Best Reverb VST Plugins – 2020 Complete Guide

Remember when you were all alone in a school hall or museum, clapped your hands for the first time, and got amazed by the effect you were making?

You probably didn’t know, but, at that very moment, you were creating a reverb with your own hands. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Reverb VST Plugins

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Premium Lexicon reverbs bundle
  • Professional presets
  • Comprehensive graphical layout
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  • Most advanced digital reverb on the market
  • Hundreds of presets available
  • Advanced musical filtering
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  • Affordable algorithmic reverb
  • Reverse reverb included
  • Oriented towards modern music
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  • Emulation of acoustical surroundings reverb
  • Two late reverb algorhitms and fifteen early reflection patterns
  • Independent editing of early reflections and reverb tail
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  • Plate reverbs from iconic Abbey Road Studio
  • Realistic spring behavior
  • Appealing visual design
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  • Hybrid reverb that combines digital and convolution reverb
  • Delay, de-esser, compressor and ducker included
  • 5.1 surround system support
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  • 3 reverb tanks selection captured faithfully
  • Twang feature allows you to "shake" springs
  • 14-bit MIDI control resolution
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  • 9 reverb algorithms based upon Eventide hardware
  • Awesome Snapshot feature
  • Stereo delay, compressor, and EQ
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What is a Reverb VST Plugin and What is it Used For? 

Reverb is the portion of the sound that remains audible once the original sound source stops. Every room has a reverb, but we can hear it the best once we find ourselves in a closed large space and clap our hands. If you think about the sound that remains in the cave, you went too far, but you got it right. 

However, that’s exactly the effect reverb VST is creating artificially and it’s an effect that every studio use on a daily basis. It can place your track in any type of environment you want and provide you with warmth and depth such space provide.

Are All Reverb VST Plugins the Same?

Generally speaking, they all affect the dry signal the same way - adding more reflections over it and making it sound fuller.

But, some reverb effects do it in a natural way, trying to recreate how the source would sound like if it was recorded in a cathedral, for example. Others may have a more drastic approach in mind so they create additional, artificial flavor over the original sound which can change the sound characteristic a lot. 

In the end, there is no wrong path here. It’s all based on what you have in mind to achieve and how heavy you want to process the source.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you go and buy the best reverb out there in the market, there are several aspects you might consider:

Pick Your Reverb

Ask yourself, what kind of reverb you’re trying to get? Try to find a reference, make a research on how it was created, and what equipment was used. Nowadays there are perfect software clones of many famous hardware reverbs, so if you get info, you might easily get the right sound within a minute. In any case, there is no such Reverb VST that excels in every field, so narrowing your selection before buying can help you a lot.

Rob Papen RP-VERB 2

DAW Reverb

Sometimes, there is no need for applying another reverb. For some purposes, your DAW reverb may sound just good enough and save you some CPU resources for heavier VST effects and instruments later, especially if it’s applied to the tracks that aren’t put in the front.

Music or Movie?

Unlike music, movies can be recorded in a surround system. While there are a couple of tricks so your favorite stereo reverb can be used, the best call would be to apply a surround reverb that matches the audio system you’re about to record.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Reverb VST Plugins

There are many reverbs on the market. It was hard to handpick the best and especially categorize them properly, so let’s check it out:

PROS

  • Intuitive Soft Row feature
  • Hundreds of professional presets
  • 7 premium reverbs bundled in one software
  • EQ settings for both early and late reflections
  • Bunch of graphical displays for easier workflow

CONS

  • No surround support
  • Expensive choice unless you have no reverb in your collection

Features and Specifications

This Lexicon package comes with 7 different reverbs - Vintage Plate, Plate, Hall, Room, Random Hall, Concert Hall, and Chamber. Some of those reverbs were taken directly from Lexicon PCM96, premium hardware reverb, such as Vintage Plate for example. Room reverb comes with 15 simulated environments in various shapes

Provided presets are ready-to-use grade and there are hundreds to be chosen based on the project you’re working on. There is also a Soft Row feature that changes its slider parameters based on the algorithm you selected and everything in this software is laid out well graphically.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you say reverb, Lexicon is probably the first company you would think of. They created some of the most iconic hardware reverbs ever made and now they decided to do the same in the software world. 

So, it stands out to us because this is as close as you can get from having a hardware Lexicon device at your hand. This is especially audible in Random Hall character which is an ideal tool for orchestral music. But anyway, music or movie, this Lexicon will find a way to fit while leaving a specific footprint only they are able to.

