7 and up, and Mac OSX 10.8 and up. It is available in VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU formats, 64-bit only.
A great plugin for achieving unique textures. Sonible’s Smart:Reverb offers a new perspective, whether through its inventive UI or tonal versatility. The main difference lies in the decay parameters that allow the producer to test different approaches to reverb. A great addition to any mix engineer’s arsenal.
7. Audiority – Polaris Review
Audiority by Polaris is a reverb plugin that emulates analog reverb modules from the 70s.
It offers a simple, minimalistic design to rely more on our ears rather than on our eyes. Polaris is a transparent reverb that does not add any color to the track. It also offers a dedicated 3-band EQ with 16 programmable diffusion settings and eight programmable early reflection controls.
- Early Reflections: control multiple early reflections using the programmable taps.
- Diffusion: 16 settings allow controlling diffusion for each mode individually.
- Echo Modulation: It offers a dedicated Echo control module. We can adjust the time in milliseconds for the echo using the “Time MS” knob. We can also control the Feedback, LFO wave, and mod by using their respective knobs.
- Sample Rate Reduction: this allows the user to give the reverb a gritty texture reminiscent of analog.
- Swell: this feature automatically matches the attack time of the input signal to the delay time, which smoothens the transients, making for an even yet breathing sound.
Audiority reverb by Polaris is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST2, VST3, and AAX formats. It is available for macOS 10.08 or above in VST2, VST3, Audio Units, and AAX formats.
The minimalistic design and easy-to-use controls make it a must-have plugin for those who prefer a quick reverb solution. It offers echo, ambiance, and reverberation control in a single plugin.
8. Audio Damage Eos 2 Review
It uses four different reverb algorithms and multiple controls to shape it into numerous styles of reverb.
The 2-band dedicated EQ helps in controlling low and high frequencies. We can lock the mix ratio using the lock switch on the Mix knob, so changing the presets doesn’t affect it. It has four different reverb modes to offer, Mono Plate, Stereo Plate 1 and 2, and SuperHall. It also lets you adjust the modulation, which calls back to vintage reverb units.
- Reverb Algorithms: the custom-designed algorithms are the heart and soul of this plugin. The plate emulations sound natural, and SuperHall pushes spatial limits without becoming too unreal.
- Stereo Out: regardless of the imaging from the source, the EOS2 turns the signal into a stereo room, which makes it a very musical plugin.
- Frequency Shaping: Choose how you want the high and low frequencies to decay and shape them in the EQ section. You can also apply low and high cut to the input signal in order to better focus the reverb action.
- Modulation Rate and Depth: Change these in order to give the reverb a chorus effect that can go from natural to sci-fi-like.
Audio Damage Eos 2 Reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 or above in VST, VST3, and AAX formats and OSX 10.09 or above in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX for 64-bit OS only.
Overall the plugin controls are simple to use. It isn’t as versatile as other plugins in this list but does the job quite as well. The multiple reverb styles it has to offer and the EQ controls make it a tempting purchase. The price is quite affordable too, considering its features.
9. Sonnox Oxford Reverb Review
The Oxford Reverb by Sonnox offers a truly interactive and versatile way of dealing with reverb.
It’s easy to intuitively create a virtual room around the instrument with the Early Reflections controls. Both the Early Reflections and Reverb Tail sections can be used independently or combined. Fine-tuning the Tail and blending it with the ER creates depth you can tailor to best fit the song. For even greater tonal control, the integrated 5-band equalizer helps you achieve exactly the sound you need.
- Flexibility: This is a versatile plugin that relies on the engineer’s skills and the music’s characteristics rather than on fixed algorithms. Even so, it offers over 120 presets for those who need some help with the starting point.
- Early Reflections Section: this set of eight faders is one of the two paths offered by the plugin. They are:
- Shape: Lets you choose between four room formats, from square to short or long rectangles.
- Position: This lets you change the listening position from closer to further from the source.
- Size: Sets the front-to-back distance of the room, maintaining its proportions.
- Width: Changes the stereo separation of the room, from normal at 0% to ultra-large at 100%.
- Taper: Controls the volume of distant reflections to adjust the sense of depth.
- Feed Along: Adjusts the amount of sound re-injection in the room, which makes for more or less echo.
- Feedback: Choose how much of the sound will be re-circulated in the virtual room.
