When it comes to creating soundscapes and textures in music production, particularly for synthesizer players, reverb pedals are an essential tool. These pedals help synth sounds become more alive and can imbue them with a sense of space that’s crucial for depth and dimension in a mix.
Reddit, a hub for community discussions and advice, provides a range of opinions and experiences on the best reverb pedals suited for synthesizers. Below, we’ve gathered insights from the platform to help guide musicians through some top reverb pedal options based on user recommendations, focusing on their features, pros and cons, and what to look for in terms of sound quality and specifications.
Death by Audio Rooms
- ROOM – A classic reverb that simulates many different rooms DIGIT – A filter matrix verb capable of creating otherworldly resonances and fractured repeats
- PEAK – A super intense bandpass filter combined with an ambient reverb
- WAVE – A gated reverb
- Short reverb times create a classic gate effect, long reverb times create a controllable freeze effect
- GATE – Creates a pitch vibrato effect
- Highly versatile with six reverb algorithms
- Intuitive controls for shaping the sound
- Fuzz-friendly, works well with synths
- Higher price point
- May be too complex for those seeking simplicity
The Death by Audio Rooms is a pedal renowned for its versatility and range of reverb effects, from classical to more experimental sounds. It offers a unique interface that pairs well with the creative demands of synth players.
For musicians, the quality of the reverb sound is paramount. The Rooms pedal scores highly here, offering expansive and immersive effects that can be tailored to individual needs, benefiting from six different algorithms. Specifications also include stereo in/out for a broader soundscape.
- 24 studio quality algorithms and counting
- Pristine Classic Sounds
- Ambient Sounds
- Easy to use and fast to dial in
- Tap Functions
- High-quality audio signal
- Wide variety of reverb types
- Stereo input/output for expansive sound
- Expensive, an investment decision
- May have more options than necessary for some users
The Empress Reverb pedal is praised for its studio-quality sound and is a popular choice among musicians for its rich and diverse reverb settings. Synthesizer players will find its audio fidelity exceptional.
An essential characteristic of a reverb pedal is its capacity to deliver a pure signal without noise, and the Empress Reverb excels in this regard. It also possesses versatile connectivity options, with stereo input and output, making it suitable for use with a variety of synthesizers and in different recording contexts.
- Reverb Types: ROOM, PLATE, REVERSE, MODULATED, HALO, HALL, SPRING
- Compact Size with Soft Click, Vacuum-Style Footswitch
- True Stereo I/O, True Bypass circuitry preserves your tone in bypass
- High-Voltage operation for uncompromised signal quality
- Stomp lock knob guard locks tone in place, prevent tampering or accidental knob adjustments onstage Custom-cut Hook and Loop Pedalboard Pad to attach and lock your pedals to your pedalboard
- Lexicon reverb algorithms
- True Stereo I/O
- Compact, pedalboard-friendly design
- Limited adjustability for more experienced users
- Build quality may not suit all
The Digitech Polara stands out with its inclusion of Lexicon’s revered reverb algorithms. It presents a reasonable balance between quality and affordability and appeals to those with a more moderate budget.
The sound of the reverb from Polara is crisp and professional, courtesy of the Lexicon heritage. Important specs for synthesizer players considering this pedal include true stereo input and output, as well as a variety of reverb types encapsulated within a space-saving design.
- Easily go from tasteful, small room reverb to long, modulated trails dripping of ambient goodness. The toggle switch adds options for low, medium and high modulation. Use the dampen knob to fine tune the tone of the reverb’s decay.
- Hall – Wide, open and vast with decay that ends with high-frequency rolloff. X knob adjusts pre-delay.
- Plate – Full Body reverb with a smooth decay. X knob adjusts pre-delay.
- Lo-fi – Filtered reverb with decay ranging from warm, to thin AM-sounding radio. X knob adjusts filter width.
- Sonar – Reverb fed with both a high and low octave with the ability to blend the octaves with the X knob.
- Multiple reverb algorithms including hall and plate
- Sustain switch for infinite reverb
- Smart design with top-mounted jacks
- May require time to master all features
- Slightly higher price range than budget options
Walrus Fathom provides a pedal that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is sonically versatile. With hall and plate reverb options, among others, it allows synthesizers to swell and bloom in a mix.
Key sound characteristics of the Fathom pedal include its dimensional and expansive reverb tones. The inclusion of a sustain switch adds value for synth players looking to experiment with infinite reverb. Specs also highlight the efficient design that facilitates pedalboard organization.
Electro Harmonix Oceans 11
- Tails switch. Select whether the reverb fades out naturally or stops immediately when the pedal is switched to bypass
- Easy access to powerful “hidden” parameters thru Secondary Knob Mode
- Able to produce infinite reverb you can play over in most settings
- Power supply included
- Affordable with 11 reverb styles
- Easy to use for beginners and professionals
- Built-in modulation effects
- Lesser build quality compared to high-end models
- Some modes may be less useful for synth
Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 is a diverse pedal offering 11 different reverb styles at a wallet-friendly price point. It’s engineered specifically for those who want range without complexity.
The essential sound characteristic of the Oceans 11 is its versatility; it allows users to explore a variety of reverb types. For synth players, the additional modulation effects embedded in the pedal are a bonus. Despite being priced as a budget-friendly unit, the pedal does not skimp on necessary specs, such as ease of use and variety in reverb styles.
Strymon Big Sky
- Demo BigSky Reverberat Pedal
- Freeze and Infinite Sustain functions
- Optional Killdry mode mutes the signal without effect to use the pedal in parallel effects loops; Feeder included
- Features freeze and infinity sustain
- Studio-grade sound quality
- Extensive range of reverb types and parameters
- Has a dedicated MIDI in/out for advanced control
- Premium price tag
- Complex interface may overwhelm some users
Strymon Big Sky is a heavyweight in the reverb pedal arena, often lauded for its premium sound quality. It’s designed for those who demand meticulous control over their reverb textures.
The Big Sky’s stellar sound quality stems from its powerful SHARC DSP, which implies a level of detail and texture in reverb that is hard to match. Specifications such as MIDI in/out offer extended control for synth players who are incorporating the pedal into more complex setups
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- Packed with features and customizability
- Offers real-time control over various parameters
- Ability to save presets is useful for live performance
- Learning curve due to depth of features
- Interface navigation can be cumbersome
The Boss RV-500 is recognized as a versatile and programmable reverb pedal, providing robust control for those who like to tailor every aspect of their sound
Sound-wise, the RV-500 offers extensive adjustability that allows for detailed sound shaping. Important specs for this pedal include its ability to save and recall presets, a feature that many synth players will find indispensable for live performance and studio work.
- Unmistakable drip of three “golden unit” spring reverb tanks, pulled from classic ’60s American guitar amps
- Quickly access sounds with Live/Preset modes, and play with silent switching, and true or trails bypass with spillover*
- Explore the dense, haunting sound of three German studio plate reverbs sourced from The Plant studio
- Download additional vintage digital Chamber & Plate effect at product registration
- Sculpt huge, three-dimensional tones with exact, bit-for-bit vintage digital reverb algorithms
- Exceptional sound quality with three reverb modes
- Simple user interface for quick adjustments
- Compact size that fits any pedalboard
- Limited reverb modes compared to others
- Premium pricing may not align with budget
The UA Golden reverb pedal is celebrated for its high-quality sound in a straightforward, user-friendly interface. It might suit those desiring top-notch audio without needing a vast array of different reverb types.
The sound characteristic that defines the Golden is its lush, natural reverb. Key specifications for synth players are the three different reverb modes that are carefully crafted to suit a variety of musical situations and its unobtrusive size.