New Music Gear Monday: ReLab QuantX Room Simulator Plugin

My first job in Los Angeles was working for Everything Audio, a pro audio equipment dealer. We had the latest of everything, and of course, engineers and producers would want to try out expensive pieces of gear before they took the buying plunge. One day I found myself going to Crystal Studios (once a major LA facility) with a Quantec QRS room simulator under my arm, where I was to learn two lessons (more on that later). The Quantec QRS was a great sounding reverb, but at nearly $10k, it was expensive. Today they’re super hard to find, but thankfully the clever folks at Relab have reproduced this fantastic unit in a plugin called the QuantX.

ReLab QuantX

My first lesson was based on the Quantec’s major limitation that actually made it sound so good. The sample rate was only 20kHz, so the frequency response of the unit topped out at 8kHz. This is actually perfect for most reverb situations where the verb can be distracting and unrealistic if it’s too bright.

The second lesson came when the engineer demoing the unit (can’t remember who) turned the reverb decay time to as low as it would go. The original Quantec sounded great in this mode, as the engineer pointed out that this is usually where digital reverbs, both then and now, fail as the sound gets boingy and metallic. This short reverb time is the sound you’ve heard on more hit records than you know because it makes the sound bigger instead of pushing it back in the mix.

The QuantX

Which brings us to the QuantX. The big downside of the original hardware Quantec was that it was any early digital device that was electronically finicky. When it broke you had to send it to Germany to get it fixed, but you lived with this because the sound was so good. Thankfully, the QuantX plugin gives you the same great sound without the problems or expense of the hardware unit.

QuantX reproduces the features that made the hardware such a high-end effects killer. First of all, it was one of the first reverbs that featured a separate 1st reflection parameter. This is the secret to realistic sounding reverbs, and it’s the there on QuantX as well.

The other interesting feature is the separate Enhancement engine that adds to the spacial effect by allowing you to dial in the Size of the room and further control it with Predelay, Feedback, and Feedback Delay controls. Plus you can mix in the right amount of Enhancement with a level control, along with Wet And Dry signals. Oh, and it also has the great Freeze feature that allows you to capture the reverb and let it ring for a very cool effect.

QuantX also takes the original unit up a notch by providing an extended bandwidth mode and two 8 voice modulation engines as well.

The ReLab QuantX plugin is available at a special introductory price of $149 (normally $199). Of course there’s a free trial period available as well. Although it’s available for both Mac and PC and all plugin formats, be aware that it will only run on 64 bit system.

You can find out more here.

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