Just when I thought the last thing the world needed was yet another reverb plug‑in, Neunaber came along with something a little different. Neunaber are best known for their high-end guitar reverb effects pedals, but they've now ported their reverb algorithm into software, to create the Wet Reverberator plug‑in (VST2.4, VST3, AU and AAX formats) for Mac and Windows. Authorisation is via a license key code, which removes the time restriction from the otherwise fully functional demo.
Neunaber tell us that Wet Reverberator is based on an algorithm that has been refined over the last 10 years and is used in their Immerse Reverberator MkII pedal. The plug‑in, though, has an expanded feature set. Currently (v1) the plug‑in is stereo-in, stereo-out only. So if you want to use it on a mono source in Logic Pro X (the DAW I used to test it), it's necessary to set the track to stereo and to insert a Direction Mixer plug‑in before Wet Reverberator, with the width set to zero to place the dry sound in the centre; otherwise the dry sound only comes out of one channel. I'm told this will be resolved in a future update.
The GUI is clearly laid out, with slider controls for the values and a very useful Visualiser in the middle of the screen that shows both the current EQ settings and the reverb's density as it decays. To the left of the screen under the Size and Shape heading are four faders which control Mix, Delay (pre-delay), Attack and Decay. Attack smooths out the onset of reverb to soften transients such as heard in picked guitar or drums. Decay covers an enormous range from room ambience to near-infinite cavern-like drones.
EQ is provided via sliding first-order low-cut and high-cut filters, and there's also an EQ tilt control that pivots around 500Hz. Below the Visualiser display there are two further sliders for setting the damping frequency and attenuation to emulate the way reverb decays in a real space.
It's difficult to quantify just what makes a reverb sound good, but this one is a bit special.
To the right is a modulator section and a Fidelity section where you can apply bit-reduction and control the stereo width from mono to extra wide. The LFO-based modulation has controls for Rate and Pitch, and while it isn't possible to turn the modulation off, the effect of modulation can be set to a minimum by setting the Modulation Controls to 'LFO: 1', with rate and pitch at their minimum settings. There's a choice of two LFO configurations which affect the way it works on signals within the reverb algorithms and it's most evident at long decay times; you just pick which works best.
Sonically, Wet Reverberator is a gift to anyone into ambient music, as it is possible to create lush washes that don't overpower the dry sound. But at shorter decay settings it also fares well in most conventional applications. It's difficult to quantify just what makes a reverb sound good, but this one is a bit special. I don't often use bit reduction, but it can be useful here if you want to add a bit of dirt to short snare reverbs and the like. I hope that at some point Neunaber also decide to port their Shimmer Reverb algorithms to a plug‑in format, but in the meantime you can get pretty close to that effect by using Wet Reverberator in an aux send, and putting an octave-up pitch-shifter set to a 50-percent wet/dry mix in front of it. I'm sure this will become one of my go-to reverbs.