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LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional
5 5 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

LiquidSonics takes convolution reverbs to a whole new level.


26th April 2017

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional by Diogo C

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional

Product: Seventh Heaven Professional
Developer: LiquidSonics
Formats: AAX, AU and VST plug-ins for Mac (10.9+) and Windows (7+)
DRM: iLok (version 2 or 3 of the USB dongle is required)
Demo: Fully functional for 14 days
Price: £249 (MSRP)

The scope: LiquidSonics takes the work done on Reverberate 2 further with Seventh Heaven, a set of two new plug-ins (Professional/Standard) based on their “Fusion IR” technology. Seventh Heaven closely replicates the coveted Briscati M7 hardware reverb and goes way beyond the static presets usually associated with impulse responses. This plug-in is built upon extensive sampling of the hardware along with new interpolation algorithms to enable an array of possibilities, giving the user plenty of options to adjust the sound of each preset. Before we go further, it’s important to pay attention to the following statement from the LiquidSonics website to avoid any confusion: “All samples were recorded by LiquidSonics Ltd. (as such they are unofficial samples generated by LiquidSonics rather than Bricasti). The samples are copyright Bricasti Design Ltd. and are being distributed exclusively by LiquidSonics Ltd. with permission of Bricasti Design Ltd.” With that out of the way, Seventh Heaven Professional is the closest we can get to having a Briscati M7 “in the box” right now. It brings a total of 218 presets, with 148 of them being the original preset bank from the Briscati and the remaining 70 being slightly brighter sounding presets with modulated reverb tails. Presets are organized in the following categories: ambiences, chambers, halls, plates, rooms and spaces, with each category housing a number of presets, which varies from 15 to 32 (see attachments for the full list). It’s quite a simple plug-in when you look at it, with an elegantly clean interface which immediately displays the most used parameters on its front panel: reverb type/preset, decay time up to 30 seconds (wow!), mix (dry/wet), output gain, early/late balance and low frequency (under 200Hz) reverb level, which is a notable aspect of the Briscati. The front panel also offers not only input/output meters but also meters for the early/late/low-frequency components of the reverb, with all meters ranging from -60dB to +6dB, so you can easily keep all levels in check. Below the meters we can access the advanced controls and also a master equalizer. Advanced controls gives the user the options for different reflections patterns (which is another crucial part of the M7), set tempo-syncable pre and post delays along with post-delay level, roll off the high frequencies from the reflections and reverb (tail) separately and there are also adjustments for the low and high frequency decay times. The master equalizer is a complete tool with five bands, featuring HP/LP filters, parametric midrange band with variable Q, low/high frequency bands with shelf or bell shapes and variable Q as well. Overall this is a very complete and polished plug-in, most importantly it’s an extremely well-crafted reverb that can easily become a go-to solution for music, sound design and post-production.

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-main.jpg
A very slick interface.

Sound quality: My first contact with Briscati M7 impulse responses was through the almost decade-old Samplicity files, which were good sounding enough to give me a taste of the hardware but they were a bit dull and lifeless due to their nature i.e. conventional convolution techniques. Then I tried the first iteration Fusion IRs with Reverberate 2, which was definitively a major improvement in terms of sound. Seventh Heaven is something else entirely, it’s really another leap forward in sound quality and for the lack of better words it feels more “alive”, with more “depth” than ever. I’m not a M7 hardware owner so I can say if they’re closer than ever or not to the real thing, the general consensus seems to point in this direction, but regardless of any comparisons to me Seventh Heaven just sounds like a “better reverb” in all regards when compared to previous incarnations of the M7 IRs. Most importantly, it’s a great reverb on its own right and it deserves to be amongst the best, which is a big accomplishment considering the high level of competition that we have these days.

