UJAM’s co-founder Peter Gorges shares some words about UJAM’s take on professionell FX and the ideas and thoughts behind UFX REVERB.
AUGUST 3RD, 2023
Welcome to UFX, a brand new series introducing UJAM’s take on professional effects. What do we mean by “UJAMs take”? Well, at UJAM many of us produce music and use effects and audio processors ourselves. We all feel that since they have been invented in the mid of last century – by and for sound engineers - there’s been a lack of innovation. Effects are still mostly designed - from functions to interface - with sound engineers in mind. Mind you, many popular effect plugins still emulate hardware from the 60s.What we are missing is creative effects. Built with the musician in mind, not only concerned about accuracy and technical excellence but also inspiration and creativity. That is what we are going for with “UJAMs take”.
With our Finisher series we went to the extreme here - a Finisher is an inspiring black box with a few - often intentionally weird-labeled - vari knobs. A Finisher says “You want to play? Let’s play!” instead of “You have an effect problem? We should solve it in a very serious, technical way”. Finishers have been highly acclaimed and prized by users and press, and we’re proud of that. And at the same time, we got a lot of user feedback asking for a little more control. Like: “What tools have you got for me when I want to play a bigger part in the creation of the sounds and not just be surprised and wowed?”. Enter UFX.
The approach behind UFX-REVERB and its future companions in this series is straightforward: Take a professional audio processing engine, slap a UJAM frustration-free user interface on it. Oh, and add some UJAM magic – we all want to play after all.
We designed UFX so that it speaks to musicians - creating, trying, exploring - not problem-solving - but of course the audio engine is more than up-to-par with the requirements of the sound engineer who looks for a new approach.
About UFX REVERB
We decided to prototype and initiate the new series with an effect that everybody needs all the time, because music just can’t exist without spaces and ambiences.
REVERB is an algorithmic reverb, which means it’s not mainly focussed on super-realistic emulation of physical rooms, but on “creating” spaces that have a purpose - from underscoring an instrument’s lushness to gluing a track to the mix. It’s for people who want to create spaces, not just use them, and who want to go beyond physics.
Under the hood, UFX REVERB features a modular, extremely customizable reverb engine - which is why we can offer 10 different reverb modes right out of the box - from realistic rooms and halls to crazy-dense modulated spaces to gated and reverse reverb. You don’t even need to know that - you could just go through the modes and pick by ear.
Reverb itself has the big advantage that parameters - unlike Threshold or Ratio on compressors - exist in real life and acoustics: Size, Time, Pre-Delay, Diffusion and Damping are characters of rooms, spaces, surfaces, geometries. So far - professional algorithmic reverb 101.
And here is where UJAMs take comes in. We thought: “How about you could color the reverb signal - make it sound like a megaphone, dull it down or saturate it?” - which is why the filter section is there. It allows you to dial in the characteristics of real scenarios – think megaphone speakers in a courtyard – but also lets you create a reverb that has only mids or sounds bitcrushed, and you’ll hopefully appreciate as much as we do what that adds to the color palette and the way you can play with reverbs in a mix.
And of course we couldn’t help adding one of our signature Finisher sections, the one you know from all our newer virtual instruments. And here’s where true magic starts - yes, you can spice up your reverb by a little Delay or Auto-Pan, but you haven’t lived until you’ve heard what some of the Finishers from the Beyond, Glitch or Move categories can do. You’re about to find out!
We also added Auto Ducking and Freeze which may sound familiar, but play with them and you’ll know they’re not - they add tons of creative options and are such fun to play with.
And last-but-not least: The absolute life-saver for times when you really don’t know what kind of reverb will excite you – just try hitting the Surprise dice a few times - ideally with the “Big/Small” knob all the way turnt up – and be mindblown! We introduced Surprise with the USynth series to people’s often-expressed delight, and we think it is almost even more fun in UFX REVERB.
But you tell us. We can’t wait to hear back from our users and we’ll always listen to your input - after all that is what inspired this series!
by Peter Gorges