A reverb plugin is a vital part of professional mixing. It's the effects that give your sounds space, depth, and a richness that’s hard to recreate. But not all reverb plugins are made alike. That's why we want to introduce you to the best reverb plugins you can find in 2021.
This article will walk you through the ten best reverb VST plugins, ranging from the best hall reverb to algorithmic reverbs and beyond.
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Let's start with our first pick, the FabFilter Pro-R…
1. FabFilter Pro-R
FabFilter is known as the creator of some of the finest equalizers, saturators, and effects on the planet. They’re also known for another thing, one of the best reverb plugins.
The Pro-R is true to natural sound and makes dialing in your perfect reverb easy as a walk in the park. With logically named buttons and sliders, you control parameters such as “distance” to set the perceived reverb distance and “brightness” to add or remove echo shine.
See all reverb changes you make in the visual spectrum analyzer, which also features a FabFilter style equalizer for you to shape your reverb perfectly. That’s the yellow line.
Then you have the blue line, which is another equalizer controlling the decay rate. Or, in other words, enabling you to lengthen or shorten parts of the reverb in different frequency spectrums.
FabFilter Pro-R is logical, natural, powerful, and a favorite of countless professional global producers.
Get it here.
2. Native Instruments Raum
Raum is a new addition to the impressive plugin library of Native Instruments. With a focus on creative reverbs and in-your-face space, it looks as good as it sounds.
Switch between the reverb modes, grounded, airy, and cosmic, to unlock three completely different possibilities of space creation.
Go grounded if you are looking to add realistic spaces to your instruments. Choose airy to take your vocals and shimmering sounds to a new level. And say hello to cosmic for alien soundscapes – perfect for metallic, granular textures and resonances.
Want to freeze your reverb? Well, you can. Click the crispy snowflake button and let your echoes freeze in time and echo into eternity. It sounds fantastic.
Native Instruments Raum is both a blessing to look at and work with. Suiting everything from realistic reverb needs to out-of-this-world spaces, I dare you to find a reverb as versatile as this – for its low price.
Get it here.
3. Valhalla VintageVerb
Valhalla is famous in the producer world as the king of reverbs and creative effects. Let’s take a trip back to the psychedelic '70s and discover the cozy spaces of the time with VintageVerb.
Inspired by the classical hardware of the 1970s and 1980s, this reverb plugin is the one to use if you’re looking for sound with attitude and character.
First, select between one of the 18 different reverb algorithms, ranging from rooms to sanctuaries and dirty plates. Next, color your reverb with the style that characterized an era.
Choose 1970 for a darker and noisier reverb which might throw in the odd, random artifact in there. Go 1980 for a brighter sound. If you do not feel that adventurous, use the “NOW” mode, which gives you a clean reverb signal without color.
The simple interface layout changes the color between your set modes from red to blue and modern black and grey. It’s easy to work with and configure to your liking.
If you’re looking for a realistic reverb that can replicate the lush, powerful sound of classic hardware reverbs, go with Valhalla VintageVerb. You can’t beat it.
Get it here.
4. Valhalla Room
We mention Valhalla again. Are you surprised? This time, we’re talking about another one of their incredible reverb plugins, focused on precise replication of a room's natural acoustics.
The Room plugin is designed from a psychoacoustic perspective. It allows you to set your stage with 12 original reverb algorithms, ranging from dense rooms to dark spaces and chambers.
The reverb sound is real. If you close your eyes, you can let the plugin work its magic. The settings are few but powerful. Early or late reverb settings allow you to control the introduction and shine of your spaces with ease.
Thanks to its true stereo nature, you get stereo-in and stereo-out with complete control to leave your input spatial image in its original state.
Other welcoming features include a resizable interface, allowing you to work as you wish, together with color schemes to make your statement.
Valhalla Room is good, oh so good.
Get it here.
5. Valhalla Shimmer
If you’re a lover of gigantic, vast spaces, you need Valhalla Shimmer. Nuff’ said.
Let your sounds dance in the drawn-out echoes of the Halls of Valhalla, a more conservative convert hall, or take it to India and let it play in the Taj Mahal. The Shimmer shines.
With modes ranging from mono to big, medium, and small stereo, you can create perfect reverbs for any situation. And if you want to go huge, the big stereo is your best bet.
Complement your shimmering reverbs with rich harmonic textures. With five different pitch modes, you can create a symphony of feedback that fills and thickens up your mixes. Perfect for vocals or shimmering pads.
Valhalla Shimmer features similar coloring modes to the VintageVerb. Bright color mode is light and bright, perfect for a true hi-fi feel. To make your reverb dimmer and bring it back in time, choose the dark mode.
If you want a reverb true to its name, you will be extremely pleased with Valhalla Shimmer.
Get it here.
6. Slate & LiquidSonics VerbSuite Classics
Slate is the creator of many state-of-the-art plugins. Sworn by the likes of people such as Chris Lord-Alge, a grammy award-winning mixing engineer, the plugins are top of the line.