Ease of use: Workflow was a bit clunky on Reverberate 2 with the Fusion IRs, and loading/tweaking the sound wasn’t exactly a straightforward process, so perhaps this is Seventh Heaven’s biggest feat and one of its major appeals. It’s really easy to use and foolproof for the most part. The interface is really clean, well-organized and most importantly it’s intuitive to tweak even if you’re not an expert on the arts of the reverb. In that regard, adjusting most controls is a very smooth experience and for the most part you’ll simply forget that this is a convolution reverb, as there as basically no gaps in the audio, which only happens briefly when you tweak certain time-related parameters, but nevertheless it’s not something annoying or distracting. In terms of resource consumption these are very manageable plug-ins although their footprint is not exactly negligible, taking roughly 5% of my CPU for a single instance at 48 kHz on my 2012 i7 processor (model 3770), with the standard version being slightly lighter. With some good session management you should be able to run the necessary instances required for most projects without any hiccups before running out of resources. There’s also the fact that a (approximately) 9GB download is required in order to have all available presets, which is quite a lot for reverbs although it’s not an unusual size for IR-based content.

Features: Seventh Heaven Professional packs quite a lot of features and the Fusion IR technology greatly extends what we usually expect from convolution-based reverbs, and it’s not only about the tech itself, but the way it’s presented and realized that’s the crucial element here. There’s a good deal of flexibility here with the whopping number of presets that covers all major reverb groups, and since each can be tweaked to a good extent there’s some significant ground covered here. I appreciate the fact that there’s a full blown equalizer is included, which eliminates the need for that usual follow up EQ that many of us usually go for and you don’t really have to leave the interface to reach for a second plug-in unless you want to do further processing with dynamics or add further effects after the reverb sound.

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-adv.jpg
LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-eq.jpg
Advanced Controls and Master Equalizer provides great flexibility and sound-shaping options.

Bang for buck: The asking price of £249 for the professional version is not exactly what I’d call affordable these days, but it’s reasonable if you’re a working professional since it will give you an amazing sounding reverb that’s a joy to use for a fraction of what its hardware counterpart costs. Nevertheless, it’s still a relatively steep price that will probably raise some eyebrows from hobbyists and lower-income producers. On the other hand, the standard version is very enticing at £59, it has fewer parameters and significantly less presets but it should be good enough for most situations. Which brings us to the crucial point when determining the value here: we have quite a good number of awesome reverb plug-ins out there, for all tastes and pockets, and Seventh Heaven Professional is definitely among the best, definitely justifying the investment.

Recommended for: mixing/mastering/post-production engineers, sound designers and producers looking for the best representation of the Briscati M7’s sound in plug-in form or for an “endgame” reverb that’s easy to use and flexible enough to take over all their reverb duties with excellence.

Pros:
*Sounds simply gorgeous!
*Very versatile, offering a good range of adjustments on each preset.
*Excellent interface design, intuitive and straightforward to use.

Cons:
*Professional version does not grant access to the standard version, which could be useful when you don’t need all the presets and advanced controls.

Click below for full resolution screenshots & presets list.

Attached Thumbnails
LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-adv.jpg   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-eq.jpg   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-main.jpg   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-presets-1.jpg   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-presets-2.png  

  • 9
25th April 2022

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional by Sound-Guy

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional

Seventh Heaven Professional 1.4 Surround-Sound by LiquidSonics
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Let’s face it – you’d still love to have a real Bricasti M7, but the hardware is a bit expensive. And since you’ve set up a 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos room in your studio, you’d need a rack of M7’s to cover front, rear, sides and height channels, about $22,500 worth today. And you’d need to do some fancy audio routing to get the various channels to interact (separate stereo reverbs on each pair of channels does not replicate a 3D space). One of the best digital emulations that includes all the M7 presets is LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional (SHP) previously reviewed on Gearspace (search for LiquidSonics in GS Reviews). It’s a lot less expensive than the hardware, and of course you can use multiple instances to add reverb to a surround mix.
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. . . . . . LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7hmix-stereo.png
. . . . . . Seventh Heaven Professional in it’s “classic” stereo mode, but with the new Ducker control waiting in the lower right corner.

