Universal Audio Announces AMS RMX16 Reverb and Softube Summit Audio TLA-100A Plugins for UAD Platform and Apollo Interfaces
Exclusively available for the UAD platform and Apollo interfaces, Universal Audio has released a reverb plugin two years in the making. The AMS RMX16 plugin is modeled after the actual RMX16 hardware device – also the world’s first full-bandwidth digital reverberator from the 1980s. Mark Crabtree, the designer of the original RMX16, also developed UA’s newest reverb to deliver a true blast from the past reverb plugin.
Speaking of blast from the past, Softube is also releasing a classic renewal of the ’80s. The TLA-100A compressor was a hybrid tube/solid-state compressor, allowing for toasty sound with an intuitive interface.
Both plug-ins are available now, with the AMS RMX16 Digital Reverb going for $349, and the Summit Audio TLA-100A Compressor for $199. Here are more details from Universal Audio:
AMS RMX16 Digital Reverb Plug-In.
A Reverb Like No Other — Back After 30 Years.
The AMS RMX16 was the world’s first microprocessor-controlled, full-bandwidth, digital reverberator. Heard on hundreds — if not thousands — of seminal recordings from the 1980s onward, the RMX16 is still found in nearly every major recording studio the world over.
The unique and lush reverb programs of the RMX16 are instantly recognizable, from U2 and Peter Gabriel to Radiohead and Rihanna. Today, AMS Neve and Universal Audio proudly present the authentic AMS RMX16 Digital Reverb plug-in — exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.
- The only authentic RMX16 digital reverb plug-in developed by original hardware designer Mark Crabtree of AMS Neve
- Harness the exact legendary reverb and delay algorithms of the original hardware
- Plug-in-only features including Dry/Wet Mix, Wet Solo, and easy “click-and-type” editing of control values
- Offers classic RMX16 Programs such as Ambience, Nonlinear, Room,
- Hall, Plate, Echo, Chorus, and Reverse
Summit Audio TLA-100A Compressor Plug‑In
A studio mainstay since its introduction in the 1980s, the Summit Audio TLA-100A Compressor is revered for its hybrid tube/solid-state circuit, smooth punch and presence, and intuitive interface.
Developed by Softube, you can now track and mix with an exacting emulation of this modern classic with the Summit Audio TLA-100A Compressor plug-in for UAD-2 DSP hardware and Apollo interfaces.
- An industry-standard compressor for gently smoothing vocals, bass, and acoustic guitars
- Classic soft-knee compression can glue a drum bus or an entire mix
- Dial-in parallel compression with the plug-in-only Wet/Dry control and harmonic warmth with the Saturation control
- Low Cut Filter allows perfectly sculpted compression
The legendary TC Electronic System 6000 is a standard across the entire spectrum of audio production for its processing capabilities. Now TC Electronic is making it even better. By recognizing that a huge majority of audio processing for music, film and post-production is rooted inside DAWs and NLEs, TC Electronic is now introducing a DAW/NLE Integrator.
The Integrator plug-in makes synchronizing presets, automation, and total recall in a DAW/NLE sessions simple – no extra hardware is required!
The System 6000 Integration from TC Electronic is available now for an intro price of $299 ($499 MSRP) till September first. The plugin will be available in AAX, RTAS, VST, and AU formats. Here are more details from TC:
Audio & Video Software Integration Plug-in
Integrate your pristine TC processing with your DAW or NLE via our new ‘System 6000 Integrator’ plug-in.
Simply save and reload the complete settings of your System 6000 as part of your project.
DAW & NLE Integration
Today, virtually all music, film and post production is rooted in DAWs such as Pro Tools, Audition, Nuendo and Logic Pro or NLEs such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro and Media Composer.
As DAW components tend to change in three year cycles, many professionals use System 6000 to ensure their most precious audio effects. Before, this was a challenge when managing projects; and typically involved MIDI or custom solutions to synchronize data.
Now, we offer System 6000 users a simply yet powerful solution with the System 6000 Integrator plug-in.
Save and reload the complete settings of your System 6000 as part of your DAW or NLE project. Just use the ethernet connection which is already there.
Being based on the Ethernet protocol, you may detect and use multiple System 6000s on the same network, taking advantage of powerful communication lines between your DAW/NLE and one or more System 6000 mainframes/TC Icon remote hardware or software.
System 6000 has long offered automation based on timecode (LTC). Integrator provides an alternative – and it does so even without the need for extra cables.
