Review: UAD RS-1 Reflection Engine
FREE with a purchase of UAD.
Many unique shapes and algorithms for creating interesting spaces.
Sounds GREAT on vocals, can sound good/decent on anything thats recorded dry.
Capable of some very interesting effete as well (reverse gates, ping pong delays, echoes, spring verbs, etc)
Could benefit from a modern GUI & interface
Looking to give a source space, but not have it “washy.” The Universal Audio’s RS-1 Reflection Engine might be the answer. Another heavily overlooked plugin that comes free with your UAD purchase, this plugin to me is the perfect small room simulator, as well as being capable of a wide variety of effects. This plugin is actually a stripped down version of Real Verb Pro, which gives you more control over your sound with controls and options like Hybrid Rooms, different room materials, morphing between rooms, and equalization. However, if you dont need these extra features (which I must admit most of the time I do not unless I’m feeling particularly creative) then this plugin is a great way to achieve excellent small room simulations quickly and easily.
What this plugin does well is takes a source recorded in a dry environment, like vocals recorded in a vocal booth for example, and lets you put them in a room of your choice. Why I sometimes like this approach vs a traditional algorithmic reverb is that this can achieve the depth and width of a room without all the wash of a reverb. Great for vocalists who need some help thickening up their sound, but their songs that have a lot of fast lyrics or a lot going on rhythmically where you dont want to reverb to get in the way. One feature I find unique about this reflection engine approach is its ability to sync it to your songs tempo. I guess because this is more of a delay than a reverb, thus the sync parameter, but what this allows you to do is set your first reflection to be a subdivision of your songs tempo. But unlike a delay unit, these algorithms are particularly setup to replicate a bunch of different small room shapes, ranging from your standard cube and box, through odd shapeless like horseshoe, fan, A-frame, etc.
This plugin is also capable of some pretty cool effects. For example, one algorithm is a “reverse gate” which gives you a really cool reverse type sound blended in with the original. Its also capable of ping pong delays (which I actually prefer to the DM-1 Delay Module), Echos, spring reverb type sounds, plates, etc.
If your looking to just add a little bit of ambiance, give the RS-1 a try. You might be surprised at the result.