Author Topic: The Black Hole Reverb  (Read 45911 times)

Ekstasis

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The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 23, 2008, 06:23:47 AM »
I read about this reverb when reading about the most expensive Eventide Processor (why do they have to be so expensive!?!?). However I am interested to know how it sound and it's characteristics, must be ideal for multi-dimensional space ambient ???

APK

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 08:53:14 AM »
Do you have a URL for this Black Hole thing ?
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Ekstasis

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 11:06:13 AM »
Well, I have read on some forums that this is the coolest reverb, but unfortunately very expensive, and from what I know there is no other similar reverb ???

http://www.eventide.com/AudioDivision/Products/Harmonizers/H7600.aspx

Would be really interesting to hear how it sounds...I have always been looking for something more celestial in reverbs... more space-like.

What kind of reverbs are in general recommended for ambient ála steve roach ?

Personally I have got best results with "Empty Arena" or "Taj Mahal Deep", this keeps a good balance between softness and riverlike flow and transparency in the sound.


jkn

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 09:52:32 AM »
I tend to use different reverb software for different sounds.  In hardware - I use the reverb in my bass pedal, an Alesis Wedge (cheap but decent), and the spring reverb in my modular synth. 

I haven't heard of the black hole and don't have any high end effects processors. 
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 11:35:34 AM »
Reverb is like wine, very subject to price, age, make and of course ultimately, taste.

A few thoughts here from a reverb snob (I am also a wine, beer and coffee snob as well  :P ).


If you are after a great deep space reverb, then you should not look at Eventide, regardless of the preset name on the H7600. Now the H7600 is indeed a great, incredible effects processor, but I don't think you will find many in the pro studio world who would reach for an Eventide unit for just reverbs. They are more known for their pitch shifting, harmonizing and spacial stereo algorythms, but not verbs. I have the Eventide Eclipse which is a great effects unit, but the verbs are pretty bad...

That mantle goes to Lexicon for the most part, and maybe TC if you want realism.

The new player on the block is Bricasti, who only make one product the M7 Reverb which is supposed to be amazing.

Now the snobby part, the reality is if you truly want the luscious verbs you hear on Roach or Rich albums or even what you hear on most music on the radio you are looking at reverbs in the $2000 - $4000 price range. Many will argue but any Lexicon unit below the PCM series or TC unit below the M-3000/4000 series do not even come close to this quality.

The only similarity in the MPX Lexicons or 200/300 series TC units is the brand name.

So what to do if you do not have this kind of cash??? Well there are some decent plug-ins (you will need some decient processing power on your computer) the CSR verbs are nice, Breverb, many Convolution verbs are not bad, as is the reverbs on the TC powercore (they are actually from a TC system 6000), but they are pricey, plus add in the powercore...

...or go used. Yesterday's PCM-70/90 will still blow any modern MPX series away, M-3000's used are in the $700 range...or as JKM mentioned, the Alesis Wedge is not a bad Lexicon substitute if you can live with the noise. I use one all the time live.

Just some opions,

Paul
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

petekelly

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 03:19:22 AM »
Ah, reverbs...

For me, I don't see the point in using outboard reverb units, when my 'studio' is almost totally
computer based. Factoring in the cost of the case, the PSU, circuit board etc., when it's just the
algorithm thats the important thing.

Here's a highly recommended and cheap reverb plug-in (with an appropriate name!):
http://www.kvraudio.com/get/707.html

I prefer the convolution verbs, I understand that some people prefer the sound of certain algorithm
based verbs, but I feel that actually using an impulse of a real space is the better approach -
regarding realism.

Actually, I don't think that reverb is the holy grail of ambient fx either, I use time-
stretching and (multi-tap) delays much more frequently. I think there's quite a difference between using a
huge reverb and creating a very wide spatial spread (by some other means).

When I was doing surround material, I experimented with some multi-channel reverbs - panning a
sound in some kind of created virtual space and setting up a short, bright reverb at the front and
a large, darker one at the rear. Panning a sound around this 'space' was interesting.