- Absorption: emulates what curtains or furniture would do in a room, taming down high frequencies.
- Reverb Tail Section: there are seven faders in this section:
- Reverb Time: adjusts the time in seconds the reverb signal takes to drop to -60db.
- Overall Size: independent of the first parameter, this sets the build-up and density of the reverb tail.
- Dispersion: controls the rate of dispersion, character, and texture over time.
- Phase Diff: here, positive values make for more coherent and natural dispersion, while negative values extend the sound field due to polarity inversions.
- Phase Mod: increases realism by adjusting time-related variance to the reverb.
- Absorption: rolls-off higher frequencies.
- Diversity: opens up or narrows down the reverb’s spatial effects.
This reverb plugin can be installed as AAX Native, RTAS, Audio Units, and VST on Windows XP and up and OSX 10.4.11 and up, with the AAX, AU and VST versions being 64-bit compliant.
Sonnox’s Oxford Reverb is the plugin for producers and engineers who want to manage all aspects of the reverb sound. By enabling the user to control virtually every condition of the room and tail, Oxford becomes an incredibly versatile tool. It’s great for giving the right amount of space and life back to tightly recorded sounds.
10. Eventide Tverb Review
Eventide released its Tverb reverb plugin in July 2016.
This reverb offers a unique customization feature of simulating real-time reverbs of different rooms and halls using three different microphones scattered across the room. One mic captures and processes the dry signal, and the other two microphones help create the spacious reverb sound. It offers complete control over all three microphones. Tverb also provides a 2-band dedicated EQ and diffusion control.
- A simulated room with three different microphones gives different reverb and space. We can drag and place the microphones at our desired places across the room. It also allows us to choose between different simulated microphones having different polar patterns.
- Using both gates, we can control the reverb’s decay and compression using the compressor module.
- The “Room” module allows us to control the high and low frequencies and the reverb’s diffusion and decay time.
- We have a mixer with three microphone channels and one master channel control in the lower section. Each channel has a level meter and fader. It allows us to adjust each mic’s input signal by sliding the input faders.
Tverb By Eventide reverb is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST, AU, and AAX formats, and for macOS, it is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
The ability to freely move the microphones and adjust their gates separately makes this reverb plugin one of the most immersive and realistic reverb plugins. The interface is quite minimalistic and easy to use, reminiscent of analog gear.
11. W.A. Production Mutant Reverb Review
It uses a side-chaining technique to make the dry signal more forward while offering a smooth, clean ambient reverb.
The dedicated EQ is a nice touch to tame the unwanted frequencies.
- Built-in Ducker: the ducker with compressor-style controls makes this an excellent plugin for anything from vocals to hard-hitting drums.
- Size and Diffusion: set the room size to your liking and fine-tune the reverb’s diffusion with the dot control.
- Waveform display: the real-time display shows the dry source and the wet reverb in different colors so you get visual feedback on what you’re doing.
WA Production Mutant Reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in AAX, AU, and VST formats and macOS 10.5 or above in VST, AU, and AAX formats for 32 & 64-bit OS.
The waveform, which shows all the changes being made to the signal, is one of its unique features. The developers have taken a minimalistic approach towards the interface while providing unique features. It is highly recommended for medium to expert sound engineers.
The 10 Best FREE Reverb VST Plugins
1. Magnus Ambience Review
Mangus released its ambiance reverb in July 2010. Using it, we can create unique soundscapes.
It has a straightforward, lo-fi, and aesthetic user interface with all the parameters one might need for a professional reverb. It also offers a 2-band dedicated EQ.
The main interface of the “Mangus Ambiance” has five different modules: Gating, Decay, Shape, EQ, and Damping.
- Using the amount, attack, and release knobs, we can use it as a gated reverb.
- We can handle the emulated space’s dimensions using shape, width, and pre-delay knobs present in the shape module.
- We can assign different parameters of the reverb plugin to midi control surfaces using the midi-learn button.
Mangus Ambience reverb is available for 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 7 or above and macOS in VST format.
Although this plugin is free, it offers all the essential parameters needed to adjust and sculpt a good reverb. Its main drawbacks are that it is not supported on 64-bit operating systems, and not much documentation can be found regarding its use.
2. Reverb SOLO Review
Reverb SOLO is one of the simplest and the most minimalistic reverb plugins out there. The name “SOLO” beautifully explains its graphical user interface.
