Eventide SP2016

New Gear/New Toy Review: Eventide SP2016 Reverb Plug-In

I'm so glad to have the new plug-in version of the Eventide SP2016 digital reverb. This is an excellent rendition of the classic reverb heard on so many big hit records. This is not an update of Eventide's 2016 Stereo Room plug-in! In fact, for convenience, both are at opposite ends of the same folder.

The SP2016 plug-in has three different reverb types or algorithms switchable using the red Program button; they are designed to properly synthesize a Room, Stereo Room (an all-time favorite preset in the hardware original), and a Hi-Density Plate. Each of these has both a Vintage version using the original hardware unit's lower bit resolution and a Modern version using higher bit resolution.

In general, I found the Modern versions to be a little brighter and more diffuse with greater depth and realism. This is a great choice in a single plug-in! The Vintage sounds like the original SP2016 unit while the Modern version keeps the original's vibe and expands the utility of this style of reverb greatly.

Upon inserting the SP2106 in my Pro Tools session, the Classic Stereo Room comes up in Vintage mode. I tried it on a solo grand piano Jazz record I was mixing. Vintage is smooth and warm and I adjusted the Position control towards F or the Front of the room. I was looking for a warm depth on this close-miked and bright piano. Adjusting the Position control is not like a Wet/Dry control but more like adjusting the presence or audibility of the room that the piano is sitting in.

Next I tried, the Hi-Density Plate in Vintage mode. This is an emulation of a heavy plate reverb with dual (L/R) pickups. The original SP2106 only had Pre-Decay and Decay parameters so that's what is available here. On my female lead vocal, the Vintage Plate sounded great but when I switched over to the Modern algorithm, the vocal took on a Pop shine that just made my singer sound like a star!

The Modern version adds High and Low-Frequency roll-off filters and both the Position and Diffusion parameters. Remembering the limitations of the hardware SP2016, I really liked the way the Modern Hi-Density Plate now sounds! It's great for guitars, vocals and brass!

When changing between the algorithms, the parameters do not change--meaning that settings you have on Mix (Wet/Dry), Pre-Delay, Decay, Position, Diffusion and the Filters all remain wherever you had them for the previous algorithm. I love this when searching for just the right ambiance by switching through the different Programs.

For an acoustic guitar, I tried the Room algorithm. I used the Vintage mode and I liked automating the Position control towards the R Rear of the space when the guitarist played finger picking and then back towards the Front when playing rhythmic chords. Awesome!

Get this reverb; it touches the past with its Vintage mode and operation but offers the Modern versions of the algorithms for an up-to-date soundscape at any time!

The new SP2016 Reverb sells for $249 MSRP and is available as an AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac and PC.

For more information, including a free and fully functional 30-day trial check out: eventideaudio.com/sp2016.

For fascinating historical context, check out Eventide's legacy SP2016 webpage here: bit.ly/Sp2016-Legacy.