What are the best sounding spring reverb plugins for studio use? Here’s my recommendations featuring three of my favourite go-to spring reverbs.
In my humble opinion spring reverbs are equally relevant today as they’ve ever been. From the ’boingy’, springy tones of a classic Fender amp to the luscious long tails of the AKG BX20, the spring reverb has proven its versatility as a staple effect in most studios to date.
Today I’d like to focus on a few of the main software contenders that have a firm position in my mix template.
1. AudioThing – Outer Space
AudioThing’s Outer Space is an emulation of the Roland Space Echo units from the seventies. The unit also incorporates a very unique sounding spring reverb tank which has become my go-to verb. Some people despise it though. Quirky and distinctive is how I’d label this wonderful piece of software. There’s plenty of control here for dialling in bass and treble and the reverb can be set to either long or short. I have it set up as a Send FX utilising the ’Oversampling’ option where my cpu will allow.
AudioThing have in my opinion created the best sounding Space Echo emulation to date with an outstanding spring verb.
2. PSP SpringBox
The PSP Springbox plugin is all about extensive controls. Highly tweakable but not difficult or crowded. I prefer the darker tones in this plugin and shorter tails. One feature that immediately stands out is the flexible routing options. I love the fact that I can run this unit in true stereo mode or even mono-to-stereo mode. Then there’s a Spread control knob to boot. Nice. This is a very versatile plugin and covers many facets of the spring reverb sound from amp-like surfy springs to large ambient spaces that are more akin to the AKG BX 20. It fits nicely into a mix without drawing attention to itself. Recommended as a good all-rounder.
3. AKG BX20 by UAD
AKG BX 20 by UAD. Luscious, rich, high-end sounding verb with a great three-dimensional feel. No boingy artifacts here at all, quite the opposite in fact. You can’t help liking this reverb, it’s just a bad boy, period.
My only issue would be that the controls are not very intuitive. I always have to reference the manual to be reminded of the functionality of certain parameters. There again I suppose UAD would want to stay faithful to the original design. All said, it’s still a beast of a verb.
Worthy contender – Softube’s Spring Reverb plugin
Softube Spring Reverb. This was the first dedicated spring reverb plugin I purchased. Sadly it was seldom used. I just couldn’t get it to sit pretty in the mix. Although it’s no longer in my mix template its still a worthy contender for the price.
Need help decoding a reverb tank code: Spring Reverb Tank – 7-Digit Code Explained