Reverb for shoegaze...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Tsetse, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    Hi!

    As the title already suggests, I'm (still) looking for a reverb pedal (for live use) that
    can be used for late 80s / early 90s style shoegaze - My Bloody Valentine
    comes to mind as probably the best example of what sort of sound I am looking for, among others. We have a handful of songs in our band where some sort of Reverse Reverb / Gated Reverb (plus my Jazzmaster whammy) are needed to create those massive, warbly wall-of-sound-type sounds. Additionally, some huge cathedral-like "ambient" (pad-like) reverb sounds would be nice as well. I don't care about having a decent spring reverb emulation because my amp is a (modified) Fender Twin Reverb.

    Candidates which I already own:
    1. EHX Cathedral - really, really good and quite flexible Reverse Reverb setting, but it's lacking in the "big, space-y reverb" department - it's a bit "grainier" sounding there and could be a bit "bigger" still. The freeze function is nice, but not really needed for what I'm doing. Can't say anything bad about this pedal but I don't really want to add a secondary reverb pedal for those big pads. I don't play with reverb enough to justify 2 pedals.

    2. Digitech Hardwire RV-7 - My latest aquisition, also quite a nice reverb pedal, but it's a little too "conservative" for what I'm looking for. The "Gated" setting CAN be used for warbly shoegaze stuff, but it's a bit of a one-trick pony with VERY limited controls. Some more flexibility in controlling reverb parameters would be nice. The pedal offers some nice "ambient" reverb types but those are somehow too modest, not exaggerated or extreme enough for what I'm looking for.

    Routes that would be feasible, but I doubt if I really want to go there:
    1. Old rack equipment, like a Yamaha SPX-90, Alesis Midiverb etc.
    If I was in a 24/7 shoegaze band, I'd be all over this stuff (because the sounds I'm looking for ARE in there) but like I mentioned before, I need "those" sounds for only a couple songs. I simply don't want the additional hassle associated with rack equipment in a "traditional" guitar -> pedal board -> guitar amp setup.

    2. The full featured reverb pedals like the Strymon Big Sky, Eventide Space etc. Those are bulky, complicated (I tend to shy away from programmable presets, navigating through menus on stomp boxes etc), not exactly easy to power from "standard" pedalboard power bricks and not to mention expensive.

    Candidates which I'm currently eyeballing / wish I knew more about but which are not available locally to try out:
    1. Red Panda Context: Seems pretty convincing from the demos I've seen, the "cathedral" setting is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for when I'm talking "pads" or "ambient" here. I couldn't find too much info about the "gated" preset though - most demo guys either "forget" to show this preset or seemingly don't know what to do with it so it's really hard to judge if this would be useable for MBV-type sounds. I'd appreciate any bit of info about this pedal.

    2. Walrus Audio Descent: A (tweakable) reverse setting is there, Shimmer could be fun from time to time as well but I wonder if the ambient side of things (hall) can sound as huge as the cathedral setting on the Red Panda? Again, the available demos don't show too much about the things which are of real interest to me, so any bit of info would be greatly appreciated.

    Is anybody aware of any other pedals which offer either reverse or gated reverb sounds PLUS the option to get huge, space-y reverb pads?

    On a side note, I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion about either the recording process of MBV's Loveless album or about wether it's even possible or feasible to use HUGE reverbs in a live setting - I'm not in an MBV cover band and I sure don't want to sound exactly like Kevin Shields and I'm fully aware of the caveats when dealing with "exaggerated" reverb sounds on a stage.

    Thanks in advance,
    kind regards,
    Stephan
     
  2. Gunerius

    Gunerius Tele-Holic

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    I just skimmed through the post, and what came to mind was the Eventide H9.
    It is smaller than the space and so forth but it can do all those things and more. It is a bit expensive, but If you are into MBV and need spacey reverb it is worth it. It is really easy to program using the controll app, and you can store just a few settings, call them what you like and easily switch though them when playing a gig.
    It also has other pretty trippy effects like pitch delays and really nice sounding delays as well.

    BUT, if you just need the reverb trips for a few tunes and you will not use the other effects then I think maybe there are more affordable options out there.
    But the alesis midiverb can be had for almost nothing i think?
    I got one when i bought a rack, but i keep it in the studio for just a little touch of 90s weirdness. Don't know how much hassle it is to be getting a rack for your rig if you don't allreaydy have it, but then again i guess you'd allready gotten a midiverb....
    You could allways keep it on top of the amp or something?
     
  3. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Gunerius!