- One giant knob controls it all. By adjusting the knob, we can choose multiple reverb types ranging from small and bright sounding reverbs to dark and large room reverbs.
- It offers a few presets accessible from the “Presets” list at the top.
Reverb SOLO is available for 32-bit & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST and AAX formats. For 32-bit and 64-bit macOS 10.7-10.12, it is available in VST and AAX formats.
It is a super simple and easy to use reverb. We can get a variety of reverb sounds by the turn of a single knob. It consumes significantly less processing power; thus, various instances can be used without causing system halts and crashes.
3. Denis Tihanov Oril River Review
Denis Tihanov Oril River, released in July 2017, is an algorithmic reverb plugin.
Although it is a free plugin, it offers almost all the features usually available in premium reverb plugins.
- Early Reflections: twelve variations to increase versatility and adjust reverb character.
- Two graphical interfaces: You can use either the modern-looking, dark gray interface, or a vintage, light gray interface.
Denis Tihanov OrilRiver is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST and VST3 formats. For 64-bit OS X 10.8 or above, it is available in VST and VST3 formats.
It is one of the plugins that undoubtedly compete with the premium plugins in the market. It offers several amazing features and precise control over the characteristics of the reverb. Still, the number of controls on this reverb makes it a little tough to understand for novice users.
4. Safe Reverb by Semantic Audio Review
Safe Reverb by Semantic Audio is an algorithmic reverb plugin with a sleek minimalistic design.
It uses Natural Language Processing to adjust the parameters according to one’s requirements automatically.
- Using the “Dense” knob, we can control the diffusion characteristics of the simulated reverb. It also offers control over the size of the simulated environment and reverb time and reverb-tail length controls.
- By typing our reverb requirements in the large text box, the plugin will automatically adjust the reverb parameters to what we need.
Safe Reverb by Semantic Audio is available for 32-bit & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in AU, VST, and VST3 formats. For 32-bit and 64-bit versions of macOS 10.8 or above, it is available in AU, VST, and VST3 formats.
One of this plugin’s unique features is that we can enter the name of any reverb or instrument and it loads presets from their cloud-based server. We can also save our custom presets there too. Overall the simple design makes this reverb easy to control and easy to use.
5. Valhalla Supermassive Review
Supermassive is a hybrid reverb-delay plugin by Valhalla.
It has the classical, familiar Valhalla user interface that Valhalla also uses for its premium reverb plugins. It offers 12 algorithmic modes a 2-band dedicated EQ. This plugin does not work exactly as a standard reverb since its main focus is on the delay functions.
- Delay: We can use the delay knob to introduce a delay ranging from 0ms to 2000ms. The Warp knob alters the pitch of the delay. We can also control the number of repetitions in the delay.
- Create Textures: Multiple modes and presets give various colors and tones for this reverb, that can be very useful for sound designing.
Valhalla Supermassive is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in AVST2.4, VST3, and AAX formats. It is also available for macOS 10.8 or above in VST2.4, VST3, AAX, and AU formats.
Valhalla is known for its user-friendly interfaces and controls. Supermassive reverb plugin offers some excellent features for free that help in creating a smooth-sounding reverb. The delay control settings are what give this plugin its unique, ethereal sound.
6. Voxengo Oldskoolverb Review
Voxengo Oldskoolverb is a minimalistic and straightforward small room and plate reverb emulation.
It is famous among a lot of hobbyist podcasters. This plugin offers all the necessary controls required in a reverb plugin. It also offers a 3-band dedicated EQ.
- Presets: the plugin offers a great variety of presets and 5 different reverb modes. You can go from a tight room reverb to a large, cathedral-like ambience. It also offers nice additions, like a slapback reverb delay.
- Straightforward Interface: it’s easy to fine-tune this plugin since the knobs are very simple and understandable.
Voxengo Oldskoolverb is available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST, VST3, and AAX formats. It is available for 64-bit macOS 10.11 or above in VST, VST3, AAX, and AU formats.
It does not require a lot of processing power; thus, we can use it in multiple instances without hogging the resources. The reverb sounds are decent, and the added EQ function is an attractive feature. Works best as a room emulator for non-percussive and soft-attack instruments, such as pads, vocals, and piano.
7. epicVerb Review
epicVerb is a free analog emulated reverb plugin that offers emulations ranging from plate reverbs to large hall reverbs.
