WHAT IS REVERB?Reverb or reverberation is a natural effect of sound, reflecting off surfaces, before reaching your ears. The size, space, material and furnishings of a room affect the sound and time of reverberation. You’ll notice bathrooms tend to reverb very well, empty houses reverb better than full ones as the sound travels more.
SPRING IS HERE
As guitarists we probably first encounter reverb as a built in effect on an amplifier. Unless it’s a digital amp, reverbs are made of springs that vibrate and emulate the sound of a room.
PLATE ME UP
Studios back in the day had huge plate reverbs that cost thousands, they were metal sheets (or plates) suspended with springs with small microphones in them.
Reverb can be an acquired taste and needs to be used with consideration. Too much reverb can spoil a signal unless you’re going for that type of sound. I’ve heard many a lead sound swamped and boomy through lack of reverb etiquette. Of course reverb adds depth to a dry flat signal and you miss it immensely when you don’t have it on tap and not all amplifiers have a reverb as standard.
DIGITAL REVERB PEDALS
There are a number of good quality digital reverb pedals or rack units on the market and like all things, the more you spend, the more features you can expect from your pedal.
Here are some features you can look out for on most standard reverb pedals and extra features you can find on the more expensive pedals:
REVERB EFFECT TYPES
Room, Hall, Plate & Spring are some of the usual types of reverb effects. Special types are particle, fractal, shimmer, modulation, sci-fi, pitch delay and other effect types mixed into the reverb sound.
Reverbs have adjustable parameters like size, time, reflection, early reflection and pre delay. This all adjusts the actual reverberation sound and changes how it bounces off surfaces within the digital effect.
There may be other adjustable parameters in regards to the special effects that can be altered to taste and an overall mix for the amount of wet signal added to the dry guitar.
There should also be tone settings like EQ, high cut or boost and low cut or boost, as reverb can add unwanted low end to a mix or too much highs especially with particles or shimmer type effects.
After taking this into consideration, you will want to look at your budget, see if you can get as much of the above considerations as you can, with the best sounding reverb as possible, the least noise to effect hiss ratio, for the least amount of cash outlay, unless money is no object.
Below is a review of the new BOSS RV-6 digital reverb stomp-box pedal, which I think is unbeatable for the price.
BOSS RV-6 REVERB/DELAY PEDAL REVIEW
The BOSS RV-6 digital reverb stomp-box is built from Boss’s new studio quality reverb algorithms, to give an even more superb top grade reverb clarity, warmth, space and depth plus some extra special effects added to the mix.
The RV-6 has near all the ingredients we talked about in the above article and this box of tricks is a real black beauty in today’s ever-growing reverb market.
The RV-6 can do modern, with its new ambiance and effects, plus new updated processor. Yet the RV-6 can be vintage, with its spring and plate effect, plus the 3 new reverb types added make the RV-6 much more desirable than its predecessor.
The signal paths have a lot of options for stereo and mixing plus you wont be lost for expression with a pedal input for swelling in those lush washes and loop pedal layering.
Before we dive in, here are the features at a glance,
8 lush sounding and diverse reverb effects, with easy controls for many parameters like size depth, effect amount and tone.
Full stereo and stereo transformation from mono input.
All wet output from output B
Expression pedal input for swell effects
The 4 knobs on the front are very simple:
EFFECT LEVEL - Adjusts the amount of effect to mix with the dry signal.
TONE - Adjusts the highs and lows you want in your signal,
TIME - Adjusts is the size of the reverb
TYPE - Changes the 8 effect types.
WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT?
Lets look at the new effect types in the RV-6 plus the older but updated RV-5 stuff, then I’ll let you know my thoughts as I tried them out for the first time.+Delay – New in the RV6 this basic delay effect and is very useful.
Shimmer –New in the Rv6 adds particles to the reverb trails
Dynamic – Also new and interacts with your playing velocity
Modulation – Adding modulating tremolo to the reverb trails
Spring – Emulating the spring reverb found in amps.
