Dragonfly Reverbs for Classical

Again, a big thanks to @Michael_Willis for these amazing reverbs. I have a few questions after reading the manuals:

  1. Is “early send” dependent on “early level”? As in, if “early level” is set to 0 (as I would tend to do to enhance an acoustic recording in an real space), are any early reflections from the plugin mixed into the late reverb if the “early send” setting is greater than zero?

  2. For the Room version of Dragonfly with no “modulation” dial, I assume you have to set both spin and wander to minimum values to achieve no modulation of any kind?

  3. With default settings on loading up the Hall reverb, the amount of modulation is definitely off-putting for solo harpsichord stuff. Do you find that the default values work out-of-the-box for your virtual orchestration? Part of me wondering whether starting with modulation off or significantly reduced would give a better impression to first-time users? Just my two-cents…

  4. From what I read, “cathedral” reverb is related to “hall” but I’m understanding cathedral to have slower attack/build-up with non-discrete early reflections. Is there an equivalent dial for “attack” in Dragonfly Hall? Would zero pre-delay have the same effect as non-discrete early-reflections or would I simply need to disable early reflections in this case? I suppose this would be a good (and rare) case for “early send” being independent of “early level”?

Thanks for any help with this!

  1. Early send and early level are independent. To see this visually, set both to zero, then increase early send and observe that the spectrogram changes.

  2. I think you are correct, set spin and wander to the lowest values for no modulation.

  3. Dragonfly Hall uses the same default modulation as Hibiki. Admittedly it is kind of exaggerated. I’m considering working on a version 3 of Dragonfly; I might decrease the default modulation to 10%, which I’ve found that I like better.

  4. For a slower build-up try a high diffuse, near 100%. Along with that, I would suggest 0% early level, maybe a little bit of early send (5 or 10%), long predelay (50 to 100 ms), enormous room size, a slow-ish spin (maybe around 0.3-0.5 Hz), and experiment with wander.

Fantasic, thanks! I will give these cathedral-style reverb settings a try. Do I remember you saying at one point that you might consider adding a couple of cathedral and church presets into Dragonfly?

If I may… aside from potentially reducing default modulation value, what would prompt you to work on a version 3 at this point? Has the underlying reverb algorithm been updated since version 2? Given you have lots of colors to choose from, are there any suitable Freeverb3 algorithms for potential Dragonfly Chambers, Plates, or Ambience? :wink: Trying to find out the details on Freeverb3 is quite difficult. For example, the homepage makes no mention of Hibiki (and no ability to directly click on any of the included effects including the one based on “FDN zita Reverb” which I assume is “Hibiki”). A Google search gets me to the page but it’s hardly user-friendly! I guess that’s why you decided to make Dragonfly in the first place?!

Heh… yes, the documentation should probably give better credit to Freeverb3, along with links to proper documentation.

I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag this early, so to speak, but since you asked… I want to make a plugin that only runs the early reflections algorithm, since I’ve seen one demo with the late level at zero, which is a completely different purpose than using a reverb called “Room” or “Hall”. The original two plugins would remain mostly untouched; I would not remove the early algorithm from either of them.

I’m also considering making a plate reverb plugin based on this: http://freeverb3vst.osdn.jp/tutorial/tutorial_vst_strev.shtml … I know, the world probably doesn’t need yet another plate reverb plugin, but when did a SUPERVILLAIN ever care about what the world needs? MWAHAHAHA…


The reason I’m asking the follow-up questions is because by chance I came across a way of combining plate and hall to make a dry harpsichord sample come to life. The thing that is missing from most libraries is the soundboard resonance that acts almost like a mini-cathedral all by itself. So, I tried a dark plate followed up by regular Hall (no early reflections) and the effect was good enough that I want to keep exploring the options. The plate simultaneously placed the instrument into the room, so to speak, via the early reflections, and then gave it the resonance. The trick, of course, is not having the reverbs clump up and get too much in the way. When it comes to turning to EQs etc, I consider that the effect is getting too complicated.

So, all this being said…if you are looking at an early-reflection-only plugin, would it have functionality of being able to place into a space, a little like Mir or 2CAudio’s Precedence?

@bachstudies I’m curious to hear what you are doing with Dragonfly Reverb. Do you have any recordings online somewhere that I can listen to? Also I would like to know what settings you use. If you find some good things that are different enough from the existing presets, you could probably convince me to add more.

