Obviously now digital reverberation is in almost universal use, and it can
produce an almost totally believably natural sound, or it can be used to go
beyond naturalness and creatively enhance a sound.
The main parameters of digital reverb are these:
- Reverberation time. As in acoustics, this is defined as the time it takes
for the reverberation to decay by 60 dB.
- Early reflections. As in acoustics again, the earliest reflections are perceived
separately. The character of these early reflections tell our ears a lot about
the space we are in, and digital reverberation units will various combinations
to simulate different acoustic environments.
- Pre-delay. It is often useful to separate reverberation in time from the
original signal. Particularly with vocals, this allows a higher level of reverb
while maintaining intelligibility.
- High frequency damping. It is common for real rooms with soft surfaces coverings
to have a shorter reverberation time at HF than at LF. Digital reverb units
Although any good digital reverberation unit will offer these parameters and
many more, it is the overall character of the unit that is the most significant
The most well-respected manufacturer of digital reverb units is Lexicon, whose
480L and 224XL are 'must have' equipment for any top recording studio.