Reverb is the secret sauce that can transform your music productions from amateur to professional, creating a sense of space, depth, and realism.
With so many reverb plugins on the market, how do you know which ones are worth adding to your collection?
Well… we’ve got you covered!
Today, we’ll reveal the 10 best reverb plugins of 2023 that every producer needs in their arsenal.
In this jam-packed article, we’ll dive deep into the world of reverb and cover:
- The various types of reverb and when to use them for maximum impact ✓
- In-depth analysis of each plugin, including unique features & characteristics ✓
- Pro tips for each reverb plugin to help take your production skills to the next level ✓
So, get ready to dive into the world of the best reverb plugins, unlocking the secrets to immersive, captivating mixes that will leave your listeners wanting more.
Let’s dive into the best reverb plugins of 2023…
Table of Contents
- Convolution Reverb
- Plate Reverb
- Spring Reverb
- Room Reverb
- Algorithmic Reverb
- 10 Best Reverb Plugins You Need in 2023
- #1. Best All Around Reverb Plugin: Sound Doctor by Unison Audio
- Pro Tip
- #2. Best Vintage Reverb Plugin: Valhalla VintageVerb
- Pro Tip
- #3. Best Hybrid Reverb Plugin: H-Reverb by Waves
- Pro Tip
- #4. Best Reverb Plugin for Precision and Clarity: FabFilter Pro-R
- Pro Tip
- #5. Best Reverb Plugin for Classic Hardware Emulations: VerbSuite Classics by Slate Digital
- Pro Tip
- #6. Best Reverb Plugin for Creative Sound Design: Eventide Blackhole
- Pro Tip
- #7. Best Reverb Plugin for Adaptive Processing: Smart:reverb by Sonible
- Pro Tip
- #8. Best Plate Reverb Plugin: Abbey Road Reverb Plates by Waves
- Pro Tip
- #9. Best Spring Reverb Plugin: Spring Reverb by Softube
- Pro Tip
- #10. Best Free Reverb Plugin: Convology XT
- Pro Tip
- Final Thoughts: Best Reverb Plugins
Convolution reverb, also known as impulse response reverb, is a type of reverb that uses sampled recordings of real spaces to create realistic reverb effects.
These recordings, called impulse responses (IRs), capture the acoustic characteristics of a specific environment, such as a concert hall, church, or small room.
The convolution reverb plugin then processes the input audio with the impulse response, resulting in a highly accurate representation of how the sound would behave in the sampled space.
Convolution reverbs are great if you’re looking for highly realistic reverb effects that accurately recreate the sound of real spaces.
For example, if you’re mixing orchestral recordings in order to place them in a “concert hall” or cathedral setting, convolution reverbs are your go-to.
They’ll help it sound super natural, realistic, and spacious.
Plate reverb is a type of reverb that simulates the sound of a metal plate resonating in response to an audio signal.
Originally, plate reverbs were created using large, suspended metal plates with transducers and pickups attached.
The audio signal would be fed into the plate, causing it to vibrate and produce a lush, dense sound.
Plate reverb plugins digitally emulate this process to deliver a similar character and tone.
Plate reverbs are supreme at adding warmth, depth, and sustain to instruments without compromising their clarity and definition.
For example, if you wanted to enhance vocals in a pop/rock mix, and provide them with a sense of space (while maintaining their presence in the mix), spring reverbs are the perfect candidate.
They’re also great for adding depth and richness to drum tracks without muddying the overall sound; especially on snares and toms.
Spring reverb simulates the sound of a mechanical spring reverb unit, which consists of one or more springs connected to a transducer and pickup.
The audio signal is sent through the springs, causing them to vibrate and create a distinctive, lively reverb sound.
Spring reverb plugins digitally recreate this process and the unique character of spring reverb units.
When you’re aiming for a distinctive, vintage sound that complements specific music genres and styles, spring reverbs are the way to go.
For example, you would apply spring reverbs to a surf guitar tone in order to create that classic, retro vibe.
