The Best Reverb Plugin Roundup

Giving your music the right space and ambiance can spell the difference between good and great music production.

From subtle to exaggerated echoes, reverb plugins are great tools for adding life to your tracks and giving them that professional sounding finish.

The most common use of reverb is for manipulating the spatial "image" of the instruments, and it is almost always applied on drum tracks, and frequently to vocals. Note that these plugins require complex computations that can be CPU intensive, so check to make sure your computer meets the recommended system specifications to get the smoothest possible playback and mixdown.

For the inexperienced, it would be best to begin with the built-in presets which most of these plugins have to get a handle of how the various parameters affect the reverb. You can then make slight but progressive adjustments until you find the reverb setting that you need. Whether you need cathedral like echoes or just a touch of reverb, you'll find just what you need from our recommendations of AU and VST reverb plugins to get the job done.

EAReverb

EAReverb Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

To understand why we gave the top spot to EAReverb among the best reverb plugins, all you have to do is try its organic and versatile effect on your sound productions. It beat the other plugins with its ideal balance of flexibility, quality and cost.

Instead of relying on preset impulse responses, it lets you build your own unique impulse responses (IR's) based on the parameters that you set. With this plug-in you can actually "build" your own space or rooms, by tweaking five easy parameters. Additional 15 advanced settings are also available for more experienced producers. The EARever's flexibility is matched by its clean and intuitive interface, with the all important room size setting in the middle of the screen. The natural-sounding earthy reverbs that you can conjure with this plug-in is easy to integrate with any type of music, so its not surprising that it continues to be well received by professionals like Cirque du Soleil engineer and producer Rob Heaney. Price: $165

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

The Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-in Bundle is raved about by many because of its great sound and amazing presets. The bundle is based on the PCM96 hardware - which is what all competing reverb plug-ins are trying to beat or at least, trying to mimic. As expected, the reverb produced by this plugin is amazing, paying homage to the iconic hardware it was based upon.

The plug-in comes with 7 reverbs that are directly taken from actual Lexicon hardware, which include Vintage Plate, Plate, Hall, Room, Random Hall, Concert Hall, and Chamber. And reviews are consistent in saying that they all sound impressive. If not for its hefty price, this is definitely the best AU and VST reverb plugin. The pricing indicates that this plugin is not for the uninitiated, but is instead designed for pros who knows how to invest on great sounding reverb. If you are still in doubt, know that the multi-Grammy awarded producer Ken Lewis uses this very plug-in. Price: $599.95. Get the latest price at Amazon.com

Redline Reverb

Redline Reverb Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

Redline Reverb is a full algorithmic stereo reverb plugin that comes with an impressive array of presets, 112 factory presets in total, and it lets you create your own personalized reverb effect via its extensive tweakability. And because of its unique design, it provides great sounding reverbs without hogging your CPU.

Instead of having the usual separate hall, plate and room reverb types, it has an intuitive parameter set that lets you dial in various room characteristics. Instead of going for realistic room emulations, this plugin is designed so you can build your own lush reverb for vocals and various virtual room for your instruments. It also gives you delay type effects and virtually unlimited reverb tails. If you are looking for a versatile unconventional reverb that is not CPU intensive, then the Redline Reverb is definitely a plugin that you should try. Price: $149

SIR2

SIR2 Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

SIR2 is a reverb plugin that processes audio using "impulse responses" or IR. It offers respectable low-latency processing and does not eat up too much of your CPU power. What makes it extra special is its straightforward interface, which is simply easy on the eyes and easy to understand.

To start you off, the plugin comes with high definition impulse responses (HDIR) of real places, giving you realistic room reverbs without much tweaking. You can then import other IR's from free or commercial sources to further expand your reverb IR library. This plugin offers true stereo convolution processing which when paired with its high-quality sample rate results in natural and lush sounding reverb. A free version SIR1 is available for the budget conscious. Price: $189

ValhallaRoom

ValhallaRoom Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

ValhallaRoom is an easy favorite because of its affordability, transparent reverb, and organic sounding echoes. This plugin comes with 11 original reverberation algorithms that the developer designed from the ground up to better replicate traditional hall, plate and room sounds.

It has all the essentials you need with Late and Early reverb sections for conjuring simple to large chamber ambiance. It is also in true stereo which helps in making the sound even more lush and natural. ValhallaRoom is not as flexible as the other reverbs but it excels in what it can do, which is practical since you only need a few algorithms that actually work to produce great sounding tracks. Its no frills and easy to navigate interface helped ensure its spot among the top reverb plugins. Price: $50

Eos by Audio Damage

Eos More information:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

Eos is another affordable reverb plugin that has gained the approval and recommendation of many, thanks to its old-school simplicity and sound. Instead of going for versatility and life-like room representations, this plugin behaves like old hardware reverb featuring only three reverb algorithms, one hall and two plate type reverbs.