PROS

  • More than 400 factory presets
  • Unique and appealing user interface
  • Numerous unique and artificial effect presets 
  • Harmonic Contour Filter removes sound parts, not in tune
  • One of the most advanced reverb plug-ins thanks to Bionic Sustain Resynthesis

CONS

  • Might be CPU heavy for some users
  • Live mode doesn’t work well on shorter reverbs

Features and Specifications

Zynaptiq made a game-changer when they focused on reverb sound character instead of simulating a realistic environment. Thanks to Ray Tracing engine and Bionic Sustain Resynthesis reverb tails are free of any grain or mud creating an outstanding musical output. And if that’s not all, Harmonic Contour Filter circuit analyzes your song and removes the sound chunks that are not in the tune no matter how long the reverb tail is.

There are also hundreds of presets available for both music producers and sound designers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Like the name of its company, this software has a very unique visual approach. Workflow can be incredibly deep or plain, based on your skills because of the very original user interface. It doesn’t just look futuristic, it works that way too applying some advanced scripting never encountered before in the VST world. 

We also love how awkward and strange you can make it sound like so that creating massive drones and pads has never been easier.

It’s ideal for all sound designers to play with as it can sound very smooth and glitch-free no matter how hard you turn the dials.

Best for the Money:
Rob Papen RP-VERB 2

PROS

  • Detailed level of parameters control
  • Very intuitive two-color user interface
  • Distortion and reverse reverb featured
  • Affordable and capable algorithmic reverb
  • 500 presets included organized in a user-friendly manner

CONS

  • Might be complex for some users
  • Low and high EQ shelve is not parametric

Features and Specifications

The user interface got a nice visual upgrade compared to the first version so now you have all the necessary knobs placed in the front. There are 10 reverb models to choose from including Hall, Room, Space, and Vintage type while EQ panel is based on a high-quality RP-EQ model with a scoopable Mid-range.

One of the best features of the RP-VERB is reverse reverb. It can be edited to the finest details so you can pick the length time, offset, tempo sync or edit its envelope.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There is nothing “vintage warm” in this software and we say this as a good thing. It’s 100% oriented towards modern music. It can be used on both vocals and instruments, but thanks to that special envelope for Gated Reverb, drums could especially have a benefit.

Presets that are given are extremely usable. We love how the browser allows you to apply “recently browsed” and “favorites” functions. No matter what skill level you are it may happen that you could nail one and leave it “as is”. But, because of numerous edit options and built-in distortion effects, it can also be sound designer heaven.

Best Hall Reverb VST:
Acon Digital Verberate 2

PROS

  • Advanced decay editor page
  • Two different late reverb algorithms
  • 15 early reflection patterns included
  • Independent editing of early reflections and reverb tail
  • Algorithmic reverb plug-in that simulates real acoustical surroundings

CONS

  • Could provide more factory presets
  • Provides you with hall and plate reverb only

Features and Specifications

Verbate 2 comes with several significant upgrades from the prior release. Vivid Hall is their new late reverb algorithm that tries to enhance usual convolution reverb issues while the new mechanical plate reverb model includes a Dispersion knob that controls the decay of the higher frequencies. Swirl feature allows you to emulate some authentic modulation effects from classic digital hardware reverb units

The EQ editing panel in output is incredibly versatile and the decay editor page allows you to change the decay time of the certain frequencies only.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Decay editing panel is also something we haven’t found in other reverb VSTs, while the user interface is plain but visually appealing in a modern way. 

We really like how the Vivid Hall algorithm calculates many random variations that happen in real-life conditions without any digital artifacts. It took into account that both performers and audiences may move during the performance and that the reverb tail may alter because of it. This is something that another convolution reverbs don’t think about in their programming and therefore may lack to achieve a certain “natural” feel.

Best Plate Reverb VST:
Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates

PROS

  • Original EQ parameters
  • Visually authentic user interface
  • Realistic spring behavior on all 4 models
  • Analog knob for an additional vintage feel
  • Plate reverbs simulations modeled upon Abbey Road models

CONS

  • Editing panel might feel shallow 
  • Sounds warmer than the original one

Features and Specifications

Waves decided to model 4 EMT 140 available at Abbey Road studio and simply labeled from A to D. They have a different plate spring tension so it sounds slightly different. Plate Reverb D contains a different circuitry so the sonic change is most noticeable here.

In case you need additional vintage flavor, there is an analog knob that will detune your sound a little bit, just like the original hardware did. The same goes for EQ. While we would appreciate the different EQ layout, it came just like the original - treble and bass.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Plate Reverb was popularized by The Beatles and Pink Floyd. They have recorded some of the most iconic songs in a studio called Abbey Road. So, if you put two and two together, you will probably understand that this software has an unprecedented plate reverb quality. 

