MeldaProduction MTurboReverb by Sound-Guy
MTurboReverb by MeldaProduction
Czech company MeldaProduction make some unique and complex audio processors, and MTurboReverb might win the award for the most complex of them all. Some reviewers have found “ease of use” for several of their products less than perfect, but I understand MeldaProduction’s aim is for comprehensive control and extreme flexibility in their high end units since they have “LE” versions with reduced capability that are very easy to use.
What is it?
MTurboReverb is an algorithmic reverb that includes 100 basic reverb types in a single plugin. As with some other MeldaProduction devices there is an “Easy” mode and an “Edit” mode that adds many more adjustments. Note there is also an LE version, cleverly named MturboReverbLE, which is basically the Easy mode with no access to the Edit features, still a very powerful reverb unit at half the price of the full version. This review covers what the LE version can do if you look at only the Easy mode features.
One big surprise I had is that in the full MturboReverb package there are actually two different versions included, even though you appear to install one program – there is also an MTurboReverbMB which I admit confused me at first since I didn’t know where it came from or what it did, but I assumed MB meant multi-band since their simpler MReverbMB is exactly that, and I was correct. The MB version provides up to six frequency bands which takes the comprehensive approach of algorithmic reverb design to a new level. It also uses up to six times the RAM of MturboReverb.
Easy Mode screen
The Easy mode is a fully featured algorithmic reverb with 100 basic spaces chosen from seven categories selected at the left, from small to huge spaces, plates & springs, and some “beyond realistic” spaces. And each basic model has from half a dozen to a dozen model variations (for example, Large, Intimate, Warm, Bright & Tight, etc. in the screen above) before even starting to adjust parameters such as Dry/Wet, Early/Late, Length, Distance, Predelay, Widening, and over a dozen other parameters. With the Easy mode alone, you can create billions of variations.
However, the Melda “Pro” version includes the Edit mode that provides access to many more detailed functions and adds several additional modules. These include four Early Reflection modules with tapped delay lines and six Late Reflection modules that even provide a compact programming language that allows you to create customized algorithms to define a sound processing generator. There is also a dynamics section, two dynamic EQs (for both left/right processing and mid/side processing) and modulation functions. This Edit mode enables you to create Easy screen GUIs that you can use in future so that you needn’t always access the full complexity of the Edit mode. Oh, there is of course comprehensive MIDI control available so you can modify parameters as a project plays.
Edit Mode screen
MTurboReverb provides 88 factory presets in eight categories, and enables user presets to be saved. Each preset uses one of the basic “spaces” along with its space-variation and the settings of all parameters. There are also multiple levels of Undo and Redo, and support of touch screen displays on Windows 8 and newer Windows OS with up to 16 connections/fingers/inputs.
What About the MB version?
MTurboReverbMB is an expanded version of MturboReverb that enables using up to six frequency bands to vary processing in each range. Oddly MturboReverbMB is mentioned in the user manual only one time, with no explanation of its features – “MTurboReverb is the full license, which gives you access to all features of the plugin and also to the multiband version MturboReverbMB” – and that is all that I found on the multiband version! However, there is another MeldaProduction reverb, MReverbMB, mentioned earlier, that has its own user manual which helped me figure how to use the multiband mode. I won’t say too much about the multiband mode except that you can turn on a band-link that keeps all parameters synced, which is a good way to start, then you can turn off the link and vary any of the settings between bands. Another thing I learned in the MReverbMB manual is that each band receives MIDI data on a different MIDI channel if you care to use MIDI control. Did I mention this is a very complex reverb? As I said earlier, the multiband version can use a lot more RAM, up to 400 MB in my tests, so it’s not a version you’ll want on many tracks at once!
How Does It Sound?
In short, excellent, and the reverb models and parameters are beyond comprehensive. Changing settings (other than swapping totally different reverb models) can be accomplished with no extraneous glitches so automation during playback expands the capabilities even more. There are a lot of choices today for reverbs, with algorithmic units of all kinds, convolution designs with myriad variations of modulation and other modifiers, and various hybrid designs. For an algorithmic design MturboReverb is as good as it gets sound-wise, and provides flexibility beyond any other reverb I’ve ever used.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The vast range of possible reverberation effects covers as much or more than you’ll ever need, but starting with the Easy mode, which makes access and control very 'easy', will quickly give you a taste of what is possible. Using the Edit mode introduces a challenge that will possibly be beyond some people’s ability, as well as beyond their needs. The PDF user manual is good to have, but both helps and confuses. It’s 175 pages have a lot of detail, but it is not always as concise or organized as well as it might be. But MturboReverb itself is vastly complex with many layers of control. As with other complex software, the best route is to spend time trying the functions described in each section of the manual until you feel confident with the various operations. It will require significant time to cover even half the features.
Do you need it? That depends on your needs and wants. It is not inexpensive, although MeldaProduction often have “weekly Specials” on a few products at great discounts (MTurboReverb is half price as I write this). If you are a musician/singer-songwriter who just needs a little “space” added to you demos, MturboReverb is overkill, and the LE version or one of MeldaProduction’s other reverb plug-ins may be a better choice. However, if you are a sound designer, a composer of atmospheric or cinematic productions, or a curious type who enjoys exploring the boundaries of sound manipulation, MturboReverb is definitely worth checking out. And you can download it (as well as any of MeldaProduction plug-ins) for a free trial period.
MTurboReverb is available for VST, VST3, AU and AAX interfaces for Windows and Mac OS. The installer provides both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the plugins as applicable. In my test system (PC Audio Labs Rok Box PC with Windows 7, 64 Bit, 4-Core Intel i7-4770K, 3.5 GHz, and 16 GB RAM) MTurboReverb required from less than 0.3% to a little over 2.5% CPU resource (Huge Spaces – Concert Chorus with maximum Complexity) depending on settings. Most reverb models use less than 0.5% CPU. RAM use is about 65 MB unless you use the multiband version which needs up to 400 MB. Latency with either version is zero samples.
This is a serious reverb unit and even using the Easy mode will provide excellent capabilities that should cover any reverberation tasks at hand. The multiband version certainly provides the most comprehensive range of reverberation imaginable.
Excellent and exhaustive range of reverberation effects.
Easy to use in Easy mode.
Full version includes single band and multiband versions.
Can provide stereo reverberation, mid-sides processing and work with surround sound up to 8 channels.
The full version in Edit mode is extremely complex and can challenge even experienced audio technologists.
The user manual is confusing in places and does not cover the multiband feature at all (get the the MReverbMB user manual for more information). Overall, more clearly explained examples would be beneficial.