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United Plugins MorphVerb

Reverb Plug-in [Mac/Windows] By Paul White

United Plugins MorphVerb

MorphVerb's stylish interface is dominated by a large dial, around which are printed the various reverb types — and this provides a strong clue as to what the name of this plug‑in alludes to. Turning the wheel blends between the two algorithms either side of the pointer, so you can move smoothly from Spring right through to Cathedral and then to Infinite using a single control. The graphic in the centre of the wheel also changes as you rotate it. Supported platforms are VST 2/3 and AAX on Mac/Windows, and AU on Mac. Authorisation is via personalised key file, which allows you to put the plug‑in on multiple machines.

The three orange knobs deal with the main parameters: Dry/Wet mix, reverb decay time (Length) and Tone. More advanced controls are to be found on the darker panel to the right, along with a spectrum display that sports two movable filters for trimming the highs and lows from the reverb sound. At the top, there are controls to deal with damping and ducking, while at the bottom are simple but useful controls for adjusting stereo width right up to 'ultrawide', pre-delay time, reverb size, modulation, saturation and compression. A Dry/Wet lock maintains the mix control setting when changing presets, which is a thoughtful touch.

A library of factory presets is included, and MorphVerb's Toolbar has A, B and Copy buttons for comparing presets, as well as Undo, Redo and Bypass buttons. In case you're wondering about that 3D/2D button, it simply switches between two GUI graphic styles. A right-click menu allows the GUI to be resized. Double-click the relevant knobs and you get a pop-up numeric pad for entering values if you need high precision.

I timed the Infinite reverb and it didn't last forever — at 20 seconds it's long enough for most people, though.

Sonically, there's a lot to enjoy here and the sound stays reasonably smooth as you automate the blend control, providing you stay between two reverb types or don't move it too quickly. You can have fun gliding between reverb characters during a mix but moving too quickly over a wide range causes the sound go a bit 'lumpy' for a moment, presumably as a new algorithm or lookup table is loaded.

I timed the Infinite reverb and it didn't last forever — at 20 seconds it's long enough for most people, though. The Length control still has some effect on this setting, seemingly altering the rate at which the reverb tail decays immediately after the note before it settles down to its more relaxed sustain phase. At the opposite extreme is Spring, which captures the metallic flavour of the real thing but dials back the drippy splashiness to make the sound more usable, perhaps at the expense of a little authenticity. Ambience runs from a short enhancement to a school gym depending on the Length and Size values, but nudge the dial towards Echoes and you get a few widely spread reflections added in to give you a useful echo-meets-reverb effect. Room ranges in size from bathroom ambience up to warehouse, and then we come to Plate, which at longer settings seems to include what sounds like four added delay taps, again producing a hybrid reverb/echo result. Move the dial towards chamber and these more obvious repeats recede, the tonality changing to suggest a larger space. Hall goes bigger still, and Cathedral goes further — at maximum decay and size it rings on for seven or eight seconds. There's little in the way of obvious early reflections, which helps create the impression of smoothness, and that Infinite setting has a very addictive tonality.

Add in some compression and the reverb tails linger on at a more consistent level while transients are softened. Modulation adds a density to the reverb tail and, even near the maximum setting, sounds lovely. Saturation doesn't add much obvious dirt but it does further stabilise the reverb level, adding sustain, and it works well in conjunction with the compressor.

MorphVerb may not be the most realistic-sounding reverb on the market, and its interpretation of infinity is perhaps a little optimistic, but that's not to say it's bad by any means. In fact, it sounds supremely musical — smooth-sounding but with a vintage character — plus it has the ability to produce pad-like long reverbs without getting messy. Shorter settings are also effective for adding a nicely retro-style ambience to guitar parts or drums. In short, as long as you don't want to recreate seat 23, Row G in the Sydney Opera House in minute detail, I think you'll find that this is a reverb that you'll use a lot.

information

£133 including VAT.

unitedplugins.com

Published July 2020