Polyverse Music is a plug-in developer whose motto is “by musicians, for musicians”, which should give you an idea of how they approach their products. Their latest release is the Comet reverb processor, in all major formats for Mac and PC. It aims to go beyond the reverbs you already own, with special features including five preset morphing slots, glide control and a detune algorithm. But can it do the business?
Comet sets out its stall right away by pointing out that it is not trying to emulate any particular physical space. There are lots of very fine impulse response-based reverb processors on the market, so we arguably didn’t need another one anyway. Instead, it says it is designed to “create beautiful trails of sound”. In another product this might sound a slightly fanciful description, but reverbs really do aspire to this kind of thing, so it’s a fair claim.
The core feature set is recognisable - in and out levels, predelay, diffuse and detune sliders, controls for hi and lo damping, and colour. In the centre are large Size and Decay knobs as well as a dry / wet section, and of course a bunch of presets. The design is slick and easy to understand, with the preset browser particularly accessible, using tags for easy searching.
The reverbs are huge and undeniably gorgeous - vast, splashy waves of air and space can be dialled in with a few mouse movements. In not trying to copy any physical space, the developers have made algorithms that sound like nothing else - they are lush, verdant and unique. You can imagine them on electronic music and perhaps, used more sparingly, on orchestral tracks as well.
So far, relatively conventional. But the clever stuff happens when you start using the morphing slots. In regular mode, clicking a slot (you can swap any presets in or out) causes that reverb to become active. Click on the comet area at the top however, and morphing gets activated. With glide time governed by the Glide control, clicking a new slot will cause the reverb to change smoothly from one type to another. The idea really is to automate this, and in doing so, precisely control the sound. In any regular plugin, switching presets causes a jarring change, often even a gap in the sound. Here, there’s no such problem.
Parameters can be locked for consistency, with tiny lock icons letting you keep individual sections consistent between presets. One interesting technique demonstrated by the developers on the product website is taking advantage of the detune section to make reverbs tune up and down as a track plays. It’s an unusual effect, but one that you’d struggle to achieve using regular tools.
Comet is a fairly unique product - yes, it’s a great sounding and well-designed reverb processor. But it’s also a reverb morphing processor, which can seamlessly shift between reverbs with no glitching. While you might not use morphing on every track, the overall sound of the plugin is rich and dense, and it’s perfect for many kinds of electronic music. Check it out.
Pros: Gorgeous, lush sounding reverb. Great design, easy to use. Create very long tails, make pads from any sound. 5 morphing slots mean unusual reverb transitions. Automatable for precise control. Parameter locking.
Cons: You arguably wouldn’t use reverb transitions on every track - but that's just one of Comet’s talents.
Learn more about reverb and mixing: https://ask.audio/academy?nleloc=new-releases