[sdiy] Why digital reverbs just don't cut it when you want a springreverb sound

Mike profpep at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 9 06:22:59 CET 2008

Subject: [sdiy] Why digital reverbs just don't cut it when you want a
springreverb sound

OK, a small springline amp story from long ago.

I wsa once helping at a session in a small studio, with a fairly known,
(well locally anyway), guitarist. To get a cleaner, 'in studio' sound, we
were running his Fender Hot Rod into a cabinet simulator, and he was
monitoring with phones - he didn't use any speaker feedback on the stuff we
were recording. The sound checks went well, and we recorded one track - all
good. On the next track he pushed the reverb switch and said 'Hey! that's
not right!". Normally we'd have used a studio reverb, but he liked the tone
of the reverb spring in the amp, for similar reasons to those you outlined.
We checked: he was right. With the simulator in, the sustain was all wrong,
and the reverb spring attack was not right either. A thought struck me - the
spring isolation of those reverb tanks can't be that good - some of the
effect was due to speaker feedback through the spring. I went into the
studio workroom and borrowed a little box monitor, (a Visonik David or a JBL
control 1 - I can't remember), and patched that in with a rheostat we used
for amp testing. I rested the speaker face down on the reverb tank, and
turned up the stat until, lo and behold!,  his reverb sound came back.

Simulating that might be a challenge. Sometimes you need to decide where the
boundaries of the system are.......

And as you say: If you want it to sound like a spring, then best solution
usually is a spring!


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