While in the search for the most suitable reverb for my needs (giving sensation of space both to acoustic clean and electronical heavily modulated sounds for both studio and live use) I demoed almost every software reverb that I could find.
Last year Flux in association with IRCAM released a reverb named simply Verb based from their statement on many years of research.
While demoing Verb ( out of pure curiousity as I couldn't justify the big expense) I couldn't help to notice that while sounding really good, as some of the presets showed, it was clearly targeted for more advanced use than simply being a musical reverb. With parameters like air absorbtion and spatial diffuseness, full multichannel 5.1 output and a price tag that makes it one of the most expensive plugins out there, it was clear that this reverb while a tweakers/space designer paradise was too complex for more simple musical uses and clearly targeted at post/film/sound design facilities.
Thus I satisfied my curiosity and kind of forgot about it.
A year passes Flux/IRCAM releases Verb Session and in the meantime I'm completely immersed in Sean's VRoom. Simple to use, while having great control over the sound, it is the perfect workhorse software reverb to have ITB. The sound is great, price is amazing and new algorhithms have since been added and the list of good things about Valhalla DSP could go on forever. So why am I reviewing Verb Session instead you may ask?
For starters IMO no modern DAW user should miss on VRoom. Everyone should get it. Secondly it has been reviewed countless times and has a greater exposure so no need for a review. Everyone agrees that it's one of the best deals in audio land.
Now, while the VRoom gets a lot of use I couldn't help to norice that I need another flavour of reverb for many synth sounds. Looking at how Flux realised that Verb couldn't be attractive to many people in audio and made the simpler easy to dial in/ considerably cheaper version, I was honestly intrigued and decided to demo Verb Session.
I was blown away. It was the same fantastic algorithm and sound quality but at a fraction of the cost and a set of limited parameters that allow a wide range of sounds, yet tweaked to sound musical.
The tails decay so naturally it makes you want to eat them the way it wraps around the sound so unintrusive and invisible you rather feel it than hear it, yet when bypassed it's a huge difference and the sound loses a lot of mojo. A great way to instantly experiment with any reverb is with the decay and room size settings. Making a really small room with a large decay and viceversa a large room with a short decay time can yeald surprising results. With Verb Session I got from metallic yet natural textures to springy reverb/delay like sounds that work excellent both as interesting special effects and as making the sounds find their place in the mix.
It has a 3D depth too it that is rare in software.
The filter section is amazingly versatile and easy to use, with the filter itself having such a great sound to it, I personally would want to have the ability to use it standalone. You can get a lot of milage in textures from this section alone.
Another great feature is graphic display of the tails and the way you have instant visual feedback over the reverbed sound. Couple this with
independent early and late volume as well as damping settings and you get a lot of control over the sound with considerably less parameters than it's big brother Verb.
The output section is also very nice with independent input and output sliders and a great dry/wet knob that naturally makes the transition between the source and the reverb effect.
I payed about 96€ for it at a reseller and although I was already covered to some degree by VRoom I couldn't help to notice how great it is to have 2 quality yet differently sounding reverbs in one track.
It's an amazing reverb that comes at a reasonable price and doesn't tax the CPU too much.
What else can I say? I sent a drum loop through the Ebbe und Flut and back in as double mono into Verb Session and the sound came to life.
Demo this is you do electronic music! It's unlimited dongle free demo that disables itself every 30 minutes and lacks patch saving.
I already had five quality reverb plugs, including TSAR 1-R and Redline, but my heart sank when I demo'd this one because I soon realised I was going to have to buy it. It is the cleanest, purest reverb I have heard - almost ethereal. I know how that sounds, but when you try it you'll understand. The GUI is clear and impressive, and you can tweak all the parameters you need to. But at the end of the day, what sold me on this was the astonishing quality of the reverbs. TSAR and Redline are really good 'verbs, and if I hadn't heard IRCAM I doubt I would ever have felt dissatisfied, but when I go back to them I can't help but notice that they seem heavy-handed and coloured in comparison. I'm avoiding the Flux site now in case I end up buying anything else...