Review: Sinevibes Luminance

Leave it to Sinevibes to bring something new and fascinating to the reverb arena. Noah Pred finds out what makes Luminance so special...  

From classic spring and digital emulations to fastidiously programmed convolution algorithms, you would be forgiven for thinking there’s little left to add to the virtual reverb market. Leave it to Sinevibes to deliver yet another creative approach to a famous workhorse, adding a tuned component to expansive reverb to elevate the effect from mere acoustic illusion to unique creative instrument.

The Shimmer

Providing a fresh take on classic “shimmer” reverbs which first appeared in the 1980s, Sinevibes augments this architecture with a modern feedback delay network, adding high-quality interpolation, phase-inverted time modulation, and special signal blending. All this power under the elegantly simplified hood imbues Luminance with highly musical usability, smoothly tracing melodic or harmonic material to create lush tonal dreamscapes that remain coherent with their input.

Familiar pre-delay injects a gap of up to 1000 milliseconds between source impulses and resulting delay network. Three spatial sizes – Medium, Large, or Huge – work in conjunction with the Decay control to define the perceived acoustic realm and ultimate duration, while a simple Brightness control provides optimized frequency dampening as needed.

Input controls the amount of dry signal passed through and Return provides separate control of the wet signal, while the intervening Send control allows for easily automated dub-style momentary effect programming within the device itself. Modulation Frequency and Depth control sinusoidal Decay time oscillation for vintage chorusing and artificial sheen.

Where things of course get interesting is with the pitch Shift dial, which allows you to adjust the resulting reverberations in semitones, up to one octave above or below the input. The default +12 setting instantly delivers glossy utopian atmospheres, while +3 or -1 settings quickly make a mix just ever so unsettling. Experimenting with -5 or +7 provides pleasingly consonant spaciousness that generally stays in key.

The blue line up top cleverly corresponds to the reverb algorithm, defined directly by the blue controls below it.

The blue line up top cleverly corresponds to the reverb algorithm, defined directly by the blue controls below it.

In Use

The initial understandable temptation is to put Luminance on an auxiliary return. Sending multiple channels to it instantly transport one-dimensional productions into otherworldly territory with instant harmonic atmospheres that can easily do the heavily lifting of intricately programmed pads. Feeding it entire drum tracks create unique atmospheric noise.

Placing Luminance directly on a snare drum adds body and weight to otherwise thin percussion with lower shift values, while higher shift values can be used to pull weighty sounds upwards. Using Luminance on a staccato synth with selective Send automation adds welcome spatial and harmonic dynamism to otherwise stale patterns. Resampling results and treating the resulting audio is a quick way to generate harmonically coherent textures ready for all kinds of further processing.

Conclusion

Combining Sinevibes’ algorithmic prowess and trademark intuitive interface design, Luminance will open up new dimensions in anyone’s reverb repertoire. Whether you’re looking for expansive ambience or an experimental approach to virtual space design, Sinevibes’ latest reverb plug-in is well worth a look.


Price: $29 USD

Pros: Great interface, excellent sound, easy to use, unique results.

Cons: Mac only; input filtration and host-synchronized pre-delay times could be useful.

Web: http://www.sinevibes.com/luminance/

Noah Pred is a Canadian techno and house producer, DJ and Certified Ableton Trainer living in Berlin, Germany - where he runs his label, Thoughtless Music. His Juno-nominated full-length album Third Culture, is out now: http://www.thoughtlessmusic.com/releases/tlm086-noah-pred-third-culture/ - and you can check out his new project with... Read More

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