Danish Innovation in Reverb: A Legacy Continued With REV6000

Discover the Danish legacy behind Relab's VSR REV6000 Cinematic Reverb. From 90s innovation to Hollywood's favorite, learn how this plug-in revolutionizes digital reverb for modern producers.

In the early 1990s, a small team of innovative audio engineers in Denmark embarked on a bold and ambitious journey: to revolutionize digital reverb technology.

Their hard work would eventually payoff, with the creation of a legendary hardware unit that became synonymous with high-end reverb at the most professional levels of the audio world, particularly in the realm of film sound.

Today, another small Danish company, Relab Development, is carrying the torch of this legacy of audio innovation with the VSR REV6000 Cinematic Reverb.

A Shared Danish Heritage

Just as those early pioneers were not limited by their modest workshop in Denmark, Relab Development continues this Danish tradition of drive and ambition on the path to audio excellence.

Our team, like our predecessors, blends passion and innovation with an insatiable hunger for pristine sound, which is constantly refuelled by Denmark’s highly creative atmosphere.

Addressing Industry Limitations

The original team are responsible for identifying several critical limitations in the existing digital reverbs of the time. They discovered that many units produced unrealistic imaging, metallic echoes, and unwanted modulation that detracted from the authenticity of the sound.

At Relab, we recognized similar flaws in the plug-in realm, and challenged ourselves to bring a higher level of quality to the industry. The limitations we observed inspired us when creating the REV6000 to push the boundaries of what was thought to be possible in software reverb.

Groundbreaking Technology Then and Now

The pioneering work of those early innovators resulted in a partnership with The Danish Technical University, and the subsequent development of advanced “ray tracing” virtual space simulation technology.

The research findings were crystal clear: to accurately replicate the authentic ambiance of a sonic space, an extensive array of directional taps was essential. This discovery laid the groundwork for a revolutionary tool in acoustic simulation.

From this, a groundbreaking auralizing program called ODEON was developed. It’s not just any software – it’s a virtual architect of sound, meticulously mapping out the intricate parameters that shape a room’s reflection patterns.

Think of it as sculpting with sound waves, creating a detailed acoustic 3D model of any space. This software can literally “render” the acoustics of a room, transforming abstract sound properties into a virtual, three-dimensional soundscape.

It’s like building a holographic audio environment that you can explore from every angle. This immersive acoustic simulation defines the intricate patterns of early reflections, allowing you to visualize and manipulate the core elements of a room’s sonic character.

30 “Working Years” of Tuning: The Staggering Time Investment

The team then developed a customized user interface that allowed their “Golden Ears” to control and hand-tune more than 500 parameters in the algorithms without having to worry about the actual programming.

If you add up all the parallel working hours the team spent tuning this – it would have taken a single person 30 years just to tune every setting of this reverb.

Many companies boast about their ‘cutting-edge’ technology, but how many can claim this level of human expertise and time investment?

At Relab, we didn’t just stop at human expertise – we embraced the best of both worlds.

We leveraged our proprietary advanced machine learning to collect millions of data points, meticulously recreating and the coveted VSS6.1 surround algorithm from the original hardware – and then we meticulously hand-tuned it (not downmixed) for stereo.

This fusion of time-honored craftsmanship and advanced technology allowed us to capture the essence of the original while delivering a first-of-its-kind stereo version of this iconic reverb.

The Journey to Hollywood and Beyond

The original Danish reverb unit very quickly became a favourite among elite Hollywood sound engineers, and was a principal ingredient in what would come to be known as the “Hollywood sound.” At Relab, we’re proud to be on this very same path, and continue this tradition of audio excellence.

And we are both grateful and honoured that our digital reverb solutions are finding their way into many of the same professional studios and film production houses worldwide.

Democratizing Legendary Sound

The impact of the original Danish team extended far beyond its initial release, and continued to influence and inspire both hardware and software audio tools for years.

And now at Relab, we are excited to bring this level of reverb quality to software, and make the once-exclusive “Hollywood sound” accessible to audio producers at any stage of experience, from home studios to world-class facilities.

A Continuing Legacy of Danish Audio Innovation

As a small Danish company ourselves, we feel a deep connection to the legacy of those early audio explorers. We share their commitment to innovation, their meticulous attention to detail, and their unwavering pursuit of supreme sound.

Our journey parallels theirs in many ways – from humble Danish beginnings, to creating tools used in professional studios worldwide, and thus bringing the magic of iconic reverb into the digital age.

This storyline of reverb innovation stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of audio innovation in Denmark. It’s a legacy we’re thrilled to continue, ensuring that the next generation of sound creators has access to the very best tools in reverb technology.