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2C Audio Breeze and the Lean Reverb Initiative

December 13, 2010

2C Audio recently announced a new reverb called Breeze. This reverb is significant for one simple reason: Everyone adores 2C's Aether reverb, from famous producers and engineers down to reviewer peons like me (2C grabbed a quote from my October 2009 review for their product page, which I found flattering as heck), but they all admit that Aether's stunning sound is counterbalanced by a very complicated user interface and a massive CPU hit. Aether will bring a slower computer to its knees with even a few instances.

So: here's a reverb that's designed to be CPU-efficient and easy to use. I will be reviewing it and seeing how it performs, and will let you know what I find.

Personally I love this trend... being a massive fan of reverb as a sound-shaping tool as well as a simple way of putting space around dry tracks, but doing a lot of work live on stage with a laptop, I am constantly fighting the balance battle of quality and flexibility vs. efficiency and cleanliness. I give reverb plug-in makers a lot of props for making more powerful versions of their reverbs while keeping the efficient old ones; my personal favorite is Wave Arts MasterVerb, which for a long time was available both in a marvelously sweet-sounding and tweakable Version 5 and a very easy to use and CPU-efficient Version 4. If I had to wipe my computer and start from scratch with no plug-ins at all, Masterverb 4 would be the very first one I'd reinstall, hands down.

Some of my other favorite choices are PSP EasyVerb and the Platinumverb included in Apple Logic; I'm also exploring freeware and cheapware options, and have heard good things about a new reverb called ValhallaShimmer that I'd like to take a look at if I can.

What do you reach for when you need a reverb that doesn't crush your CPU but still sounds awesome to your ears?


2 Responses to 2C Audio Breeze and the Lean Reverb Initiative

Joe says

April 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Breeze is great. Its big brother Aether is widely considered to be the best sounding native reverb and one of the few that can compete with hardware. 2 more cheap reverbs worthy of consideration are Audio Damage EOS and the new Valhalla ROOM. Amazing quality for low dough.

David says

October 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I personally have tried quite a few. My favorites are as follows: Aether: of course EOS: great but only for a limited number of applications. It's made for one general purpose. Not too versatile. CSR: I reach for this one a lot (mainly the hall module but the plate module is quite nice too). It doesn't weigh my stuff down and it sounds wonderfully smooth and silky. The tail can be modulated, too, which is important. Also the tail can be extremely long without being infinite, and it stays fluffy and fades nicely. You can get it up to 4 or 5 minutes I think. Great for ambient work. I've never been disappointed with this. Masterverb 5: Another great reverb, but I like the amount of control and variety CSR has in favor of this one. ArtsAcoustic Reverb: This one's nice. It's useful because it has a switch to use it in low cpu mode (32-bit) or high cpu mode (64-bit). Also there is a low/high quality setting for the modulation. This is similar to Aether's quality parameters. Here's another one that will give you extremely long tails, though in this case you have 3 bands to adjust instead of 2 like CSR has. The graphic display is easy to read and it has an echo function and you can modulate the tail. Loads of built-in presets. Lexicon PCM Native Bundle: This one's really good too (has different modules like CSR has), though I'd still reach for CSR first in most situations. I've found myself replacing this a couple of times with one of the others. Those are my favorites.

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