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Is anyone still using hardware reverb units?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #841
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I finally used the Exponential R4 on vocals and I was super impressed. I want to buy a cheap-ish hardware reverb for tracking sometime, I wonder if some of the '80s and '90s Yamaha boxes could be in an affordable price range? Not sure how those would compare to a TC M One XL or something like that, that's even cheaper. My rack gear budget is always rather small per unit. I don't know if anyone has recommendations in the 300 ish or below range, thought I could ask here.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #842
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I would argue without great studios and rooms, more dead environments, etc. Reverb is more important than ever. If you get a great sound out of hardware that’s worth money especially since you can resell it.... dedicated boxes do sound different because of how they’re built, so whether or not that matters?

People are still paying for high end mics etc.... why should reverb be any different?
If you want the best possible reverb, you won't find it in a dedicated box, you'll find it as a plugin in the form of a convolution reverb, or sometimes referred to as an IR or impulse response verb. There are a few of them on the market, Altiverb is one of the best known, but others are quite good, and interesting.

The downside to those is they're limited in editing parameters, and they're cpu hungry. But for pure sound (and realism), they're great. They're also good for capturing unusual spaces and applying them to instruments, for example, Avid's Space has a great set of of "horror" and "weird" presets I use often in my tv scoring and ambient recordings. Used in a chain with other post processing plugins, I can do a LOT of creative things "inside the box"

The best (or at least most $) hardware verbs, like lexicon and Bricasti are algorithmic verbs, they emulate spaces and places digitally and feature lots of control over editing. In a commercial studio, I can see the benefit, but if you're a composer working on your own, there's better value and flexibility elsewhere - especially if you're going to get creative and gang different verbs together.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #843
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italo de angelis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
If you want the best possible reverb, you won't find it in a dedicated box, you'll find it as a plugin in the form of a convolution reverb, or sometimes referred to as an IR or impulse response verb. There are a few of them on the market, Altiverb is one of the best known, but others are quite good, and interesting.

The downside to those is they're limited in editing parameters, and they're cpu hungry. But for pure sound (and realism), they're great. They're also good for capturing unusual spaces and applying them to instruments, for example, Avid's Space has a great set of of "horror" and "weird" presets I use often in my tv scoring and ambient recordings. Used in a chain with other post processing plugins, I can do a LOT of creative things "inside the box"

The best (or at least most $) hardware verbs, like lexicon and Bricasti are algorithmic verbs, they emulate spaces and places digitally and feature lots of control over editing. In a commercial studio, I can see the benefit, but if you're a composer working on your own, there's better value and flexibility elsewhere - especially if you're going to get creative and gang different verbs together.

WELL....
NO!
The dead convolution reverb is all about "trying" to simulate real spaces... quite badly though. You'll never get anything else out of them 'cuz you simply can't. They work forced by impulses, not creatively.
On algorithmic reverbs. most of them, you have access to parameters that can be easily pushed beyond "natural spaces" and create weird things, impossible rooms, sci-fi and what not.
The suggestion for hardware reverbs with sonic quality and tweaking possibility... I would completely stay away from those cheap/too cheap TC toys and up your budget a bit. A PCM80 or 90 would give you years of spaces experiments, great tone (way much better than that TC) at a decent price. You can get those between 400/500$/€... an 81 or 91 would be even better... but a bit more expensive.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #844
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by italo de angelis View Post
WELL....
NO!
The dead convolution reverb is all about "trying" to simulate real spaces... quite badly though. You'll never get anything else out of them 'cuz you simply can't. They work forced by impulses, not creatively.
On algorithmic reverbs. most of them, you have access to parameters that can be easily pushed beyond "natural spaces" and create weird things, impossible rooms, sci-fi and what not.
The suggestion for hardware reverbs with sonic quality and tweaking possibility... I would completely stay away from those cheap/too cheap TC toys and up your budget a bit. A PCM80 or 90 would give you years of spaces experiments, great tone (way much better than that TC) at a decent price. You can get those between 400/500$/€... an 81 or 91 would be even better... but a bit more expensive.
I addressed the differences between convolution and algorithmic verbs quite clearly. For "realism", a convo can't be beat. Whether you think they sound like crap or not is subjective.

