Reverb is one of those things that when you finally get a setting that works, you keep going back to it time and again. If you played with any of the modern reverb plugins you know they can be sophisticated, and it can take more time than ever to dial in something you like. But there are those reverb emulations that just work without much tweaking, and the new UAD Hitsville Reverb Chambers plugin clearly fits in that category.
As you might think, the Hitsville Reverb Chambers is based on the two acoustic chambers located at the Motown’s HItsville USA studios in Detroit. Even though there were severe restrictions because they were limited in space, they managed to catch lightning in a bottle as they sounded so good and became a huge part of the “Motown Sound.”
These chambers were never made for the reverb to stand out in a mix. They were extremely good at blending into the track to create a brilliant finishing sheen to a track. And now Universal Audio has captured that brilliance in their Hitsville Reverb Chambers plugins.
The Original Chambers
The Hitsville USA studios in Detroit were built in two houses, with each having its own reverb chamber in the attic. The first chamber, 2648 named after the house address, was built without any technical knowledge, with the construction was guided largely by the limits of the attic space itself. The second chamber, 2644, was much more sophisticated in that great care was taken in construction, with non-parallel walls, thicker walls, and varnished plaster.
As with all chambers, they were in a constant state of flux as the engineers tried to improve their sound. That meant that the speakers and microphones were often changed as well as their placement.
The beauty of the Hitsville Reverb Chambers plugin is that you can recreate any of those scenarios, as you can change between the Bozak 8000 or JBL 2482 speakers, 4 different microphones, and the distance they’re placed.
Of course there are emulations of both chambers, with common controls, including Width, Predelay, High and Low EQ, Decay and Mix control. There’s also a Mono switch and a Solo switch on the output for 100% reverb.
The UAD Hitsville Reverb Chambers plugin is now available as a stand-alone plugin so you don’t need to have UAD hardware to run it (although it will happily run on any Apollo interface as well). It’s now on sale at 50% off for $174 with a 14 day free trial.
You can find out more here, or watch the video below.