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How To Create Ultra Modern Reverb Sounds Using The LX480 Dual-Engine Reverb

Back in 1986 when the original hardware was released there were many technological limitations that restricted the performance of the original.

The accumulation of these compromises created many of the artefacts loved about the hardware, however, it is not right for everything.

If you want ultra-modern, smooth reverb tails, LX480 also has you covered.

The Random Hall HD algorithm takes the Random Hall algorithm into the 21st century. Despite the name, it sounds great with small room sizes/RTMs as well as large hall-type sounds. However, it doesn’t stop there because you also have setup options that remove the bit-depth restrictions and saturation from the original.

The result of doing this is a reverb that stands up to 21st-century hardware units costing 10x more than LX480.

1. Pick a Dual-Engine Configuration

The Dual-Engine allows you to chain two different effects together in new and exciting ways, creating unique senses of spaciousness and envelopment.

To find the current engine configuration, simply press the Setup Button, and then click on the Config Tab.

LX480 Setup Config Tab

You can switch between each engine’s settings by using the E1 and E2 buttons.

By default, the LX480 is set to a single configuration. This means audio will only be routed through the currently selected engine. In this instance, only one engine will be active.

For a more vintage reverb sound, it’s best to use a single engine configuration.

For a more modern reverb sound, use any of the 4 engine configurations.

2. Choose An Algorithm

For more modern reverbs, use Random Hall (90s) or Relab’s proprietary Random Hall HD (21st Century).

3. Set Output Render Characteristics

With the LX480, you have the ability to change the entire color of reverb with a few simple output controls.

These controls are found on both the I/O and Config tabs in the Setup Menu

By default, LX480 is set to best emulate the original hardware, with the exception of turning off the analog hiss/noise.

To create modern sounds start by selecting Random Hall HD and then change the following setup options to get the cleanest tail with minimal distortion:

Setting Value
Saturation Off
Mod Truncation Off
18-bit Off
Noise Off
IO Mode Digital

4. Check Reverb Mode Value

When using the modern algorithms in LX480, like Random Hall and Random Hall HD, the parameter that controls the realism of the algorithm is called Reverb Mode (MOD).

You’ll want to ensure it is set to RVB when creating realistic spaces or EFX when creating out-of-this-world effects.

5. Adjust Size

Once you have confirmed MOD is set to a reverb mode, you can then set the size parameter.

The size parameter roughly correlates to the size of space in meters. Increasing the size value makes the RTM and SPREAD ranges bigger.

Since the size parameter also affects reverb density, for vintage sounds, set larger sizes for a less dense tail and then set the Reverb time to taste.

To replicate an ultra-modern hardware reverb, use one of the largest sizes available for Random Hall HD and adjust the reverb time to taste, for a smooth and transparent high-definition reverb tail.

6. Reverb Time Mid

Once you have the right size, tweak the reverb time to get the length of reverb you need.

NOTE: Remember that the time listed is for the mid frequencies. We’ll adjust the reverb time for other frequencies later.

7. Adjust Diffusion

The diffusion parameter controls the echo density of the reverb.

Vintage sounds tend to have less density, so lower diffusion is more authentic.

Modern sounds tend to be much denser, so higher diffusion settings are more appropriate.

8. Shape and Spread

Now it is time to adjust how quickly the reverb builds up and decays as well as the perceived sense of “envelopment” of the reverb using the shape and spread parameters

Shape and Spread control the “acoustic signature” of a reverb. You will likely want to fine-tune the shape and spread parameters one after the other.

Start with spread to control the spacing and density of the reflections during the initial build-up, which makes the apparent space bigger.

Then adjust the shape to control how long it takes for the reverb to reach its peak amplitude and how long it takes for the sound to decay.

Larger rooms typically take a longer time to reach their peak amplitude, so you can add more shape if needed.

Smaller rooms and plates have much lower Shape settings.

Modern reverbs often have a variety of different sonic characteristics when it comes to the build-up of echo density, so adjust these to taste.

9. Set Other Parameters To Taste

Now that the overall spaciousness is crafted, you can refine it further by adjusting the other settings.

The most common adjustments are to the bass and high-frequency reverb time multipliers and crossover frequencies.

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