LiquidSonics Reverberate 3 by Sound-Guy
Reverberate 3.2 by LiquidSonics
I’ve used LiquidSonics Reverberate (both versions 2 and 3) for years and have always been impressed with the sound and features. The fine Bricasti M7 emulations that became available with Reverberate 2 sold me, and the extremely comprehensive controls were a tweaker's dream, but rather complex to use. Updating to version 3 provided a significant improvement in usability with all the tweaking power (actually more) and a larger set of rooms and spaces available. LiquidSonics have just released a minor update that adds some very useful functionality.
Basic Reverberation/Shape controls with IR Waveform display in the lower panel.
Reverberate 3 (R3) is a convolution reverb plug-in that expands on the traditional approach with what LiquidSonics term Modulated True-Stereo Convolution Reverberation using their Fusion-IR technology. This adds editing and modulation tools that can provide reverberation that is far more dynamic and realistic than static convolution. Fusion-IRs contain separately sampled early and late reverb components that enable balancing these components independently, just as you can on an algorithmic hardware reverb (think Lexicon). In addition to the included impulse response functions you can load your own files or third party files, even non-Fusion-IRs, and tweak them in ways beyond the ability of most convolution reverbs. And R3 provides the ability to work with two reverb FX at the same time, combining them in various ways (note the Reverb 1 and Reverb 2 tabs above the waveform plot). In short, R3 is a very capable, very flexible, excellent sounding convolution reverb processor.
New Contour control in the upper panel enables varying decay times in three frequency bands from 0.25x to 1.75x of their
original length – this screen shot also shows the Master EQ plot in the lower panel.
If you are not yet using version 3, and are comfortable with version 2, now might be the time to check out the improvements in version 3 and what the newest mini update (version 3.2) adds. If you have version 3.0 or 3.1, you should immediately check out 3.2 which adds the new Contours tab as seen in the screen view above. It is a free update for any version 3 owner.
The GUI is laid out with the usual top functions to select presets and banks, adjust settings and turn on a tool-tips mode and pull up the online user manual (if you are online). Then there are three upper zone tabs to select Reverberation, Effects and Mix pages, and each of these in turn displays a number of tabs for specific controls such as Shape, Contour (new in 3.2), ADSHR (previously called Envelope), Split Mode, and SIM-TS (or Fusion-IR depending on the signal routing) as can be seen in the screen-shot above for the Reverberation page. The Effects page presents Equalisation, Delay and Chorus controls while Mix lets you blend/pan the two different reverbs. At the middle right is a control to select signal routing, a Level control (for Reverb 1 or 2, as selected), and overall Dry/Wet control.
Below this section is a “visualisation” zone that can show waveforms, a master equalisation curve, routing or metering, selected by tabs at the very bottom of the main panel. And there is a file and preset manager that can be opened below the “visualisation” area to load and save presets.
The ADSHR envelope controls in the top section with a signal routing diagram in the visualisation zone
This all yields an astounding range of control, and while it may seem complex (OK, it is!), the layout is logical and relatively easy to learn. The included presets will often do the job with little or no tweaking, and you need only view control panels you want for fine tuning. But you can also tweak any preset to the extreme if you wish. And there are many excellent presets which include rooms, halls, chambers, plates and springs. You can also use third party impulse response functions or 'roll your own' if you are really into original effects.
The Split Modulation controls with metering shown in the lower panel.
R3 uses impulse response functions that basically are as long as the reverberation time of the sample, and can be 24 bit or 32 bit wav, aif, flac, or fir formats at samples rates of 44.1 kHz to 96 kHz. The basic included impulse response files are about 500 MB and you can also download the Bricasti M7 files (free) on the LiquidSonics site, as well as some other freebies, like the “classic” the FS-1 Set and the new Heritage Series. Since some of these are available only at 96 kHz sample rates, you can end up with quite a few GB of impulse response files. Best to locate all the impulse response functions on a separate sample drive – you can do this during installation with one of the first set-up windows.
The Effects controls with Equalisation selected and the corresponding EQ graph in the visualisation zone.
Reverberate is available in 64 bit VST2.4, VST3, AU and AAX formats for Windows (Windows 7 or above) and Mac OS X 10.9 or above. Requires about 500 MB of disk space for the base installation and additional disk space for added Fusion-IRs (which can on a separate drive). This software uses the iLok/Pace activation system and operates with iLok 2 or 3 USB dongles, iLok Machine activation or iLok Cloud. Since the iLok system is often updated, be sure to check iLok.com and download the newest version before trying to use R3. And be sure to be online when you first open R3 in a DAW because you will get an activation screen that needs to connect to iLok. Enter your activation code and then go to your iLok account to select the activation mode you want. Both Cloud and Machine activation are free, but Cloud requires being actively online whenever you first start using an instance of R3 in a project.
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) at zero latency Reverberate 3.2 used from as little as 0.04% to about 0.6% CPU resource depending on settings and impulse formats. Latency can be selected in seven steps from 128 samples up to 8,192 samples – 8,192 samples reduced CPU use to about 0.25% maximum in my system, so if you are hurting for CPU power and can accept a latency delay, you have this option.
The program when installed and running uses about 160 MB of RAM, but of course the impulse sample files need disk space. The basic files included need about 500 MB, but I was surprised to find my R3 impulse file folder had 25 GB of sample files since I’ve added files over the years!
A very powerful, extremely flexible convolution reverberation processor that delivers pristine effects and enables comprehensive control over about any aspect of reverberation.
Excellent “3D“ sound quality, as expected from LiquidSonics, providing sonically believable environments (although you also can push some settings to obtain otherworldly effects).
Extremely flexible with excellent emulations of a wide range of environments and reverb types.
Free downloads at LiquidSonics include some very good Bricasti M7 reverb FX and additional impulse response files.
Very clean GUI with logical access for control of the advanced functions.
New Contour control in 3.2 enables shaping of “tone over time”, allowing you to adjust reverb times in three frequency bands, from 0.25x – 1.75x of their original length without introducing artefacts.
Extensive real-time control available using MIDI automation – and I found all parameters I changed “on the fly” resulted in smooth changes to the reverb effects.
Priced very attractively for new users and free to 3.0/3.1/3.2 owners.
I’ll let you know when I can think of one . . .