Also, spring reverbs are ideal for adding character and liveliness to electronic music, such as synth leads or basslines, for a unique sonic texture.
Room reverb is a type of reverb that simulates the acoustic properties of various room types, such as small studios, living rooms, or large halls.
Room reverbs can be created using either algorithmic or convolution methods, with the primary goal being to recreate the natural ambiance and reflections of a specific space.
By adjusting parameters like room size, shape, and material, you can tailor the reverb to fit the needs of your mix.
If you’re looking to add a sense of space, dimension, and depth to your unique mix, room reverbs can help you do so without compromising the clarity of the individual elements at hand.
For example, adding room reverbs to free drum kits or percussions in order to create a sense of cohesion and natural ambiance would enhance the sound tenfold.
Using this type of reverb on acoustic guitar or piano tracks to give them a sense of space and airiness is also super beneficial.
They’ll help you accomplish that while maintaining their natural character and presence in the mix.
Algorithmic reverb is a type of reverb that uses mathematical algorithms to simulate the behavior of sound in a virtual space.
This versatile algorithmic reverb models various aspects of real-world acoustics, such as room size, shape, and material, as well as early reflections and reverb decay.
Algorithmic reverbs can be highly customizable and offer a wide range of reverb sounds, from natural to artificial.
If you need a highly customizable and flexible reverb that offers a wide range of sounds and is less CPU-intensive, then algorithmic reverb is the perfect match for you.
They’re great for sculpting a reverb sound for a specific instrument or mix element, such as adding a bright, airy reverb to a piano or a long, lush reverb to a pad.
Algorithmic reverbs are also great for experimenting with unusual and creative reverb effects, like modulated or gated reverbs, in order to add interest and depth to your mix.
10 Best Reverb Plugins You Need in 2023
Now that we’ve covered the basics of reverb types, let’s dive into the 10 best reverb plugins you need in your producer’s arsenal for 2023.
This list of the best reverb plugins has been carefully selected based on their:
- Sound quality
- Special features
- Ease of use
- Overall value to your music production
So, without further ado, let’s inspect the best reverb plugins of 2023.
#1. Best All Around Reverb Plugin: Sound Doctor by Unison Audio
At the top of our best reverb plugins list is Sound Doctor by Unison Audio.
It’s an all-in-one powerhouse that offers not only two high-quality reverbs but also 23 other essential FX, making it a one-stop shop for all your mixing needs.
This versatile and user-friendly plugin is designed to streamline your workflow and add depth, character, and polish to your tracks.
What sets Sound Doctor apart from the competition is the impressive collection of effects it houses, including two top-notch reverbs that provide you with an incredible range of sonic possibilities.
- Plate Reverb 一 Simulates the classic sound of a metal plate reverberator, which was widely used in the 1960s and ’70s. With controls for decay time, damping, pre-delay, and mix, you can easily dial in the perfect plate reverb settings for your track.
- Room Reverb 一 Recreates the natural ambiance and reflections of various room types, from small, intimate spaces to large, open halls. This versatile reverb algorithm can add a sense of depth and space to your mix without overpowering the individual elements.
With just one unique plugin, you’ll have access to plate and room reverbs, alongside a plethora of other effects like delay, chorus, EQ, and compression, just to name a few.
Whether you’re looking for a rich plate reverb to enhance your vocals or a versatile room reverb to add depth to your mix, Sound Doctor has you covered.
With its intuitive interface and advanced controls, you’ll be able to create stunning reverbs that will elevate your tracks to new sonic heights.
- 2 high-quality reverbs: Plate and Room
- 23 additional essential FX, such as delay, chorus, EQ, compression, and more
- Intuitive, easy-to-use interface for quick and efficient workflow
- Bundled presets for various genres and applications
NOTE: Speaking of presets, if you’re looking for the best serum presets in the game, look no further.
This very versatile reverb includes a vast collection of effects making it the perfect plugin for crafting complex, layered sounds.
