New Music Gear Monday: Eventide SP2016 Reverb Plugin

Eventide SP2016 reverb plugin on Bobby Owsinski's Production BlogI remember the first time I used the original Eventide SP2016 reverb back in the mid-80s. There was something about the sound that made it instantly useable. Unlike other reverbs then and now, you didn’t have to fiddle with it to make it work in the track. It just sounded “right.” The hardware 2016 was somewhat ahead of its time and was quite finicky, which is why you don’t see too many of them around these days. It’s not that engineers don’t want to use them, it’s just that there’s few around to use, but the desire is still there. That’s why the release of the Eventide SP2016 in plugin form is so exciting. Now you can have that so-easy-to-fit sound again right in your favorite DAW.

Way back in 1982, the SP2016 was actually the first programmable effects box available on the market, as it literally introduced the concept of the “plugin” to the pro audio world. Plugin meant something different then though – you could replace the programmable hardware memory chips with ones containing your own sounds inside the box. That said, the stock sounds were simply great as all the top mixers of the time used one on countless hit records through the years.

The SP2016 plugin includes authentic emulations of the Room, Stereo Room, and Hi-Density Plate algorithms from the hardware unit, and each are available in two versions: Vintage and Modern. The Vintage algorithms are true to the original box, all the way down to the limited bit-depth (which some claim makes the sound what it is). The Modern algorithms are brighter, more diffuse, and use a higher bit-depth. The algorithms naturally emulate every aspect of the sound of a real physical environment – from the complex early reflections, to the natural way in which the echo density increases with time, to the smooth decay of the reverb tail.

Like the hardware version, the plugin has some parameter controls that are both common and somewhat unique as a basic part of the package. Controls include Mix, Predelay (up to 999 ms!), Decay, Position (front to back of the room), Diffusion, as well as Low Frequency, Low Gain, High Frequency and High Gain controls. Input and Output level controls, Monitor, Limit and peak meters can be found in the master section.

No plugin would be complete without presets and the SP2016 is no exception. Dave Pensado, Richard Devine, Joe Chiccarelli, Sasha, George Massenburg, The Butcher Bros., Buda & Grandz, Erin Tonkon and more have contributed in this area.

The Eventide SP2016 reverb plugin can be had for a special introductory price of just $79 until October 31st, and is available for Mac or PC in Avid AAX, Apple Audio Unit, and Steinberg VST formats. You can find out more info on this dedicated Eventide page. or hear it on the video below.

For some fascinating history on the 2016 hardware version, go here.

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