Us music producers, mixers, sound engineers etc… have all been there… wondering which digital reverb plugin is the best to use. After using many of the top recommended reverbs and having over 10 years of music production experience, I want to break down to you which three reverbs I have found to be the most useful. And also what reverbs I think are the best to use in 2022.
Algorithmic vs Convolution?
You may have already seen that reverb plugins come in two varieties. One is based on the use of algorithms, the other is based on convolution and relies on an impulse response. In recent times, reverbs such as the Seventh Heaven by LiquidSonics utilise a hybrid approach whereby the reverb utilises advanced processing not so dissimilar to algorithmic reverbs, but in a manner that corrects the short-comings of a convolution approach.
1. Relab Development LX480 Complete (Algorithmic)
The top spot, and rightful king of all reverbs. The LX480 by Relab is not only immensely accessible and comes in three different versions (essentials, rhall and complete). But it is highly versatile and takes what the Lexicon 480L did and just made it better. Such as by adding the rhall HD algorithm and a better user interface that suits the workflow of a computer screen.
Ever wanted your reverb to sound lush, enveloping and luxurious without pops, clicks, metallic resonances or other artefacts? Whilst also providing depth, cleanliness and width? Then look no further. This reverb will work for you.
2. Seventh Heaven Professional (Convolution)
This reverb directly depicts and emulates the Bricasti M7 reverb. Is there more to say? Other than this will give you the smoothest reverb sound ever. Unfortunately, there is a little more to say. When comparing this reverb to the LX480, it’s evident that this reverb isn’t as wide. The problem with this is that reverb can usually be a great way of adding width to programme material. Despite this, the Seventh Heaven is currently my go-to reverb plug-in – particularly when processing vocals! As with the LX480 by Relab, this also comes in multiple versions with a cheaper ‘non-professional’ version.
Whilst the Seventh Heaven is similar yet a different flavour of what the LX480 offers, the 7th Heaven feels much more ‘real’ and ‘lifelike’ where as the LX480 feels a little more ‘hyper realistic’. This makes the Bricast M7 or Seventh Heaven better suited for acoustic sources – and may even be ideal for placing sound effects within a scene for film and television.
3. Valhalla Room (Algorithmic)
This should be to no surprise. The Valhalla Room is used in countless records and although it doesn’t give you the same pristine luxurious qualities of the LX480 or Seventh Heaven Professional, it is a very useful tool for sound design and incorporating a reverb sound that feels synthetic yet still high-quality. If you’re on a budget and want a reverb that’s versatile and particularly suits the world of Pop or EDM production, then this will be the best reverb plug-in for you!
Surprised if a reverb you like hasn’t hit the list? I would be too! There’s a lot out there and whilst there are some amazing plugins such as the Capitol Chambers by Universal Audio, or even their own Lexicon emulations that utilise the exact code from the real lexicon hardware units – these plugins aren’t accessible to everyone and so I didn’t want to include these in my top list of must have reverb plugins for 2022. Comment what your favourite reverb is and share!