https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Dry-Acoustic.wav

Reverb is one of the three most important effects in mixing.

It’s the audio glue that situates your tracks in the virtual space of your mix.

Zynaptiq Adaptiverb is a great sounding reverb plugin capable of everything from subtle ambience to expansive wash—with a twist.

Adaptiverb uses an impressive resynthesis engine to create a reverberant sound without the typical room reflections of other digital verbs.

This unique “reflectionless” reverb is perfect for sound design, film music or any situation where bold new reverb textures are needed.

Why use reflectionless reverb?

Getting the right ambience for the sounds in your mix isn’t always easy.

There are plenty of gorgeous sounding reverb plugins out there. But any traditional reverb that works by simulating room reflections suffers from a common problem.

High frequencies and sharp transients in the program material create harsh reflections in the reverb signal. These can result in a grainy sound with distracting top end.

It’s especially true for the early reflections that play a major role in most types of plugin reverb.

With traditional plugins there’s only a few ways to solve it:

  • Use a smaller reverb with less wet mix
  • Reduce the high frequencies of the reverb or the signal feeding it

Unfortunately both these methods will make your reverb sound smaller and less spacious.

Adaptiverb is a great tool for adding space and ambience without sacrificing high end or losing size and detail.

Features

Adaptiverb is a deep plugin with lots of tweakability. But it’s easy enough for beginners thanks to its helpful macro controls and diverse presets.

The front panel has an X/Y plane for mix and sustain and two circular sliders for the important Richness and Harmonic Filtering controls.

You can do most your high level adjustments using only these four parameters. You’ll still have access to conventional options for low-cut and pre-delay too.

The rest of the front panel controls allow more granular shaping of the reverb, but opening the fine-tune menu gives you direct access to the resynthesis engine.

These parameters are slightly less straightforward, but engaging the tooltip mode and hovering my mouse over me some helpful information.

The engine controls allow you to sculpt the frequencies and harmonics that emerge in the synthesized reverb and control their overall complexity.

I’ve almost never had such detailed control over the fundamental character of a reverb tail.

I’ve almost never had such detailed control over the fundamental character of a reverb tail.zynaptiq adaptiverb signal flow

All this innovative engineering and sonic potential comes at a fairly hefty price. Adaptiverb retails for $249 USD from Zynaptiq’s website.

It’s pricey, but the technology is seriously impressive and the sound design possibilities go way beyond what most reverbs can offer.

In use

Adaptiverb’s bionic resynthesis engine is based on ray-tracing and AI. That advanced tech takes a fair bit of horsepower to run.

The plugin actually requires a large buffer size to operate, so don’t expect to be able to track with it live at 32 samples.

Even at high buffer settings (the manual recommends 1024 samples), it can be slightly CPU hungry, so make sure your processor is up to the task.

Once I got my buffer settings in check using Adaptiverb was satisfying and intuitive.

The sonic character of the reflectionless reverb was completely new to me so I started with presets as I built my patches.

Luckily, Adaptiverb comes with a fantastic preset selection to help you get a sense of what it can do.

Adaptiverb comes with a fantastic preset selection to help you get a sense of what it can do.

I mostly stuck with the music production category, but I couldn’t help checking out the eerie library of drone patches. This inspiring collection contains presets such as “SciFi Ancient Predator in Stasis.”

zynaptiq adaptiverb reverb plugin

These sounds really showcase how the resynthesis engine creates the texture of the reverb and gave me a better idea of how to tweak the controls.

Once I got into sculpting my own sounds I was able to dial up some unique textures that I haven’t heard in a reverb plugin before.

Adaptiverb’s sound is pretty different from most reverbs I’ve used in the past—but that’s a good thing.

Sound

Adaptiverb’s sound is pretty different from most reverbs I’ve used in the past—but that’s a good thing.

Its unique character might take some getting used to, but its basic tone has a pleasing and rich smoothness with satisfying harmonic complexity.

I started out with a basic acoustic guitar sound to get a taste for how the reflectionless quality of the reverb works.

I often find the bright overtones and noisy pick attack of strummed acoustic guitar don’t work well with conventional reverb.

Here’s my dry signal:

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Dialling in a smooth, flattering ambience for the strummed chords with Adaptiverb was quick and easy after cycling through a handful of presets.

The reverb tone is rich, lush and ambient without getting in the way:

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Adaptiverb_acoustic.wav

It adds an interesting shine to the sound that feels almost like a synthesizer patch playing underneath—which is exactly what is.

These dreamy ambient qualities got me excited to try Adaptiverb on synth for some Hans Zimmer-style cinematic ambience.

Adaptiverb’s resynthesis engine works just as well on low frequencies. This deep saw wave fifth drone got downright menacing with an expansive low-emphasis patch:

Here’s the dry:

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Dry_deepSynth.wav

And Adaptiverb:

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Adaptiverb_deepSynth.wav

Even with all this low frequency ambience the wet signal doesn’t overtake the original texture of the synth tone. That’s pretty impressive.

I also tried a subtler setting with the same synth to hear Adaptiverb’s tamer side.

Adding depth and dimension to a sound without making it sound “far away” is another benefit of synthesis-based reverb.  You can hear on this rich synth patch.

First the dry:

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Dry_richSynth.wav

And then Adaptiverb adding stereo information and subtle harmonic enhancement:

https://blog.landr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Adaptiverb_richSynth.wav

This subtle ambience feels like its almost part of the original patch

Should you buy Adaptiverb?

Adaptiverb is a unique reverb plugin with lots to offer for adventurous tone tweakers.

Anyone who likes to experiment with space and dimension in their mix will enjoy the smooth, harmonically rich textures this plugin can create.

Sound designers and producers of film music will love its cinematic sound, but musicians and songwriters can find just as much to love.

If you’re looking for a groundbreaking new reverb you can use on difficult sources, Adaptiverb could be your best choice.