Never-ending quest for a better reverb/delay (completed)

Never-ending quest for a better reverb/delay (completed)

I’m primarily a guitar player and for years I’ve been searching for a “better” reverb plugin. I was never overly picky about my delays for some reason but reverbs really change the sound of one’s guitar significantly.

I use reverbs with both my acoustic and electric guitars and I was changing my reverb plugins on a regular basis. I was never completely happy. They all sounded “harsh” or “overpowering” or too “metallic” … I came up with a lot of different words to describe what was lacking. Some would make my sound too “mushy” even at barely perceptible reverb levels.

At one point I liked the M40 from T.C. Electronics, but that plugin has been discontinued. Other than that – I went back to the Plate Reverb and Hall Reverb included with the TH3 package.

So today, my business partner who is also a keyboard player (by the way, he’s currently getting ready to go on a short tour in the North East and Canada with  The Security Project this weekend, check them out, Jerry Marotta and Trey Gunn are in that band), tells me about the “Outer Space” plugin which is modeled after the Roland RE-201 (Space Echo) device. I think he mentioned that plugin to me years ago when I first complained to him about my futile reverb quest but then I seem to have ignored him. After all … he’s a keyboard player 🙂

Outer Space plugin, modeled after the Roland RE-201 (Space Echo), Gig Performer


I could immediately tell that it is what I was looking for all this time. I immediately figured out how to disable the delay part of things since I was primarily interested to hear how the reverb works, adjusted a few knobs to shorten the decay and played a few notes.

I could immediately hear the “rich sound” quality of this plugin. Even with a very short decay time, the sound was rich, warm and generally pleasant. It was also never “mushy”. On the contrary, it was clear and warm at the same time!

I then switched on just one of the three available tape heads for the delay effect and I was blown away again. This must be a result of their tape emulation because the sound gets saturated in a subtle, yet very distinctive way that immediately makes the sound fuller, richer and generally pleasant.

I haven’t even begun to explore all the possibilities of this plugin, but this one is definitely a keeper.

“Space Echo” Wikipedia entry
“Outer Space” plugin by AudioThing:

The main moral of the story, however, is to never ignore your keyboard player partners who have had far more experience than you!

P.S. I am not in any way affiliated with AudioThing. I’m simply a happy customer.


Related topics:
How to combine the best parts of plugins to create a unique sound
My go-to plugin list
What are the best plugins to get?
What it means when we recommend other software to our users?

Scaling Curves

Scaling curves allow you to control the shape of the output of a widget or convert an incoming note velocity to a new velocity. Various predefined curves are available and they can be tweaked as necessary. You can also just draw your own curve as well to achieve the effect you require.


MIDI File Player Plugin

You can load up to 128 MIDI song files in a single plugin instance. Switch from one song to another, mute tracks and/or change their channel numbers. Tempo can be controlled by individual songs or you can use the global tempo and tap tempo to control the BPM interactively.


Favorites and Presets

Create a sound by placing and interconnecting your desired plugins, such as a synth, some effects and perhaps a mixer. Select them all and then save the selection as a named favorite. The favorite will subsequently show up in all plugin insert menus, making it easy for you to recreate that configuration whenever you need it again. This feature is also very powerful for creating your needed sounds on your studio computer and then transferring them to your touring laptop.


Probabilistic Sound Designer

Parameters you select in an open plugin are captured into the Probabilistic Sound Designer dialog window. When you click Randomize, you're only adjusting those selected parameters. Each entry in the PSD dialog has a curve but unlike widgets where the curve controls scaling, in the PSD the curves are used to define the probability of particular values being selected. Make sure the filter cutoff never gets too slow so as to block all sound. Perhaps adjust the max range of the VCA attack parameter so that the sound doesn't have too much delay. Constrain the octave ranges of the oscillators, perhaps ensuring that 1/3rd of the time we select 8' and 2/3rds of the time we select 4'. The possibilities are endless.


More Widgets

Numerous new widgets are included in Gig Performer - a new sustain pedal, plastic knobs, drum pads and more colored sliders. Shapes can be colored with different borders and fill colors and morphed from rectangular to circular. Your creativity is now the limit to creating fabulous front panels in Gig Performer.


MIDI Message Helper

Select MIDI devices by name. Choose the MIDI message type and adjust the appropriate parameters for the specific type



Layout management

Gig Performer supports arbitrary resizing. Layout your widgets the way you want - resize the main window and the widgets will grow or shrink as necessary to maintain the same interrelationships. No matter what size screen you have, your front panels will still be neat and usable.


Undo Support

If you move your widgets around and/or resize them, or even delete them by mistake, the Undo facility will correct your mistake. Minor moves to a widget by mistake will no longer spoil your design


Plugin Channel Count

Some plugins support a large number of outputs and they depend on the traditional channel strip to control how many ports should be available.   When you only need a stereo pair, it is convenient not to have a large horizontal block. In Gig Performer, the number of available ports  is controlled by the channel count override, which can be applied to individual plugins and will be remembered when the gigfile is reloaded or if the plugin is saved as a favorite.


Input muting and output fading

Rather than a single audio length tail, Gig Performer 4 gives you the ability to control input muting and output fading separately. Input muting controls how much time it takes for audio input to be silenced when you leave the rackspace. Output fading controls how much time will be taken for audio to fade out when you leave the rackspace.


Faster Plugin Finder

Instead of searching through menus of perhaps hundreds of plugins (you know who you are!), the Quick Plugin Finder makes it easy to find the plugin you need by simply typing partial strings. For example, as shown here, to find the Modartt Pianoteq 7 plugins, it's enough to type pia mod 7 (in any order, by the way)  to restrict the list of available plugins to those matching your query. The Quick Plugin Finder also knows about manufacturers, presets and favorites.



Touch Friendly Input

Any entry field can be changed by either dragging your mouse (or finger) up or down, or by using the large popup touchpad where you can just tap on the squares to enter a value. The large popup keypad also does validation so you can't enter an invalid value. You can also just tap the BPM field to pop up a larger view where you can quickly change tempo, tranpose, trigger Tap Tempo and enable Ableton Link, the last allowing you to synchronize Gig Performer with any other application that also supports Ableton Link.


New Tuner Display

The tuner view makes it easy for guitarists to quickly check and adjust their tuning. You can toggle into the tuner view from any other view and toggle right back as soon as you're done. All output will be silenced automatically while you're in tuning mode. You can adjust the concert reference pitch from its default of 440 Hz to suit your own needs. The tuner view fills the entire screen so you can easily see it from a distance.