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If you’ve ever noticed how your singing voice only sounds good in the shower, or kicked an old tube amp to make a sound like metallic thunder, you’ve interacted with reverb.

Reverb can be a subtle effect. It’s an aspect of sound so natural, many people may not even notice when it’s applied using studio tricks, software, or effects units. Generally, reverb is the effect a space or solid object has on sound before it reflects into your ears. The space where you enjoy a live performance or record a podcast has an effect on the reverberations of the sounds heard and captured.

Reverb can be added to an input signal with devices that either digitally model the reverberation of a real (or imagined) space, or by using the input signal to vibrate an object, such as a metal plate or spring. The classic implementation of reverb with guitar in country and rock music is often created by spring reverb tanks in amps or tape delay units.

What does a reverb pedal do?

Most reverb pedals digitally recreate the effect using DSP (digital sound processing). Some, including the influential Eventide Space, add additional effects to the reverb, such as modulation or distortion.

Occasionally, reverb pedals contain springs, tubes, or other analog components. Many contemporary reverb pedals offer stereo input and output to further accurately re-create organic environments, or just produce cool stereo effects. For more information, check out our article “What does a reverb effect do?”

What is the best spring reverb pedal?

If you want a real spring tank on your pedalboard, the boutique Anasounds Element line is a clever way to do it. They offer three sizes and a compact remote pedal for engaging and controlling the spring tank. Those satisfied with spring emulation should look at the Catalinbread Topanga and Subdecay Super Spring Theory.

What is the best reverb and delay pedal?

Because delay and reverb are similar effects, often at the end of a pedalboard, they are sometimes combined in one stompbox. The Source Audio Collider offers several of the company's best reverb and delay algorithms, all of which can be controlled via software, smartphone, or MIDI.

The Boss RV-500, which offers delay controls in every reverb mode, is also a solid big-box option. Those looking for a more straightforward reverb-delay combo pedal will be interested in the EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master and Keeley Caverns.

What is the best reverse reverb pedal?

Reverse reverb and gated reverb, popularized by Kevin Shield’s shoegaze pioneering with My Bloody Valentine, has become a more common option for those looking to make unconventional sounds.

The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Minim is a popular boutique option that adds delay and harmonic tremolo effects. The Source Audio Ventris Dual Reverb allows for infinite tweaking. If a compact reverb with multiple modes is more your style, check out the Zoom Multistomp series and the Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11. Here is an extensive list of reverb pedals with reverse modes.

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