In addition, I own both a PCM 80 and 90 - have had them for over 20 years. Neither of those units will hold a candle to the new verbs from Izotope, like Nimbus or the R4 - what's ironic is the latter two feature lots of creative sound design possibilities.

I would never tell someone to buy the old lex's at this point. Especially given the reliability prospects of dying displays and power supplies.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #845
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
If you want the best possible reverb, you won't find it in a dedicated box, you'll find it as a plugin in the form of a convolution reverb, or sometimes referred to as an IR or impulse response verb. There are a few of them on the market, Altiverb is one of the best known, but others are quite good, and interesting.

The downside to those is they're limited in editing parameters, and they're cpu hungry. But for pure sound (and realism), they're great. They're also good for capturing unusual spaces and applying them to instruments, for example, Avid's Space has a great set of of "horror" and "weird" presets I use often in my tv scoring and ambient recordings. Used in a chain with other post processing plugins, I can do a LOT of creative things "inside the box"

The best (or at least most $) hardware verbs, like lexicon and Bricasti are algorithmic verbs, they emulate spaces and places digitally and feature lots of control over editing. In a commercial studio, I can see the benefit, but if you're a composer working on your own, there's better value and flexibility elsewhere - especially if you're going to get creative and gang different verbs together.
Have you ever used a Bricasti? I have a convolution reverb, I still grab the Bricasti first and since V2 it's more than just emulating spaces and places. As a matter of fact it has more processing power than your computer or at least most computers. It sounds really wonderful. As a matter of fact I have the Bricasti convolutions and they don't as good as the real thing. For that matter I have a PCM 90 still and while it's useful my Kurzweil KSP8 blows it away, never mind the Bricasti. You're perspective is colored by what you do, I have the luxury of having both and I still pick the hardware, as a matter of fact I'd love to get one more M7 or at least the light version if it ever comes out. The one thing I agree with you on is I too would never tell anyone to buy an old Lex, since there is NO real support for them. When my PCM 90 dies I'll sell it for parts, I would never buy 480.

Last edited by Musiclab; 2 weeks ago at 06:26 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #846
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italo de angelis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I addressed the differences between convolution and algorithmic verbs quite clearly. For "realism", a convo can't be beat. Whether you think they sound like crap or not is subjective.

In addition, I own both a PCM 80 and 90 - have had them for over 20 years. Neither of those units will hold a candle to the new verbs from Izotope, like Nimbus or the R4 - what's ironic is the latter two feature lots of creative sound design possibilities.

I would never tell someone to buy the old lex's at this point. Especially given the reliability prospects of dying displays and power supplies.

And you reported wrong data about what is convolution and what is algorithmic.
The attempt at "realism" by convolution is a beaten and old topic... dead really.
A realistic reverb doesn't live on consistent limited behaviours, impulses may represent in a limited way. Realism is alive and dynamic, meaning there are many factors that can interact in millions of different ways. Just change the level os a source in a space and the reverb will be different. This is much better reproduced in algorithmic reverbs than by fixed impulses.
Take any Bricasti preset and it'll sound way more real than any convoluted mess.

Sure, more recent convolution verbs are better than older... but still... they depend on third parties selling you their impulses. And guess where they take those impulses from?.... Algorithmic reverbs!

An algorithmic reverb can be used in different ways....
if one is after strange stuff, there's no need to use them as they are intended for. On a Lex... untie decays from size and you can create any wild space you can think of... add eq to make things stranger... refine oddity using the space design parameters.

PCMs... displays are available in OLED technology.
PSU are available. Easy one!
Encoders... available.
I have two of them...an 80 from first batch, still rocking. And a more recent 81.
And they're cheap to replace!
Add the delays interaction WITH the reverbs on the PCM80/81 and the Dual FX card... and there's no convolution you can use to come up with the amazing **** those tools provide... but you have to work with them... not just use the presets, or change a couple of parameters values and store them... as 99% of people do.