Plate – Emulating the big plate reverbs
Hall – Sounds like a big hall or cathedral
Room – Room ambiance
This is my hands-on first impression of the RV-6 straight out of the box. I basically plugged my guitar straight into the pedal, then into the front amp, with no silly chains or stereo stuff, just nice and simples.
OUT OF THE BOX
The RV-6 is extremely easy to use with no complicated sub-menus and pull push button fiddling and manual reading headaches.SPRING
Straight onto the spring reverb, great response, easy to use, very useful, I could just have the RV6 for this alone. Sounds convincingly like an amps spring reverb.
This had a slightly similar but longer reverb than the spring, and does an amazing job emulating those metal plate verbs, I’ve never been into plate reverb so I can’t really expound on it’s virtues but the Rv’s plate sounded great.
This reverb effect was a slight shimmering tremolo effect, nice but not my cup of tea either, but I can see surf music or chord work benefiting from this effect and it does add a movement quality to trails that makes it sound alive.
The hall effect is very spacious and extremely rich sounding, I could definitely use this for sure, and coupled with a delay and a looper pedal, maybe an E-Bow, would make it even more heavenly than it is.
The room reverb is where this would earn its wages for me. Subtle enough to enrich a dry signal and a very nice warm sounding reverb. The room can also be made more extreme, ideal for the amp with no reverb situation.
This was definitely lots fun to play with and great for …you guess it, dynamic playing. The harder I picked, the more dry signal came through mix of reverb. On the opposite spectrum I also got more reverb with softer picking, very expressive and indeed a nice effect.
Really lovely sounding pitch trails or high-sounding particles. These are very responsive to the tone knob on the pedal, very useful for ambiance and most excellent with chords. The tone knob adjusted the amount of particles or overtone harmonic kind of sounds in the mix, easy to find a sweet spot for ambiance all day long.
This was a real deal-maker for me and a good quality delay effect, just like having a separate delay pedal.
The delay can be time and feedback adjusted plus also the delay level can be adjusted. You can do the time warp thing when you adjust the time knob for that warble time effect.
This could save a fortune eliminating both the need for a delay pedal and save space on the ever-growing pedal board.
NOISE TO EFFECT RATIO / HISS
There was no noticeable hiss or noise with the pedal, which you can often get from older digital reverb pedals - this of course is necessary when using higher gain settings.
The expression pedal input was cool and it basically swelled in the wet effects, I wish there had been an option to leave the effects trailing when you put your heal down but then that’s what a separate volume pedal is for.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The RV-6 is thirsty, it has a 9V battery compartment, as do all boss pedals, but don’t expect much time out of it.
I also couldn’t get a signal using my Sanyo Eneloop Pedal Juice rechargeable battery so make sure your pedal power supply sends 65ma at 9v power or get a Boss power supply for the reverb. My voodoo lab 4x4 worked perfectly with the reverb.
I wish the delay section also had reverb to mix in as well but hey you cant have everything.
INTERESTING POINT FROM THE BOSS WEBSITE
While the RV-6’s reverb effects are high-tech digital, you can rest assured that your straight guitar tone always remains pure analog as the effect is blended in.
Convenient auto-switching jacks let you integrate with any pedal chain, with support for mono, mono-to-stereo, and stereo-to-stereo operation.
And by plugging into the B input only, the RV-6 outputs a 100% wet sound, great for working with more complex rigs that employ parallel processing chains and mixers.
Easy to use, great studio quality sound for only £105 (free delivery), the RV-6 is an exceptionally good value pedal. Compared to my very, very expensive Strymon Blue Sky, the RV-6 is almost just as good at what it does. The bonus of an added delay will be a game-changer for some people.
Link to buy https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/effects-recording-c6/reverb-c152/boss-boss-rv6-digital-reverb-compact-guitar-effects-pedal-p10360
Written by Mark Thompson www.guitar-addiction.co.uk
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