Technology continues to advance the process of replicating different forms of reverb in a now with reverb pedal more accessible and faster means by a simple click on a switch.
Every reverb pedal has advanced over the years and is currently popular in the production industry, with all recording creatives from musicians sound designers to producers using the tool.
Introduction to a Reverb Pedal
Reverberation is the process of sound continuation after producing the sound. For example, if you shout in an empty room, you will hear the sound of repetition. The method of hearing the sound again is called reverberation. This effect can be easily achieved by using the reverb pedal.
As technology advances, it’s now possible to replicate sound mechanical or digitally just as it occurs naturally.
In 1939 Laurens Hammond invented the first reverberation using a spring. The sound traveled through springs back and forth to a pickup. The same structure has been used in guitars ever since the invention of the Hammond Organs.
Types of Reverb Pedals
As technology advances, different forms of reverb have emerged, such as follows:
Spring reverb can be considered the oldest reverb mechanism of creating artificial effects through metallic sound. As technology has changed, you no longer need a physical spring to create a vintage effect. Digital manufacturers have built spring reverb in their amps, such as Blackstar, Mesa Boogie, and Fender. The spring reverb is mostly used by blues players and rock n roll musicians.
Plate reverb borrows the concept of the springs. The reverb involves large metallic plates. The sound produced is then matched with the first input sound to a certain degree to control the reverb produced.
Chamber / Hall Reverb
The chamber or hall reverb is a natural type of reverb. The reverb uses the ambiance in the surrounding. A good example is if you play an instrument such as keyboard, guitar, or harp, the sound will reverb. However, the natural form of reverb requires special needs to be met.
Digital Reverb is so common in the current generation and can easily be spotted on recording effects and pedals. Nowadays, most producers use digital machines to tune and adjust echoes and sound to fit different parameters. Digitally you can reverb any sound to fit any room size, decay, attack, or specification and still sound natural.
Using A Reverb Pedal
The reverb pedal is responsible for the production of different digital effects. Using the reverb pedal, you can attain any sound from a hypnotic ambiance, old-school sound, or church hall with a simple click. The reverb pedal has transformed the production industry, and you can get any sound you want in a click. There are different reverb pedals available in the market with different abilities. You can take a sneak peek at Rabea & Danish Pete’s video on different GFI system reverb pedals abilities.
Different reverb pedals come with diverse effects and tweak abilities. However, some reverb effects are common in most reverb pedals, such as follows:
The attack control is used to specify how fast you would like the reverb effect felt after detecting a signal. If you want to have an immediate reverb effect, you have to lower the attack, while rising the attack produces distance and space.
The Decay control specifies the duration of the reverb tail before going silent. You should set the decay control high for a long reverb tail effect, while setting it low results in a short sound duration.
Mix / Level
The Mix / Level control aids the management of reverb level and dry signal. You can create a deep ambiance by setting it low or tuning it higher to make the guitar sound dive into the ambiance.
The tone control is used to set the reverb color. The tone control may vary depending on your preferred style or taste. However, you can harmonize the tone with a breathy sound or heavy base.
Those are just a few standard controls that are available in reverb pedals. However, expect to find more controls. The following are more controls that are not common:
The shimmer control transforms sound into a lovely melody. Users can add to the reverb by adjusting the input signal to 12 notes octave.
The Dampen control reduces the high attack level of your tone by creating a subtle ambiance. This concept is used in transforming high reverberations frequencies to a less harsh, warm sound.
Modulation / Sway
The modulation control adjusts the pitch output signal level to create a musical tune. You should lower the modulation level for a subtle wavy composition and turn it high if you desire a louder echo.
Like the name, pre-delay causes a delay between the reverb sound and the original signal. The pre-delay control has the same function as the attack control.
The best position to use a reverb pedal is usually at the finish on the effects chain. However, you may add it before the chain effects, altering the sound. The best position for adding a reverb pedal is at the end of the effects chain to experience ultimate ambiance potential. Users can also add the reverb pedal to achieve a specific reverb effect.
Another commonplace to run a reverb is in cases where your valve has amps loop effects. You can spot the effects loops between the preamp valve and power amp. A tip on how to achieve an excellent reverb sound is putting the reverb in the amp valves. However, there are no limitations of what you can do with reverb; you are free to experiment.
Delay Vs. Reverb
Delay occurs when a sound signal or an echo repeats after the original sound. It would be best if you tried shouting on top of a mountain or a valley to experiment with this. You will notice over a short period; you will hear your voice again and again. The repetition of the same sound, usually known as echo, is called delay. Using digital technology, you can adjust the delay in modulation, volume, space separating one echo from the other, and the number of echoes.
See also Budget Audio Compressors.
On the other hand, reverb is quite similar to delay, except its reverberations are closer to each other such that they form a single long echo that’s decaying slowly. Similarly, you can change the following reverb parameters; the volume, modulation, the number of echoes, and space between one echo and another.
What Makes a Reverb Pedal Special?
A reverb pedal is a vital asset in your production. The revert effect is unmatched and adds a touch of the finest quality to the music. Here are several reasons why a reverb pedal is essential:
At times your sound doesn’t come out as expected, and you may occasionally feel some ‘dry’ effect. The reverb works magic on the sound in such conditions, adding the missing notes and chords. Another major challenge is achieving delay without the rhythms being interfered with; in such cases, reverb can delay seamlessly while keeping the sound polished. Reverb pedal is also useful when creating spacing in between your lead parts.