There is no such a thing as your starting line...
"If you want the best possible reverb..."
There are technologies trying to recreate realisms, with different abilities for that, and technologies that are way more flexable, for realism or "different".
Try "different" as in a Lex300 or 480 or PCM89/81 on any convolution plug... and your life will pass by in frustrating way...
Convolution is a dead horse. Done for ages...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #847
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Have you ever used a Bricasti? I have a convolution reverb, I still grab the Bricasti first and since V2 it's more than just emulating spaces and places. As a matter of fact it has more processing power than your computer or at least computers. It sounds really wonderful. As a matter of fact I have the Bricasti convolutions and they don't as good as the real thing. For that matter I have a PCM 90 still and while it's useful my Kurzweil KSP8 blows it away, never mind the Bricasti.
Back when it was introduced, yes, and i was a potential buyer. I was disappointed in its lack of algorithms to be honest, and it didn't impress me all that much considering the price. However, I haven't used v2.

The rest of your post is mostly subjective - lots of processing power isn't always what's needed in 2020 - just look at the exponetial verbs from Izotope.

To paraphrase you "use what works for you"
Old 2 weeks ago
  #848
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by italo de angelis View Post
Sure, more recent convolution verbs are better than older... but still... they depend on third parties selling you their impulses. And guess where they take those impulses from?.... Algorithmic reverbs!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #849
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Back when [the Bricasti] was introduced, yes, and i was a potential buyer.
Me too -- if I had been doing TV/film post in a non-IR world, I would have been all over it, because convincing rooms were so hard. Still are, kinda.

As a music tool, I heard a couple people take their records so far into the "real room" realm that the mixes had a very disjointed sound, even when most or all of the players had tracked together. That kind of dissuaded me. Now I realize you don't have to use it that way.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #850
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italo de angelis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Exactly!
You're living in the dead past!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italo de angelis View Post
Exactly!
You're living in the dead past!
You don't just sample other reverb units, IR's can sample spaces, like carnegie hall, or I can sample my garage. The unit then uses that "space" to "convolve" incoming audio and interact as its reverb.

It's not dead, it's anything but dead - IR reverbs are used in film and tv post as well as video games, we use them to create spaces, or sometimes recreate spaces for things like dialogue replacement, or simply where a scene is shot in front of a green screen and the space hasn't been defined yet.

I'm not sure what got you so triggered, but your emotional condition has clouded your reason.

Your post shows a certain lack of knowledge on the subject of convolution reverb, but plenty of bias against it - so perhaps a good read is in order.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convolution_reverb

https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/the...roduction.html
Old 2 weeks ago
  #852
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italo de angelis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
You don't just sample other reverb units, IR's can sample spaces, like carnegie hall, or I can sample my garage. The unit then uses that "space" to "convolve" incoming audio and interact as its reverb.

It's not dead, it's anything but dead - IR reverbs are used in film and tv post as well as video games, we use them to create spaces, or sometimes recreate spaces for things like dialogue replacement, or simply where a scene is shot in front of a green screen and the space hasn't been defined yet.

I'm not sure what got you so triggered, but your emotional condition has clouded your reason.

Your post shows a certain lack of knowledge on the subject of convolution reverb, but plenty of bias against it - so perhaps a good read is in order.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convolution_reverb

https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/the...roduction.html
Well...

we tried building convolution... and never worked as good as promised. Those impulses will provide just very few details but the way a sound source and a space reacts to it is past the impulses. I have used impulses to recreate older units spaces, applied to algorithms, and they work in terms of similarity but still things sound different anyway. Read the book, been there, done that, long ago...
nothing interesting or creative in there... just dead static waste of CPU resources...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #853
Gear Guru
All of this to me is totally subjective...
I do think music people tend to be tough with cash especially these days. I can see rich dentists buying a prewar Martin to impress but not so much a vintage reverb unit.