Six different modes and two different reverberations, i.e., Ambience and Reverb, give a rich and warm sound. 2-band EQ control and high/low pass filters help in controlling the overall harsh and muddy frequencies.
- The time knob acts as decay control. It also offers two different knobs to control the early and late reflections of the reverb.
- We can attenuate the highs using the damp knob and have a dedicated EQ to process the wet signal. High pass and
- We can use the reverb as mono or as stereo and also process dry and wet signals separately.
epicVerb reverb is only available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST format.
In my opinion, epicVerb is one the best free plugins. The variety of controls and features it offers help in achieving impressive ideal and ambient spaces for reverberation.
8. Lisc-Verb Review
Lisc-Verb is a hybrid digital reverb and delay plugin.
It has a futuristic user interface that looks complex but is surprisingly easy to use. It offers a variety of reverb emulations and multiple delay effects.
- We can use the dedicated modulator section to create unrealistic soundscapes and environments.
- It has separate sections for reverb and delay parameters. The delay and reverb can be used in parallel or series.
- We can choose between three different reverbs modes, which allow us to manually set the delay time or use sync mode to match the track’s tempo.
Lisc-Verb reverb is only available for 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST format.
When it comes to creating space, the Lisc-Verb plugin provides some very astonishing sounds. Its ability to control the reverberation and delay-based effect separately makes it unique. The main drawback would be that it is only available for Windows operating systems.
9. NuSpace Audio Riviera Review
NuSpace Audio Rivera is a hybrid algorithmic-convolution reverb plugin. It offers multiple virtual spaces with detailed adjustable parameters.
It offers a 2-band dedicated EQ with the ability to process the dry signal separately.
- Voom designer: Adjust the dimensions, size, listener position, and reflection decay.
- Frequency Controls: It offers two different graphical analyzers. We can also use the dedicated equalizer to control the signal’s muddy low-end and sharp high-end.
- Miscellaneous Menu: Control some extra features such as panning, stereo width, gain, and phase inversion.
NuSpace Audio Riviera reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST2 and VST3 format. It is also available for 32 & 64-bit versions of macOS 10.07 or above in VST2 and VST3 formats.
Overall the room and space control on this plugin is very versatile and gives a pristine sound. The Time and EQ menus also help control all the reflections, EQ filters, and overall reverberation. It’s a versatile plugin that delivers both clean and modulated reverb.
10. u-He ‘Protoverb Review
Protoverb by u-He is a room simulator reverb plugin that attempts a different take on room modeling.
By creating as many room reflections as possible, the plugin tries to model what the air within the room would sound like. Its user interface has a minimalistic approach, with a retro, guitar-pedal-like design. There are only three knobs that control the decay, the dry, and the wet signals.
- Unpredictability: try the random Model and Delay generators to experiment with different room and delay ratio combinations. With some luck, the plugin will provide you with a great preset.
- Delay: Protoverb uses many parallel, serial and networked delays to create resonances within the modeled room.
u-He ‘Protoverb reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST2 and AAX format. It is also available for 32 & 64-bit macOS 10.07 or above in AUv2, VST2, and AAX formats.
u-He’ Protoverb is one of the easiest to use and control room simulation reverb plugins. It provides an excellent rich space for any instrument while keeping its transparency. The 15 room presets sounds great on their own, but it really gets interesting when you start changing the delay randomly. A great plugin for ambience design and for achieving weird, fun effects.
7 Reverb Plugins With A Big Potential 2021
1. MeldaProduction MReverbMB (Multiband Reverb) Review
MReverbMB, released in 2017, is one of the latest and advanced reverb plugins by MeldaProduction.
It offers the unique capability of processing up to six bands/sections of the signal simultaneously. The realistic sound and loads of controls make this an exciting choice.
- A band bar is displayed upon selecting a band that allows us to customize some parameters and quickly choose random settings. We can select up to six different bands and assign different reverb settings to each one of them.
- The “Room” module allows us to control the decay time and diffusion rate of reverb.
- We can damp low or high frequencies of our choice using the Color module. It also allows us to control the modulation of specific frequencies.
- The spatial position system gives the reverb a specific place to sit in the final mix.
- It can act as a gated reverb.
- It offers an EQ module that can be used in pre or post mode.
