Recommended Reverbs and Delays (Something like BigSky?)

Hey hey, I just wanted to make a post asking about what you guys recommend for reverb and delay plugins. Ideally I’d love something similar to the Strymon BigSky, which produces some fantastic harmonics as well as having a really strong sense of space.

I’m using Linux so suggestions for Linux would be appreciated, and open source plugins are a +1 too.

Thanks!

This discussion might be of some use: Advice: Reverb for classical music

I personally only have experience of hall and room verbs. On Linux, I have had good luck with GVerb+ as part of the Harrison Consoles Essentials Bundle which would get you both reverb and delay plugins and seems to cover a lot of different reverb types. The presets on the reverb should give you a great idea of what’s possible and you can always demo it before buying. There are plenty of other options too including using impulse responses in one of the free convo plugins like convo.lv2 (x42) etc.

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Thanks! I took a look through those links and they seem pretty good. The only thing I can’t seem to find though is any that have a shimmer, or similar.

See here:

My favourite reverb is probably Tal Reverb III, which you can get for free. It can get quite shimmery in a way that for example Calf Reverb can’t. On the flipside, it’s a bit harder to get it sounding very realistic. Favourite delay is probably Tal-Dub. Hmm, I guess I just like Tal plugins.

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Have you already tested Dragonfly Reverbs? Unfa made a video about them.

I use them and they sound nice, but maybe not like BigSky

@unfa Great work and good analysis and explanation of the features of the reverb, thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

I also liked those small music snippets (vocals, piano) very much, I hope these are going into a song.

… goes to download dragonfly reverb for Linux, windows and macOs …

@mhartzel Is this really the first time you have used Dragonfly Reverb? For some reason I thought you were already aware of it. Either way, please let me know how it goes.

Yes I was aware of it but hadn’t put much time trying it out. Unfa’s video put it back on my radar and introduced how the controls work. It’s also nice the plugin is cross platform since I’m on Linux and the guy I swap Ardour sessions with is on windows.

For what it’s worth, Dragonfly Reverb is now documented here:

https://michaelwillis.github.io/dragonfly-reverb/

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As per the classical workflow thread, I’ve defaulted to using Bricasti IR samples on Linux even though on Windows two algo reverbs – PhoenixVerb and Flux IRCAM Verb Session – get the top billing.

However, I’m committed to trying Dragonfly on a live concert recording coming up and see how it does. Would you say that ProG and/or Hibiki can be tweaked to emulate realistic church/cathedral spaces?

@bachstudies I’m not really qualified to speak about emulating realistic church/cathedral spaces. My main motivation for developing Dragonfly Reverb is that I wanted a decent hall-style reverb on Linux for doing virtual orchestration. I had been reading a series of articles written by Mattias Westlund about reverb. His article about choosing a reverb recommends Freeverb3 Hibiki as a decent free option. At that point it didn’t have a Linux native version, so I began a project to try to port it. One thing led to another, things got a bit out of control, and now we have Dragonfly Reverb which has kind of taken on a life of its own and is not exactly a direct port.

In the words of the author of Freeverb3, ProG “is one of the best room reverb effect[s]” in Freeverb3, and Hibiki “is one of the best hall reverb effect[s]” in Freeverb3. That’s why I named the Dragonfly plugins that use those algorithms “Room” and “Hall”.

@bachstudies I’m very interested in what results you get using Dragonfly Reverb on a live recording. To start out, you could try the Large Clear Hall preset of Dragonfly Hall Reverb. If you don’t like the sound of the reverb tail, try turning down the modulation percentage and/or the late level. If you don’t like the sound of the early reflections, try turning down early level and/or early send.

Many musicians who work on a wide variety of styles have given very positive feedback, but I think that you and @Aleph and other folks here discussing classical recordings are the first real classical musicians that I have been able to discuss this with.

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Thanks, I’ll start with Large Clear Hall preset and tweak from there.

I can’t remember where I read it at this point but with regard modulation, I think this is the reason something like the static Bricasti IR samples work so well because our brains don’t require any modulation in the tail for realism. I might be wrong and the acoustician police may come knocking :wink: I will start with it turned all the way down and then experiment with small increments.

On the flip side, I know classical engineers who reach for, say, a Lexicon-style reverb precisely because they want some richness/warmth plus tad of excitement by adding some slight movement into the tail. I suppose this is particularly compatible with something like an intimate string quartet recording. Not used it knowingly myself. I say “knowingly” because for a good few years I put out live choral recordings with Aether reverb and that GUI was so complicated that I may well have had some modulation present without realizing!

@bachstudies Actually, pick a size that suits the performance - if you’re working with something small like a quartet or quintet or something, try the small halls or maybe the acoustic studio. For a more large church/cathedral type sound, try the presets in the large halls tab. Also notice in @unfa’s video that he comments on the ability to dial up the size and decay time to even larger than the largest preset.

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant changing the amount of modulation in the tail. I tend to use the IRs with static i.e. non-modulatory tail and similar for PhoenixVerb when I’m using algorithmic (although I can’t be sure there is zero). I note that R4 and Lexicon-style algo reverbs have more modulation in the tail that’s all. Some classical engineers use a bit of modulation as a way to further sweeten the existing space. For example, I read that Linn Records has started experimenting with the physical Bricasti M7 boxes although I think just for vocal spot microphones to help with blend.

Hello @ I would like to be able to help you in a more technical way, but I can not. The only thing I can tell you is that Dragonfly is perhaps one of the best reverbs I’ve tried, however with convolutions I quickly have an auditory feeling of more reality, to mix better with the sound. In Dragonfly I have tried many parameters and got a very nice sound, but maybe not so believable.
Maybe it’s just my incompetence using it… sorry

@Aleph Understood. Algorithmic reverbs and convolution reverbs both have their place. If you like the results you are getting from the impulses that you are using, then by all means keep using what works for you. The nice thing about an algorithmic reverb is that you can adjust things. For example you might mostly like a preset, but if you want the low frequencies to rumble a little bit longer, dragonfly gives you the capability to adjust that.

Agreed. In my case it isn’t always obvious which kind I will end up using on a particular project.

Those Bricasti IR samples are good and especially so for the price :wink: I don’t know whether I feel the same way about “more reality” but they seem to work magnificently in your circumstances. Over the years I’ve probably used more algo than convo and also recently enjoyed Seventh Heaven as it seems to combine the best of both worlds. A good number of classical engineers gravitated toward Exponential Audio reverbs (now an iZotope company) precisely because they sweetened existing spaces so well. Like in a speculative blind mic test (as in you would never get to listen to a shootout of the same recording in real life) my feeling is that when handled appropriately both algo and convo will give realistic results. The major thing going for convolution, of course, is that if you want an actual real-life space such as York Minster or Sydney Opera House you can!

For me, it comes down to making any recording—be it classical or otherwise—sound good so that the listener is totally drawn in to the emotion of it all. If that means zero reverb because the original space was so awesome then great. More likely, the space will be sweetened in post in various ways. These days I find that I’m able to separate the sonic enjoyment of a well-mastered album from the realization that it doesn’t really equate to how I would experience it in person in a concert hall. Not better or worse, just different given the reduction in direct waves but added visual cues. If Dragonfly can join the myriad of tools I use to enhance reality then great!