Use Integrator for automation to keep all project data in one place, namely inside the DAW file itself.
The best effects, processing and metering now under DAW Automation.
What this plugin offers that differs from other iOS effects are routing options and a larger variety of sound possibilities. The “Pro” version comes with 108 presets that are contained within a preset manager. The app can also route audio with 44.1kHz – 96kHz sample rates through its 24 in/out matrix via USB or external audio interface and is also internally routable via Audiobus 2.0 compatibility.
The AD 480 Reverb from Feidler Audio is available now in three versions: AD 480 Free, AD 480 Basic ($3.99), and AD 480 Pro ($14.99). Here are complete features from Feidler Audio:
AD 480 Reverb
Pro quality studio reverb effect for iOS. – Use it with Audiobus, Inter-app Audio, iTunes music library and multichannel audio interfaces.
Enhance and enrich your recordings and live sound with the perfect sonic texture of your choice.
Record, process and export directly for lightning fast creative work!
The AD 480 Reverb delivers a realistic acoustic sound with a fine character in best studio quality. From small boxes to the Grand Canyon – practically any size and shape is possible. Enhance and enrich your recordings and live sound with the acoustic space or texture of your choice. The user interface is extremely intuitive and designed from the ground up for today’s touch screens. It gives you quick and responsive access to all parameters and on the iPad it offers a special graphics mode (stage mode) for low light environments. The MIDI functions let you fully remote control / automate the AD 480 and the audio routing matrix gives you greatest flexibility in a multi app / multi channel environment.
The AD 480 comes in three variants: AD 480 free, AD 480 basic and AD 480 pro.
- professional reverb sound effect with variable room size
- full Audiobus integration
- supports internal and external audio interfaces (USB class compliant or MFi)
- InterApp Audio
- Dynamic Upgrade (all present versions of the AD 480 on your iDevice are automatically upgraded to the highest version installed, i.e. if you have AD 480 free, basic and pro installed, they all become pro!)
- Itunes file sharing
- iOS 6 or newer
- iPad 2, iPod touch 5G, iPhone 4S and newer
from version AD 480 basic:
- extensive filter layout for a wide spectrum of sound
- access to all sound parameters
- AD 480 basic provides inApp purchase for upgrading to pro
from version AD 480 pro:
- 108 excellent presets
- professional preset management for MIDI, audio routing and reverb parameters
- routing matrix, with support up to 24 input and 24 output channels
- MIDI communication over network and USB-MIDI interfaces, plus inter-app MIDI
- supports sample rates of 44.1 kHz – 96 kHz
- latencies down to 64 samples
- special GUI mode for use in low-light environments (e.g. on stage, iPad only)
- background audio for multitasking with other apps
- Audio Recording, Playback and Offline Processing
- Import and Export of Audio Files
- Itunes Library Access
Right in our own backyard, some brave Brooklyn pedal builders have crafted a new reverb pedal that can hit anything from soft whispers to complete obliteration.
Reverberation Machine from Death by Audio was inspired by their limited Ty Segall Reverberation pedal back in 2013 – time to get a piece of the pie. Parameters of the pedals feature Volume, Altitude, Reverb and Reverb Tone. The Altitude parameter is where this pedal soars!
Reverberation Machine is available now for $200 MSRP. Here are more details from Death By Audio:
The Reverberation Machine is a synthetic atmosphere creator. Use the effect on any instrument to add depth and simulate different environments. Experiment and combine a variety of settings to obtain the perfect ambiance for your sound.
The controls on this pedal are straightforward. Volume, Altitude, Reverb Blend and two distinct reverb flavors: Bright Sunshine and Dark Star. Altitude adjusts the gain structure of the reverb and the clean simultaneously creating exciting new reverberation soundscapes that span from subtle to wild.
Although the controls are extremely easy to use and intuitive, there is a vast array of sounds. Everything from simulations of vintage amp verb, playing in a cave, large concert halls, and space ships being sucked into wormholes.
“Just put some reverb on it.”
That request just pisses me off. What reverb? Which style? Hall? Room? Plate? Chamber? Spring? Tunnel? Cave? Well? Gated? Phased? Flanged? Real Space? Analog? Digital? Plug In?
There are so many choices that it can be daunting to pick the right reverb for the right job.
The many considerations needed to decide which reverb to use will be discussed in this article: I will present the points that I use to determine what reverb I employ in the mix process, that conveys the feeling for the particular emotion I wish to invoke in the listener. I will also discuss the many types of natural reverb and reverb simulators that exist in today’s world of music production.
