Berlin’s RealtimeOnly launches with what at first glance seems to be a utilitarian reverb plug-in with a unique grid-based interface. And yet, just below the deceptively simple surface lurk a number of features that make Reverbical much more than it might seem—and quite possibly your new go-to reverb tool.
Launched in the Classic view mode, Early Reflections, Late Reflections, and Main Controls, along with dedicated Space and Dry/Wet dials, make up what seems like a fairly standard reverb configuration.
Low Pass attenuation, Diffusion amount, room Size, and Late Reflection Feed dials control the make-up of the Early Reflection signal; Decay amount, High Pass filtration, Modulation amount, and Modulation Frequency knobs control the resulting Late Reflections.
The Main Controls are made up of a Pre-Delay time and a subsequent Late-Pre time—contingent on the Pre-Delay time—that staggers a further signal delay between the Early and Late Reflections for enhanced spatial design; Dry and Wet gain controls and an Early Reflections mix dial set the levels, while a wide Stereo image control provides convincingly panned dispersions.
The pleasant surprise here is the Shimmer dial, which adds upper harmonics based on the input signal via a feedback cycle—so caution is recommended at higher values—but the resulting spectral swells add a scintillating character to the late reflection tail that I found particularly irresistible when automated.
A Space control handily exaggerates or shrinks the size of the perceived expanse, while lock buttons beneath the Space factor and Dry/Wet balance knobs ensure they remain at their current value while changing presets. The snowflake symbol beneath the DryWet dial ceases input and freezes the current reverb profile for infinite pad-style sounds.
Switching to the grid mode provides access to a rectangular grid comprised of up to 96 preset blocks. Right-clicking in the grid mode switches between different reference views: mystery mode with no labels at all, titles only, colored titles, titles and colors, or colors only. The colors correspond to different reverb types—halls are beige, plates are purple, and so on—so once memorized, colors-only could be sufficient to navigate intuitively.
Click a new block to seamlessly switch from one preset to another, or click the Morph toggle—the circle in the center of a square made of eight blocks beneath the Dry/Wet dial—to drag a dot around within each preset block, smoothly absorbing parameter changes from its surrounding presets depending on its exact placement, or to glide entirely from one to the next, all while recording these movements for automation if need be. Swapping preset block locations to create your own grid maps is as easy as holding Command while dragging the desired block.
Finally, Tweak view provides access to all the controls accessible in the Classic view, alongside the preset grid and additional early and late reflection controls. Six sliders set the three-dimensional X, Y, and Z coordinates of both the Source and Receiver position for the Early Reflections, providing a degree of location control rarely available in comparable reverb plug-ins.
Meanwhile, sixteen delay lines, each with their own Delay time and Filter response sliders, provide meticulous control over the reflection response of each preset. To quickly draw new settings in, hold down the Shift key while merely hovering above the sliders and you’ll find yourself with a whole new reflection pattern in seconds.
Factor in the built-in realtime help display, the Keep mode to write parameters when moving between presets in grid mode, multiple skin themes and display sizes, customizable preferences, and preset banks from Simon Stockhausen, Deneb, and Ghostly recording artist Lusine, and there’s no denying you’re getting your money’s worth at such an affordable price.
Available in VST, AU, and AAX formats compatible with 32- or 64-bit Windows and macOS platforms, Reverbical packs impressively lush and sumptuous spaces into an intuitive interface that rapidly provides lustrous results. Highly recommended for anyone in need of a great sounding, easy to grasp reverb with advanced functionality.
Pros: Elegant design, inspiring sound, creative preset morphing, unique Shimmer feature, impressively CPU-efficient—all at a reasonable price.
Cons: A somewhat dated-looking design is my only desperate clutch at a gripe, though their multi-skin system implies this could be easily remedied with future updates.
Price: €59 / $69 USD