I do find the whole concept of reverberation fascinating, I'm very interested in the
inter-relationship between sound, the listener and the medium through which the sound propogates.

cheers
Pete

APK

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 10:57:28 AM »
Paul: that Bricasti is indeed a mighty fine reverb unit. Heard some gorgeous samples of it in action.

My general take on reverbs is that hardware units are the very best, and yep you have to pay a lot to get that final transparency and finish. But you also have to look at what its going to be used for. No point spending a couple of thousand dollars to add some reverb to a glitchy/noisy bit of grunge ambient. Its rather like the issue of microphones ... if you are recording fine vocals and orchestras you need the best quality you can afford so you capture it true and clean, but if its yer average garage band that money could probably be better spent elsewhere. In electronic styles of music we are not exactly aiming at truth to life, so that extra (and very expensive) 5% or so of quality often makes little or no difference in the mix.

I also like (and use) the CSR reverb set, they are very flexible. Also the Wizoo verb (bought by Steinberg), which is a neat mix of algorithm and convolution. And as Pete points out, Ambience is excellent quality for a 'free' plugin.



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LNerell

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 11:17:55 AM »
I just wanted to say that I pretty much agree with everything Paul said except for this:
 
If you are after a great deep space reverb, then you should not look at Eventide, regardless of the preset name on the H7600.

Having used some of the higher end Eventide boxes, including an H8000 I would tend to disagree. I think the eventide verbs are very nice and I am not the only one. I know both Steve Roach and Robert Rich use them so they can't be all that bad, maybe not the end all of verbs but certainly up there with the great ones like the Lexicon's, who have made great reverbs for some time and sort of set the benchmark.

For me, I don't see the point in using outboard reverb units, when my 'studio' is almost totally
computer based. Factoring in the cost of the case, the PSU, circuit board etc., when it's just the
algorithm thats the important thing.

If all algorithms were the same then I would agree but they are not, some are better then others. In regards to plug-in reverbs compared to hardware I would go with a decent high end hardware box over any plug-in as none of the plug-in reverbs that I have used (with the exception of DSP based plug-ins like those in the powercore) don't even come close to sounding as good. I haven't tried the one you posted but I will download the demo later and give it a go and see if my mind can be changed.

As for convolution verbs, they do sound better then algo-plug-ins for the most part. The only problem I have with them is they are basically a snap shot in time; they seem to work better with acoustic instruments when trying to recreate a specific environment, but with electronic music where you might need to stretch out, create a new environment they generally fall flat.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Ekstasis

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 11:53:29 AM »
In theory I have never really understood why hardware should be better in then software,
I mean if it is only mathematical algorithms, why would not software sound as good ?

Also I Lexicon has released a software version of their "legendary algorithms"  called "Pantheon LE"
How does this really compare with the hardware versions ?

Eventide also have reverb plugins for the pro tools platform.

I only use impulse reverbs, also when when speak about software reverbs in general we should keep in mind
that "Halls of fame" which is a collection of impulse reverbs..was released quite recently..and it set a new standard
in software reverbs.  The only bad thing is that it consume a lot of cpu..but sounds very good.

Ekstasis

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 11:59:23 AM »
Reverb is like wine, very subject to price, age, make and of course ultimately, taste.

A few thoughts here from a reverb snob (I am also a wine, beer and coffee snob as well  :P ).


If you are after a great deep space reverb, then you should not look at Eventide, regardless of the preset name on the H7600. Now the H7600 is indeed a great, incredible effects processor, but I don't think you will find many in the pro studio world who would reach for an Eventide unit for just reverbs. They are more known for their pitch shifting, harmonizing and spacial stereo algorythms, but not verbs. I have the Eventide Eclipse which is a great effects unit, but the verbs are pretty bad...

That mantle goes to Lexicon for the most part, and maybe TC if you want realism.

The new player on the block is Bricasti, who only make one product the M7 Reverb which is supposed to be amazing.