Reverb is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as:
: a sound that echoes
: an effect or result that is not wanted
I think this is a lame definition. Reverb is a sound that echoes, but the echoes that create reverberation are extremely complex – from the onset of the initial reflection to the last heard decay is a multitude of echoes that have variations in time, repetition and frequency response.
Secondly, in the world of mixing, reverb is definitely a sound that is wanted and useful in the creation of a wonderful listening experience!
The type of reverb depends on the size and shape of the room that the sound echoes in. A square room provides many less reflective surfaces than a cathedral. The material of the reflective surface determines the frequency response of the initial reflections and subsequent echoes that result in the tail or length of the reverb. The harder the surface, and the more surface angles and lengths of the room, the longer the repetition of echoes occur, resulting in a longer tail or reverberation time.
The first “REVERB” observed by humans was probably heard in a canyon or a cave when we were known as Neanderthal. The repetition of echoes in an enclosed or open space was probably quite frightening and intriguing.
I remember as a kid a place in the mountains called Echo Rock where I would yell something and hear it echo after 1 or 2 seconds. Further down the mountain where the walls were closer together, I would shout and hear a rapid repetition of echoes that I later learned was “reverb.”
The main difference between echo and reverb is the number of repetitions of sound per millisecond. A reverberation is perceived when the reflected sound wave reaches your ear in less than 0.1 second after the original sound wave. Since the original sound wave is still held in memory, there is no time delay between the perception of the reflected sound wave and the original sound wave. The two sound waves tend to combine as one very prolonged sound wave.
For the purpose of this article I will define some terms that I use to describe reverb:
Once a sound event occurs, the first echoes are called “Early Reflections.” These are generally 5 to 20 milliseconds in length.
After that the sound has had a chance to bounce around the room and becomes the “Body” of the reverb. This can last anywhere from 20 milliseconds to infinity.
The last part of the reverb I will call the “Decay or Tail.” This is the last perceptible sounds and can be from .1 to several seconds. The end of the tail occurs when the sound pressure level of the echoes reaches 60dB – close to inaudibility for human ears.
Without getting too technical it should be mentioned that the reverb time of a space has been defined as the time it takes for the initial sound pressure level (SPL) to be reduced by 60dB (for example if the initial SPL is 100 dB, the time it takes to go down to 40 dB would be the RT60 time).
Types of Reverb
The most basic types of reverb fall into five categories.
The first three are naturally occurring phenomena within a physical space and the last two are manmade devices. Though there are many other types that could be mentioned, I will focus on the aforementioned reverb types and their typical uses in today’s music mixes.
The optimum reverberation time for a space in which music is played depends on the type of music that is to be played in the space. Orchestral music is often written with a particular reverb time of the hall to utilize the decay to enhance harmonic structure. Rooms used for speech typically need a shorter reverberation time so that speech can be understood more clearly.
You can hear some academically-oriented examples of reverb in action here.
This term refers to the reverb heard in a concert hall.
Generally the construction of a music hall attempts to produce a reverb that lasts anywhere from 1.2 to 3 seconds or longer. The characteristics include an audible cluster of initial reflections followed by a full body and a decay that ends with a rolloff of high-frequency content.
There are many well-known great sounding Concert Halls throughout the world. Boston Symphony Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Walt Disney Concert Hall are a few noted for their accurate and tasteful reverberation characteristics. The most obvious use is for Symphony and Orchestral performance.
If you can’t afford to rent one of these Halls, turn to the digital world.
The Lexicon 224 and 480 were my favorite boxes years ago. Today there are numerous plug-ins that model hall reverbs including Lexicon, Waves and convolution reverbs (convolution attempts to simulate actual physical spaces using impulse responses).
I used the Waves TrueVerb plug-in on a recent mix for the artist Riley Goldstein. On the song “Everything,” which you can hear on her ReverbNation page, the string recording utilized the Vienna orchestra in GigaStudio and I added a touch of 2.4 second Waves Hall Reverb during the mix.
A chamber is usually a smaller physical space than a hall that results in more clarity yet still provides a blend of harmonic content and dispersion of sound.
A chamber is usually rectangular and can be constructed from cement or wood. I also include a stairwell or hallway in the chamber family. The frequency response and decay is dependent upon construction material and size. The typical chamber reverb varies from .4 to 1.2 seconds.