Reverb Pedal Enriches Your Mix
The musical journey has ups and downs, and so does your sound. At times, those unintended gaps appear between the song or riffs, and they seem so awful. You need to add a bit of decay or an attack in such cases, and the problem is sorted. Reverb fills in those gaps both during live recording and studio rehearsals.
It’s never that easy when trying to fit into your guitar tone to achieve uniform texture. However, a reverb containing decay, shimmer, and tone perfectly fits your guitar pedal. Reverb pedals have many effects to fill into any sound, from a guitar to a harp and even a piano.
Best Reverb Pedals – Our Picks
We have reviewed some of the best reverb pedals with the best reverb effect and meet most customers’ needs. When choosing a reverb pedal, price is an important point to consider. Here is our detailed list of the best reverb pedals:
Strymon Big Sky – A Great Reverb Pedal
The Strymon Big Sky features 12 built-in reverb types, 300 presets, and seven controls. This reverb gives users the power to tune and transform the sound. Strymon is quite famous for its high-quality effects in treacherous conditions. Due to its capability to penetrate any difficult sound, it’s pretty expensive. Strymon Big Sky costs £398, which is value for money.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
The TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 has a small body size. However, do not underestimate the power behind this reverb. The TC offers unique and rare effects, which has warranted it to rank among the market’s best reverbs. The TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 has input and output stereo, eight different reverbs, and three controls. The unique feature of TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 is the MASH, a footswitch that functions based on the pressure applied. You have to stomp the footswitch harder to attain a more intense effect.
Tone City Tiny Spring Reverb Pedal – Budget Option
The Tone City is a Chinese-made spring reverb. Users can control their functions from a single control point. Another good thing is the price since it only costs £49.99. The control can adjust the decay and level. By turning upwards, you achieve a higher and louder reverb.
Boss RV-500 – Solid Reverb Pedal
Boss RV-500 is undoubtedly the Boss of reverbs. The Boss offers 21 reverb algorithms and 12 modes. The boss processing unit is 32-bit/96kHz. Another advantage is the variety of input and output options.
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail – Reverb Pedal
Affordability is key when you talk about the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail. The reverb is easy to use and does not have many knobs and controls to confuse you. There are two controls and three modes. Another great advantage is the Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail is not big and can easily fit into your studio board.
GFI System Specular Reverb V2
GFI System Specular Reverb V2 is produced by the GFI System Indonesia. The reverb is prominent because of its Specular V2 feature. Other features include six modes to help you fine-tune your sound. Apart from the low price, the reverb is small, making it flexible to fit pedal boards perfectly. If you are looking for a reverb that’s efficient and still affordable, then the GFI System Specular Reverb V2 should be on top of your list.
Manufacturers of Great Multi FX Pedals
Line 6 can be termed as the king of the sounds’ kingdom. They introduced the Pod technology, a significant milestone towards the 21st century sound enhancement journey. The Multi-FX Line 6 introduces several new digital effects into the reverb industry. Amongst the effects in Multi-FX Line 6 include Pod HDs, M Stompbox modeled, and Helix units.
Boss can easily rank as the best pedal in the world. This is mainly because Boss has been producing easy-to-use yet efficient multi-FX processors for years. The most significant advantage of Boss is offering great tonal flexibility devices at affordable prices. Some of the best recommendations include the GT and ME ranges, as well as hall and Spring reverb.
The Zoom G is amongst the most affordable pedals you can get. It has modeling options onboard effects and offers an intuitive interface. The Zoom G is a great option when working with a small budget as you get more than you buy with lots of reverbs sounds.
Atomic is more centered on being a guitar pedal. Using the atomic features can simulate, precise amp modeling, and top-notch reverbs. The limitation with atomic is the lack of onboard effects. Atomic is an excellent device if you are looking for quality.
There are so many reverb effects for your guitar available in the market; as a result, plugins and amp modeling are now being used effects. Some of the best onboard effects amp manufacturers to incorporate with presets are the Kemper Line 6. As technology advances, more recording software or DAW comes packed with ambiance and reverb plugins. Apart from the free offers, you can now download individual plugins and expansion packs.
Reverb Pedal – A Great Addition For Your Creativity
Reverb involves so much, and we could hardly sum up all the most exemplary guitar effects categories. This article is supposed to help you filter out some of the best players in the industry and typical applications.
Reverb is so meaningful for producers as well as artists and studios. You can now list down some crucial effects you’d like to incorporate in your music. You may choose to upgrade to a professional tier of effects of starting from a simple, affordable class. Digital Media evolution continues to change how music production is done. It’s so amazing how natural sounds can now be incorporated into digital production.
See also Budget Audio Interface.
Can I use a guitar reverb pedal with my synths?
Definitely yes. Guitar pedals work perfectly with a wide variety of instruments. Adding a reverb guitar pedal to your synth, for example, can result in a very interesting final effect. You will definitely discover sounds you haven’t heard before.
Can I combine pedal effects with each other?
Yes you can. Combining guitar effects with each other can be an interesting experiment that will add to your creativity endless possibilities.