A look inside how to create massive, glitchy, otherworldly sounds and more with UJAM’s cutting-edge reverb plugin
JULY 28TH, 2023
While you’ll find the usual controls (dampening, size, time, pre-delay, diffusion, filtering, etc.), we decided to do things differently with our first-ever reverb plugin and provide a new take on how a reverb plugin works. In this article we’re diving into everything you need to know about UFX Reverb so you can start using it throughout your production process and finish more professional music, faster.
Many reverb plugins paint themselves as a plate reverb, an algorithmic one, a vintage model, etc.; with UFX Reverb, you get a taste of a bunch of different ones!
Basic - A great general, all-purpose reverb for when you need to add some ambience but don’t have a specific space in mind for the sound to fill. This is a great place to start when you’re feeling things out.
80s - A warm, soft vintage-sounding reverb that’s perfect for mellow settings where you need it to blend seamlessly into the background. You can crank up the mix without your instruments sounding washed out, saving you tons of effort in getting the balance just right.
Plate - Decades ago, when engineers wanted to add reverb to instruments, they would place large sheets of metal (or “plates”) in the studio to disperse the sound and create a specific style of reverb that cemented itself in the sound of popular music for years to come.
Digital - A thin, simple, unassuming reverb that’s ideal when you don’t want your reverb to take up much space in the mix. As the name suggests, it’s useful for digital synth sounds and meeting the demands of modern electronic pop music.
Hall - When you need to place a sound in a large space such as a concert hall, this is the mode to use. The Hall setting is clean, long, and has a large-scale feel suited to everything from electronic to orchestral music.
Room - Similar to the Hall reverb, but it evokes a smaller space and has a smoother high end that focuses on blending in rather than creating maximum depth in the mix — it also serves as a great happy medium between the Hall and Digital modes.
There are also a few choices of non-standard reverbs for times when need something off the beaten path or have an effect in mind that you can’t achieve any other way:
Warm - If you’re looking for an “effect” reverb (i.e. to create a specific sound, rather than evoke a particular type of space), the Warm setting creates a choir-like swell that’s excellent for building a wall of sound — you’ll get the most mileage from it in sound design and creating an atmosphere, more so than with mixing.
Spring - This is a special class of reverbs that indeed comes from running a signal through an actual spring; as such, it has a metallic, bright character that makes the signal jump out rather than setting it back in the mix ... and sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.
Gated - Gating reverb tails became a popular strategy in the 80s, allowing engineers to place a large reverb into mixes with minimal clutter. This is a very dramatic sound and is somewhat dated, making it perfect for synthwave or for times when you want to add a retro vibe.
Reverse - Used sparingly, this provides a satisfying swell to the reverb, starting from silence and growing to its climax, rather than the other way around; conventionally, you would need to record each note individually fully wet and reverse each one, but this mode allows you to do the same job in one fell swoop.
The cool stuff
You’ll also find some cool additions that offer tons of mixing, production, and sound design possibilities you won’t see in most reverbs. UFX Reverb is a great solution to all manner of reverb needs, but it truly shines in creative applications — the Filter section is a perfect example of this. On most reverbs, you’ll find the stand high and low pass filters; but what about Megaphone and Amp settings? In this plugin, you’ll find glitchy, distorted, and over-the-top filters to add more flavor to the sound ... and that’s before you even reach the effect section.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a UJAM plugin without adding in a Finisher section for some multi-effect post-processing! For example, the Hardcastle Cutter setting stutters the signal and modulates its pitch; Industrial Delay is similar but less choppy, gradually high passing the reverb while adding a ping-pong effect. There are tons of settings for sound design as well, such as Schoolyard — an eerie, industrial-sounding granulating effect that completely reshapes the sound running through it. There are far too many settings to comb through, but this should give you a taste of what you can create!
On the utility front, the Freeze setting is a nice trick to have up your sleeve — this buffers a chunk of the reverb and plays it indefinitely, allowing you to capture a snapshot of the exact sound you want and “freeze” it in time. This has tons of sound design applications, especially for glitchy electronic music or mechanical sounds. Also, if you find that the reverb is clashing with the signal you run through it, try the Duck setting to help carve out space; the reverb will begin to lower in volume the louder the dry signal becomes.
There’s no shortage of reverb plugins available, but if you want something that makes it easy to spice up your productions (rather than offering yet another variation on the same core idea), UFX Reverb will come as a welcome departure from the norm. If you want your reverb to sound like it’s coming out of a megaphone or you want to cut it up on the fly for some wild sound design possibilities, you can do it without ever leaving the plugin interference.
If you’ve only ever known reverb as a utility to create space — rather than as a tool to open up entire new worlds in your music production workflow — UFX Reverb is an essential addition to your plugin arsenal!
About the Author
Harry Lodes is a copywriter, marketing consultant and content writer for audio and ecommerce brands. He lives in the Philadelphia area, releasing Eastern/Western hybrid EDM under the artist name KAIRI hearkening back to his roots in Berklee College of Music.