The original use of these type of rooms was for small ensembles that came to be known as Chamber Orchestras. I was in Vienna for a wedding and had the good fortune of listening to a chamber orchestra in the castle up on the hill.
The room was all natural wood and glass windows behind the stage. The eight musicians played very interesting counterpoint and the shorter reverberation allowed me to hear each instrument’s line clearly without becoming muddy. The warm reflections of the wood softened the overall tones of the violins and violas and allowed the low end of the contrabass to be heard clearly.
In pop music, the Beatles used the chambers built below Abbey Road Studios for vocal effects — you can hear an example of that that here.
If you mute the right channel (direct vocals,) you can hear the chamber effect in the left channel. Another great example of using a chamber to get a specific sound is quite apparent on the drum sound on “When the Levee Breaks.” John Bonham was recorded at the base of a stairwell in the poorhouse, Headly Grange.
This term refers to a shorter RT60, typically from .2 to 1 second.
Imagine yourself in a conference room where you have a strong initial reflection followed by a quick series of echoes that constitute the body and a tail that decays quickly with minimal frequency rolloff. Then again, imagine being in a gymnasium where the hard reflective surfaces provide a great deal of initial reflections while the decay lasts longer as the reflections get lost up in the high ceilings and corners.
Again, the room reverb characteristic is varied depending on physical size and construction material. Common uses of room reverb can be heard on many rock recordings from Aerosmith to Led Zeppelin.
In that era, many engineers would close mic the guitar amp using a dynamic cardiod as well as place a distant mic around 8 – 15 ft back from the cabinet in omni , to pic up the room sound. The two mics were either separately recorded or combined and recorded to one track.
A great example of this can be heard in the opening riff of this song. “Dancing Days” by Led Zeppelin. One of my favorite digital reverbs dedicated to room reverb is the Lexicon PCM 60. There are quite a few plug-ins that produce room reverbs, but the ones I use the most are TrueVerb and Audio Ease Altiverb.
The plate reverb is a manmade device that implements a sheet or plate of metal that vibrates when a sound wave strikes the surface.
At one end or corner is a transducer that emits the sound wave. As the wave propagates through the metal, another transducer receives the sound at different times and levels depending on the construction material of the plate. My observation is that there are minimal initial reflections but a full bodied reverb and a smooth tail. The RT60 can be manipulated using mechanical dampers that touch the surface and reduce vibration of the plate.
In the late 1980’s and 1990’s I used the EMT 140 at Greene Street Recording, Soho NYC extensively on vocals and drums (snare in particular.) It is also interesting to put a delay in front the plate to get a predelay – great for lead vocal in a ballad.
I used the Waves plug-in RVerb Compact with a plate setting of 1.7 sec for the chorus vocals on the newly released Luscious Jackson song “Show Us What You Got” and can be first heard at 00:20 — check it out on YouTube below.
A spring reverb is similar to a plate reverb in that it is a manmade device that utilizes transducers to produce and receive the sound waves via the physical device – in this case a spring.
Spring reverbs have noticeable frequency characteristics such as resonances in the body and filter changes throughout the decay. These have variable RT60 times controlled by spring tension, construction material and dampers. They are often found in guitar amplifiers.
A classic spring reverb is the one found in the Fender Twin Reverb Amplifier. Engineers have taken them out of the cabinet to use for mixing. Also the Furman RV-1 and Orban 111B have very cool sounds. I built a spring reverb from a garage door spring with fairly good results.
Spring reverbs are great for electric guitar and vocals as well as woodwinds. You can hear the spring bouncing in this song by The White Stripes:
For a complete discussion on Spring Reverbs visit Amplified Parts here.
This discussion is a basic introduction to reverb. There are many other types that deserve exploration such as gated, phased, flanged, non-linear, tube, ductwork, trash can, reverse to name a few as well as some that have not been invented yet.
The use of reverbs is crucial in mixing music and dialog. Whether you are able to use natural occurring spaces or manmade devices, reverb adds ambiance, tone and emotion to your mixes. They can define a mix wholly or just be used as an effect for a section or a single snare hit.
Whether you are mixing the New York Symphony or a vocal and guitar, the right reverb will bring your mix alive and take it to a place you’ve never been. So if you want to add some special sauce to your mix… NOW you can just throw some reverb on it.
Jamey Staub is a Producer/Mixer that loves analog gear and is amused by the attempt to copy and emulate it. He recently mixed the new album by Luscious Jackson, Magic Hour.