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In-depth Feature:  Vermona RetroVerb
Trevor Curwen writes: .

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...continued

In Use
Whether connected to a mixing desk or with the output of a synth plugged in, when you use the Retroverb purely as a reverb unit with everything else disabled you are rewarded with a lovely dense reverb sound that is in no way the nasty metallic clank that you get with some smaller units. Not that there's anything wrong with nasty metallic clanks - they can work really well in some tracks - but this is the sort of reverb that adds real depth and sense of space to any sound but is largely devoid of any unwanted aural artifacts - you can use this on percussive sounds with no problems which is not something that can be said about all spring reverbs. In a mixing situation, vocals, strings, keys and guitars all benefit from the Retroverb which has a very natural organic quality in a mix. While there are none of the conventional tweakable parameters like decay time or predelay there is still plenty of tonal variation available. The EQ controls confer some nice shading and by switching in the VCF, and adjusting cutoff and resonance you can take this a whole stage further by emhasising a particular frequency in the reverb. More variation is available by using the phased reverse setting for the outputs which creates a different stereo perspective.

Specifications
  • Type: analog spring reverb spring module: ACCUTRONICS type 9
  • Modes: spring normal, spring reversed, non-spring normal, non-spring reversed, bypass
  • EQ: two-band equalizer (bass /treble)
  • Filter: 12dB lowpass filter with resonance
  • Modulation: ATTACK - DECAY envelope generator (with repeat function) for modulating VCF and VCA; external CV source or volume pedal for CUTOFF frequency
  • Trigger: standard GATE inputs for envelope generator and CRASH;
  • Footswitch input for envelope generator and CRASH
  • Footswitch inputs: VCF ON, VCA ON, BYPASS
  • CRASH: triggers the spring module

  • Audio connections: 1/4" jacks L in, R in (mono), L out, R out
  • Dimensions: 485mm x 80mm x 240mm, desktop
  • power supply: AC adapter 12v
  • Now, while using the reverb in isolation produces a natural ambience, bringing in the filter and everything else can create some weird and ethereal ambiences that make interesting ear candy in a track. One possible sound is a shimmery reverb due to a tremolo effect created by a combination of the VCA and the envelope's repeat knob, the absolute nature of which can be tailored to taste by careful juxtaposition of the attack and decay controls. Another use is to create strange filtered ambient rhythmic sounds by feeding a drumloop through to trigger the envelope.

    Of course, if you are not bothered about using reverb there are plenty of other effects available just using the VCF, VCA and envelope generator. That tremolo is just one result but filter sweeps are possible and plugging in a volume pedal puts the cutoff under foot control for great wah style effects among others. Finally, the Crash button is a great feature, although if you want a really massive reverb crash you can always give the Retroverb a hefty whack -it's solid enough to take the abuse. While reverb spring crashes are not exactly a universal sound that everyone craves, the wider application of the crash feature is to trigger a wide range of percussive sounds, shaped by the attack/decay envelope, that can be played live or sampled. Overall there is loads of potential available for creating some quite individual effects as well as having quality reverb on tap.

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • RetroVerb Manual PDF

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