Arturia Rev LX-24 Review – Reinventing A Classic

The Arturia Rev LX-24, released only a few days ago, is a reverb effect plugin based on the iconic Lexicon 224. It features 8 classic algorithms, the classic retro control layout, and numerous upgraded modern features, which make the REV LX-24 an inspiring and convenient tool for our DAWs.

Quoting a detailed article by Vintage Digital, the Lexicon 224 was a game-changer in the world of digital reverb. While EMT’s 250 was the first digital reverb to hit the market, it was the Lexicon 224 (along with its 224X and 224XL siblings) that went on to become the most popular and ubiquitous high-end studio reverb in history.

The Lexicon 224 was known for its spacey, extra-long decays, and was an instant hit with musicians and engineers alike. In fact, one of the earliest pioneers of the extra-long decay was Vangelis, who used the Lexicon 224 to great effect in the Blade Runner soundtrack (see pic below).

Can you spot the iconic Lexicon 224 controller?

The Arturia Rev LX-24 is not the first attempt at emulating this classic reverb. Universal Audio released a faithful version some years ago (now available also to native platform users), while NI and Softube collaborated on a “lite” version with 3 algorithms.
Arturia took a slightly different approach. As done with other emulations in their catalog, they kept the vibe of the original unit bringing it to the 21st century, thanks to a dual interface.

Opening the plugin, you get the classic Larc controller with some extra (frankly cheesy) decorative items. This is the fastest way to use the Rev LX-24, and you’ll get the lush reverb you need in seconds with the sliders, buttons, and classic LCD-style display. It’s worth noting that there are three sound modes to choose from, pretty self-explanatory, Vintage 12, Vintage 24 and Modern. The first two model the original, darker, 12 bit and 24 bit converters of the Lexicon 224, while Modern offers a cleaner and more hi-fi output.

Then there’s the Advanced view, and this is where Arturia’s emulation starts playing in a league of its own. You don’t NEED to use this view, but if you do, you get finer control over the various parameters and an attractive visual representation of what the plugin is doing, where you can intervene by simply moving and dragging different points. Also, you get a drive and a hi-pass filter placed before the reverb, a ducking (yay!), gate and tremolo, full control over the master reverb level, brightness and width.

What I Loved About the Rev LX-24

There’s a reason why the Lexicon 224 has become a classic. It is extremely musical and it blends with the sound source in an almost magical way. And that to-die for tail!
I can say the same about the Arturia Rev LX-24. Even with the most uninspiring and basic sound sources I tried it with, it just made me want to keep playing. I know this is not exactly a scientific opinion, but music is all about feelings, and when I come across a tool like the Arturia Rev LX-24 that inspires me to make music, that tool is a winner to me. Ambient keys and synths, voices, percussions, as well as acoustic sources… it’s really hard to find something that doesn’t work with this plugin.

I like to use the plugin in its closest form to the original unit (that is, in Classic view with the darker 12 bit converter option), but the Advanced view is a killer add, especially for modern productions where you want to get some extra control and clarity, or spice things up a little bit with ducking, tremolo, etc.

I also loved the vast amount of quality presets provided by Arturia’s sound design team. If you don’t feel like starting from scratch, these presets can be great starting points to achieve what you need.

Last but not least, the Arturia Rev LX-24 is pretty affordable. It’s currently on sale for approx. $/€70, and it’s also available from online retailers such as Plugin Boutique. Even better, if you’re an Arturia customer, check out your account, as you might have a further discount on the plugin.

What I Didn’t Love About the Rev LX-24

Very little, actually, as Arturia did an excellent job here. It’s worth noting that the plugin is heavier on the CPU than other quality reverbs I use. I wonder if the interface makes it hungrier than it should be, or if it’s just the processing that is so intense. Not a big deal if you have a recent computer anyway, but hopefully Arturia can optimize the code or offer a lite mode.

I sure didn’t love the GUI of the Classic view. It just feels silly. I understand why they couldn’t just show the controller and nothing else, as the Advanced view requires a much bigger space, but they could have come up with something more minimal and elegant. I would suggest giving users the choice between two different visual themes, so everyone’s happy!

To learn more about the Rev LX-24, visit the dedicated Arturia web page.

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