I will have recordings. I plan on using Dragonfly on my Bach Project next album. I will begin recording very soon given that I’ll be able to tweak reverb after-the-fact. I track directly to audio most of the time as my project is “live” with no edits etc. The question as to whether it will be a single hall instance or an attempt to combine a plate or similar with hall will be answered by the sonority of the particular instrument and whether I have the time to tweak endlessly :wink:

The early-only plugin would be equivalent to using either the Room or Hall plugin with late level set to zero. It wouldn’t give you much more functionality, other than maybe exposing a bit more detailed parameters for the early algorithm. I don’t immediately remember what parameters are available for the early algorithm, I just remember “ganging” multiple parameters into single dials for the Room and Hall plugins, like the size dial controls the size of both the early and late algorithms… Anyway, I would review the early algorithm and might expose a little bit more control.

I hadn’t considered that a plate algorithm might be a good representation of the soundboard! That totally makes sense though, since a soundboard is really just a giant metallic plate.

I guess it also works because plates are kinda nondescript in the sense they are not trying to recreate a particular type of space? Again, it was by chance but no idea if the plate I tried (some dark large plate in Phoenixverb) is the best option. Obviously my next step is to chain a Dragonfly plate with a hall preset and see what happens. I really don’t want to overthink this if a single instance of a reverb gives a clearer, more enjoyable stereo image but it is a line of investigation when things are calm.

Do Room and Hall use the same early-reflection algo?

I can’t make any promises about delivering a Dragonfly Plate plugin, but you could try the plate presets of Dragonfly Room Reverb, under the “effects” tab.

Yes, and they use it almost precisely the same.

Yes, that’s what I meant :wink: I’m not expecting you to cook up a separate plate plugin before I release the next discs! Although a real super-villain could, I suppose…

I wonder if in a few years when @Michael_Willis is holding all the reverbs hostage for ransom… if I am going to look back and think “I could have prevented the rise of this supervillan if only I had said something in that Ardour thread about his reverbs”…


The true mark of his super-villainosity (?) will be when he commands all the reverbs in the world to rise up against their makers, and subsequently transform them into “late” reflections.

1 Like

No way, I’m not that kind of supervillain. That’s Sean Costello. Why else would he name his reverbs Valhalla?

1 Like

I thought he named them after an old flame, Valerie Halla…

Here you go, try out the beta release of Dragonfly Plate:

Download it here:


1 Like

You are too funny! I looked at the screenshot and thought you had simply done a mock-up but there’s a beta version sitting in Github. It’s too late for me to try this evening but if it’s the real deal, I crown you the world’s no.1 SUPERVILLAIN (of reverb)!

I’m another fan of Dragonfly Reverb. I don’t have a Linux machine at the moment, so I’m using it on Mac. The Mac I use for audio and video work runs Mojave and I’ve had no problems there, but my test machine is on Catalina and in the VST scan in Ardour or Mixbus I get a message from MacOS that Dragonfly Reverb is from an unknown developer and can’t be opened. There’s no option to “open anyway,” the only options are to skip it or send the VSTs to the trash. Do you know of a workaround?

@bradhurley I’m not sure about that. Are you trying the beta release that I just announced, or a previous release? I built it on Mojave and didn’t have any trouble there, but I haven’t tried Catalina. Does that just happen for the VST, or have you tried the LV2 also?

Thanks, Michael, I’ll try the beta; I’m using a previous release. I also haven’t tried the LV2, just the VST. It’s not a crucial issue for me since my workhorse machine runs Mojave and I’m using Dragonfly Reverb on most of my projects there, it’s fantastic (and when I do finally go back to Linux it’ll be my go-to reverb there too).

Edited to add: I un-blacklisted Dragonfly on my Catalina machine so I could see the error message again. The issue is that the normal way to override this doesn’t really work for VSTs as I don’t have an app that can open a VST. Here are the instructions for overriding (this works in Mojave too). I use this procedure frequently but am stumped in this case because a VST isn’t an app, nor is it a file that I can normally open outside of a DAW. Is there an application I can use to open it and thus override the security settings?

  1. In the Finder on your Mac, locate the app you want to open. Most apps can be found in the Applications folder.
  2. Control-click the app icon, then choose Open from the shortcut menu.
  3. Click Open.The app is saved as an exception to your security settings, and you can open it in the future by double-clicking it, just as you can any authorized app.