However, using multiple instances still requires some fancy cross-feeding of signals to properly emulate a 3D space. So the really good news is that LiquidSonics just introduced an update that, while small on version number change (1.3 to 1.4), is huge on feature enhancements including surround capability up to Atmos 7.1.6. Yes, built right in if your DAW (Pro Tools, REAPER, Cubase Pro and some others) can actually handle multitrack plug-in auxiliary outputs (unfortunately some otherwise excellent DAWs cannot).

Even if your DAW cannot handle surround sound natively, version 1.4 adds a very useful feature that helps stereo (even mono) reverb with its Ducking function. This is able to duck either the full wet mix, or, better for realistic effects, duck only the late reverb and leave the early reflections alone since early reflections are key to our sense of a space and don’t interfere with intelligibility like longer reverberation. These features are now available in a free upgrade of the professional version. The standard version I previously reviewed on Gearspace does not get these enhancements, but does get Apple Silicon support as does the professional version.

Some Surround Details
As mentioned, although it’s possible to use multiple instances of a stereo reverb in surround workflows, it’s not an easy or really effective solution. It’s difficult to create a realistic 3D space and is subject to artefacts due to correlation between channels. True surround sound reverb technology solves these issues in a realistic manner when done correctly. LiquidSonics does the job elegantly and correctly!

Seventh Heaven Professional uses LiquidSonics unique Fusion-IR engines that have been improved to better handle mixing surround sound channels – the same preset parameters apply to all channels to create a realistic space, but decorrelation of signals is applied to prevent artefacts that can occur when a fold-down mix is applied. There is a ‘Crossfeed’ control available in surround modes to adjust the amount of propagation between channels which enables fine-tuning your space. And in addition there is a hidden control panel opened using the ▼ button at the upper right that lets you separately adjust a trim level, a delay and width for each pair of channels (front, rear, side, etc.)

. . . . . . LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7hmix-trim-delay-width.png
. . . . . . The Wet Mix controls available for a 10 channel configuration (7.1.2 surround sound)

. . . . . . LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-6-chnl.png
. . . . . . SHP in a 6 channel configuration for 5.1 surround sound – note the change in the meters in the upper right corner.

SHP has expanded its metering with different views automatically showing when SHP detects different channel configurations. For stereo it shows the “traditional” view as in the first screen-shot, and additional audio channels add additional views as seen above and below.

. . . . . . LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-10-chnl.png
. . . . . . SHP in a 10 channel configuration for 7.1.2 surround sound

More Ducks
The view above shows the Ducker panel open at the lower right which replaces the frequency dependent decay time controls with Threshold, Ratio, Release and Trim controls – in addition, the small ▼ icon to the right of “GR” opens a small control window to select the ducking mode and attack speed.

. . . . . . LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-duck-ctrl.png

Late Reverb Only is the default and recommended unless you have some creative use in mind. The Attack speed defaults to Moderate which I find generally sounds good, but there is a 30:1 range from fast to slow available.

Other Controls
In addition to presets (236 – every M7 preset) there is the large Decay Time control that adjusts any preset’s decay from 200 msec to 30 seconds. There is also a Mix and Gain control, Early-reflection/Late-reverb balance, a Very Low Frequency reverb control, and advanced controls for the early reflection Pattern, Pre-Delay and Delay times, and Early Reflection and Reverb roll-off frequencies to adjust damping of the reverberation. Low and High frequency dependent decay time multipliers provide further control of reverb tone over time and a 5-band parametric post-EQ is available to further shape the full wet signal. There is not much more control one could want!