The cool thing about reverb to me is it makes zero sense. SP2016 alone sounds really strange totally fabricated yet can disappear in a mix creating amazing space.....
Old 2 weeks ago
  #854
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
I’m happy with plug-in reverbs. I like Altiverb and relab LX480, but also Valhalla, and a few others. To me it seems what some folks are missing or have no need for, is hardware reverb for live in the studio tracking. I wouldn’t need one otherwise. I suppose if you get your buffers down to 128 or lower that’s cool. But for me I like a hardware Lexicon on the snare, toms, vocals to make tracking more comfortable. I print them but rarely use it unless I’m in a hurry and it sounds good.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #855
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badmark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
All of this to me is totally subjective...
I do think music people tend to be tough with cash especially these days. I can see rich dentists buying a prewar Martin to impress but not so much a vintage reverb unit.

The cool thing about reverb to me is it makes zero sense. SP2016 alone sounds really strange totally fabricated yet can disappear in a mix creating amazing space.....
Yeah the 2016 is great, thanks to UK music shop not keeping up with the rate of exchange I got mine at a very good price, but it doesn't do the modulated reverb thing I'd guess the best Lexicons give you.

For that I have a Mr. Black SuperMoon Eclipse pedal, which has displaced a Space from my effects chain because it nails the other reverb thing I like, and its interface is as undemanding as the 2016's.

Atm I use the 2016 on drums and the Mr.Black on vocals, because it is properly dual mono so you can go left-in/leff-out - right-in/right-out for a dreamily huge cavern of swayingness.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #856
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Have you ever used a Bricasti? I have a convolution reverb, I still grab the Bricasti first and since V2 it's more than just emulating spaces and places. As a matter of fact it has more processing power than your computer or at least most computers.
Casey said that at some point. He also said they could have done a aax-dsp bricasti plugin that would have used half of a HDX card.

Both statements can't even remotely be true. A modern cell phone is more powerful than half of an HDX card...

I find it extremely unlikely that Bricasti somehow has access to processors that nobody else does. Especially considering the bricasti isn't exactly new tech...

Not that it's not a great box, and if it works who cares?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #857
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RyanC, your phone's priorities are not for near real time audio processing like what is needed for DAW usage. Usable latencies especially for the tracking and overdubbing phases puts finite limits in place that "more power" doesn't solve. Just look at the latest batch of high core count CPU's (24-32 cores) that perform worse for our needs than older 4/6/8 core CPU's at lowest sample size settings to keep latency at it's lowest. Going the DSP route you can paralell process with more DSP's without as much of a latency hit but then you are talking about high cost and a high number of chips like the old hardware Yamaha convolution reverb (I think it had 32 DSP's in it). It's complicated to compare apples to oranges here and if it could be done on the cheap you would see Behringer do it. Getting your hands dirty comparing will show different sonics.

Sharp11, he likely means that IR's are static snapshots and without modulation / movement, therefore "dead". You can however link or co-process many IR's much like how a wave table synth works or instead of using multiple instances of your convolution verb plug for some variation, I see a plug called Butterfly is available by special request from the guy that made the SIR colvolution plug that matrix routes multiple IR's to selectable channels. The biggest problem with convolution plugs are the huge percentage of near real time CPU they need so use at the mix stage when you can set a high sample size buffer and render is your friend.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #858
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Casey said that at some point. He also said they could have done a aax-dsp bricasti plugin that would have used half of a HDX card.

Both statements can't even remotely be true. A modern cell phone is more powerful than half of an HDX card...

I find it extremely unlikely that Bricasti somehow has access to processors that nobody else does. Especially considering the bricasti isn't exactly new tech...

Not that it's not a great box, and if it works who cares?
Hey Ryan
I seem to recall Casey saying what I said, I also remember talking to someone else from Bricasti who made some similar analogies. The point being it's highly doubtful ANY plug in at this time uses anywhere near the power of a Bricasti, and most importantly, the Damn thing sounds great! Also Bricasti has been talking about the next update which if I have this right would include replacing some internal boards in the M7 for even more power. They been determined to make this box relatively future proof. I looked at your studio pictures, very nice and congratulations.

