One of the most interesting new products at Superbooth 2018 was u-he’s new mini mixer CVilisation - the Berlin-based developer’s first foray into the world of Eurorack hardware. However, fans of Urs Heckmann’s software needn’t panic just yet, as he was also showing off prototypes of two new plugins, “hopefully to be released in 2018”.
The first, Colour Copy, is a bucket-brigade (BBD)-style delay effect cut from the same cloth as the Lyrebird delay found in the Repro-1 and Repro-5 synths. The ‘colour’ in the name refers to the five colour-coded switchable delay types - Lorem, Ipsum, Dolcr, Sit and Amet - each offering a different flavour of analogue-style echo which can be shaped further with the plugin’s Colour controls.
Despite its single-screen interface and minimal number of parameters, Colour Copy offers plenty of features for customising the delay signal, including Modulation (a triangle- or sine-shaped LFO), sidechain-style automatic Ducking and an adjustable visualisation section.
Although it’s difficult to evaluate subtle sonic nuances on a noisy show floor, the effect’s powerful simplicity is obvious: everything from subtle widening and bread-and-butter echoes to more aggressive, overdriven repeats are all possible.
The second of u-he’s new effects has the working title of ‘Spring Reverb’ - no prizes for guessing what this one does! Yet again, this one’s a souped-up effect cribbed from one of the company’s synth plugins, this time the Spring Reverb module found in Bazille. Analogue vibe is again on the agenda, with three switchable spring reverb models available. Drive and Tone controls sculpt the signal’s tone, while the Tension and Density of the virtual springs can be adjusted. And, of course, there’s the expected Shake slider to manually wobble those springs, plus a resonant Filter (12db/oct or 24dB/oct, pre or post).
Another cool Spring Reverb feature is the ability to apply an envelope over Shake amount, amplitude or filter; it’s triggered by the input or output signal, or via an external input. And like Colour Copy, there’s an LFO (this time with eight waveforms) that can govern amplitude or filter.
u-he demoed the effect by swamping a tiny synth ‘click’ sound in Spring Reverb’s ambience, and its distinctive metallic characteristics were obvious. With an apparent lack of spring reverb plugins on the market, we’re excited by the various modulation options on offer here - sweeping the filter manually or with a modulator opens up a lot of creative possibilities.
u-he is keen to emphasise that it isn’t rushing these effects, but seems keen to get them out at least by the end of this year. Price TBC.