How Does it Sound?
Seventh Heaven Professional is like a turbo-charged M7 that has grown into a surround-sound processing monster! Seventh Heaven Pro has been called a convolution reverb that sounds like, and can be controlled like, an algorithmic reverb. It is a very clean, “3-dimensional” processor that creates believable spatial environments rather than an “added-on echo” effect, and the new surround capability takes it to new heights. If you have been bitten by the Atmos craze, it should be on your list (since it costs a fraction of what a Dolby Atmos room costs). Even if you are mixing only in stereo, it is a great M7 emulation with more features than a real M7. While it may not be a real M7, sound-wise, those who have compared it agree it is very close. In fact one studio owner of a Bricasti M7 has stated that after a few intense hours of A/B comparison, he really could not tell the difference.

Conclusions
Seventh Heaven Professional version 1.4 is a game-changer for surround sound work. It brings the highly lauded M7 sound into the modern Atmos world. And even if just used in stereo it's a superb tool.

Tech Data
Seventh Heaven Professional is available as 64 bit VST2.4, VST3, AU and AAX formats for Windows (Windows 7 and above) and Mac OS X 10.9 and above. Note that Seventh Heaven Pro uses the iLok/Pace activation system (machine, cloud and USB activation locations are all supported). Before installing the plug-in you should first download the latest version at http://www.ilok.com, enter your account ID and redeem your Seventh Heaven Professional activation code to your iLok account. Install and run an instance of SHP in your DAW and it should be ready to roll. Note that in your iLok account you can choose the activation type (machine, cloud and/or dongle). If you choose the dongle or machine mode, you won’t need an Internet connection to use Seventh Heaven Pro in future projects. The Cloud version will require a continuous network connection for use.

When processing multitrack surround sound files, a lot of processor power is needed. LiquidSonics recommends “high specification i7/i9/Xeon, Ryzen/Threadripper or M1 Pro/Max CPU with at least 8 physical cores, and 32GB or more of system memory – CPU and memory requirements scale with channel count – expect up to a few GB of memory for each instance that you intend to use, especially if you wish to use the v2 or long reverbs in surround”.

In my test system (PC Audio Labs Rok Box PC with Windows 7, 64 Bit, 4-Core Intel i7-4770K, 3.5 GHz, and 16 GB RAM) SHP uses about 0.5% total CPU resources in stereo with the zero latency setting. This increases to 1.5% for 5.1 surround and 2.8% for 7.1.2. Latency can be adjusted up to 8,192 samples which decreases the CPU load by more than 2:1 (5.1 measured 0.65% and 7.1.2 measured 1.1%). These measurements were made using a decay time of about 2-½ seconds – doubling the time increased the CPU load about 12%, and increasing it to the full 30 seconds increased CPU use by about 80%. So even with my modest 4-Core Intel i7, I don’t see a problem with CPU load even if I ever need large surround-sound capability. RAM use does vary a lot depending on the reverb in use and the decay time – I saw anything from about 400 MB to well over a GB for a single instance of a 7.1.2 configuration. However, I can’t see using more than one such surround instance in a project.

Pros
A clean, easy to use interface with excellent presets and fast access to half a dozen advanced features.
Excellent, “dimensional sound” that brings the chosen environment to life.
Superb surround-sound processing is now included for up to 7.1.6 formats.
Very Low Frequency Reverb engine provides excellent presence for drums and percussion.
Early/Late mix control of individual reverb engines help craft beautiful reverb environments.
Pre-Delay and Delay include tempo synchronisation for unique rhythm effects.
User control of the scalable GUI, lockable parameters when changing presets, default visibility of the advanced controls, and CPU efficiency adjustable in five steps from zero latency to 8,192 samples.
DAW automation can be used to vary all parameters.
Fourteen day free trial is available for new users and it’s a free upgrade for all Seventh Heaven Professional users.

Cons
Well, it’s not a real Bricasti M7! It’s more! Sound-wise it’s as close as many of us will ever get, and probably is as good as we really need! And it can do things a real M7 cannot!

https://www.liquidsonics.com/softwar...-professional/

Attached Thumbnails
LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7hmix-stereo.png   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7hmix-trim-delay-width.png   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-6-chnl.png   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-10-chnl.png   LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven Professional-7h-mix-duck-ctrl.png