Reverb plugins are more commonly used to give your tracks and mixes a sense of space.
But there are some other ones which can add personality, color, and even alter the sound of the source quite a lot.
In this post I will go over some of the best reverb plugins out there, as well as some really affordable alternatives to those, and even some free ones.
Let’s get straight to it;
Free Reverb Plugins
Some free plugins can actually be as good as premium ones, you just need to find the right ones.
I will only list three here since I already have an entire post on the best 15 FREE reverb vst plugins which you should definitely check out.
Spring Reverb Hotto Engineering (Windows, Mac)
Hotto Spring reverb is an incredibly simple, no-nonsense spring reverb that is super easy to use since it only features a couple parameters which you can tweak.
The interface is intuitive and easy to use, and for being a free reverb vst plugin it actually does sound great!
Get Hotto here.
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Ambience Reverb by Smartelectronicx (Windows, Mac)
Ambience Reverb not only comes with all the conventional controls that all other reverbs provide, but it also features some other more unconventional ones which definitely add to its versatility.
One of these features is the Gate button; This one will gate the reverb and add a cool special effect.
Another one is the Hold Button, which allows you to hold the reverb in an infinite loop.
Some other useful features are; the EQ, Shape, and the Dampening sections.
All in all, I think that this is an excellent freeware that everyone should at least try out, especially since it could easily be a premium plugin.
Get Ambience here.
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Safe Reverb by Semantic Audio (Windows, Mac)
The whole point behind the SAFE plugins by Semantica Audio is to provide the user with an easier way to control the plugins by using semantic terms such as “warm, bright”, etc. to make the whole process more intuitive.
You just type the word in and it adjust the settings automatically.
On their website you will not only find a Reverb plugin, but also an overdrive, EQ and Compressor.
Sure, none of these plugins are your traditional “dial every detail in”-types of plugins since you can use semantic terms.
However, they all sound great and if you want to use it like a regular Reverb, you can…
You just have the added bonus of being able to use terms like “warm, bright, dull” etc.
Get Safe Reverb here.
Affordable Reverb Plugins
The upcoming reverb plugins on this list won’t be free, but also won’t cost you a leg and an arm to get!
Related: Looking for Drum VST plugins? Here are the best ones.
XenoVerb by Audiority (Windows, Mac)
XenoVerb is a very versatile Reverb created by Audiority featuring both classic and creative reverb algorithms which deliver a wide range of reverbs.
The interface is extremely clean and easy to navigate which is ideal for any beginner…
Plus, it’s super affordable.
So, if you’re just getting started with your music production journey and want a premium reverb that won’t break the bank, definitely give XenoVerb a shot.
- 10 Reverb Algorithms:
- Room, Hall, Plate 1, Plate 2, Springy, Glass, Flow, Shimmer, Bode, Formant
- Over 250 presets
- Pre Delay
- Tone Control
- Reverb Freeze
- Soft Limiter
Get Xenoverb here.
Spring Reverb by Softube (Windows, Mac)
Softube is known for creating excellent plugins, some of them are even free like the One Knob Saturation plugin that I absolutely love.
You can find that one in my list of the best free Distortion VST plugins.
What they tried to achieve when creating this plugin is to provide an authentic, vintage spring reverb that resembles an original one as much as possible.
It is full of character, it’s super easy to use, and it even looks great…
What’s not to love?
Plus, it’s super cheap!
- Personality and character for your mix
- Tension control to shape the spring character and reverb length
- Number of spring pairs continuously adjustable from 1 to 3
- Tube driver simulation with Bass and Treble in the reverb section
- Shake control that shakes the springs around
- Can be used both as a send and an insert effec
- Very CPU friendly
Get Spring Reverb here.
Little Plate by Soundtoys (Windows, Mac)
Little Plate was Inspired by the original EMT 140 plate reverb, but with a couple added twists.
One of the differences between Little Plate and the EMT 140 is that the original reverb could only handle up to 5 seconds of reverberation time.
Little plate allows you to set the decay time to infinity, which means that the reverb tails never fade.
It also features a low-cut filter which will help you keep your mixes clean, as well as a Mod Switch which ads modulation into the Reverb tail.
- Add the sound of vintage plate reverb to your tracks
- Push beyond the limits of the hardware with extended reverb decay time
- Create infinite reverb effects that never decay
- Optional modulation for natural-sounding variation in the reverb tail
- Low Cut filter to tame low-frequency build-up
- 25 distinct presets to quickly dial in a sound
Get Little Plate here.
Related: Best Free delay VST Plugins.
Mutant Reverb by W.A. Production (Windows, Mac)
Mutant Reverb is a mono-to-stereo reverb plugin with a built-in ducker; perfect for vocals, percussion, synths and many other applications where you need precise control of reverb tails.
Adding reverb to sounds gives warmth, character and places the sound in a real-world space.
However, big problems arise when a reverb tail masks the clarity of the original signal, resulting in a muddy and undefined sound.
Here’s where you can duck the reverb processing out of the way of the original audio without any complicated side-chain routing.