For instance, combine the lush plate reverb with a touch of Chorus for a dreamy, ethereal sound on synth pads.
Or, dial in a room reverb followed by a subtle tape saturation to add warmth and character to your drum tracks.
The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect blend of effects to elevate your mix.
#2. Best Vintage Reverb Plugin: Valhalla VintageVerb
Valhalla VintageVerb is an all-around powerhouse that delivers a wide range of high-quality reverb sounds, making it a must-have for any music producer.
Developed by Valhalla DSP, a company renowned for its high-quality audio plugins, VintageVerb draws inspiration from classic hardware reverbs of the 1970s and 1980s while adding a modern twist.
The result is a versatile plugin that covers everything from vintage plates and springs to modern algorithmic reverbs 一 all in a user-friendly and intuitive audio interface.
One of the reasons why Valhalla VintageVerb has become so popular among producers is its ability to produce a rich and lush reverb sound without overloading your CPU.
This means you can use multiple instances of the plugin in your projects without worrying about performance issues.
In addition to the numerous music modes and color settings, Valhalla VintageVerb also features a built-in high-pass filter and low-pass filter, allowing you to shape the frequency content of the reverb tail.
This can be particularly useful for avoiding muddiness in your mix or emphasizing specific frequency ranges in the reverb sound.
- 18 different reverb algorithms
- Color control to adjust the vintage vibe
- Simple yet powerful interface
- Mix, decay, and pre-delay controls
To achieve the classic ’80s gated reverb sound on a snare drum, try using Valhalla VintageVerb’s “Nonlin” mode in combination with the “1980s” color mode.
First, set the color mode to “1980s” for a brighter, more vintage-sounding reverb.
Next, select the “Nonlin” mode, which shortens the reverb tail and creates a distinctive gated effect.
Adjust the decay time, mix, and pre-delay settings to taste, ensuring that the gated reverb doesn’t overpower the dry snare sound.
This technique can add a sense of power and depth to your snare drum, evoking the iconic sound of ’80s pop and rock hits.
#3. Best Hybrid Reverb Plugin: H-Reverb by Waves
H-Reverb by Waves is a hybrid reverb plugin that combines the best of both convolution and algorithmic reverbs.
This powerful and flexible reverb plugin is designed to give you complete control over the reverb sound, allowing you to shape it in ways that would be impossible with traditional reverb plugins.
One of the standout features of H-Reverb is its FIR engine (Finite Impulse Response), which allows for rich and natural-sounding reverbs with minimal artifacts.
H-Reverb’s intuitive interface makes it easy to dial in the perfect reverb sound for any situation, while its extensive set of controls enables you to fine-tune the reverb to your liking.
One distinctive feature of H-Reverb is its built-in LFO, which can be used to modulate various parameters such as:
- Delay time
- Reverb size
This allows for the creation of dynamic, evolving reverb sounds that can add life and movement to your mix.
From classic room and hall simulations to lush and ethereal reverbs, H-Reverb has got you covered.
Plus, it comes loaded with a comprehensive library of presets, making it easy to find the perfect starting point for your reverb sound.
- Hybrid reverb combining convolution and algorithmic technologies
- FIR engine for rich and natural-sounding reverbs
- An extensive set of controls for fine-tuning the reverb sound
- A comprehensive library of presets
H-Reverb’s modulation section allows you to create unique and evolving reverb textures that can add depth and interest to your tracks.
For example, try modulating the reverb tail with a slow sine wave LFO to introduce a subtle, pulsating movement to the reverb on a synth pad.
This can create a sense of space and depth while adding an element of unpredictability and interest to the sound.
NOTE: Speaking of synthesis, if you’re looking to learn all about unconventional subtractive synthesis techniques, look no further.
#4. Best Reverb Plugin for Precision and Clarity: FabFilter Pro-R
FabFilter Pro-R is a high-quality reverb plugin that offers unparalleled precision and clarity in its reverb sound.