    Eventide H9: VERY pricey plus there would be problems when trying to power it from my board's power supply - I don't have enough outlets left. So it's going to be the price for the H9 plus having to buy an additional power supply - lots of money for a couple of effects that see use in 2-3 out of 14 or so current songs that we usually select for live gigs... add to that the fact that menus, programming etc. intimidate me and it's out of the picture. "Intimidate" is probably not the best expression, but I find that dealing with these things is somehow limiting to my creativity. I prefer to interact directly with a few knobs on a pedal.

    Rack units: There's no FX loop on my amp (so there's the instrument level / line level problem), some of those old rack units are notorious for messing with the bypassed clean signal (again, it's only for a handful of songs so it would probably bother me a lot when not actively playing one of those) - I know that there are workarounds for all these "problems" but all that also adds to the number of things that I need to carry to gigs (and also to the number of things that might go wrong on stage).
     
  4. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    The Zoom MS70CDR would probably work really well for this. It has multiple reverbs/delays (including gated, early reflection and reverse 'verbs) that would work well for these type of sounds...plus you can stack/layer multiple effects (up to 6 ) to create a single footswitchable patch. I have a Zoom G3 and use it this way to create some big-sounding ambient-ish patches, but the MS70CDR is specifically mod based (no drives, fuzzes or amp emulations), and has some cool reverb/delay/chorus models that aren't available (or downloadable) for the G3. Cheap, too, and it'll run off a standard 9V supply provided you can cover the mA.

    I've actually considered selling my G3 to get an MS70CDR, because I'm only really using it for modulation effects, and for single stomp/patch use it has a better range of effects and it's about 1/5th the size!
     
  5. Gunerius

    Gunerius Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I can see those problems and would probably go for a smaller option.
    There are a couple of ambient reverb pedals out ther. Shimmer types, but have you looked into the TC stuff? The hall of fame reverb seems to get good things thrown after it. And it does have the toneprint thing that seems pretty versatile.
     
  6. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    @DarnWeight:
    Hmm, how did that Zoom escape my notice? Looks pretty much like what I'm looking for...
    You're right in that these effects are EXACTLY what I'm looking for in the warbly, wall-of-sound department - plus the pedal seems to have some of those big, ambient sounds as well (not to mention Eventide Space / Strymon "specialties" like Black Hole / Shimmer which might also come in handy)...

    ...but there seems to be one big problem - I went through the FX list on the Zoom website, a pdf file which lists all the effects included plus showing the parameters which can be manipulated by the user... I can't seem to find any options for setting the pre-delay on those important (to me) presets, which imho can be crucial to making gated / reverse reverbs work for this style. There is a very fine line between a massive, MBV-like wall of sound and a soupy mess. In my experience, adjusting a reverb's pre-delay to work with the tempo of the song / tempo of the strumming pattern at hand can contribute a lot to not ending up in mush.

    @Gunerius: I tested the HoF and I have to say its "warbly, shoegazey" capabilities are extremely limited - when looking for those sounds, I think the EHX Cathedral is a much better choice for the reverse mode alone. Since you mentioned shimmer modes, I think they might be nice to have, but they are by no means crucial.
     
  7. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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  8. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    These are all fine choices, but most of the shoegaze bands at the time were deeply addicted to the Alesis micro verb, nano verb, etc. That's where you get those weird shimmery reverbs of the time. Also, for the real effect, you're going to want tut about 25 non- true bypass footpedals in a chain before the reverb to degrade the signal.
     
  9. Meshgearfox

    Meshgearfox Tele-Meister

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    RED PANDA CONTEXT- There are some early demos featuring a reverse mode that is not available in the production version. Otherwise, it is a fantastic sounding pedal and the gate mode works very well. It does have a pre-delay control. The ambient settings are not as lush as some other pedals that add stereo chorus or phasing, but it definitely gets very "big" and has a sense of dimensionality i don't think I've ever heard in a mono reverb.

    ZOOM MS70CDR-If you need pre delay insert a short delay model before the reverb. I wanted to love this pedal, and it does sound quite good, but switching preset live was cumbersome. If you were only using 3-4 settings and only changing them in-between songs i guess it would work well.

    I dont know if used MARSHALL REFLECTORs show up often where you live, but they would be worth looking into. the reverse mode nails the "isn't anything" sound and the longer reverbs have a bit of graininess that i think is appropriate to the genre.
     
  10. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    The zoom ms 100 has several reverbs with predelay. Some come stock some are downloadable for about $2. There are several reverse reverbs as well that you could stack with and then throw a gate into the patch to boot.
     
