Gear Review: Exponential Audio R2 Reverb & Excalibur

reverbReverb can easily make or break any record, and electronic dance music tracks are no exception. Michael Carnes, one of the men behind the Lexicon PCM plugins, is somewhat of a digital reverb guru. His company, Exponential Audio, has created software used by major players in the music, film, and gaming industries.

Although they produce some phenomenal software, Exponential Audio is a small company, which allows them to offer professional products at an affordable price. The two reverb units are R2 and PhoenixVerb, both of which are compatible with mono, stereo, and multi-channel audio formats. Both plugins feature a convenient keyword-based preset navigation system, making it easy to explore and recall presets. And while the two plugins sound amazing in their own ways, they are actually quite different from each other sonically.

The first of the Exponential Audio reverb plugins, PhoenixVerb, is the more natural and realistic sounding of the pair. Keep in mind, however, that natural does not mean cold or lifeless; this software can impart warmth and depth into any sound in your productions. This plugin is a phenomenal option for those looking to capture the feel of an acoustic space. All in all, the sound is overall very rich, lush and pleasant to the ear.

R2 Reverb, the younger brother of PhoenixVerb, is designed to be more of an “effect” reverb, meaning that it is supposed to “color” or otherwise change the sound. This reverb has seen some serious mileage, most notably on several games from the Halo series. Try dropping this one in a dub techno track to add a dark industrial tone, a minimal track to fill in some of the gaps, or on a vocal sample with a delay for some trippy, ringing echoes.

Exponential Audio plugins feature streamlined and straightforward graphic user interfaces (GUI), both conserving CPU and providing simple manipulation of controls. In addition to their R2 and PheonixVerb, they have recently released Excalibur, an powerful multi-FX plugin. Excalibur brings you modular control over a plethora of built-in FX, including reverb, delay, flanger, phaser, chorus, pitch shifting and ring modulation. This plugin has already been hailed by big players in the various audio industries, and for a limited time only, you can purchase Excalibur with special introductory pricing. For just $119, you can purchase Excalibur through Friday, April 10, after which the price will return to normal ($199).

For more info, check out the Exponential Audio website by clicking here