Reverb is the reflection of sound of of various surfaces, and it exists everywhere. If delay is just one echo, then reverb is a group of short echo’s of varying lengths and characteristics. For the most part when player refer to reverb they are talking about the effects and plugin’s that recreate this natural effect. Beyond emulating a space, some effect units take it a step further and create new synthetic soundscapes that only exist in a controlled or even digital space. Today we are going to take a few minutes to explore several of the more popular reverb options.
Hall & Room
These two reverb types refer to the emulation of how something might sound in an actual room or concert hall. Typically, a room provides a little bit darker sound with a shorter decay, and Hall tends to ring out brighter and longer. One way to experience these type or reverbs is to stick a really loud amp in a big room and listen for the reflections yourself. Since this isn’t always possible in a smaller room or studio there are plenty of great effects available to simulate these rooms. You might start with the Valhalla DSP Plugin’s
Plate Reverb is a synthetic effect created in the studio. Signal is sent into a giant hanging sheet of metal and the sound created is then recorded by a microphone and mixed back into your signal. This is not a natural reverb and is an effect that only exists in studios. This effectcan be useful in adding some space to your sound with out dampening it to much like a room or hall reverb might. Unless you are in a studio you probably won’t be able to get this effect without a pedal or a plugin
You can find this on almost any guitar amp, and can hear the effect on thousands of records. It is created by running the signal through physical springs inside of an amplifier. This in effect adds a slight “twang” to the input signal. This give you that quintessential “Surf Rock” sound. The best way to get that spring reverb is using the real thing. Keep an eye out for amps with a build tin spring tank. We really like the Fender Blues Jr.
Shimmer has gained a lot of popularity in the church world as well as ambient music. The algorithm add in overtones and with shift the pitch to create a brand new soundscape. Brian Eno and U2’s The Edge are two names synonymous with shimmer. Today the Strymon Big Sky and the Walrus Audio Descent are two great pedals many players rely on for that signature shimmer sound.
Reverb is everywhere. If you haven’t noticed it before you should start to hear it now. Every room and space has its own natural feel. Pay attention to the sounds around you and how they can change in different environments. Then start experimenting with how you can use reverb to change your playing. As always the best way to learn is to get out there and experiment. Happy Playing!