LiquidSonics have announced a major free update to their HD Cart reverb plug-in. In addition to the headline feature of Dolby Atmos support for channel formats up to 7.1.6, the update also brings with it a host of new functionality including chorusing, pre-delay tempo sync, new filter slopes, a gate, a dynamics module that features compression and ducking, parameter locking and a post EQ.
Originally released under the Reverb Foundry brand, HD Cart is a recreation of the best-selling digital reverb of the 1980s, the Lexicon 480L, fitted with a rare Surround expansion cartridge. For more information on the original HD Cart you can check out our review of the original plug-in from the June 2018 issue of Sound On Sound.
One of the key features of the v1.2 update is the extension of the plug-in’s surround capability to support Dolby Atmos formats up to 7.1.6 compared to the original’s 5.0 and Quad channel formats. A new default mode introduced in the update utilises additional taps from the reverb loop and reflections engine to create a dedicated centre channel. With the original hardware limited to four outputs, the recommendation for 5.0 operation was to use a fold-down of the rear channels to create a centre channel, LiquidSonics say the new approach significantly improves spatialisation.
Care has been taken to ensure that original parameters such as the front/rear mix and rear reflection time/filtering work correctly for the side and elevation channels when working in the extended 7.x formats. Choosing a rear reflection delay time of 50ms with 6dB of attenuation for example, will set the sides to 25ms with 3dB of attenuation, allowing cohesive and natural sounding spaces to be created quickly and easily.
A range of new processing options have been introduced with the update, each with their own dedicated tab within the plug-in’s GUI. In addition to a spin and wander style of modulation available in the original where the reverb taps are moved as their gain is modulated, a more traditional glide modulation has been added which can be used at the same time, facilitating the creation of a chorusing effect which LiquidSonics say is ideal for treating synths, pads and vocals.
Ducking and compression has now been added to HD Cart, allowing users to duck the reverb effect whilst leaving the reflections unaffected, or to benefit from the enhanced ‘body’ provided by compressed reverbs. Further dynamics processing is on offer in the form of a gate section, allowing for the creation of classic gated reverb effects. The plug-in also now features a simple three-band post EQ for shaping the reverb, equipped with variable-slope high and low shelf cuts, and a mid-band that can be set to operate as a low or high shelf cut/boost, or a peak cut/boost.
As well as the new functionality, a number of smaller enhancements have been made including a tempo sync for pre-delay, parameter locking, UI resizing controls (70% to 200%), new early/late roll-off curves (12, 18 and 24 dB / octave options have joined the previous of 6 dB / octave filter). A selection of additional presets has also been added, many of which take advantage of the new features on offer.
HD Cart v1.2 is available now from the LiquidSonics website priced at $199, or as a free update for existing customers.