Breverb by Overloud
Convolution reverb with its own character that offers more than 270 useful presets and sounds natural with a nice sounding tail. What else do you need?
by Alex Arsov, Sept. 2016
Every good reverb has its own character, sounding good, but different from all the others. I’ve spent years searching for the holy grail of reverbs, hoping to find the one and only that could serve all purposes. In the end I learned that such a thing doesn’t exist. Of course you can use one reverb for every purpose, but having a few different, good ones, you will find that some are better on some material while others sounds better with other sounds. I tried Breverb and found it to sound excellent on some sparse arrangements as I looked for some more natural, well-defined intimate space, not being too obvious, in which I could soak everything. It works great on all instruments, adding a bit of warm space around the sound, having a very clean, natural tail without being metallic in the highest registers, as some algorithmic reverbs can be. I especially like how smooth and discrete it sounds even when you use big hall reverbs.
I tried Breverb on various strings, and if you are doing some quartet, or you need that your drums sound punchy without being too wet, ditto for vocals, then Breverb is a good choice. If you’re after a more wet sound then you should maybe try Rematrix, a convolution reverb from the same firm. I decided to try Breverb because on some occasions algorithmic reverbs can sound more natural, at least more vivid than convolution ones. Of course I tried also several other algorithmic reverbs in the price range, excluding all those that use a dongle as protection, as I’m not so keen anymore to drive my working laptop around with all that trumpery sticking out of it. By reading this, I presume you get the impression who is the winner of that searching adventure. It is not a new product, having been for some time on the market, but I found that it still has its place, offering quite enough goodies for the present time.
What Do We Get?
More than 270 useful presets that can be your starting point, or in my case, even final destination, as all I did actually is tweak the high and low filter to my personal preferences. It offers seven main space algorithms: Hall, Plate, Room, Inverse, Small places, Large places and sources. After the signal goes through the reverb algorithm it goes through the equalizer and gate sections too. The end result sounds very natural, especially if your try it with live instruments. Not to mention that Breverb is very CPU friendly. Everything else is just detail.
The interface is quite clean and very easy to operate. In the upper left part is a big browser where we get categories, below which are the presets. Names are quite obvious up to the point so you won’t find much abstract poetry here. On the top right we see a narrow row with a drop-down menu containing all those before mentioned space algorithms. Beneath this we find two big windows stacked one on top of each other, where the upper window contains Input and Drive[or “Dry”?]/Wet sliders along the sides, with a big main window in the middle where we can browse through five different menus bringing some basic controllers for every part of the menu. In the first, Main menu, we also find different spaces that are available for Spaces Small and Spaces Large algorithms. Studio, Tight, Both and Fast for Small spaces, and Natural, Alive, Smooth and Open for Large spaces. Other parameters are quite standard – early reflections, predelay, time and similar classic things. The Early menu brings some solutions that I haven’t seen on other reverbs. A fairly big collection of spaces are available especially for early reflections. 35 different spaces just for Early Type and an additional three general ones for Early Size. Here we can also find three knobs for Color, Balance and Low cut.
Other menus, Reverb EQ and Gate are quite standard, but there is an additional one that grabs my attention – the Time menu, available for Spaces Small and Spaces Large, where we can set frequencies over time for reflections. Start with reduced low end, expanding the highs at the end of reflection.
In a lower part is a Lexicon-like interface bringing big sliders for the six most important parameters of the current selected algorithm. Actually, the presets sound so good that I just played a bit with predelay, taming the gate a bit and tweaking the EQ settings in the upper menu. Otherwise, don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.
There are some additional details and controllers that can be applied and most of the parameters could be manipulated via MIDI with CC controllers, but this is not so important, as after all those years I figured the better the plug in, the less you should tweak it. Breverb really shines in situations when you want to add space around the sound without changing the nature of the sound, just making it a bit more beefy, a bit more rounded and inserted into space. It is an excellent choice for adding natural ambiance to any close mic recordings. It sounds natural and somehow intimate where even big spaces sound a bit tight and clean. Quite specific, but absolutely not bad. It is good enough to be your one and only reverb. I have several algorithmic reverbs and a nice number of convolution ones, but I’m sure that I’ll use this one in many different situations. It is hard to find such a well-defined algorithmic reverb that doesn’t add any dirt in the low or high end. Absolutely worth the money.
More info at http://www.overloud.com/en/products-10/breverb2.html
The price of Breverb is €149 EUR