We like how simple it is structured. No extra settings, everything large and clear, just like the original one. Sound-wise, it is slightly warmer and smoother, but we suppose that difference was made intentionally so it can be as versatile as possible. It still holds the original character, which is not so often in the world of VST effects.

Best Gated Reverb VST
Waves H-Reverb

PROS

  • 5.1 surround system support
  • Hybrid plugin suitable for all types of reverb
  • Delay, de-esser, compressor, and ducker included
  • Include 4-band EQ with full-parametric Mid section
  • Built-in presets cover a wide range of music solutions

CONS

  • Could be more CPU-friendly
  • Editing may be complex for newbies

Features and Specifications

This digital reverb is built on a hybrid basis. It combines both synthetic and impulse response technology to improve the quality of the reverb tail without affecting your overall mix sound. It takes the best of both worlds so you can have all the customizing options of algorithmic reverb while maintaining the natural source of the captured real-life space.

It also comes in two versions depending on if you need more than 6 seconds of the reverb time and provides you with full support for 5.1 surround systems.

Why it Stands Out to Us

H-Reverb covers the complete array of reverbs no matter how artificial or natural you want them to be. Thanks to the other sections provided such as EQ, delay, compressor, de-esser, and ducker you can easily have all the vocal effects you need to be bundled in a single plugin. 

It provides you with the tool that allows you to edit envelopes for attack and decay which may result in creating unique gated reverbs or even use it for making a reverse reverb. This way you can surgically remove any part of the reverb that makes the overall mix muddy.

Best Spring Reverb VST:
u-He Twangström

PROS

  • Springs can be shaken with Twang feature
  • Faithful recreation of a spring reverb effect
  • 14-bit MIDI resolution for smooth transitions
  • 3 reverb tanks with multiple-springs modeled
  • Extremely small storage and resource footprint

CONS

  • Limited field where you could apply it
  • Most of MIDI controller cannot utilize advanced MIDI resolution

Features and Specifications

This software emulated some of the most famous spring reverb units used in rock'n'roll history.

It comes with 76 factory presets with extremely various settings that should cover most of your needs. You can additionally warm up the sound thanks to the drive knob and modulation matrix is capable of some advanced effects thanks to a well designed LFO module that comes with even 8 different waveform sources.

For those who are about to switch towards 4K resolution, the good thing is that the user interface can be resized up to 200%. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Twang feature really makes this reverb feel alive. We love how the spring length is emulated so that every spring responds differently emulating the behavior of the real hardware spring reverb.

Unlike other software, this one implemented 14-bit MIDI resolution for their parameters. Think of it like what HD standard did for a video. It allows automated transitions to be much smoother and closer to what you would get from an analog hardware unit. 

The best part is that it comes with a very small installation and it’s not taking too much of RAM memory as well.

Best Convolution Reverb VST:
EastWest Spaces II

PROS

  • Standalone version available
  • 18 different space categories
  • Straight-forward user interface, easy to apply
  • Vast high-quality collection of real-life reverberations
  • Hundreds of reverbs tailored specifically for certain instruments

CONS

  • No surround sound system support
  • Limited effect and preset browsing control 

Features and Specifications

EastWest put a lot of research in making this successor while keeping all the controls of the user interface comprehensive and straightforward. Impulse responses captured for this software are not just big in terms of quantity, but also in quality. To be more precise, this is the best convolution library regarding the quality of impulse responses.

Presets are organized in 18 categories with subcategories based on the venues they are simulating and another special one that provides you the best solution based on instruments that are present in the project.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This plug-in is essential for every cinematic purpose. So, whether you would use it to add a special ambiance to a dialogue or apply a realistic hall atmosphere to your orchestral piece, it will work great. Also, your acoustic instruments ambiances could benefit from it no matter what type of music you’re recording.

We especially liked how easy it is to apply it correctly. EastWest went a step ahead and put you a hint with providing a special treatment for specific instruments so you know what type of preset you would use for choirs and what for string orchestra for example.

Editor’s Pick:
Eventide UltraReverb

PROS

  • Reverb tail randomization feature
  • Stereo delay, compressor, and EQ included
  • 300+ presets available with the awesome Snapshot feature
  • 9 reverb algorithms derived from the best Eventide's hardware
  • Modulation Rate and Depth controls, even including LoFi effects

CONS

  • Gated reverb is missing
  • Not a counterpart of Eventide hardware units

Features and Specifications

All nine reverb algorithms were taken from an Eventide H8000FW which is considered as a music industry standard. They are organized in a pair of Hall, Room, Chamber and Plate and single set of Ambiance. 

