Eventide UltraReverb review: class and flexibility

When it comes to lush and great-sounding reverbs, Eventide is definitely one of the first names that come to mind. When I heard there was a new reverb plug-in featuring algorithms derived from Eventide’s flagship hardware processor, the H8000, I didn’t think twice and immediately got a copy to install on my computer. UltraReverb, available in native format for AU, VST, or AAX64 for Mac or Windows, features nine hardware-based reverb algorithms (like Halls, Chambers, Rooms, Plates, and Ambience). It comes with an impressive list of presets (approximately 300) created by an equally impressive list of engineers/sound-designers (Andrew Scheps, Brian Montgomery, Charlie May, Chris Carter, Chris Tabron, Chris Zane, Colin Newman, Damian Taylor, Dan Gillespie, Gary Hall, Matt Lange, Peter Bischoff, Richard Devine, Richard X, Roca Sound, and Sasha & Dave Gardener).

Exploring the beautifully clean interface (kudos to the designer, Chris Randall from Audio Damage), it’s easy to notice that UltraReverb is actually more than a simple reverb unit. In fact, besides the actual reverb section, we have three more ‘modules’ – delay, EQ and compressor – that can all be used pre or post reverb. Usability and flexibility are the keywords here: the GUI is super-easy on the eyes and intuitive to use, and these extra modules (along with bonus features, like the individual on/off toggles for each of the 4 reverb sub-sections, Predelay, Early Reflections, Diffusion, Reverb Tail, or the gritty LoFi control – use it in small doses!) make UltraReverb a versatile tool for all music production needs I could think of.
Don’t be afraid of its tweakability though. UltraReverb’s presets (split for Buss and Inserts) provide an excellent introduction to its possibilities and let you be productive in a matter of minutes.
What to expect from UltraReverb in terms of sound? As said, the plug-in is pretty flexible. It seems to excel at natural-sounding, short and mid-sized spaces, but being an Eventide product, you can expect some larger/modulated/special-FX kind of magic. Owning other reverb plug-ins, especially IR-based ones, I think UltraReverb complements them pretty well. I’d still stick to some of my favorite IRs for certain realistic spaces, but I’d definitely use UltraReverb for most other purposes.
Tip: I find it works particularly well in a mix, try it on the one you’re currently working on, more than on an isolated test track.

If you’re in the market for a classy plug-in (or if you aren’t, but you show symptoms of Gear Acquisition Syndrome), I’d definitely consider UltraReverb. There is a demo version available on the Eventide website and you may be happy to know that UltraReverb doesn’t require a physical iLok key. If you happen to have one, you can use it to store the authorization, but if you don’t you can simply use the software-based authorisation which ‘links’ the plug-in to your machine. Both methods are easy-peasy, you just need to have the iLok License Manager installed on your computer and create an account on the Eventide website (if you are not registered yet).

If you’re looking for a professional and versatile algorithmic reverb, you should definitely give UltraReverb a try. Its great GUI and features make it a music-production swiss army knife.


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