VerbSuite Classics is a partnership between Slate and LiquidSonics. They are a company specializing in reverbs and a new processing technique called Fusion-IR. And guess what? This reverb plugin uses this technique.
The reverb results from this plugin are strikingly similar to real hardware reverb patches. And according to their description, they made blind comparisons where users couldn't hear the difference between them.
With eight professional reverbs, ranging from the music industry standard FG-480 reverb, Japanese FG-2000 to the Danish “powerhouse” FG-6000 reverb.
The reverb plugin is easy to customize. On its slick, black interface, you get an intuitive equalizer and reverb settings. There, you can control things like your attack, pre-delay, decay, chorus, and reverb width.
If you are looking for professional mixing results, you want to check out the Slate & LiquidSonics VerbSuite Classics.
Get it here.
7. Audio Ease Altiverb
Audio Ease is a company that takes audio and psychoacoustics seriously. And it shows in their flagship reverb plugin Altiverb, which takes realistic acoustic spaces to a whole new level.
Put your sounds in the Mozart Hall in Vienna, a Jumbo Jet cockpit, or why not the Sydney Opera House. From ancient caves in Malta to capital concert halls, including London’s Wembley stadium, Audio Ease has recorded the acoustics in hundreds of the world's best-sounding spaces.
Audio Ease developed an algorithm that allows you to move sounds around the stage with extremely accurate reverb replication from a recording session in a Viennese concert hall. This function allows you to position an entire orchestra on stage with dead-accurate results.
With a vast selection of vintage reverb gear and a whole array of other functionality included, covering this reverb plugin in detail could take an entire article.
If you're looking for the best hall reverb plugin, given the realistic result and incredibly accurate algorithms, this is one of the best out there.
It’s that good. If you want the most realistic and best algorithmic reverb plugin you can find, get Audio Ease Altiverb.
Get it here.
8. Soundtoys Little Plate
Soundtoys is famous for their fantastic delays, filter modulators, and saturation. You might not know it, but they also make a plate reverb. It's called Little Plate, and it’s spot-on.
Little Plate got inspiration from the original and great-sounding EMT 140 plate reverb. If you're unfamiliar with their characteristics, we can best describe them as warm, rich, and spacious.
But Soundtoys didn’t stop at recreating the sound of the legendary reverb. With an original maximum of five seconds of reverberation time, they decided it was time to push it to infinity. Crank your decay time to its highest setting, and listen to a luscious reverb that never fades.
The interface is simplistic, with only three knobs to play around with. You have the decay knob, a dry and wet knob, plus a low-cut filter. With this reverb plugin, it’s all you need. Lower frequencies can quickly build up and muddy your mix. The low-cut filter sorts that out. Decay controls your reverb delay times, while the mix knob controls the amount of effect you apply to a sound.
Little Plate does have a secret up its sleeve, though. On the bottom left, you see a Mod button. Click it. Now, your reverb gets subtle but interesting chaos variations which effectively thickens up your sound.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and straight-to-the-point plate reverb, the Soundtoys Little Plate is where it’s at.
Get it here.
9. Waves R-Verb
Waves is a company that’s been going for a long time and become known as the Rolls Royce of audio plugins. It all started with the Q10 paragraphic equalizer but has grown into a comprehensive suite of professional mixing and mastering plugins close to thirty years later.
R-Verb is one of those plugins. It’s a reverb that’s as classic as the Roland TR-808, with a sound that countless of the world’s best mixing engineers rely on.
With 12 different reverb types, this reverb plugin emulates older vintage reverb sounds with extremely accurate results.
The interface is simple but powerful, showing you the reverb time response, damping, and equalization with sliders for all your controls. It's easy to set up, use, and get great results from.
If you’re looking for a powerful and CPU-light reverb with over a decade’s history, you must check out the Waves R-Verb.
Get it here.
10. Eventide Blackhole
Eventide is known by many as the best makers of hardware reverbs out there. Their plug-ins also deliver on that promise, including this incredible reverb called Blackhole.
This plugin is a reverb for experimentalist music producers. For you who want something more interesting than your plain old room and hall reverbs.
Blackhole destroys earthly physics rules and allows you to bend and create virtual spaces that can’t exist in this world. With a ‘galactic’ sound, this reverb plugin can add massive, interesting layers of depth and harmonics to every sound imaginable.
For a great effect, go large and make a big impact in your mix. Go smaller size if you want to add a spark to your favorite vocals or percussion.
Bonus read: 5 Reverb Mixing Tips For Deep Music
With over 50 presets and the ability to highlight key instruments with its musical character, this is a reverb you use when you want something extra – something out of this world.
Eventide Blackhole is a reverb plugin for music producers looking to break the rules.
Get it here.
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Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article.
About the author
Pelle Sundin is a Swedish music producer and writer, active with his chillout project PLMTRZ. He also produces psytrance. When he's not producing, he surfs, skates, and chugs coffee.