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  #1  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:12 AM
midnightsun midnightsun is offline
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Default Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I presently have Sonnox, Eventide, Sound Toys, McDsp, and Digi effects plugins. I also have my ole Lex PCM 80 outboard box. With the main consideration being reverb, how do the modern outboard boxes stack up to the plugins? I wonder about PCM96, Eventide, Bricasti, etc outboard boxes.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:46 AM
Roland Clarke Roland Clarke is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I don't hear a lot of difference between plugin or outboard reverb, frankly it doesn't surprise me, it's only dsp and as long as the programmer isn't programming for pure efficiency there is no reason there should be a difference.

Also a lot of times people get too involved with this reverb against that one, it's often just a bit of "splog" to give some sense of depth to a mix. I think that many people forget that prior to the 80's many studio's would be blessed to have a choice of more that one or two verbs, three if they were really lucky. Often I find some of the more "clunky" less smooth verbs sit much better in the mix as they don't take up the space. Things like Altiverb, whilst very good and often entirely appropriate can be overkill. Personally I love the three offerings from Digidesign. Of course YMMV.

Roland
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:04 AM
KingFish KingFish is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I've been SLOWLY migrating to ITB mixing, more of a Hybrid thing, the last few years - But after a decade of Pro-tooling, I handed in 2 records last year, that were completely Mixed ITB, and I like listening to them, I'm not pulling the "My hand was forced by the powers that be" card, and apologizing for those records, which... If I can be honest, was the attitude, and premonition I was having, at the beginning of the project, when these decisions were made.

I find if I'm Producing / Tracking a record, now, to mix ITB - I get a little more bold in the tracking room, I mult LOTS of stuff, and print compressed Snares, Kiks, Room Mic's, and well as I EQ things on the console "To tape (Pro-Tools)" closer to where I'd like them to sit in a mix, rather then "Playing it flat / Safe", and dealing with it later.

However I've been putting signal to tape for 30 years, and it's "Evolved to that", and although I know I won't make a ridiculous decision, over eq or squash something, as I listen to it going down, and I STILL always operate with a safety net, by multing, and printing the un effected (Mostly just compressors, unless i want to try some "Bold" EQ' for effect) Tracks.

Last few records, I'd print EMT tracks, as well if there were ant Outboard reverbs I liked, Id run sends from the Snare, Toms, even Acoustic Instruments, and vocals, and print those, as tracks to the session.

Last 2 records I did that on, I ended up using "Reverb One", McDSP Revolver, and TLSpace for most of it, and those printed FX deleted from the session.

I still send things OTB to hardware when Mixing, but I always Print it back in, Just before I close my mix.
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:29 AM
Dizzi45Z Dizzi45Z is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I posted a question about this over on the Gear Slutz forums and nobody ever responded. So maybe somebody can clear something up for me here.

Everybody over there was agreeing that outboard digital reverbs were superior to any plug-ins including Altiverb, TL Space and etc.

I don't own any fancy hardware reverbs to really say whether this is true or not. But what I don't get, is why this is the case (if that statement is true). I mean, aren't hardware reverbs basically a small computer running digital reverb emulations? Why would this be so superior to having your main computer run the emulations? Is it that the plug-in algorithms aren't as good as the hardware ones yet?--But have the potential to be just as good or better.

I would completely understand if somebody said that an actual reverb plate that they were using for their studio sounded better than their digital reverb plate. But isn't digital reverb, digital reverb whether it is in a reverb module or in a plug-in?
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:17 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

TC verbs are same whether you use TDM plug or S6000 hardware. If you use digital connections the algorithm itself is identical. And even analog conversion is superb on that unit, it's hard to tell which is used.

So...

Outboard reverb is more complex system than a plugin. You might have AD/DA conversion, you might have less than 24 bit processing, etc.

Plugin reveals the true nature of the algorithm, because there is nothing more to it. Just the plug.

That said, best plugs sound the best, and best outboard sound the best. Choose what you like and can afford, then go make music :)
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:29 PM
25ghosts 25ghosts is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
I presently have Sonnox, Eventide, Sound Toys, McDsp, and Digi effects plugins. I also have my ole Lex PCM 80 outboard box. With the main consideration being reverb, how do the modern outboard boxes stack up to the plugins? I wonder about PCM96, Eventide, Bricasti, etc outboard boxes.
Since Acousticas launched their impulses the only reverb plugs I am using today are TL space and altiverb (in that order). I own an EMT 245 hardware and I love it. That was the first Acousticas lib I got. I could not really tell the difference between the soft/hardware and using those irs beats the living shi*** out of printing the tracks of the hardware.
Now I own all their irs and that is all I use today. The only reverb plug (non convolution) which I use every now and then is princeton digitals stereo room. Sold all the others from VSS3 to reverb 1.
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:35 PM
Dizzi45Z Dizzi45Z is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
TC verbs are same whether you use TDM plug or S6000 hardware. If you use digital connections the algorithm itself is identical. And even analog conversion is superb on that unit, it's hard to tell which is used.

So...

Outboard reverb is more complex system than a plugin. You might have AD/DA conversion, you might have less than 24 bit processing, etc.

Plugin reveals the true nature of the algorithm, because there is nothing more to it. Just the plug.

That said, best plugs sound the best, and best outboard sound the best. Choose what you like and can afford, then go make music :)

So if I understand what you are saying, it sounds like you are saying that the best plug-ins are just as good as the best reverb modules. Correct?

It makes the most sense to me.

Sure, a flavor of D/A might sound nice, but you could also route a plug-in out of a good D/A and back in again to get something similar. Correct? But if a Module is connected digitally, then there is really no reason that the module would be any different then a plug-in programmed with the same algorithms.

I am just trying to understand why people want to spend 10's of $1,000's of dollars on hardware reverbs unless it was really a difference that couldn't be obtained in a plug-in.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2009, 02:01 PM
digidesigner digidesigner is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I had a cool experience with the "lo-fi" reverb that most won't touch even with a stick.. For a fun I loaded the demo song from a PT8 install disc that sounded fantastic to me and the main vocal reverb was... d-verb!
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2009, 02:03 PM
digidesigner digidesigner is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

I also really did like the Lexiverb from PT5.. maybe I'm just into shi**y verbs then
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2009, 03:04 PM
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crizdee crizdee is offline
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Default Re: Plugin Reverbs vs Outboard Reverbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzi45Z View Post
I posted a question about this over on the Gear Slutz forums and nobody ever responded. So maybe somebody can clear something up for me here.

Everybody over there was agreeing that outboard digital reverbs were superior to any plug-ins including Altiverb, TL Space and etc.

I don't own any fancy hardware reverbs to really say whether this is true or not. But what I don't get, is why this is the case (if that statement is true). I mean, aren't hardware reverbs basically a small computer running digital reverb emulations? Why would this be so superior to having your main computer run the emulations? Is it that the plug-in algorithms aren't as good as the hardware ones yet?--But have the potential to be just as good or better.

I would completely understand if somebody said that an actual reverb plate that they were using for their studio sounded better than their digital reverb plate. But isn't digital reverb, digital reverb whether it is in a reverb module or in a plug-in?
Hi,

I can't really give you the whole reason why! but i have a Lexicon 224 and it just sounds right every-time i use it. mostly on lead vocal and it sounds better than any plugin or Impulse response i've even tried.

I also have 2 Eventide DSP4000/4500 SE and those have effects and do stuff that i haven't managed to find on any plugin. their standard reverbs are great and just about the same as any top quality plugin but the other multi-fx are in their own league.

Chris
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