It features an advanced algorithmic reverb engine that allows you to create a wide range of spaces, from small rooms to large halls, with incredible detail and realism.
What sets FabFilter Pro-R apart from other reverb plugins is its innovative “Space” control.
This allows you to seamlessly blend between different room models and create custom spaces that perfectly suit your needs.
The FabFilter Pro-R also offers a Distance control that allows you to simulate the perception of an instrument’s position in the virtual space.
This can help you achieve a more natural-sounding reverb that accurately mimics how sound would behave in a real room or hall.
The plugin’s interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to use, with a unique real-time spectrum analyzer that provides valuable visual feedback on the reverb’s frequency response.
The built-in EQ section allows you to shape the reverb’s tonality with ease, while the Decay Rate control enables you to set the reverb’s decay time independently for different frequency ranges.
NOTE: Be sure to check out the best EQ plugins of 2023.
- Advanced algorithmic reverb engine
- Innovative “Space” control for seamless blending of room models
- Real-time spectrum analyzer for visual feedback
- Built-in EQ and Decay Rate control
Use the Decay Rate control to set different decay times for different frequency ranges in your reverb.
For example, you could have a longer decay time for the low frequencies to create a sense of depth and warmth, while keeping the high frequencies tight and controlled to maintain clarity and prevent muddiness.
This technique can help you achieve a balanced and natural-sounding reverb that complements your mix.
#5. Best Reverb Plugin for Classic Hardware Emulations: VerbSuite Classics by Slate Digital
VerbSuite Classics by Slate Digital is a collection of iconic hardware reverbs meticulously recreated in a single plugin by Slate Digital.
This powerful reverb plugin allows you to access the legendary sound of classic hardware reverbs, such as the Lexicon 480L, AMS RMX16, and EMT 250.
Without the need for expensive and bulky hardware units, mind you.
VerbSuite Classics uses advanced convolution technology to capture the unique sound and character of these revered reverb units, giving you access to their distinct sonic signatures at your fingertips.
The intuitive interface and straightforward controls make it easy to dial in the perfect reverb sound for your tracks.
Plus, its extensive preset library provides a wealth of starting points to help you find the ideal reverb for any situation.
With the ability to load custom impulse responses, VerbSuite Classics offers virtually limitless possibilities for creating unique reverb sounds.
This flexibility allows you to craft reverbs tailored specifically to your mix or experiment with unconventional spaces and textures.
Whether you’re looking for a vintage plate reverb for your vocals or a lush hall reverb for your orchestral arrangement, we recommend the VerbSuite Classics to get the job done.
- Meticulous emulations of iconic hardware reverb
- Advanced convolution technology for capturing unique sonic signatures
- Intuitive interface and straightforward controls
- Extensive preset library for quick and easy reverb selection
To add depth and character to a lead vocal, try using the EMT 250 emulation with a short pre-delay and moderate decay time.
This classic reverb unit is known for its smooth and rich sound, which can help to create a sense of space around the vocal without overwhelming it.
Experiment with the high and low-frequency damping controls to fine-tune the reverb’s tonality and make it sit perfectly in your mix.
#6. Best Reverb Plugin for Creative Sound Design: Eventide Blackhole
Eventide Blackhole is a unique and powerful reverb plugin specializing in creating otherworldly and ethereal reverb textures.
Originally developed for Eventide’s iconic H8000 hardware processor, Blackhole has been used by sound designers and film composers for its ability to create vast, expansive, and mysterious reverb spaces.
Its flexible and easy-to-use interface allows you to push the boundaries of traditional reverb and explore the outer limits of sound design.
Blackhole features a range of controls that allow you to shape and manipulate the reverb sound in creative ways, such as:
- Gravity 一 Which controls the reverb’s decay structure.
- Size 一 Which adjusts the size of the virtual space.
By turning the Gravity control clockwise, you create a more natural-sounding reverb with a typical decay, while turning it counterclockwise generates a reverse-style reverb effect.
