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Pro Tools User Digidesign

Digidesign recently introduced Reverb One, a reverb plug-in with a lot to offer. No newcomer to the game, Digidesign's first offering was D-Verb. As to be expected, this new plug-in takes reverb technology to a new level.

Digidesign recently introduced Reverb One, a reverb plug-in with a lot to offer. No newcomer to the game, Digidesign’s first offering was D-Verb. As to be expected, this new plug-in takes reverb technology to a new level.

Before we dig in, Pro Tools users should know that Reverb One (mono or stereo) uses a whole DSP chip. With a MIX or MIXplus card, a maximum of five Reverb One plug-ins can be used per system. Pro Tools v5.0 (or better) is also required.

Navigating Reverb One’s interface is a breeze. Three adjustable graphs take up half of the plug-in window. The Reverb EQ graph is a three-band equalizer (low, mid and high) with adjustable crossover points. Frequency bands cover a range from 60 Hz to 24 kHz. The Reverb Color graph controls the decay times of the frequency bands. Low and high crossover points define the cut and boost areas for the three frequency ranges. Simply move the frequency sliders to the desired location and drag the breakpoints to adjust the gain.

The Contour graph illustrates the reverb’s envelope, as determined by the early reflections and reverb tail. Unlike the other two graphs, editing is done with seven on-screen sliders that handle attack, spread, diffusion, predelay and other settings. The same kind of horizontal sliders are also used for the Early Reflection and the Master Mix sections. Values can be typed directly into Reverb One.

Another nice surprise is the addition of a chorus and a dynamics section. These are not standalone applications but rather settings for shaping the reverb decay. I found both effects rather subtle, but they added a nice touch to the sound. Finally, input and output meters round out the Reverb One window.

There is a healthy selection of presets, including Arenas, Plates, Halls, Reflections and Wild Spaces. For the next upgrade, I would like to see a few more gated reverbs. Also missing are inverse reverbs. The overall sound of Reverb One is very rich and smooth. And yes, it is good enough to use on a lead vocal.

Unlike many plug-ins, Reverb One defaults to a 100 percent wet mix setting. Although this makes sense when effects are routed through a console, for the TDM architecture I prefer controlling the mix directly from the software. Hitting the green mix button turns off the 100 percent setting and activates the wet/dry mix control.

As excellent as this plug-in is, I would not recommend that owners of a Lexicon 960L or a TC Electronic M6000 throw their gear in the trash. Pro Tools users, however, who have waited for the next generation of reverb plug-ins, should give Digidesign’s Reverb One a listen. Some things just keep getting better!

Report from the Digidesign User Conference

Pro Tools junkies and newbies alike gathered recently at SIR studios in midtown Manhattan for the Digidesign User Conference. Representatives from Digidesign and numerous third-party vendors were on hand to display their handiwork, answer questions and lead seminars.

Wave Mechanics introduced a suite of pitch and time manipulation tools. “Speed” is an RTAS plug-in meant to speed up or slow down a track while keeping the pitch constant. Wave Mechanics’ representative Ken Bogdanowitz explained that the idea was to make a tool of sufficient quality to operate with confidence on finished stereo mixes.

The company has done admirably – I was amazed at the lack of aliasing and artifacts, even when making rather severe changes. “Pitch Doctor” and “PurePitch” are designed to offer pitch correction and harmonization, respectively. The “PurePitch” plug in offered advanced tools for adding realistic harmony. “Soundblender,” a tool for creating advanced weirdness via a couple of sonic manipulation algorithms, completes the Wave Mechanics’ quartet. The four plug-ins come bundled for $1,195.

The folks at Bomb Factory continue their quest to provide Pro Tools users with replacements for all their favorite old analog gear. Adding to its already-extensive line of vintage compressors, preamps and EQs are the new interpretations of the Fairchild 660, Pultec EQP 1-A and Joemeek SC-2 compressor (all $399), as well as the Joemeek EC-5 EQ ($199). It was the new Moogerfooger pedals, however, that were getting all the attention with the new 12-stage phaser and analog delay ($199 each).

Cuan, from Galway, Ireland, has created a unique ambience tool. The “Wide.r” plug-in ($249) is capable of creating very realistic reflections that are tweakable to simulate a variety of rooms. It works by taking an input signal and bussing it into four discrete sections, each corresponding to a reflection. In each of these sections you can adjust EQ, delay time, level and position in the stereo field.

For example, you could simulate a convenience store by having a bright and fast reflection from the center for a glass window, a more diffuse reflection from one side to simulate a wall, and a dark and quiet reflection from the other side to simulate a display rack. You can automate the input across the stereo field as well, creating the uncannily realistic impression of a point source moving across a room, with reflections coming and going in response to the position.

I found that it was an interesting ambience effect for music tracks as well. A 5.1 version is on the way. I suspect this will become the must-have gadget for post mixers in short order.

-Nick Baily