Its simplicity and warm sound has made it a favorite among those that prefer analog sounding tracks. And the clutter free interface shows only what you need to see and adjusts to give you the effects that you need. Although it maybe limited, it does have all the essentials for the typical rock band recording, - be it a small room reverb for drum tracks or traditional plate reverb sound for your guitars, Eos will deliver. The Superhall feature is also amazing with keyboards and synth tracks, showing that the strength of this plugin lies on its long modulated hall type sounds. Price: $49

Ambience

Ambience Download it now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

Ambience is a free reverb plugin that can match the quality of many commercially available reverbs. It has made quite a name for itself and has become the old favorite of many home studio producers, and because it is free to use, there really is no reason for anyone to not try this plugin.

If you are expecting a basic plugin, you will be surprised to find that Ambience has a lot of parameter settings that you can tweak. At first the knobs may seem a bit daunting but the controls provide deep editing for reverb fanatics. You have the usual wet, dry, time and size control plus other shaping options like predelay, width, quality and variation. There are also advanced controls to dampen the reverb and to adjust the EQ. Other nice features include a gating section, diffusion and a reverb hold control. This plug in is considered as donationware so if you enjoy the software, do give your thanks by donating what you can to the author.

epicVerb

epicVerb Download it now:
Runs on Windows

This is another nice plugin that comes to you free of charge. It is designed to provide tight small room reverbs and simulate ambient effects. You can get a variety of sounds ranging from concrete up to smooth and does this with good transparency and without any unwanted artifacts.

For something that you don't have to spend a dime on, you will be surprised to find that this can work as your main stereo reverb - specially with its stereo early-reflection reverb models. It works really well with drum tracks and even vocals. With its two reverb modes and 6 different stereo models, it also has enough versatility to cover a wide variety of musical applications. Standard controls are available along with its unique reverb tail modulation which lets you control the reflection pattern.

Reverberate

Reverberate Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

Reverberate is a cool convolution plugin that may not be that popular, but deserves its spot among the best. Considered as a hybrid convolution reverb, this plugin can modulate two true stereo impulse responses via an LFO. This further expands the plugin's already impressive flexibility with its 400 MB worth of IRs.

By modulating two separately controllable IRs, you can get dynamic and organic reverbs, giving you a reverb sound that is distinct and unpredictable. It comes with an all-pass interpolator chorus and other post-processing effects to further tweak the resulting effect. This plug-in is also just as capable of providing traditional reverb sounds, you can create traditional or non conventional sounds to match your music. Check this out if you are looking to go beyond the conventional, while still having the option to utilize traditional reverb styles. Price: $80

MMultiBand Convolution

MMultiBand Convolution Get the demo now:
Runs on Windows Runs on Mac

MMultiBand Convolution makes it to our top list with its organic reverb and flexible features. It is a cool convolution reverb plugin that comes supplied with essential impulse responses (IRs) which includes cool IR's taken from real churches. It also carries cool features like IR and filter generator.

The parameters can be simple and complicated at the same time with each band having 2 IR generators of your preferred choice where you can control the ratio easily via a slider to produce realistic varying reverbs. You can also modulate the various parameters for more organic reverb sounds, you can apply pitch detector, LFO, audio level follower, enveloper and randomizer. MMultiBandConvolution is ideal for those who want to have deep level reverb effects without having to empty their wallets. Price: $62

Related Articles:
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Check out our Delay VST Roundup
The Top 10 Free VST Virtual Instruments
The Best Music Production Software

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My Favorite Reverb Plugins

Absolutely love anything made by Lexicon. The PCM Native Reverb is a great product. Two others that I would like to have seen on the list would be the Audioease Altiverb and the Waves Trueverb. Thanks for the list!

eareverb

According there homepage EaReverb is not 59 euro but (more than twice) 129 euro.

Thanks

Thanks, we updated the registration price of EaReverb.

Redline Reverb

And Redline Reverb is also 149 euro...

2C-Aether reverb

The 2C-Aether reverb should be on this list. Far better than Red Line, costs more but costs far less than Lexicon and with Lexicon quality.

where is altiverb?

altiverb is amazing, plus you can import your own irs

Altiverb looks interesting...

Altiverb looks interesting, but it didn't quite make the cut.

For anyone who's interested you can get more info at:
http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/Altiverb/

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