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Digital Reverb - A little History

 

Ah digital Reverb..........


That lush glassy world of echoes that lives like a metallic lake inside your song.

 

Maybe I am getting a bit carried away here but yes digital Reverb (or any Reverb for that mater, real or digital) is just a bunch of delays interacting to make a more smooth set of reflections.

 

 


 

 

Digital Reverbs are really not such an old invention. As a mater of fact the first studio Reverb was a bath room (and not a digital one).

 

The use of the bathroom idea promoted more advanced and controlled use of space. There were studios that build large chambers that on one end would have a speaker and the other a microphone.

 

Since real estate is expensive and not every one wants to use their basement for a large sound chamber other options had to be considered.


 



Plate Reverb

 

This design was very effective and many still believe that the plate Reverb has an excellent sound. This sound was well suited for vocals and drums as the verb had a bright quality and fast attack. Unfortunately the plate was rather large and expensive.

 


 

Spring Reverb

 

Another early Reverb system was the "spring" Reverb.

All these early reverbs were created by using transducers—a speaker and a microphone, essentially—at two ends of a room,chamber or some kind of physical delay system.

 

That delay element was typically a set of metal springs, these are the same kind of Reverb systems still used in many guitar amps.The spring reverbs were affordable but fairly poor in quality.

 

Finally the invention of digital Reverb came into existence. Initially these units were very expensive often costing $10,000+ for a 16 bit unit.


 

Yamaha was the first company to invent an affordable digital Reverb which cost around $1000 and sounded fairly poor by todays standards.

 

Now most of us are doing computer based recording and using digital plug ins for effects. Initially these plug in reverbs were OK but not really on par with some of the original big box units like the Lexicons (early digital Reverb company).

 

Now that computer based recording has come of age, very high quality reverb

is inexpensive and many designs are available.