  11. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    The Strymon Big Sky isn't nearly as complicated as you imply in your initial post - in fact it is pretty straightforward, in my opinion. It can actually be powered by the VooDoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus, as far as I know (which is in my opinion a "standard" pedal board power brick). It will give you everything you will likely ever need and it is my first choice of reverb pedal. I don't currently own one, but recently got to take one on a nice long test drive and it did nothing but severely bolster my GAS for one.
    You might also look into the Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master (combined delay and reverb that can be tweaked to really get into ambient and shoegazey territory.
    There is also the Hardwire Supernatural to consider (seems more shoegaze friendly than the RV-7 you have).
    Lastly, don't discount the TC Electronic Hall of Fame and Mini HOF - either of these could be super versatile in achieving all kinds of reverb sounds; not as tweakable on the fly maybe as far as getting to some things these are capable of, but the toneprint thing and editing software make these really worth looking into if you really only need a couple of different types of verb or so that will ultimately get you the ambient/shoegaze sounds you're seeking.

    EDIT: I just watched that Afterneath demo and it seems quite impressive as well...
     
  12. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    @Tritone: Thanks a lot - you're inducing a lot of GAS there ;)...

    Flint: Didn't know it did get that loooooong... some very interesting ambient textures there. The reverbs it produces sound even better than what I can remember from trying the Blue Sky - although that's a great pedal as well. As it happens, I'm also looking to replace my tremolo pedal, so this might really be an option - one dedicated reverb pedal for gated / reverse type stuff plus one trem / reverb pedal for trem use and ambient reverb types.

    Flux: Didn't know that one at all - VERY nice as well, especially those subtle pitch-shifting effects going on there... sounding HUGE.

    That EQD Afterneath though - I can see this being able to pull off almost exactly what one would expect from a good reverse / gated algorithm in combination with my Jazzmaster's trem and some dirt - those weird, rhythmical "artifacts" which can be heard throughout the vid - that's exactly where it's at. I have to watch some more demos once they're available / try to find one to test myself, but this looks really promising.

    @soul-o: I'm aware of that - after all, those rack units were all they had available back then - if I'm listening to a lot of the pedals here, however, I don't see the need to go down that route, at least not when it concerns only live use and only a fragment of our song material... as to the degradation of the signal - that's nothing that some sort of treble cut somewhere in the chain can't solve :lol:
     
  13. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    @Meshgearfox:

    I've read about it and it's a shame, really... however, a gated mode with a pre-delay control would work just as well, I guess (judging from my rather limited experience with the gated mode on the RV-7). Heck, I even own a few delay pedals which can be tweaked to at least be in the ballpark of the MBV sounds... have you tried to get MBV sounds out of that pedal?

    Does it really work that way, by simply adding a delay pedal in front? Never occured to me... It would still be a hassle since I usually employ my delay pedals for other things than simple, short delays so I would have to adjust those for certain songs as well... I'm wondering about the ease of switching presets as well. So far, the handful of our songs in that style can be played with one reverb setting per song, but I need to adjust those settings between any of those songs.

    @Modman68: I will need to check that pedal out as well, thank you for mentioning that!

    @hongaku:
    You're right and I didn't realize that until I read it up on the Strymon website 2mins ago. However, this thing is still quite big and expensive. I have to go out and try one, though.

    Which is an absolutely intriguing pedal that I'm maybe going to add at some point in the future (if I had more space on the board, I'd probably already own one), but I'm not sure if it's capable of replacing something like the Cathedral's reverse setting and that's the most urgent need right now. That's a pedal for a little later...

    When I went shopping for the Cathedral, I also tried a HoF and tbh, I didn't find it to be too well suited for what I have in mind. I'll look into those tone prints and editing software, though.
     
  14. Meshgearfox

    Meshgearfox Tele-Meister

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    Yes. It is "close enough ", and the limitations are as much from my guitar playing as from the pedal itself. When i want to nail those sounds I use a true reverse verb followed by distortion, but for a few songs in a set the Context would satisfy me. If you can get where you need to be with the gate mode on the Hardwire you should be able to do at least as well with the Context.

    No, not with a separate delay pedal (unless you and some sort of splitter/blender pedal to your board.) The MS70cdr works by chaining models of pedals to create presets. If you use it in stereo you could have a preset with stereo delay (one side set to short delay, the other side none) followed by the reverse reverb (wet mix favoring the side with delay.) Not perfect, and I dont know if it would translate to mono (my amp has stereo effects loop and that is the only way i ever used it). If you were leaning towards the Slowdive/loveliescrushing side of shoegaze i think the MS70 could be a good choice. MBV, not so much.
     
  15. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    Thanks a lot, Meshgearfox!

    Just out of curiosity, which reverb unit are you using to do so? Rack / studio gear?