Now the snobby part, the reality is if you truly want the luscious verbs you hear on Roach or Rich albums or even what you hear on most music on the radio you are looking at reverbs in the $2000 - $4000 price range. Many will argue but any Lexicon unit below the PCM series or TC unit below the M-3000/4000 series do not even come close to this quality.

The only similarity in the MPX Lexicons or 200/300 series TC units is the brand name.

So what to do if you do not have this kind of cash??? Well there are some decent plug-ins (you will need some decient processing power on your computer) the CSR verbs are nice, Breverb, many Convolution verbs are not bad, as is the reverbs on the TC powercore (they are actually from a TC system 6000), but they are pricey, plus add in the powercore...

...or go used. Yesterday's PCM-70/90 will still blow any modern MPX series away, M-3000's used are in the $700 range...or as JKM mentioned, the Alesis Wedge is not a bad Lexicon substitute if you can live with the noise. I use one all the time live.

Just some opions,

Paul

Will try to look more into Bricasti..sound interesting...
Btw I can find the PCM-70 quite cheap for around 750 dollars here in Sweden.
I would probably prefer the PCM-90 verision which is newer, but a lot more expensive.
I will also look into CSR and Breverb as you did mention.

LNerell

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 09:46:07 PM »
In theory I have never really understood why hardware should be better in then software, I mean if it is only mathematical algorithms, why would not software sound as good ? . . . .The only bad thing is that it consume a lot of cpu..but sounds very good.

In a way you answered your own question. Reverb is very complex and requires a lot of processing power to do correctly. Software versions on your computer have to compete with the OS, your recording software, other plug-ins, other instruments, etc. In a word most plug-in versions are dumbed down so they are usable in a DAW enviroment with other plug-ins.

Also I Lexicon has released a software version of their "legendary algorithms"  called "Pantheon LE" How does this really compare with the hardware versions ?

I have not used it myself but the "LE" in the name is telling. That usually stands for "Lite Edition," meaning not as complex. The PCM70 is the classic Lexicon verb but just about all of those boxes are 20 years old now and I understand some parts like the display are getting hard to find so make sure you get one with a good display.

Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 09:49:53 PM »
...I guess I should clarify, Loren I am not saying that the Eventides are bad, it just would not be my (or most other audio engineers I know) 1st choice for reverb when compared to Lexicon or TC. Not bad, better than most, just not the best, and I think its pretty universally accepted that Steve's sound was based on the PCM 70 for years. On sites like Gear Slutz, many consider it to be the last of the true great Lexicon boxes, not that I totally agree, the 90/91 is no slouch and I am currently deciding between a PCM 96 or the Bricasti.  I do

The warning with anything older the the 81/91 series is Lexicon no longer supports them or stocks parts, so if one dies you may have an expensive paper weight. This fact is what kept me from getting a used 70.

Another cool box is the Kurzwiel Rumor, which is the verb only section of thier expensive high end box.

As to plug-ins I do have to agree with Loren as well, there are very few which I really like, short or the DSP based TC/UAD's as they are really not plug-ins in the true sense.

...however, if all you can afford is the MPX series or TC 300 series, the for the same cash I would consider plugins like CSR, Breverb or Convolution based ones as there is zero advantage sonically with most hardware in this class, unless of course you need portability.



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Wayne Higgins

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 08:32:54 AM »
I've got a Lexicon Dual Reverb processor, then I've got all the reverb on the Lexicon Cubase to play with.  Reverb is like fine wine, I'll agree.  But I would love to find that old Sears Silvertone amp I had back in the 70's that when you kicked it, it sounded like an explosion.
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 08:52:36 AM »
Ohhh one more I forgot, in the Lexicon MPX series, the original MPX-1 was probably the nicest and most flexible of the bunch. Its verbs still are not PCM quality, but as a multi-fx processor it rocks. Plus they can be had for cheaper than the MPX100's, 500's and so on on e-bay and they are way nicer.

Paul
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Ekstasis

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 09:08:35 AM »
In theory I have never really understood why hardware should be better in then software, I mean if it is only mathematical algorithms, why would not software sound as good ? . . . .The only bad thing is that it consume a lot of cpu..but sounds very good.

