Eventide Tverb by Diogo C
- Product: Tverb
- Developer: Eventide
- Formats: AAX, AU, VST Plug-in for Mac (10.7+) and Windows (7+)
- Demo: Fully functional for 30 days
- Price: $249 USD MSRP
Created in partnership with legendary engineer Tony Visconti, Tverb is Eventide’s recreation of the technique Visconti used on the David Bowie’s vocals for the iconic “Heroes” song. At the core of the process is the famous Meistersaal from the Hansa Tonstudio, a true reference for studio acoustics and big recording room sound. As a historian I’d say that this is place among other studios should receive the “UNESCO World Heritage Site” title because of their cultural value - we should a get some petitions running to protect those sites from the real estate behemoths but I digress, back to topic. Tverb isn’t only about the room though, it’s also about the recording process deployed: have the singer stand in the big sounding room with it’s close microphone and have a pair of other microphones further down the room. Compress the close microphone and then add a gate to the distant ones in a way that the sound opens up when the singer goes loud - what Bowie called his “histrionics”! The first microphone can have cardioid, omni and figure-eight patterns and also high and low pass filters fixed at 150 Hz and 8 kHz respectively. The other two microphones can be place from five up to seventy feet from the close mic, and freely moved around the Meistersaal. The three microphones are then summed on a mixer, each with its own fader and channel strip, recreating the console setup Visconti used with Bowie. The close mic goes through a compressor with variable threshold, ratio (1 to 20:1), attack (1-300 ms) and release (10-300ms) and the distant mics have a gate with independent settings for attack (10ms-3s), hold (50ms-3s) and release (10ms-3s). The gates can be linked on those two channels and also placed at pre or post fader position. All three channels have solo, mute and polarity buttons and the distant mics have L-R pan control as well. There’s also some room-tweaking parameters through a dampening control, decay time setting from 0.2 to 7 seconds, low (50-500 Hz, -8 to +4db) and high (1-8 kHz, -8 to 0db) frequency adjustments and a master fader. Wrapping up there’s the utilities panel located at the upper part of the interface, housing the 100+ preset manager which sorts the 100+ included presets alphabetically, by category, application or author - there are presets from Visconti himself and other top engineers. On the right side of the panel there’s the mix lock parameter, which allows the user to have the same dry/wet ratio when browsing and between the preset manager and the mix lock there a little “i” button which opens a the user manual, a 17-page PDF file which is very much worth reading. All around Tverb is a clever plugin with a solid execution - once again Eventide has delivered a superb product.
Tverb offers one of the very best sounding acoustic spaces I’ve ever heard on a plug-in, with a natural and detailed room sound that blends very nicely with the source. More often than not I have the feeling that room and hall reverbs are more “room-ish” and “hall-ish” than anything, even if that doesn’t stop them from actually being very useful, but with Tverb that wasn’t the case as it sounds very organic and realistic. In terms of character I’d put it on the bright and airy camp, with some good top end presence on the reverb tail and a remarkable sense of depth, which is the most striking aspect in my opinion. The acoustics of the room can be adjusted through the dampening and decay controls and further tweaked with the provided high/low frequency equalizers and along with the position of the microphones the character can go from a tight and more intimate room all the way through a lush and spacious hall, and most importantly sounding good all the way which is quite an achievement. There are some good number of tricks that can be pulled out, one that I especially enjoyed doing was to have the two distant microphones on the same spot about 30 feet from the close mic, hard-pan them and flip the phase on one of the channels for a mid/side-esque type of sound that sounds natural and enhances the stereo field and the spatial sensation. Soloing the first mic with the omni pattern and heavily compressing it was also another nice trick for short ambiences. Despite being developed to mimic a particular vocal processing chain, I can see this plug-in getting some good use on other sources as well, and basically anything asking for a room/hall sound will certainly benefit from it. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of soft listening Brazilian music, which is basically an acoustic guitar and vocals, and Tverb does a remarkable job on providing an ambient sound that feels alive and organic, blending well with the sources. During my time with it I reached a lot for the high frequency EQ and dialed it back considerably since darker reverbs are generally my preference, and as stated above it tends to fall on the bright side of things so adding a low-pass filter after it isn’t far fetched and will likely happen regularly, but so it does with almost all my reverbs.
Ease of use
This is one of the rare cases where I believe mimicking the real world made sense and actually worked in favor of a plug-in, making Tverb a very intuitive to use. Grab the mics, move them around the room and tweak their respective mixer channels to taste, tweak the room and the final output volume and that’s it. The layout of the plug-in is easy to understand and there are no hidden menus so it’s quite a straightforward process. I think there could be a second (bigger) interface size since reading the parameters is a bit hard since they’re too small, but I also feel like this isn’t the a plug-in that needs fine tuning to the point of getting each decimal right where you want and some imperfection such as the mics not being equally distant might be a nice thing, adding a more human touch if you will. If you’re a preset guy then Eventide has delivered over a hundred of those and the way they are organized makes the browsing process quite easy. I should also note that the documentation also adds further to the ease of use, providing a very enlightening read on explaining the way T-Verb was conceived and how it works, with some good examples on how to get the best out of it. In terms of resource consumption this plug-in does a nice job and won’t tax any modern computer, it’s also very light on latency and keeps things in the single digits even at higher sample rates.
Tverb has an intriguing feature set since it doesn’t emulate or recreate a certain piece of gear, it’s more focused on recreating a process and its respective technique. In that regard, it delivers quite a different experience and I’ve stated above it’s more on the instinctive side than on the geek parameter tweaker side of things, which doesn’t mean it has a ton of science running under the hood because it does - we’re talking about Eventide here after all! Tverb obviously excels on doing bigger room and hall sounds but it also delivers some good sounding tight spaces and given the fact that each mic has it’s own volume and solo/mute controls there is some good degree of flexibility here. In that regard, the presets do a great job on showing a number of different scenarios and it’s interesting that many of them are made with “direct/insert” use in mind rather than aux/bus sends, which I think is the most common use when it comes to reverbs - speaking of presets, Eventide is famous for delivering great presets and the “mix lock” parameter helps a lot when browsing. Although I really enjoy the feature set offered here, there are some thing that I wished could be improved such as a more comprehensive EQ section with LP/HP filters and a parametric sweepable band and I’ve stated above I wouldn’t mind a bigger interface option. As much as I’d love to have such extra features, in terms of features nothing takes away the greatness of Tverb as one of the most interesting and refreshing reverb plug-in in a long, long time.
Bang for buck
Given how unique and awesome sounding Tverb is I’d that it’s totally worth the admission price, there are many reverb plug-ins out there for all pockets and many different demands, but nothing quite like this one. The MSRP price isn’t completely out of reach although not exactly affordable, but there are good hopes for discounts as Eventide seems to be very much in sync with today’s market and offers some very good deals on a regular basis. If you’re okay with rentals Tverb is also offered through the Eventide Ensemble subscription service, which is likely the best bang for buck ratio when it comes to such services since it offers a plethora of awesome plugins that will cover most applications for a decent price.
Recommended for mixing engineers and producers looking for a great sounding reverb plug-in that does room and hall like no other.
Click below for a full resolution screenshot and Tverb's preset list.