This versatile control lets you create a wide range of reverb sounds, from standard to otherworldly, making it an excellent choice for sound designers and experimental producers alike.
Other reverb VST plugins just can’t compare.
- Otherworldly and ethereal reverb textures
- Flexible and easy-to-use interface for creative sound design
- Gravity and Size controls for shaping the reverb’s decay and space
- Built-in modulation section and Ribbon controller for real-time morphing
Use Blackhole’s Freeze feature to create evolving ambient textures for your tracks.
By freezing the reverb tail, you can transform a simple sound source, such as a piano or synth, into a lush and evolving soundscape.
Experiment with the modulation controls to add movement and depth to the frozen reverb and use the Ribbon controller to morph between different settings in real-time.
This will help you create a dynamic and immersive sonic experience that will leave your listeners speechless.
#7. Best Reverb Plugin for Adaptive Processing: Smart:reverb by Sonible
Smart:reverb by Sonible is a groundbreaking reverb plugin that uses artificial intelligence to analyze and adapt to your audio input, delivering custom-tailored reverb settings that fit your sound perfectly.
This innovative approach to reverb processing allows you to achieve professional-sounding reverb results in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional plugins.
By intelligently analyzing the spectral characteristics of your audio, Smart:reverb creates a unique reverb profile that enhances the natural qualities of your sound.
Its intuitive audio interface provides easy access to advanced controls for fine-tuning the reverb sound.
The built-in A/B comparison feature enables you to quickly audition different settings and choose the one that works best for your track.
Besides its AI-powered reverb tailoring, Smart:reverb also includes a Clarity control, which adjusts the balance between the early reflections and the reverb tail.
This can help you maintain a clear and focused sound, particularly when working with vocals or other important mix elements.
With its adaptive processing capabilities, Smart:reverb is a valuable tool for producers looking to achieve high-quality reverb results with minimal effort.
- AI-powered adaptive reverb processing
- Custom-tailored reverb settings based on audio input analysis
- Intuitive interface with advanced controls
- Built-in A/B comparison feature for quick auditioning
Use Smart:reverb’s Time Curve feature to create unique reverb shapes that emphasize or de-emphasize specific frequency ranges over time.
For example, you could create a reverb shape that emphasizes the high frequencies during the initial reverb attack, followed by a gradual reduction in high-frequency content as the reverb decays.
This can create a sense of airiness and sparkle without making the reverb sound overly bright or harsh.
#8. Best Plate Reverb Plugin: Abbey Road Reverb Plates by Waves
Abbey Road Reverb Plates by Waves is a meticulous emulation of the iconic plate reverbs used at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
Waves collaborated closely with Abbey Road Studios to capture the essence of classic reverb sounds and created an epic plugin that delivers the classic plate reverb sound with unmatched accuracy.
The plugin features four distinct plate models.
Each has its own unique tonal characteristics and decay behavior, allowing you to choose the perfect plate sound for your track:
- Plate A 一 Offers a bright and vibrant reverb sound, making it well-suited for adding a sense of depth and space to vocals, drums, or any instrument that requires a bit of sparkle.
- Plate B 一 Provides a slightly darker and warmer reverb sound compared to Plate A. It’s great for instruments or mixes elements that need a more subtle, rich, and full-bodied reverb.
- Plate C 一 Produces the darkest and smoothest reverb sound among the four plates. Plate C is ideal for adding a sense of depth and warmth to elements in your mix without introducing excessive brightness.
- Plate D 一 Sits in between the brightness of Plate A and the warmth of Plate C. It provides a well-balanced reverb sound that can complement a wide range of instruments and mix elements.
Plus, its intuitive interface provides access to essential controls such as pre-delay, damping, and drive, so you’ll be able to shape the reverb sound to your liking with ease.
- Authentic emulation of the iconic Abbey Road Studios plate reverbs
- Four distinct plate models with unique tonal characteristics
- Essential controls for shaping the reverb sound
- Created in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios
To add a sense of space and depth to your drums without cluttering the mix, try using the Abbey Road Reverb Plates on a parallel send.