In a way you answered your own question. Reverb is very complex and requires a lot of processing power to do correctly. Software versions on your computer have to compete with the OS, your recording software, other plug-ins, other instruments, etc. In a word most plug-in versions are dumbed down so they are usable in a DAW enviroment with other plug-ins.

Also I Lexicon has released a software version of their "legendary algorithms"  called "Pantheon LE" How does this really compare with the hardware versions ?

I have not used it myself but the "LE" in the name is telling. That usually stands for "Lite Edition," meaning not as complex. The PCM70 is the classic Lexicon verb but just about all of those boxes are 20 years old now and I understand some parts like the display are getting hard to find so make sure you get one with a good display.



I am not sure DSP power is the problem anymore. A PCM70 that is over 20 years old should by no means compare to today's DSP power of today's computers systems. Even if it was a problem you should still be able to use these algorithms in render-mode, where the only thing that matters is "render-time" and not DSP power in real-time. From what I know neither Lexicon or Eventide offer this in software-form...

However, what I do think is that this has to do with strategies, the manufactures would basically dig their own grave if they did release their algorithms as software due piracy, it seems like a way better and safer strategy to keep these algorithms in these hardware boxes, this is my theory...

As I said, PCM70 is quite affordable, but I still skeptical for some reason... cause it is such a old product, would like to know how it compares to the newer Lexicon reverbs such as PCM96. And how come no reverbs above PCM90 is mention, why do they not sound as good when they are based on the same algorithms ?





« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:11:19 AM by Immersion »

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2008, 01:45:24 PM »
Well like I mentioned, I am very interrested in the new PCM 96, I have heard great things about it.
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

petekelly

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2008, 02:45:14 PM »
One of the liberating aspects of the way in which a lot of artists make their music these days is
that there are a lot of affordable tools available which are (arguably) almost as good as expensive
(and unattainable for most artists) high-end gear. I agree with APK's earlier point in this regard.

Yep, like Burgundy, Eqs and vintage guitar valve amps, its down to 'taste' ultimately. Naturally
some people have a lot more experience to judge their choices by, but others shouldn't feel that
their opinions are not valid. 
 
Immersion, you might want to try out these Lexicon Impulses from 'Noisevault':

http://noisevault.com/nv/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=29&func=selectcat&cat=7

There's PCM70 and PCM91 sets there amongst many others.

cheers
Pete

Altus

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 08:56:34 PM »
I tried out the "donation-ware" Ambience plug-in.  Pretty impressive for a free plug-in!  However, it gives off a dead sound if that makes any sense.
My plug-in of choice is ArtsAcoustic Reverb (http://www.artsacoustic.com/).  When comparing the two, AA give a patch a very nice full sound (almost giving it a life of it's own), whereas Ambience sounds hollow.  Also, AA allows for a 45-second tail (and longer if you fool around with the EQ crossover)... which was the first reason I bought it.  ;)

Anyway, they have a demo for it if you want to try it out.  I've been using it for years and still haven't felt the need to search for another reverb plugin.
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Seren

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2008, 05:56:32 AM »
I use a mixture of reverbs from ones included on the instruments, hardware and software.

Hardware is the TCM3000, which has a great clear sound and can be tweaked a lot to create what I want. There is an ariyness and depth of quality to it that I have not managed to create in the others. I do, if I create a sound I like on the other reverbs, put them through the M3000 to clean the sound up.

Software includes the reverbs on KorgD16 and Roland VS2480. I use the Glaceverb VST plug in for Sonar 5. It has some unusual sounds which are fun to play with.

synth and keyboard reverbs.

I do like putting the sound through a variety of them rather than using just the pallette of one.

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Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2008, 08:08:41 AM »
Effects (not only reverbs) are an important part of my creations. If I'm looking for a clean reverb the TC M3000 is my first choice: high quality and no noise. If I want a special-sounding reverb, then the Lexicon PCM80/90 can do wonderful things, but I must accept a bit of noise. But if I am looking for something REALLY special, my Eventides are the top choice, these machines come from another planet.