Everything a guitarist would expect in a good reverb pedal can be found on this pedal, maybe even more. This well-built and professionally designed unit features four control knobs which give the user an incredible amount of control over the wetting of their sound. The knobs which can be found on this unit include E.Level, Tone and Time, but probably the most impressive knob that can be found on this pedal is the actual Reverb Knob itself. Using this knob, the guitarist can select between spring, plate, room and hall effects, and can also add shimmer or dynamic delays. And all of this can be found in this reverb pedal that produces very professional results.
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What Does a Reverb Pedal Do?
Before you can understand why you may need a reverb pedal, the first thing you need to learn is what exactly this pedal does in the first place. In the simplest of terms, a reverb pedal recreates the reverberation that one would hear if they watched a concert at a particular concert hall or theater. Reverb is the reverberation or the return of the sound to the listener after it has struck a surface and returned. Otherwise known as resonance, it’s an effect that can bring a profound richness and depth to the guitarist’s sound that can’t be replicated in any other way, except for maybe traveling to different locations to take advantage of their unique acoustic possibilities.
Types of Reverb Typically Available
Now that we know just exactly what a reverb pedal does, it’s time to break down some of the different types of reverb that can be created with one of these pedals. There are four basic types of reverberation, and these include Spring, Plate, Chamber/Hall, and Digital Reverb. Let’s take a minute to look at a brief overview of what each particular type sounds like.
Spring Reverb: When reverb was first invented, this was likely the first effect produced. The spring reverb is reminiscent of the sound reverberating through a metal spring. This gives the sound a metallic vibe to it and many people often think of this sound as somewhat of a vintage sound. Reverb pedals tend to reproduce this sound through a digital chip, but some amp manufacturers actually include reverb in their amps by placing a spring mechanism in them.
Chamber Reverb: Chamber reverb, also known as hall reverb, is the guitar sound literally bouncing off a wall and returning to the guitarists. And this effect alone can be quite customizable. After all, every guitarist knows that each space has a profound effect on their sound, and by using a reverb pedal they can recreate some of this atmosphere.
Plate Reverb: This effect is also a metallic sound, but instead of the notes sounding like they’re being passed through a spring, they sound like they’ve been passed through a metal plate. This effect gives the guitarist probably the widest options as far as their sound goes because the original sound can be mixed back in with the reverb to give the guitarist control over how much reverb saturation is in their sound.
Digital Reverb: The sound can quickly recreate echoes in a guitarist sound and is probably one of the most done, and overdone, effects that guitarists use today. This effect allows the guitarists to tweak their sound almost as much as they want to create their own unique and interesting sound.
Common Reverb Controls
After you’ve learned all of the incredible effects that can be created using only your guitar and your reverb pedal, it’s time to take a few moments to consider the controls that can be found on these pedals. Although the controls found on a reverb pedal may seem strange to the uninitiated, they actually have a definite purpose that’s easy to use once you’re familiar with them. The most common controls found on these pedals include Effect Ratio, Decay Time, Pre-Delay Time and Tone. While not all reverb pedals may all of these controls, and some may have even more controls and dials, these four are probably the most important. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Effect Ratio: Effect ratio is very simply the difference between the guitar’s sound and the reflected sound that is added in by the effect. When the effect ratio of the reverb is lowered, it makes the guitarist’s notes sound further away, and when it’s cranked up, his or her guitar sounds closer. Guitarists often call this effect drying or wetting the mix.
Decay Time: This control is also known as reverberation time and is simply the amount of time it takes for the guitarists “wet” sound to diminish until it’s no longer able to be heard. Guitarists can play around with this effect, but usually, most guitarists set their decay time at around 40-60 decibels. The smaller the delay, the smaller the room reverberation sounds.
Pre-Delay Time: This control determines how much time passes between the introduction of the guitarist’s original sound (the dry sound) and the start of the reverberation (the wet sound). Using this effect, the guitarist can basically increase or decrease the space between the guitar, the reflecting wall and finally, the end listener. For example, a 100-millisecond pre-delay will sound like the listener is in the middle of a 50-foot by 50-foot room.
Tone: Tone is probably the simplest of all the control. Everyone is familiar with tone, and by adjusting this control, the guitarist can make their sound either darker or brighter.
The Last Reverberation
At this point in the guide, you probably have a pretty good idea at what to look for in a pedal and how to manipulate the pedal in a way that creates the sound that YOU want to create. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a classic rock sound, a heavy metal sound or even a country-western sound, a reverb pedal can give you the tools you need to thrive. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what genre you play, a reverb pedal is going to give you an incredible collection of tools.
However, since the subject of reverb is extremely vast and we could fill encyclopedic volumes with how these devices work and how to use them, it’s best to keep things short. We would like to list just a few more things that you might want to consider when buying a reverb pedal. The following features are things that you may (or may not) want in your pedal. Either way, it’s important to think about whether you need them or not before you actually purchase the pedal.
Some Final Things to Consider:
- Stereo or Mono Capabilities
- True Bypass Capabilities
- The Number of Inputs
- The Number of Outputs
- Status Effect LEDs