Convolution reverbs are not what Audio Exponential’s Michael Carnes was creating when he joined iZotope. His reverbs don’t try to generate perfect simulations of real acoustic spaces. Instead, he focused on creating beautiful reverbs no matter if they sound “natural” or not. iZotope’s newest reverb plug-in, Neoverb, is powered by Exponential Audio technology, and it is the touted as the most intelligent reverb plug-in for music producers up to date. And indeed, in contrast to the many, many controls of Audio Exponential’s plug-ins that lets you tweak a reverb to the insanely great, Neoverb stands out with a sober UI that still lets you access the most beautiful sounding reverberation you can imagine.
iZotope rightfully claims Neoverb will save time and leave trial and error behind when you take out to design your own, unique spaces for vocals and instruments. When I saw the UI, I was taken by its sheer beauty and when I heard what I could do with such little effort, I immediately thought this is a dream plug-in for Indie filmmakers and Youtube video creators who don’t just grab — and forget to license — an existing piece of background music, but who want to create a true soundscape for their movies. At the very minimum, it will help those who create presentations to give their audio a depth of sound instead of the often hollow fingerprint of a cheap USB “vlogger” mic.
Neoverb has a new real-time Reverb Assistant that guides you in selecting and blending reverbs according to your creative needs. It will create a very acceptable result, but if you know what you’re doing, or don’t mind experimenting a few hours or even a day or two, you can still do better by customising afterwards. Nonetheless, its AI-powered EQ section that listens to your audio helps a lot by setting up your starting position without artefacts. Certainly when you’re mixing sound tracks, Neoverb can be the difference between OK sound and a splendid mix with some tracks having gorgeous reverb without making the whole mix sound muddy or vocals or instruments drown in reverberation.
The Advanced panel gives you total control over the results and if you don’t know where to start there’s a whole bunch of presets for vocals and instruments. The innovative triangular Blend Pad lets you mix three reverbs in one plug-in and helps to place your instruments and vocals in their own unique environments. Precisely because they each can be placed in their own environment you know you’re not necessarily tied to recreating an existing room or space — you’re creating a pleasing reverb or a special effect.
What doesn’t change, though, is that, before you create a reverb, your sound needs to be as perfect as you can get it. If it’s not, you will be amplifying the imperfections as well and probably end up with something that just doesn’t sound right.
At the very least, your EQ settings should be set so that every frequency band you want to hear in the end-result is at its optimum. Neoverb comes with a Pre EQ with an Auto Cut function to automatically clean your input signal, so that helps. A Reverb EQ with a built-in masking meter, along with the automatic Unmasking of the input signal, help keep your reverb under control in the mix.
When you’re ready to go deeper, Neoverb offers an endless world of reverb sounds to explore. You can easily add your own unique touch with the Advanced Panel controls with settings for all three reverb styles, offering almost infinite possibilities. In addition, you can automate every Neoverb parameter in your DAW — I tested it with Logic Pro X.
The presets made by iZotope’s team of professional sound designers are a boon if you’re in a hurry or just can’t create good sounding reverbs yourself. The naming scheme refers to existing spaces (and plates) but to get the most out of Neoverb it’s important to understand this is not a convolution reverb so you cannot import Impulse Response data to re-create truly existing environments. If you buy Neoverb to be able to do that, you’ll be in for a disappointment.
However, if you are interested in clean, gorgeous sounding reverb effects, Neoverb ($199) will be all you need. Neoverb is also part of the newly released Music Production Suite 4, which also includes RX 8 Standard, Ozone 9 Advanced, Neutron 3 Advanced, Nectar 3 (with Melodyne 5 essential), Insight 2, NIMBUS by Exponential Audio, and Tonal Balance Control 2.