The latest addition to Focusrite’s AI‑powered Collective makes great‑sounding reverbs easy to achieve.
Supporting all the common Mac and Windows plug‑in formats, the Focusrite FAST series is aimed at the musician who may be less confident fiddling with arcane parameters. FAST Verb is the latest to join the Collective, alongside FAST EQ, FAST Compressor and FAST Reveal. These plug‑ins can each be bought outright or rented for 15 months, after which ownership becomes permanent.
FAST Verb is based on a hybrid reverb technology that aims to deliver the benefits of both convolution and algorithmic reverbs: it generates Impulse Responses (IRs) that reflect the current parameter settings. It also uses AI to fine‑tune itself, and Focusrite say the learning engine was fed over half a million samples. The user just has to choose from a list of instrument or voice profile types or, if none seem appropriate, select Universal. The Learn process then listens to a short section of the track, and sets up the reverb for you.
The fan‑shaped graphic has draggable regions for adjusting the reverb time, pre‑delay, position and stereo width, plus there’s a choice of Natural, Balanced or Artificial reverb characters, the last of those having an endearingly old‑school texture. If you want to add a bit of weirdness, you can also select Reverse, Bounce or Freeze. Reverse produces the familiar slow‑attack envelope while Freeze sustains the reverb tail indefinitely. Bounce seems to add delays into the reverb tail. A slider adjusts the reverb Mix and if you want the effect to lock in with your song tempo, you can tick the Snap to Tempo box. The reverb time can then be adjusted in one‑beat increments up to 10 beats.
For those who like to adjust things a bit more, but without drowning in the many parameters of a more typical reverb plug‑in, the Detailed view adds five sliders to the left of the main display. These give access to Colour, Clarity, Modulation, Mono Bass and High‑pass filtering. When the reverb is running, the display shows a host of moving dots that indicate how the reverb is behaving. User settings can be saved as presets in the usual way.
FAST Verb always seems to come up with a reverb setting that sits nicely in a mix, without being overwhelming.
I was impressed by the Learn process: it always seems to come up with a reverb setting that sits nicely in a mix, without being overwhelming. The three reverb characters are also interesting, with Natural sounding extremely smooth, and Balanced adding just a touch of vintage complexity. Artificial is lovely for non‑percussive sounds in particular, and lends itself well to ambient music production.
Talking of ambient music, the Freeze function produces a beautifully smooth cloud of pad‑like sound that keeps going until you hit Freeze again to unlock it. It’s worth noting, though, that when you end the Freeze the frozen reverb stops very abruptly, and that rather detracts from the dreamy effect — I mentioned this to Focusrite and they tell me that adding a smoother tail to the Freeze is a possibility for a future software update. Meanwhile, an effective workaround is to put a second reverb after the one you’re freezing, to smooth out those transitions. As Freeze can be automated, along with other key parameters, it can be a great way to add interest to a simple guitar or keyboard part.
In the Detailed view, the modulation can go from subtle to ‘too much’, while Clarity helps the dry sound keep its focus above the reverb. Colour essentially adjusts the overall tonal balance of the reverb.
Summing up then, FAST Verb does exactly what it sets out to achieve: you can set up good‑sounding, musically appropriate reverbs that don’t suffocate your mix, quickly and with minimal fuss.
Here's a fun YouTube video covering FAST Verb and the previous FAST plug-ins:
This AI‑powered plug‑in makes it quick and easy to set up good‑sounding reverbs for a range of sources.
£89.82. Pay‑as‑you‑go: 15 monthly payments of £5.99, and unlimited access thereafter (subscribers can cancel at any time). Discounts apply if buying/subscribing to all FAST plug‑ins. Prices include VAT.
To buy outright: $89.85. Pay as you go model: 15 monthly payments of $5.99, and unlimited access thereafter (subscribers can cancel at any time). Discounts apply if buying/subscribing to all FAST plug‑ins.