- We can saturate the signal by utilizing the saturation bar.
MReverbMB reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST, VST3, and AAX formats.
For macOS, it is available in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats.
If you’re one of those technical people who prefer detailed control and are not easily scared by loads of features, then this should be your plugin of choice. The ability to divide the dry signal into six parts and make a reverb for each section is a unique feature. Considering its features, the price of this reverb is significantly low. We can also take a free trial of this reverb.
2. Universal Audio EMT 140 Review
Universal Audio EMT 140 is a simulation of three different plate-reverbs.
This plugin perfectly emulates the control and sound of the actual hardware. The plugin has a 2-band dedicated EQ with frequency and Gain controls.
- Three different plates contain three different tones and colors. Plate A is a bright-sounding reverb. Plate B offers a little warmer and boosted low end than plate A, and Plate C contains more bandwidth than plate A or B.
- It offers an EQ with a high-shelf filter adjustable from 200Hz to 20KHz and a low-shelf filter adjustable from 20Hz to 2KHz. The in/out switch is used to activate or bypass the EQ. We can adjust the level on the low and high gain from -12 to +12db.
- Pre-delay time can be controlled within the time range from 0ms to 250ms.
Universal Audio EMT 140 reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST and VST3 formats. For macOS, it is available in VST, VST3, Audio Units, and AAX formats.
Because this plugin offers three different plate reverb emulations with EQ, stereo-width, and pan control, making this reverb easy to use and one of the best dark plate reverb emulations.
3. D16 Group Toraverb 2 Review
D16 Group Toraverb 2, released in 2018, is a reverb plugin that emulates analog hardware modules.
It stays pretty clean while offering precise diffusion control. We can choose between different EQ filter types and control the 2-bands of EQ using two different knobs. The level control on output helps in the gain matching.
- Early Time & Late Time: these bars control the reverb’s early and late reflections. Early and Late controls balance both reflections. Different EQ sets for early and late reflection tabs help us adjust the early and late reflection time frequencies.
- Diffusion: by eliminating almost all flutter echo across multiple sound sources, the Toraverb delivers great diffusion quality from sharp to smooth.
- Crosstalk: the plugin’s algorithmic cross-talk creates a better sense of space localization by bouncing some frequencies back between channels.
D16 Group Toraverb 2 Reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in VST / AAX formats and macOS 10.07 or above in VST AU / VST / AAX for 32 & 64-bit OS.
New users might feel that the controls on D16 Toraverb 2 are a bit complex, but once they get used to it, they will surely appreciate the amount of control this plugin has to offer and the overall characteristics of the reverb. It takes very less processing power, so we can use multiple instances without worrying about hangs and crashes.
4. Eventide SP2016 Reverb Review
SP2016 by Eventide, released in October 2018, is a simulation of the “SP2016” analog reverb module.
It offers many unique and easy-to-use controls representing the actual hardware and six different plate-reverb emulations. It also offers a 2-band dedicated EQ with level controls to balance the track’s input and output levels.
- Six different space options for various rooms and halls helps to achieve desired reverb quickly.
- Using the “Program” button, we can toggle between three different reverb types, i.e., Room, Stereo Room, and High-density plate.
- It offers a 2-band built-in post-eq that can control the low mud and high shrillness of the reverb. We can also adjust the gain of each frequency, respectively.
Eventide SP2016 Reverb is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 or above in AAX, VST2, and VST3 formats and 64bit versions of macOS 10.9 or above in AAX, VST2, VST3, and AU formats for 64-bit OS only.
SP2016 makes it easier for vocals, drums, and instruments to perfectly sit in the mix by providing the warm saturation of actual hardware. The EQ, input/output controls, and different parameters of this emulation make it an easy and reliable reverb plugin.
5. Universal Audio Lexicon 224 Review
Lexicon 224 by Universal Audio is a plugin for your DAW which emulates the actual best selling analog reverb manufactured by “Universal Audio” in the 1980s.
The Lexicon is undoubtedly a favorite digital reverb plugin among the sound engineers community. The interface is straightforward to use, and it uses less processing power.
- We can choose between eight different types of reverbs using dedicated buttons. It offers the following simulations: Sm Hall B, Voc Plate, Lg Hall B, Chamber, PercPlare, Sm Hall A, Room A, ConstPlate
- System Noise button offers a real-time hardware simulation by giving us a hiss in the audio after reverberation.
