Eventide SP2016 & Blackhole Reverb Review

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We all love classic reverb units for a reason. They simply sound timeless! When we think of classic reverb staples Eventide is right at the top of the list. As you can imagine engineers all of the world were very happy when Eventide started coding DSP versions of their revered reverb units. If you have any experience with original Eventide units you’ll quickly become fond of their plugin line.

For starters the GUI’s are easy to use and well designed. I love when I can easily control a parameter within the plugin window. These offered such accommodations for me. They also both come with excellent starting presets allowing you to quickly tweak to taste. Now enough with the boring aspects. The real question is how does it sound?

There is a simple answer here. They sound fantastic!  Within 15 seconds I had some classic 80’s snare reverb running SP2016. The slightly grainy resolution and  light modulation on the decay is spot on. These “imperfections” are what made old reverb units special. No matter which algorithm you use: stereo room, room reverb, or high density plate everything immediately gelled right in and had that Eventide tone when used throughout the mix. I gravitated towards the stereo room on drums, room reverb on instruments, and high density plate on vocals. This combo just ended up putting constant smiles on my face.

The Blackhole is a whole different beast within itself. The algorithm was on a preset from the DSP4000 which later become the ubiquitous H8000. This is a very lush sounding reverb that I find has great uses as a creative reverb and awesome guitar effects. You’ll find some standard parameters along with some unique ones. As a side note the gravity feature is equivalent to the decay time. So, this isn’t an unusual parameter. I love the kill feature which kills the input so you can only hear the reverb tail. This is very useful for tweaking. Hot switch allows you to toggle between 2 different setups to A/B. The freeze function sets an infinite reverb time while muting the input which basically freezes the audio within the reverb buffer. This makes it a fantastic sound design tool. Perhaps the coolest feature is the ribbon feature. Moving the ribbon back and forth will change all the parameters at once in a crazy manner. You can automate this parameter and do some insanely cool things within a quick swipe. I highly recommend you download a demo to play with this beast. I can see myself using that feature simply for song writing ideas from great on the fly creative improv.

If you haven’t checked these out and are a classic reverb and just plain ole reverb fan at all. I highly recommend you give them a spin. Eventide has a great reputation for a reason. Their stuff sounds killers!

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