On the list of must-have mixing effects, reverb is pretty high up there. It’s grouped in with other time-based effects, including flanger, delay, chorus, and more.
Once upon a time, before the days of digital processors, mix engineers had to seek out a spacious chamber room to try to achieve that sought-after reverb sound. This would be accomplished by sending a signal into an echo chamber, where the reverb effect would be picked up by a microphone and then transmitted back to the mixing desk. Then it could be blended with the dry signal for the final result.
By the 1980s, digital reverbs began emerging but could be very costly, and today we have a crazy amount of affordable reverb plugins available. It’s an overwhelming number to choose from with reverbs made to sound like everything from natural locations to insanely creative unnatural spaces and everything in between.
If you’re not quite sure which one will be best for your mixes, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of some of the best reverb plugins currently available.
Top 9 Best Reverb VSTs
- FabFilter FabFilter Pro-R
- W.A Production Mutant Reverb
- Eventide SP2016 Reverb
- Soundtoys Little Plate
- Eventide Blackhole Reverb
- Softube TSAR-1 Reverb
- Eventide UltraReverb
- eaReckon EAReverb 2
- PSP Audioware PSP 2445 EMT
FabFilter has built a reputation for having some of the best plugins around, including compression, saturation, and more. One standout in their collection is the Pro-R, or Pro Reverb, which was introduced in 2016. Whether you are looking to create natural or digital reverb effects, the Pro-R can do it all.
It features a very user-friendly knob layout with parameters such as Darkness, Distance, and Stereo Width.
Included is an EQ visualizer, that adds an extra layer of functionality similar to the Pro-Q – it also looks pretty cool! In addition to the standard EQ, it also offers a Decay Rate EQ, giving you ultimate control over your reverb tails through the use of six individual bands.
Digital reverb may be its specialty, but it is also equipped for the creation of natural room sounds to serve as an ideal backdrop for vocals or to help pull your mixes together. It can also capture the rich texture of the distinctive reverb sounds found in pop and electronic tracks today.
No matter what kind of genre you are working in or the type of reverb you are looking to create, the Pro-R has you covered and is one of the top reverb plugins available right now.
- Amazing selection of natural presets
- EQ visualizer offers improved sound control
- Parameters that go beyond the typical
- Takes up a lot of CPU
Not familiar with W.A. Production? You’re not alone, but this company shouldn’t be overlooked. They design some of the best plugins for modern mixers. One example is their Mutant Reverb, which works with almost any instrument imaginable—drums, vocals, synthesizers, percussion to name but a few.
Its built-in ducker gives you the ability to duck your reverb processing without worrying about dealing with compression routing or side-chaining. This feature alone makes this reverb plugin a must-have for modern music.
If you’re looking for a vintage sound, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But if you want to create a modern sound, you can’t go wrong with the impressive selection of presets and the user-friendly parameters.
You can also take it a step further with advanced controls like Diffusion, Pre-Delay, and Dampening, among others. The real-time waveform display on the interface is another handy feature. If you’re looking to transform a one-dimensional sound, just use the stereo split processing feature to create a stereo reverb signal. This is an easy way to add richness and depth.
- Built-in ducker for modern mixing
- Awesome selection of presets and parameters
- Very clean sound
- Not the most characterful reverb
The Eventide SP2016’s claim to fame is it was the first-ever programmable effects unit. The SP2016 Reverb perfectly captures the spirit of that 1980s reverb unit. It combines two reverbs from the original SP2016 with a Stereo Room reverb for modern mixes.
The interface is simple, with all of the controls at your fingertips and no additional menus to dig through. But don’t let the simplicity fool you—there is an impressive selection of presets contributed by many artists and engineers. Also included is a dry/wet mix, a Levels section for I/O gains, and a handful of other settings.
There aren’t too many parameters to adjust, so you can get where you need to be quicker. You can also take advantage of the decay and pre-delay options along with four different sliders to adjust the balance of early and late reflections.
You’ll also find an EQ section that you can utilize to dial in high or low frequencies. If you want to achieve a smooth vintage tone, the Eventide SP2016 Reverb will become your best friend.
- Beneficial EQ section
- User-friendly sliders
- Emulates the SP2016 almost exactly
- Cost is a bit too high for what it offers
Soundtoys is like a breath of fresh air in the plugin market with their original products, including the Little Plate. The company is known for developing both standard-sized plugins and “little” plugins that are designed to preserve processing power. The Little Plate is one of their CPU-friendly offerings that still provides all the power of an EMT 140 plate reverb.
If you want to achieve that distinctive reverb sound, you’re going to need a solid plate reverb in your collection. You’ll only find three easy-to-use knobs on the interface: Mix, Low-Cut, and Delay. The Mod switch also enables you to inject a small amount of modulation into your reverb. If you want to be able to control every aspect of the reverb, the Little Plate might not be for you. But it does capture the essence of analog reverbs from years past.
Little Plate is a great way to add richness and depth to your reverb if you don’t want to spend all day messing with different effects.
- User-friendly layout
- Authentic EMT 140 sound
- Won’t take up a ton of CPU
- Lacks versatility
- No pre-delay option
If you are looking for a reverb to serve as a natural backdrop for the ingredients of your mix, you can probably skip ahead to the next plugin. The Eventide Blackhole Reverb is going to carry you to another realm with the ability to develop virtual spaces that aren’t limited by the bounds of reality. We’re talking harmonic tails, lingering releases, large sizes, shimmering character, and soft attacks to transform any instrument’s sound.