- The hold switch allows us to choose the time for which the display holds the current value. We can choose between infinity and 1.5 seconds.
- The mode enhancement controls the chorus effect.
- We can choose between different types of modes and decay settings.
- It allows us to control the reverb time for lows, mids, and highs separately. A cross-over fader enables us to choose a smooth cross-over frequency between the lows and highs.
Universal Audio Lexicon 224 is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 or above in AAX, VST, and Audio Unit formats and for macOS in AAX, VST, and Audio Unit formats.
This emulation of the Lexicon 224 hardware-based reverb is very effective and gives a clean, transparent sound. The primary controls of this reverb are also easy to use. If like me, you’ve always dreamed of using the actual Lexicon reverb, this is as close you can get by spending a fraction of the actual price.
6. eaReckon EAReverb 2 Review
eaReckon EAReverb 2 uses six different algorithms for its sound designing.
We can also choose between hundreds of different presets from the menu. Three different modes and their customization features make it one of the best and technical reverb plugins.
- It offers a few presets accessible from the “Presets” list at the top.
- We can also choose between three different modes it offers,
In the top section of the interface, we can see a visual spectrum of the signal.
The main section is divided into four different modules:
- Mix Module
- Early Reflections
- Late Reflections
- Pre-delay and pre-filters
- It offers three different modes with different sets of parameters and settings.
- Mix module controls stereo widening, panning, and wet boost controls. Input and output faders control the input and output signal, respectively.
- The Late Reverb module provides multiple virtual spaces for almost every kind of space for vocals and drums and movies and outdoor scenes.
- We can control and pan early reflections of the reverb using “EROut” and “ER Pan” knobs. The late reverb knob controls the virtual space for the reverb.
- Pre-filter helps us in maintaining the overall high and low frequencies of the track’s reverb.
- Post-Mod allows adding chorus effect after the reverberation.
eaReckon EAReverb 2 is available for 32 & 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 or above in AAX, AU, VST2, and VST3 formats and macOS 10.09 or above in AAX, AU, VST2, and VST3 formats for 32 & 64-bit OS.
Different modes combined with all the technical features give this reverb an edge to control everything a reverb plugin does. Its multi-band control and variety of parameters make this an attractive investment.
7. Abletunes RVRB Review
RVRB by Abletunes is a modern algorithmic reverb with a good-looking and straightforward UI, made with producers’ needs in mind.
The 12 algorithms in this plugin go from tight rooms to large halls, providing a wide range of reverb possibilities. The parameters are adjusted by dedicated knobs and there are two EQs, one at the input, another at the output. There are also over 60 built-in presets based on common instruments.
- Equalizers: the ability to EQ the audio at both the input and output is the core of this plugin. The 4-band equalizers help the user sculpt the sound of the reverb to make it unique. Cut or boost a region or just a single frequency with the Q and Freq controls. Choose between shelving of cutting the upper highs and lower mids, and adjust either the gain or the slope, respectively.
- Comp: turning this knob will make the reverb tail grow louder and apparent. Sounds great on snares, claps, and percussion in general.
- Tail Control: create a controlled tail or explore your creativity by adjusting the tail to the input signal length. This function helps the reverb tie in with the groove for a musical result.
Abletunes’ RVBR is available in AU and VST3 formats for Mac OS X 10.10.5 or higher and Windows 7 through 10, in both 32 and 64-bit.
A modern reverb with a modern UI, the RVBR is a great tool for anyone who needs a transparent reverb. The wide range of sounds it offers makes it useful for any situation where a clean reverb is needed. The 4-band EQs are a handy addition since they eliminate the need for other plugins in the signal chain.
Reverb is one of the essential parts of the mixing process. Without reverb, we cannot comprehend the sense of space in a song. As seen in this article, every reverb has different characteristics, and every plugin offers various features. Some people swear that paid plugins are better than free plugins, while some people strongly disagree. This article is proof of the latter. Premium plugins are undoubtedly impressive, but just as useful free plugins are also available. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. I hope this article helps you in choosing the right reverb plugin.
Pedro Nascente is an artist, record producer, and mix engineer, currently operating his own studio and working with his band, Yellow Boulevard. Believing that music should convey experiences and feelings, Pedro is known for applying design thinking to his workflow to achieve different sounds and deliver the right messages.