You can even mute the original signal to listen only to the ducked reverb effect in precise detail.
Mutant Reverb also offers Stereo Split processing with a reverb algorithm that can turn a mono source into a stereo reverb signal.
- Clean sounding algorithmic reverb
- Built-in internal ducker with compressor-style controls
- Many presets for a wide range of reverb parameters
- Click free bypass control
- Time, Size and Frequency filter dials
- Advanced controls for Pre-Delay, Diffusion & Dampening
- Real-time waveform display
- Full PDF Manual & Tutorial video
Get Mutant Reverb here.
CRTIV Reverb 2 by Voxengo (Windows, Mac)
CRTIV Reverb 2 provides a wide palette of reverb spaces while requiring only a minimal effort to obtain useful results.
The tails created by this reverb are very dense and produce a well-defined spatialization.
Since the reverb uses a kind of “true stereo” algorithm the panned sounds receive a good stereo field placement.
It can be used on almost any instrument, mix, etc.
However, there is one drawback to this plugin…
It is very CPU intensive and it does require a high-end processor.
- Easy-to-use design
- “True stereo” processing
- Preset manager
- Undo/redo history
- A/B comparisons
- Contextual hint messages
- All sample rates support
- Zero processing latency
- User interface color schemes
- Resizable user interface
- Retina and HighDPI support
Get CRTIV Reverb 2 here.
Related: List of the Absolute best Free VST plugins in the world.
Reverb by KiloHearts (Windows, Mac)
This reverb plugin is a “snapin”.
That means you can use it as a regular VST/AU plugin, or you can use it with snapin hosts like Multipass and Snap Heap where you can combine effects in various ways.
The plugin itself is super simple and straightforward, which makes it ideals for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money on just a reverb plugin.
Get Reverb by KiloHearts here.
Springbox by PSP Audioware (Windows, Mac)
PSP SpringBox is an emulation of a hardware spring reverberator.
It recreates several features typical of a spring reverb and a selection of configurations from two to six springs total is provided, as well as the ability to set stereo spread and pan/balance configured to suit various mix setups – from a typical guitar reverb to a creative use as a send reverb in the mix.
What sets Springbox apart from other Spring Reverb vst plugins is the sheer number of controls provides you with.
This allows you to dial in every detail to perfection, and it can create from traditional and realistic vintage spring reverb sounds all the way to extremely weird textures.
Get Springbox here.
Premium Reverb Plugins
Now, most of these are pretty expensive…
But they are the best of the best! So, if you truly want a great reverb vst plugin… here you go!
EAReverb 2 by eaReckon (Windows, Mac)
EAReverb 2 features the “Natural” core engine of the original EAReverb but also brings a plethora of new algorithms and functionalities accessible from a totally revised user interface.
Its former version, EAReverb, focused mainly on simulating natural environments, but EAReverb 2 is much more than that.
It features six different algorithms; Natural, Bright, Alu Box, Auditorium, Plate, and Reverse…
As well as three operation modes; Pro Mode, SE Mode, and POS Mode.
- Early reflection editor
- Multi-band module
- Gate module
- Preset managers
- …and more!
Get EAReverb 2 here.
Pro-R by FabFilter (Windows, Mac)
FabFilter Pro-R takes a musical approach to reverb, offering user-friendly, non-technical controls like Brightness, Character and Distance to achieve the reverb sound you are looking for.
The stepless Space control lets you fade between dozens of different, carefully tuned room models, automatically choosing a matching decay time for a natural-sounding result.
It is a highly customizable and great sounding plugin, and like every other FabFilter plugin, it’s one I’d absolutely recommend.
There is also an integrated 6-band post-EQ, which allows you to completely shape the reverb in great detail.
The FabFilter plugins are one of the crowd’s favorites, and Pro-R is definitely one of them.
Get Fabfilter Pro-R here.
TSAR-1 Reverb by Softube (Windows, Mac)
Softube is a company known for creating great quality plugins, and TSAR-1 Reverb is one of them.
It’s not an emulation, nor stock design, or even a static snapshot of a space, but rather a modern reverb true stereo algorithm that sounds very natural and real.
The number of presets it comes with is pretty high, and if you don’t find one that suits your needs exactly then you can adjust the reverb to your liking since the UI is extremely easy to understand because it only provides you with a couple of faders and knobs.
- Predelay Use it as a rhythmic effect or to carefully match the tail with the early reflections
- Time Longer or shorter reverb tail. Where do you want to go today?
- Density Smooth, modern and dense, or sparse, lush and vintage
- Tone Dark or bright? No need to adjust dozens of knobs to get the character you need
- High Cut Too much sizzle? Cut the highs
- Early Reflections Type Large, Medium or Small? What room do you want to place your tracks in?
Get TSAR-1 Reverb here.
Blackhole Reverb by Eventide (Windows, Mac)
Blackhole Reverb is a massive reverb plugin based on an Eventide’s hardware stomp-box which, funny enough, shared the same name.
