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Review: Blackhole & Stereo Room 2016 by Eventide Audio

Eventide Reviews

In this review, we are going to be discussing Eventide’s two new reverb plugin, the Blackhole and Stereo Room 2016. Both of these plugins started their lives as algorithms found in two of Eventides hardware effects processors the DSP4000 and the SP2016 and have been industry favorites for years now so Eventide decided it was time to liberate them from their hardware bonds and give them to us in their current ethereal digital form for Mac, Pc VST, AU, and AAX.

BLACKHOLE

So first, up Blackhole reverb plugin when you think of black holes what do you think of? Well, space of course and lots of it and that’s exactly what Blackhole excels at. From cavernous depths to huge spaces or otherworldly soundscapes this plugin will take you there in no time and would probably work a treat on a dubstep snare too.

Eventide Blackhole GUI
Eventide Blackhole GUI

Blackhole reverb plugin comes with over fifty factory and artist made presets to get you going in your sound design and if they don’t suit your needs no problems because Blackhole is a very easy plugin to control and play with.

As for the controls we have a few nice knobs to play with Mix, Gravity, Size, Predelay, Low, High, Mod depth, Mod rate, Feedback and Resonance all of which can be set to be modified with the control ribbon at the bottom of the plugin by moving this control ribbon you can affect multiple controls at the same time which is pretty neat, how much you are moving the controls is represented by the blue halo around all the knobs.

But what do these controls do? you ask well I will tell you:

Mix: sets the relative level of the wet and dry signals with a nonlinear taper that keeps the control in the most usable range.

Gravity: This is Blackhole’s equivalent of decay time or the way the tail of the reverb spreads out over time it can do it in traditional linear fashion by setting the control to the right or it can also do reverse reverbs by setting the control to the left.

Size: This sets the size of the reverb it can go real small like plates or slapback effects to galactically big and does this very well.

Predelay: This sets the amount of delay before the reverb comes in when the tempo is on this is set to beat divisions like for example 1/4 or 1/8 etc but when the tempo is of it can be set from 0 to 2000ms.

  • Low: Eq for the low end of the reverb using a low shelf filter at 350HZ
  • High: Eq for the high end of the reverb using a shelving filter at 2000HZ
  • Mod depth: Sets the modulation depth in the reverb tail.
  • Mod rate: sets the rate of modulation
  • Feedback: Sets the amount of feedback reintroduced to the reverb
  • Resonance: This controls the resonance of the high and low filters
  • Kill: This instantly kills all the input to the reverb which allows you to hear the tail of the reverb.
  • Hot switch: This allows you to program and switch between two different settings in the preset letting you a/b what you have done to a preset.
  • Freeze: This sets the reverb time to infinite and loops the reverb tail back on itself over and over into infinity if you then play around with the other settings this can create some fun effects.

So Blackhole reverb plugin may only be one algorithm but that does not mean it’s just a one trick pony the range of effects that his one plugin can make is pretty broad and coming from Eventide you know it’s got to sound good and it does for sure on most anything you slap it on be it drums, pads or leads.

So if you are in the market for a reverb that can effortlessly create outlandishly large spaces or just a tiny room this is definitely worth looking at.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Looks good easily over viewable
  • Sounds out of this world

Cons:

  • Just one algorithm but still very versatile

STEREO ROOM 2016

Stereo Room Reverb Plugin
Eventide Stereo Room 2016 GUI

Next up Stereo Room 2016 As with Blackhole this is also a one algorithm reverb that was plucked straight from the innards of the SP2016 hardware effects unit and given to us in digital form.

This algorithm, however, is nothing like the Blackhole where it was all about huge otherworldly spaces with Stereo Room 2016 it’s all about creating the most natural sounding reverb here on planet earth.

Stereo Room 2016 reverb plugin comes with a total of 39 factory and artist made presets which mostly focus on drums, strings, guitar and vocals. These sound great when applied on to what they were made for but this reverb is easy enough to use so experimenting is allot of fun.

Going from left to right we first have the level controls with input level and a dry/wet control and a kill switch to kill the input signal so you can just hear the tail.

Next, we have the reverb controls with Predelay, decay, position and diffusion:

  • Predelay sets the amount of time before you hear the reverb which you can set from 0 to 125ms.
  • Decay sets how long the reverb decays for over time which you can set from 200ms to 30s.
  • Position sets how the sound is perceived in the mix more to the front or far away to the rear it’s kind of like if you were standing at the front of the stage or standing way back at the bar.
  • Diffusion sets the character of the space your sound is in determining how fast and from where the reflections come from. More diffusion kind of randomizes where and when the reflections happen and this however, subtle can make or break a convincing reverberation.
  • Lastly, we have the EQ controls with gain and frequency controls for low and high where low goes from 50 to 500HZ and high goes from 1000 to 8000HZ.

The look and feel of Stereo Room 2016 is kind of retro but is easy to view and control which is good. As for the sound Stereo Room 2016 does a great job a recreating the 80’s style reverb algorithm from the hardware unit and sounds really natural.

Pros:

  • Sounds beautifully natural
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Like the Blackhole, just a single algorithm plugin

In conclusion, both the Blackhole and the Stereo Room 2016 are two great Eventide plugins they may be only single algorithms but they are certainly not unvaried and can each produce a wide variety of reverberation goodness.

More Details / Buy Link: Blackhole

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