The Blackhole Reverb is built around an algorithm sourced from the DSP400 rackmount. That later became the H8000FW and then a stompbox used by keyboardists and guitarists to develop insane layers.
Underneath all the crazy effects, there are also standard effects if you want to put the spotlight on a specific instrument or just have a backdrop for your mix.
Included in the plugin, are 50 presets thanks to Eventide artists, as well as Gravity controls, which give you the ability to reverse the time of the reverb easily.
Muting is a breeze with the convenient kill switch, and the mix lock will ensure your wet/dry mix stays consistent as you work through the available presets. If you want to go way outside the box with your reverb effects, definitely check out the Eventide Blackhole Reverb.
- Awesome selection of presets
- Spacious reverb effects
- Impressive real-time control
- Maybe too pricey for non-sound designers
- Lacks authentic room or plate sounds
Instead of a straight reverb emulation, The Tsar-1 Reverb offers a modern version based on the most popular reverbs of years past. Softube has all the bases covered whether you want your reverb grounded in a natural environment or you want to experiment with rich sounds from another dimension.
Those who are new to mixing will be able to utilize the features of this plugin without feeling intimidated thanks to the simple control set. The tone knob can be used to adjust the reverb’s color, the high-cut can help keep the top end sizzle under control, and there’s also density, pre-delay, and time controls to help you better shape your sound.
The TSAR-1 Reverb offers convenient pre-sets to speed up the process of nailing down the ideal reverb for your mix. These are separated into vintage and modern categories to make it even easier. An additional bank is available if you want to go a little deeper with parameters such as Mix, Diffusion, Early Reflections, and Modulation.
The interface looks incredible while also being user-friendly. We recommend this plugin to anyone who wants to capture the spirit of classic reverbs in their modern tracks.
- Can be used with almost any instrument
- Awesome interactive interface
- User-friendly controls
- Lacks low-cut options
The Eventide Ultrareverb plugin borrows some elements from Eventide’s popular H8000 UltraHarmonizer. Users can take advantage of more than 300 conveniently organized presets and nine distinctive reverb algorithms to develop the perfect sound.
The UltraReverb also offers an equalizer, a compressor, and a delay to take your reverb to the next level.
There are a total of 10 parameters that you can customize to achieve the ideal reverb for your mix. These include Room Size, Decay Time, Reverb Tail, Modulation, Diffusion, and Pre Delay, among others. And if you are trying to add a vintage quality to your mix, you can also play with the Lo-Fi control.
As expected, Eventide includes their typical ‘processed’ reverbs, but the UltraReverb also goes beyond that with a wide selection of conventional reverbs like Chamber, Room, Hall, and others. Check out the wide-enhancing presets if you are looking to increase the stereo width of your sound. You can also play with the short delay settings if you want to create space while avoiding the long tails.
You might expect this plugin to eat up a bunch of CPU, but it actually doesn’t. This means you’re free to develop the perfect reverb for your project without having to deal with a constantly crashing DAW.
- Impressive selection of presets
- EQ and compression inserts offer greater control
- The sound of the lo-fi vintage parameter is pretty disappointing
- Preset integration isn’t the best
The eaReckon EAReverb 2 allows you to unleash your creative side with five distinctive algorithms to choose from: Auditorium, Alu Box, Reverse, Plate, and Bright.
If you want to stick with a natural space, the EAReverb 2 has you covered. But you can also utilize some of the late reverb algorithms if you are wanting to go much bigger in terms of space. The variety of controls you can access in this plugin gives you plenty of room to adjust until you dial in the perfect reverb.
You can choose to operate this plugin in one of three different modes. Pro mode will allow you to take advantage of all of the available parameters and modules. SE mode cuts down on the number of parameters so that you can streamline your work. The POS mode gives you the ability to dynamically set various locations of sounds that are coming into the EAReverb 2.
If your goal is to create space, the EARverb 2 has your back with an early reflection module, a multiband module, a gate module, and an impressive selection of preset managers to keep you organized. That makes this plugin ideal for just about any genre of music.
- Great selection of algorithms
- An unbelievable number of parameters
- Unique positional editing
- Preset browsers aren’t the best
- Not a good selection of bright reverbs
The EMT 244 and 245 were in-demand reverbs in years past, but they haven’t been copied much in modern reverb plugins, which is surprising. That’s what makes this plugin from PSP stand out—it emulates both of these popular reverbs at once. Users have the unique option of running one reverb at a time or both together.
Originally, the EMT 244 and 245 had 16 reverb times each, and the 2445 EMT translates this into 19 distinct settings. You can also take advantage of the Early Reflections Amount control and a few additional shorter lengths to shape your sound.
To go a little further, you can dive into added controls found in the bottom panel. These include LR balance, high-frequency time adjustment, output width, and a high-pass filter, among others.
The PSP version offers a plate-like depth, which is what originally drew people to the EMT 244 and 245 years ago. Turn to the 244 if you’re looking for heavy mid-range reverbs, and the 245 is perfect for a scooped sound with a shimmering top end that’s found on modern pop and edm records. The PSP Audioware 2445 is incredibly versatile and unique. It’s definitely a worthy contender.
- Combination of two classic reverbs in one plugin
- Impressive number of parameters for modification
- Awesome short settings
- Limited decay maximum
- Not a great selection of algorithms
Picking the Perfect Reverb
Without the right reverb, your mix will be lacking, no matter what genre you are working with. The ideal reverb can create the proper atmosphere for country or folk recordings, add a deeper dimension to your EDM or pop recordings, or add that iconic gated reverb found in popular 80s hits.
The reverb you select can make all the difference, so pick up some of these plugins for your collection to level up your mixes.