Audio Damage Reverence

A vintage plate reverb for less than $40 sounds tempting, but is this really a classic, big-budget processing tool at a rock-bottom price?

The reverb plug-in market is now so crowded as to be almost full. There’s a handful of expensive, top-of-the-range offerings, a smattering of mid-priced ones, and a good number of free models that are of surprisingly good quality. So, even if you have zero budget, your reverb needs can easily be met.

This being the case, any reverb plug-in that costs money must have something a little different about it in order to be attractive. Audio Damage’s new Reverence plug-in distinguishes itself by simulating a digital plate reverb emulation (a simulation of a simulation, then).

So, let’s talk features. Reverence is sparse, though not in a bad way. Pretty much all you need is here: Reverb Time and Size controls to balance against each other, and push-buttons for various damping and diffusion characteristics. These neatly mimic the operation of rackmountable digital reverb hardware.

Our only criticism is that the controls don’t offer quite the extremities of settings that we’d like to see. However, it may be that Audio Damage have restricted the controls so that they operate only in the range in which Reverence sounds at its best.

Nostalgia

Speaking of which, the sound of Reverence is definitely artificial, but again, not in a bad way. In fact, it conjures up affectionate memories of the better digital reverbs available in the late 1980s. Perhaps for this very reason, Reverence does seem to work exceptionally well on synthesizer sounds - if you’re trying to recreate the sound of the early electronic dance acts, then this is a plug-in worth investigating.

The degree of sound variation, however, is somewhat limited. Although there’s a big difference between the shortest settings and the very longest ones, they all still share the same, recognisable sonic signature, and you’re never left in any doubt that this is a single-algorithm reverb system.

Reverence is certainly a very usable reverb plug-in, but it could never really serve as your one and only reverb; it just isn’t flexible enough for that. In terms of tone, it sounds (intentionally) like a digital plate reverb preset rather than a piece of physical plate hardware, and the longer reverb settings don’t have quite the desired effect on vocals.

Nevertheless, $39 isn’t a great deal of money to pay for such a plug-in, and it’s difficult to fault Reverence from a technical perspective. So, if you like its character and want to add a new weapon to your reverb armoury, or have in mind a particular sound that could benefit from being processed by it, there’s no reason not to go ahead and get your credit card out.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Sounds like a 1980s hardware reverb. Good for ultra-short reverb. Wide stereo image. Easy to use.

Cons

Not as natural as a real plate. Controls are a bit conservative. Limited variation of sound.

Verdict

Although limited in scope, at this price, Reverence is definitely worth considering, particularly if you have a specific use for it.

Additional Information

Simple-to-use reverb settings, with pre-delay, time, and size, plus an extensive filtering section to shape the reverb tail

Description

Plate reverb simulation plug-in based on the Lexicon Model 200

Min Processor Speed (MHz)

600

OS Requirements

Apple Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later Microsoft Windows 2000 Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft Windows XP

Plug-in FX Type

Reverb

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.