Set the reverb mix to 100% wet, and use the damping controls to shape the reverb’s frequency response, focusing on the midrange reverb signal.
This can create a subtle sense of space around the drums without washing them out or introducing excessive low-end build-up.
#9. Best Spring Reverb Plugin: Spring Reverb by Softube
Spring Reverb by Softube is a faithful emulation of the classic spring reverb units found in vintage guitar amps and outboard gear.
Known for their distinctive and characterful sound, spring reverbs have been a staple of guitar tones and studio productions for decades.
With Spring Reverb, you can bring the unique sound of these iconic reverb units into your DAW with ease and precision.
The plugin features three different spring reverb types, each with its unique tonal characteristics, decay behavior, and spring “boing.”
The intuitive interface provides access to essential controls such as input gain, output mix, and tension, allowing you to shape the reverb to match your unique vibe.
Spring Reverb also includes a built-in tube saturation circuit, which can add an intriguing warmth and character.
The Spring Reverb plugin also includes a built-in Shake control, which simulates the physical movement of a spring reverb unit.
This can create interesting, non-linear effects that add character and unpredictability to your tracks.
- Faithful emulation of classic spring reverb units
- Three different spring reverb types with unique tonal characteristics
- Essential controls for shaping the reverb
- Built-in tube saturation circuit for added warmth and character
NOTE: If you’re looking for the best saturation plugins of 2023, look no further.
To create a vintage guitar tone with a sense of depth and space, try using Spring Reverb in combination with a slapback delay.
Route your guitar signal through the slapback delay first, setting the delay time to around 80-120 ms and the feedback to a low value.
Then, send the output of the delay to the Spring Reverb, adjusting the input gain and output mix to taste.
This combination can create a rich and spacious guitar tone reminiscent of classic rock and surf music recordings.
#10. Best Free Reverb Plugin: Convology XT
For those on a budget or just looking to expand their reverb arsenal without spending a dime, free reverb plugins are a perfect choice.
And yes, free reverb plugins do have their benefits, especially Convology XT. It’s an excellent free convolution reverb plugin.
Offering a vast library of impulse responses, including vintage hardware reverbs, real-world spaces, and creative sound design textures, Convology XT provides a wealth of options for crafting the perfect reverb.
Additionally, Convology XT supports importing custom impulse responses.
Meaning, you’ll have the ability to expand your reverb collection even further with third-party impulse response libraries or your own recordings.
- Free convolution reverb plugin with a vast library of impulse responses
- Emulations of vintage hardware reverb, real-world spaces, and creative sound design textures
- Intuitive interface with essential controls for shaping the reverb
- Supports importing custom impulse responses for expanded flexibility
To create a realistic sense of space for a drum recording or sample rate, try using Convology XT’s real-world space impulse responses.
Load an impulse response from a space that matches the desired room size and ambiance, such as a small club or a large concert hall.
Adjust the mix control to balance the dry and wet signals, and use the pre-delay and damping controls to fine-tune the reverb.
By carefully selecting and adjusting the impulse response, you can add a sense of depth and realism to your drum tracks, making them sound as if they were recorded in an actual room or venue.
Final Thoughts: Best Reverb Plugins
The world of reverb plugins offers a treasure trove of creative possibilities for music producers, and now you know the best reverb plugins of 2023 to help you skyrocket your production.
With this carefully curated list of the best reverb plugins, you’re now equipped to breathe new life into your mixes, adding depth, warmth, and character to your tracks like never before.
So, whether you’re experimenting with the lush vintage tones of Valhalla VintageVerb, or the all-in-one powerhouse of Sound Doctor by Unison Audio, these best reverb plugins can excel your game in a major way.
Embrace the captivating power of the best reverb plugins and embark on a sonic journey that will not only refine your skills but also set your music apart in today’s competitive landscape.
Until next time…
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