Most reverbs emulate real spaces or plates, but Blackhole is intended for creating more abstract special effects.
Basically, it allows you to create virtual spaces which could never exist in reality.
If you’re looking for a simple reverb that can will give your vocals, drums, or any other instrument in the mix, a subtle reverb effect, then Blackhole isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if you want a reverb plugin that can is capable of creating some highly unusual sounds, then by all means… get Blackhole.
- Incredibly easy to use with over 50 presets; many created by Eventide artists
- Ability to create extremely musical effects useful for highlighting key instruments
- Supernatural settings for abstract spatial effects and drones
- Subtle settings for ambient washes and track highlighting
- Unique “Gravity” control reverses the arrow of time by inverting the reverb’s decay
- Kill Switch mutes the input so you only hear the reverb.
Get Blackhole Reverb here.
UltraReverb by Eventide (Windows, Mac)
With over 300 awesome presets and 9 high-end hardware-based reverb algorithms, as well as compression, EQ, and delay…
UltraReverb is one of the more versatile reverbs out there today.
- Halls, Chambers, Rooms, Plates, and Ambience derived from Eventide’s flagship hardware processor, the H8000 UltraHarmonizer®
- Create acoustically natural or other-worldly environments
- Packed with over 300 killer presets for mixing, mastering, post production, and sound design
- Includes Artist Presets designed by top engineers and recording professionals
- Session compatible with Eventide Reverb HD/TDM from the Anthology II bundle
- Stereo Delays (pre or post reverb) with Tempo sync to lock delays in time with your session
- Compressor (pre or post reverb) with key input
Get UltraReverb here.
SP2016 Reverb by Eventide (Windows, Mac)
The SP2016 was the first programmable studio rack processor. It introduced the concept of the ‘plug-in’ to the pro audio world back in 1982.
This reverb effect was used by many great artists such as Talking Heads, Adele, Mariah Carey, Eminem, and more.
Now, a couple decades later, this effect can be bought as a VST plugin.
It features six distinct reverbs; Room, Stereo Room, and High-Density Plate algorithms, each available in the Vintage and Modern versions.
The Vintage algorithms are true to the original box, all the way down to the bit-depth.
The Modern algorithms are brighter, more diffuse, and use a higher bit-depth.
- Room – Your basic no-nonsense, no-frills ambient “room.
- Stereo Room – Recreates the ambience of a large concert hall.
- Hi-Density Plate – Plate-type reverb with dual pickups simulating the effect of a bigger, heavier plate.
- Control the structure of the reverb by fine-tuning the controls
- Artist presets including some by Dave Pensado, Richard Devine, Joe Chiccarelli, and more.
Get SP2016 here.
What is a Spring Reverb?
A spring system has a transducer at one end of a spring and a pickup at the other.
It has a very distinctive sonic characteristic to it which is slightly darker, more metallic and edgier than the other reverb types.
At the time, spring reverb was frequently used for recording and it was commonly built into electric guitar amps since they’re pretty small and inexpensive to make.
When to use spring reverb?
The truth is that there are no rules in regards to what reverb type to use and when.
If it sounds right, then it’s right.
However, spring reverbs tend not to be used like most other reverbs, which is to create a sense of space in the mix…
In fact, they tend to be used to add color, create an effect, or to fill out other reverbs like chambers, rooms, etc. and are generally used on electric guitars.
But remember that what should determine the type of reverb you use is the mix itself…
If it sounds good, then there’s nothing wrong with it!
What is a Plate Reverb?
Plate reverb is very similar to Spring reverb in the sense that it’s created by exciting a metal with a transducer.
It’s the typical sound of the age of analog recording.
They are not so common these days since in order to achieve this effect properly you need huge plates, which can be quite expensive.
Plate reverb blends well into the mix, which is why it’s so loved.
When to use Plate Reverb?
Plate reverbs, contrary to how spring reverbs are used, are not designed to create a specific effect or add color…
They are generally used to give a sense of space, and that’s it!
This means that you can use them anywhere you’d like.
What is an Algorithmic Reverb?
Algorithmic reverbs are created digitally by using cascading digital delay signals.
This creates the illusion of space. However, it doesn’t sound super natural.
When to use Algorithmic Reverbs?
Algorithmic reverb works great for synth pads or effects.
What is a Convolution Reverb?
The effect of a convolution reverb is created by measuring the reverberation of a real space with a microphone and an “impulse”.
These impulse responses are sonic profiles that the plugin can then apply to the sound.
When to use Convolution Reverb?
Convolution reverb sounds a lot more natural than algorithmic reverb.
This means that it can be used anywhere you’d like to have a natural and realistic sounding reverb, like acoustic instruments.
Some of these plugins come with a free trial, which means that you can try them out completely for free before putting down your money.
Depending on what kind of sound you’re going for, I’d suggest that you pay close attention to the reverbs I mentioned that tend to be used as an entirely different effect and not just to recreate the sound of a room.
I hope this information was useful!
Have a great day!
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