    Two out of the songs I would need "this" kind of reverb for come to mind. One is a mid-tempo song where I (that is to say we - two guitarists) are strumming constant eighth notes and are also using our whammy bars to "introduce" chord changes - you basically push down the bar, slide to the chord position and slowly let go of the bar to "fade" that chord in from dissonance. There's more whammy bar stuff going on and other song parts where different "stuff" happens, but that's basically how most of that song works. The RV-7 works really well in that context.

    Than there's another song which is much slower in tempo - the strumming there is absolutely sluggish plus it's constantly interrupted (in odd places) by slow and rather subtle accents on the whammy bar - so you either strum a chord OR you work with the bar, never both at the same time. This worked like a charm with the Cathedral's reverse setting but not so much with the RV-7...

    I would have to have control about the pre-delay AND the length of the "trail" to make it sound right for that song. Don't know if I'm using the correct expression but by "trail" I mean those strange rhythmic artifacts you get when using those types of reverbs. Let's say I strum a chord and mute the strings immediately afterward, I'm getting some kind of a "drrrrrrrrring" sound.

    Does the Gated preset on the Red Panda offer that kind of control?

    Also, thanks for elaborating on the MS70cdr and explaining how to use a delay model in front of a reverb model there... however, I don't think this would work very well in my case because I'm running a mono rig.

    Thanks a lot for this, this is important information!
     
  16. Post-HK

    Post-HK Tele-Meister

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    I *know* you said you want to avoid rackmount...but I just got an Alesis Quadraverb Plus (with a mod for lower noise) and it is a blast! So yeah, now I've got a silly rackmount thingy on top of my amp, but it sounds amazing. Takes just a couple days fiddling with it to get the gist of all the reverb options - and then presto, there's all the near-endless shimmery reverb you could ever want. Just sayin'. :D
     
  17. Meshgearfox

    Meshgearfox Tele-Meister

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    My belly has grown enough that I no longer have a proper view of my feet, so I changed genres.

    When I was more serious about it I tended to use rack gear. Mostly Midiverb, Ensoniq DP2 or Behringer Virtualizer.

    I tried to convert from racks to pedals a while ago (that is where the MS70cdr came in). Turned out I would need $$$ worth of strymon/ eventide stompboxes to do what i had been doing with $50 rack units, so I am rethinking the rig again

    I think so. You certainly would have separate controls for pre-delay time and gate time. If the Cathedral is better than the Hardwire for that song, it might be because the reverse verb is going "drrrrRRRRING!" while a gate is more like "DRRRRrrrring". (Sorry if that seems confusing or ridiculous, I'm just trying to describe the differences in the reverbs envelope.) The Context will do the later but not the former. But if you twiddle the knobs long enough you can get a "...DRRINg" sound that might work.
     
  18. kromanomo

    kromanomo Tele-Afflicted

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    My vote is for the Supernatural. Love mine and it does anything you could ever want ambient reverb wise. Sounds great with a DD3 or my EQD Disaster Transport. Looking forward the Afterneath too, but I think it us a more specific different kind of monster. I think the Supernatural is the more practical choice and works very well with any genre.

    I hear very good things about the Red Panda and Stymons, but haven't tried the personally. Love my Dispatch Master but it does not get as " huge" as the Supernatural even with the added delay.

    If your on a budget you may go for the old rack mount digital unit, they have huge reverb ambient options in spades.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  19. Tsetse

    Tsetse Tele-Meister

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    After reading the previous replies, I am also "rethinking the rig (rack) again" -

    And that's why. The sounds I'd need are all there in one "box" plus it wouldn't cost a boatload of money. I need to put some research into how I could make something like that work in the context of my rig... there's the line / instrument level thing, I'm pretty sure that I would want a rack reverb unit completely out of my signal chain when not actively using it etc. Than there's the question of where in the chain to put something like that - imho there's nice results to be had from dirt -> reverb but also from reverb -> dirt...

    That's neither confusing nor ridiculous (after all, it was me who started the "drrring" comparison :D) but rather perfectly explains the difference between reverse and gated reverbs - I perfectly understand what you're telling me and I think you also explained the reason why the RV-7 doesn't work so well with the slower song.
     
  20. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Tele-Meister

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    I haven't read the thread yet but just get a Yamaha FX500, can't go wrong with that unit. You can tweak the factory presets and make some interesting stuff or you can just use the preset #40 and get lost with some distortion in front of it.

    Just put the thing in the floor along with your other pedals and use a true bypass looper (that you can built for less than $10) if you are worried about the "tone suckage", but the way you're going to play you willl not even notice it :p

    EHX Cathedral is nice too, I love the hold feature and the fact that it can store presets, a little bit pricey for a reverb pedal if you ask me.
     
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