Last edited by Musiclab; 1 week ago at 04:41 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #859
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
RyanC, your phone's priorities are not for near real time audio processing like what is needed for DAW usage.
Sure, but the equivalent of half an hdx card in terms of processing, actually can be accomplished by a newer iphone...and at low latencies. And nobody mentioned what the latency of the bricasti is.

I think it's a fair point that you have to qualify that statement with the actual latency of the processing, but that applies in both directions.

Also, it isn't true that a 4/6/8 core CPU unilaterally outperforms higher core, lower clock CPUs at low latencies. This is dependent on the software. Logic can take advantage of higher core count CPU's at low latency (after 10.4.7 it allocates half of all cores to the low latency/monitoring/recording engine and does a good job multithreading at the lowest buffer setting). Pro tools also does a decent job of multithreading the low latency part of the hybrid buffer. In my side by side tests an 18core 7980xe easily beat out 8700k (both hackintoshes) at low buffers.

It's true that CPU usage goes up to achieve low latencies, but half of, or even all of an HDX card is easily accomplished at a 32 sample buffer by the new mac pro's and similar at the 32 sample buffer (many times over). At this point I think it would actually be nice if Logic added a 16 sample buffer.

In any case, the little that I've used a bricasti I think it's a great product, and who really cares how much CPU it has/uses? I just don't find that statement to be believable.
Old 1 week ago
  #860
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Sadly there is a cycle of CPU power improvement then software bloat. So gains made can actually be a step backwards like with the latency rise between Windows 7 and 10 or when the latest version of your DAW app or plug is actually much slower than the existing version due to bloat. There are times and combos of products where you can take advantage of increased power but they dont make it easy for you to find what works best for our stuff. Given we are a small market that piggybacks existing tech to our specific needs its still pretty good we have what we have. Hardware just gets built for a specific purpose and it either works for you or doesn't. Computers have so many more variables where if you can lock in a great performing setup then you are golden but with near constant OS and app updates there is ALWAYS something not playing nice with others.
Old 1 week ago
  #861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
(...) with near constant OS and app updates there is ALWAYS something not playing nice with others.
but WHY on earth would you want to update at all?!?

seriously: i got some old nuendo 3 and 4 running on ps's/mac's from yesteryear - i disabled all options to update/to get on the net and use these computers just as any other piece of (analog!) hardware which cannot get modified!

as a result, i had not a single issue with any of my audio computers in ca. 20 years (besides someone dripping a drink on a laptop at a liveshow - luckily, it was just a redundant player for some backing tracks)!
Old 1 week ago
  #862
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I lock in configs too however I use a test computer to stay up to date with what is out there to see when an update or something new is useful. Part of that is being able to construct / repair computers too as I've had my hands dirty with that since they started. My current recomendations are still Windows 7 offline but with some newer CPU's requiring Windows 10 it gets tricky to balance power vs. ultra low latency (it's tough to beat their required updating-bloat). On the Mac side given the change rate for their OS you are really at their mercy if you don't lock in a working config. So as you say the key is to lock in a working configuration for long periods of time despite the constant marketing bombardment.
Old 1 week ago
  #863
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Sadly there is a cycle of CPU power improvement then software bloat. So gains made can actually be a step backwards like with the latency rise between Windows 7 and 10 or when the latest version of your DAW app or plug is actually much slower than the existing version due to bloat. There are times and combos of products where you can take advantage of increased power but they dont make it easy for you to find what works best for our stuff. Given we are a small market that piggybacks existing tech to our specific needs its still pretty good we have what we have. Hardware just gets built for a specific purpose and it either works for you or doesn't. Computers have so many more variables where if you can lock in a great performing setup then you are golden but with near constant OS and app updates there is ALWAYS something not playing nice with others.
I kind of "discovered" that I can overclock my i7 4790K to about 4.4 GHz, with the four cores. This is only a $300 CPU. Doesn't even get hot when I'm in Cubase at full load. A video render will send it into thermal throttling, however, at 100 degrees Celcius. So I might buy a better cooler.