Snapshots are a very handy tool that enhances preset navigation even further thanks to storing up to 16 scenes.

And just in case you were missing it in your collection, Eventide provided you with basic stereo delay, very capable compressor and EQ section split in Pre and Post audio signal processing and additional EQ for both delay and reverb tail. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If we repeat the “When you say reverb” question, Eventide would be your answer #2. This software captures the overall sound trademark of the company and it’s very versatile so it can be used in both modern and vintage music respectively. Sound is very clear and editable and gives you a nice idea what you could expect from the full hardware product.

And, when we think about it, this software might get very close to the channel strip VST, because of those extra effects they have added.

Types of Reverb 

While we can talk about all reverbs separately, they all belong to four main groups:

Natural Reverbs

This reverb is captured every time you use a condenser microphone in the room you’re recording in as you’re recording not just the sound but the ambiance as well. It is often combined with the closed microphone source to add a specific flavor on the specific track.

Electro-Mechanical Reverbs

These electronic devices simulate reverb mechanically. Spring and Plate Reverbs are the most famous ones and have a certain place in the rock'n'roll music era of the 1950s and 1960s as they provided an unique character and reduced the recording costs a lot..

Algorithmic (Digital) Reverbs

These reverbs use mathematical calculations to create a reverb effect. Their forte is the ability to go beyond natural spaces and create reverb for special conditions such as infinite long halls or gated reverbs.

Convolution Reverb

This reverb uses special files to virtually recreate the real acoustic ambiance of a physical environment. Those special files are called impulse responses and they are not used just for creating a certain physical space, but small spaces as well such as guitar cabinets to create a specific trademark guitar sound.

How to Use Reverb on a Vocal 

Here are some general tips:

Song Genre

Slow songs allow you to put a large reverb that can vocal sound massive and even create an organic pad layer. For fast-paced tracks you need to use reverbs with much shorter decay or maybe don’t use reverb at all.

Clarity

Whenever you use a reverb you trade it for a portion of clarity from your track. You can’t have it both in large numbers. So, consider twice before you use reverb on a hip-hop vocals as it’s all about the words, but you can always add an ambiance reverb to warm it up. 

Pro Secrets

Unless you’re recreating the 80s song, the general rule is that the reverb shouldn’t be an audible part in the mix but once you turn it off you would notice something is missing. Reverbs should be felt not heard. Think of it as a tool that links your tracks together.

It’s also a nice practice that once you’re satisfied to pull a reverb back 0.5-1dB more. For modern music standards, it’s better to have less reverb on any track. 

If you’re interested to get know more about it, check this video - tips presented here will work on any software you have.

Conclusion 

Reverb VST can make good takes sound excellent. It’s irreplaceable in modern production. No matter what type of audio work we’re talking about, reverb is one of those effects that can be applied everywhere and every time it can bring life and additional depth to your track. 

People Also Ask

It’s easy to mix reverb with other similar effects. That’s why we will try to solve some of your most usual concerns and tell you a difference between reverb, echo, and delay. Also, we’ll give you a hint or two why you should apply reverb to your vocal tracks.

Is Reverb the Same as Echo?

They belong to the same effect type. But, reverb occurs in an environment where objects are close enough so that sound can be reflected fast. If there is an audible gap, sound that is coming second is called echo. That’s why when we speak about music terms, Echo is more similar to the Delay effect.

Which is Better, Reverb or Delay?

It all depends on the instrument and the genre you’re about to record. Lead electric guitar will probably go better with a delay, while an acoustic guitar will usually ask for some type of room reverb on it. Vocals can actually benefit from having both at some point.

Why is Reverb Used on Vocals?

Reverb is used on vocals so you can get that extra sustain. When used properly it will bring you the impression that vocals are “in the same room” with the other tracks and make it sound more natural. It also allows singers to control their performance, especially while singing demanding vocal lines.

What is a Gated Reverb?

It combines digital reverb and noise gate effect, so the effect completely cuts off once it reaches the threshold set very high. This way your sound benefits from the power reverb creates without compromising overall clarity. If you recall any 80’s pop song, it probably had some gated reverb on the snare and toms.

What is a Plate Reverb?

This electro-mechanical reverb was created back in the 1950's and it has been applied on all instruments. It was meant to be portable and reduce recording costs. Effect was generated by a metal plate vibrating response responding to the input signal and the result was recorded with a contact microphone and amplified back. 

What is a Spring Reverb?

Spring Reverb is generated when you put an audio signal through the metal spring box so that chunk of sound is reflected in the springs. Due to the different tension of every spring, reverb is created upon different echos those springs generate. This electro-mechanical reverb is often linked with the guitar sound of the 1960s.