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TC Native Reverb

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After having presented the TL Audio EQ last summer, I will now on this new page present you another plug-in as interesting but this time in the reverb domain. We can find many reverb plug-in on the market, more or less well-conceived, more or less ergonomic, more or less efficient. But when a famous plug-in builder such as TC Works releases a nex reverb, we take the time to throw an ear on it!


Installation

During the installation, the German editor TC Works installs the Direct-X and the VST versions of its product, a process which is more and more common, as we know the working differences between Direct-X and VST plug-ins, as well as the advantages concerning our processors of the VST technology (effects use less CPU). Once the installation is done, you will actually find three plugins are installed. TC Works foresaw the use of its TC Native Reverb in different application domains. So, the "TC Native Reverb"plug-in is present in the Direct-X section for those who don't have a VST compatible host application. A "TC Native Reverb VST" plug-in is installed in your favorite VST audio editor or sequencer VST section. But there is a third plug-in named "TC Native Reverb VST-Master" which is installed in the VST plug-ins folder too, but reserved for a more specific use.


Presentation

The TC Native Reverb is an up-market reverb from TC Works, extracted from the TC Native Bundle 2.0, a bundle of all the necessary tools for processing the sound during mastering, or for being inserted as master effects. TC Works is an editor well-known for its efficient and high sound quality plug-ins especially dedicated to mastering. So we have here a classical but efficient and well-built reverb. The editor foresaw, as I explained before, the use of its reverb in different situation. Indeed, we can use the TC Native Reverb as an insert effect or as an auxilliary effect in the VST mixing console. The TC Native Reverb VST-Master will be put in the master section of the mixing board, or in the effects rack of a mastering software for example, to finalize a mix or re-master a song. This reverb functions in 32bts and has all the necessary settings to entirely control a reverb worthy of the name.


Interface

The TC Native Reverb has the same interface as the other plug-ins of the brand, that is to say quite large and readable, which allows to graphically see the settings, a grey front imitating the brush aluminium of our dear hardware effects, rectilinear pots and a stting wheel. By selecting this reverb, you already know it is a well-built and good quality effect. Well, it is nice, but how does it work?


Use

First, I want to gice advice to every newbie in the sound treatment domain: this up-market reverb has the same settings and parameters as a Studio reverb. To know the function of eacg setting, you should read the famous article written by our friend Vincent Burel, Doctor ès Reverb ;o). So you will familiarize yourself with the different parameters of a reverb and understand how it works; If you don't, the use of this reverb will be restricted to playing with the buttons with no great result! But this is only a piece of advice... Well, let's go! In the right order: In the top left hand corner, there is a quite wide displayer, which enables to see the reverb in and out levels. The scale goes from -96 to 0dB. Under this displayer, we can find the rectilinear pots to set the in and out levels. On the Master version of the TC Native Reverb (and here is the difference between the TC Native Reverb VST and its sister the TC Native Reverb VST Master) we can also find a Mix setting, which enables to measure out the effect and the original sound.

In the top right hand corner, a displayer of the same size enables to see the loaded program (preset), the Decay time (in seconds), and the size of the romm in which the sound source is. We can set thes parameters by clicking on the buttons on the right of the displayer (Room, Decay, Size) and moving the wheel to mdify the settings. Notice that you can also directly set the Decay Time by double-clicking in the displayer on the value, and setting the new value with the keyboard. Very convenient!

Finally, in the bottom right corner, we can find three settings proving this reverb is really sophisticated and very complete: a Shape setting, which enables to set the shape of the room in which the sound source is. We can choose between Square, Curved and Round. Next to it, we can set the reverb contrast thanks to the Diffuse parameter. In order to do it, a little displayer enables to see a picture more or less blurred. Then is the reverb colour setting. We can modify this parameter by two ways: by using the vertical and horizontal pots, or by clicking in the displayer on the point and moving it. We can see the point changing of colour, from red to white through blue. Moreover, we can also set the Pre Delay time by using the arrows or entering the settings with the keyboard.

We can see the settings diversity proves it is a hi-tech reverb, made for professional sudios or sound engineers. Well, that's great, we know what is the use of the buttons, but you will ask: how does it sound ?


The user's opinion

The use of this reverb is really easy as far as settings are concerned. I regret the wheel is not precise enough to set the Decay time, we will prefer the possibility to enter a value with the keyboard. I also appreciate the possibility to see instantaneously and precisely every setting. As far as sound is concerned, I tested it as an Insert effect, as an Aux effect and in a mastering situation. My conclusion is: this reverb is definitely a mastering reverb. Its colour is in my opinion too cold to be used as an insert. As an Aux effect, the sound is quite good if the level is low. On the other hand, used in a middle level in the master section, it is marvelous! It brings the necessary touch to make the mix more homogenic. In a mastering situation, a few miliseconds are enough to give your song the necessary binder between the different part. The mix function is very precise and useful to give accurate settings. We will appreciate the Pre Delay setting as well, which enable to avoid the problems, for example when using it simultaneously with a delay... The factory presets are interesting, and enable the user to start with a series of basic settings to refine his or her personal presets. This reverb is apparently made to put the finishing touches to a sound rather than creating one. For this last use, we will certainly prefer reverbs maybe less sophisticated but with a warmer colour. Anyway, I can tell you that as soon as I work on mastering, the TC Native Reverb is there! It is almost inserted in the default rack of my audio editor !


Conclusion

To conclude, this reverb is fantastic in a mastering situation or in the master section of a VST mixing board. On the other hand, it is in my opinion less interesting used as an insert effect. Its interface is very pleasant and well-built, and enables to work quickly, efficiently, and precisely. It has all the settings of a great reverb, which shows once more that TC Works really makes up-market tools, still faithful to its reputation of great plug-ins editor.


More...

You can go to the TC Works website to have further information regarding this plug-in. You can also test it by downloading the evaluation version. Specially for you, your servant is taking you by the hand and offers you the links...

TC Works web site

Go to the Products / Direct X - VST (PC) / TC Native Reverb section

Download the demo (TC Native Bundle)

At your service, don't hesitate to give your opinion! See you soon...

Vincent PRADES, on the 12-09-2001

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