If this CPU ever dies I will just pop another one in there. If my C: drive ever goes tits up I'll just restore a Macrimum image with several days worth of plugin installs and cubase all completed.

It's kind of nice to have a "resting place" with the computer. This rig is probably 5 years old or so by now too.
Old 1 week ago
  #864
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timtoonz's Avatar
I’ve got Altiverb and a few other convolution verbs and a ton of plugins, but I still find my Bricasti does the best and most “real” drum spaces. Definitely subjective of course, but every time I do a comparison the Bricasti gets the job.
Old 1 week ago
  #865
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badmark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
...
Sharp11, he likely means that IR's are static snapshots and without modulation / movement, therefore "dead". You can however link or co-process many IR's much like how a wave table synth works or instead of using multiple instances of your convolution verb plug for some variation, I see a plug called Butterfly is available by special request from the guy that made the SIR colvolution plug that matrix routes multiple IR's to selectable channels. The biggest problem with convolution plugs are the huge percentage of near real time CPU they need so use at the mix stage when you can set a high sample size buffer and render is your friend.
Isn't that roughly what the Acustica Audio plug-ins do with their 'volterra kernel' thing?
Old 1 week ago
  #866
Here for the gear
Is anyone still using hardware reverb units ?
Yes, i have the chance to use Lexicon 480L, PCM91, PCM 70, TC R4000, SONY DPS R7 on each mix i did.

www.orangerie-studio.com
Old 1 week ago
  #867
Gear Nut
 

A summary of the thread, could be "yes people are" ... not everybody ... and if you treat the zealots with a pinch or two of salt (Interesting that pro-analogue hardware views are represented so absolutely black/white good/bad ... almost "digitally " ! ) then people do get perfectly satisfactory results quite straightforwardly from software, quite a few also do from reasonably affordable hardware pedals, and vintage +/- modern racks can provide great possibilities at the downsides of expense, maintenance (reading the H3000 thread for instance) and difficult interfaces.
Old 1 week ago
  #868
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henryrobinett's Avatar
I just have to add to this - I just set up my two Lexicon reverbs. PCM92 and PCM91. I pretty much only do 96k so the 91 has been sidelined for years now. I set it up as an analog box. I have enough I/O. Then the problem with the 92 is the software is stuck at 32bit for Mac. This is for the controller on your computer. Lexicon just isn't interested in Mac. I've always been only Mac - since 1985. So I got VM parallels and it works perfectly. So now I have two good Lex hardware reverbs and a bunch of plugin reverbs. I'm set! It took me all weekend to set up. LOL.
Old 1 week ago
  #869
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Lexicon 224, Lexicon PCM96, Bricasti M7, and Eventide H9 max and Eventide H8000FW reverbs.
Old 1 week ago
  #870
tun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Lou, got to get you to audition a Sony R7 for it's lush clean plate sound as it would fit with some of the stuff you mix. It eats up a lot of space so you have to know where/when to use it but I dont hear anything else doing that particular thing as cheap as they go for now (around $300, original street price a little over $2k).

I like the Sony's here with a couple R7's and V77's. Have an Ibanez SDR 1000+ which is a rebadged even older generation Sony MU-201 that does darker verb well. A couple of the medium grade Lexicon's, the PCM70 and 1300S delay (use for pre delay to another verb). A very old Delta Lab DL-2 delay reverb which doesn't even have presets but what variation of great usable sound (maybe because you have to turn knobs and flip switches). Another dozen cheaper hardware verbs / delays / effects units. Have or have used most of the major plug options and they are different.
Loved the Sony R7 when I had one, never bothered to program it, amazing plate presets, instant gorgeousness. Would buy again if I could find reasonably priced and in excellent condition.

Last edited by tun; 1 week ago at 04:17 PM..
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