New Music Gear Monday: Relab LX480 Essentials Reverb Plugin

Relab LX480 Essentials image

When digital reverb units became common in studios around the world, the Lexicon 224 was the breakthrough unit, but it was the 480 that became the gold standard that every studio had to have. The unit was expensive for its time (around $12,000 in 1980’s money) but could do things that no plate or chamber could, and in much less space. A few years ago Relab recreated the 480 in its LX480 plugin. Now it provides the 4 most popular reverb algorithms from the original unit in its new LX480 Essentials plugin.

The LX480 Essentials has the same look and feel as the original Lexicon LARC controller (and the original LX480 plugin), with the same Input and Output display on top, the blue and white preset selector keys underneath, then the 5 parameter control sliders below that. Also included are representations of the original soft keys under the sliders, as well as preset information on the bottom.

But it’s the algorithms that everyone comes to this plugin for, and it has the four most used 480 settings. Fat Plate is the one that the 480 was famous for, providing lush, rich, shiny plates without any mix clutter. It was designed to emulate the sounds of real metal plates, with a relatively bright, colored sound that fits well with vocals and percussion.

Next is the Medium Hall, which was great for having tracks seem to belong in the same space with a smooth and even decay. It’s a great “glue” algorithm. Small Ambiance was designed to become a part of the direct sound, yet effective in adding distance to a very dry sounding track. Great for really short drum rooms, and for an impression that is more felt than heard. Finally comes the Large Wood Room, which can be effectively used to create the sense of space without being overtly distinguishable. Great for film, TV and all genres of music production.

Without diving deeper into how the LX480 Essentials works, I think the big thing here is that if you want that real Lexicon sound, you can’t beat the price at just $35 (retail $99, which is still a great price). Yes, it’s available for both Mac and PC and all plugin formats, so there’s no excuse not to pick this up.

Find out more here, and check out how dead-on the plugin is against the original hardware 480 in this video.

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