5 Types of Reverb Explained

Reverb is how we can add dimension and space to a sound or mix. Technically there are 5 different types of Reverb.

  1. Natural Reverb
  2. Plate Reverb
  3. Spring Reverb
  4. Digital Reverb
  5. Convolution Reverb

Natural Reverb

Natural reverb is the room noise microphones pic up in a studio. Great concert halls are built so their acoustics will produce a pleasant natural reverb.

I mostly will record dry (without any reverb) and will simulate the effect of natural reverb with a convolution reverb. We’ll get back to that.

Plate Reverb

Plate reverb was the first artificial reverb invented way back in 1957 but it still sounds great today. Plate reverb is literally made with a giant metal plate that is vibrated by an analog signal.

Most of the time when we mix with “plate reverb” sounds today it is with a convolution reverb or digital reverb because having giant metal plates in studios is often unpractical.

Spring Reverb

Spring reverbs work similar to plate reverbs but instead of a metal plate they use a spring. Because spring reverbs are so cheap to make they were built into guitar amps, toys and other places that needed a cheap reverb source before computers were cheap.

Spring reverbs have a unique sound, much different than the other types of reverbs and can often be a forgotten creative asset when mixing.

Digital Reverb

Digital reverbs are created by digitally delaying the sound to give the illusion of a reverb.

Some of the best sounding reverbs are digital reverbs. Classic models of digital reverb include the EMT250, the Lexicon 224 and the AMS RMX16 (Phil Collins drum sound) reverbs.

Convolution Reverb

Convolution reverb is like a sampler of reverb. By creating a impulse response of a room, plate, spring or digital reverb you can emulate the sound of that reverb in a convolution reverb.

Because of this you can get any type of reverb sound with a convolution reverb.