DeVerberate 3 Review
- July 4, 2022
- by Dan Brashaw
- Product Intelligence Report
Acon Digital have built a name for themselves as developers of high quality utility plugins for audio. They’re particularly known for their audio editing suite Acoustica, and for their standalone audio editing and repair tools such as DeFilter. Their DeVerberate series have offered affordable, high quality reverb reduction for nearly a decade, now with the introduction of DeVerberate 3, they’ve upped their game once again.
DeVerberate 3 introduces a new reverb detection algorithm designed to be used on spoken voice recordings. ACON Digital employed deep learning trained on thousands of high quality dialogue recordings to teach their neural network. The recordings were taken in a variety of environments with a wide range of impulse responses to ensure DeVerberate 3 gives the best results in any environment.
DeVerberate 3 can also be used to reduce the reverb in audio recordings other than dialogue. You can switch to the reverb reduction algorithm that was found in DeVerberate 2 in order to treat singing recordings, live instruments, music and more.
Coming in at £79, DeVerberate 3 is accessible to amateur audio editors and pros alike. Owners of DeVerberate 2 can upgrade for £39.90. But how does it perform? We put Acon Digital’s DeVerberate 3 to the test to find out – will it reverberate with us nicely, or leave a nasty ringing in our ears?
Using DeVerberate 3
I found DeVerberate 3 incredibly easy to use, load it in your daw or NLE and the plugin will automatically analyse your audio signal and split it into two separate channels: the dry signal and the reverb signal. It will also automatically reduce the level of the reverb signal so, if I didn't want to get involved with fiddling with parameters, I could just load it and leave it and get a pretty acceptable result.
However, I noticed spending a bit of time fine tuning the settings will lead to better, more natural sounding results.
The sensitivity dial allowed me to determine how sensitive DeVerberate 3’s new algorithm is when detecting reverb. Cranking this dial provided me with the hardest separation between the dry and reverb signals, theoretically providing me with the best reverb reduction. However, as with most reverb reduction tools, increasing the sensitivity also increases the number of digital artifacts being added to my signal.
Adjusting the sensitivity dial then becomes a balancing act; you’re trying to find the sweet spot between sufficient reverb reduction and minimal digital artifacts. That said, though artifacts are introduced at high levels of sensitivity, the level of digital artifacts caused by DeVerberate 3 are low when compared to some of the other most popular reverb reduction tools on the market.
DeVerberate 3’s new algorithm has a few more tricks up its sleeve, it boasts a specialised early reflection reduction section which listens to my source audio, detects the frequency range of the early reflections in the recording space, and then filters them out. This is particularly useful for smaller rooms where early reflections can add unwanted harshness to your audio.
If you’re working with non dialogue audio sources such as recorded instruments or a sung voice, you can switch to the reverb reduction algorithm found in DeVerberate 2 by opening the Other tab. Set the length of the reverb in your source audio file (this can also be automatically detected), and the level of the reverb. The higher I set the Reverb Level, the greater the reduction in reverb.
Whichever reverb reduction algorithm you use, you will find a few global controls on the right hand side of the UI, just below the spectral analyser.
The spectral analyser displays the frequency response of the input and output signal, and of the isolated reverb signal. When listening for early reflections it displays the frequency response of these early reflections.
The global controls gave me an extra level of control. Spectral Smoothing can help to make the reverb reduction applied to my audio more natural. Set the level of your dry signal with Dry level dial, and reintroduce some of the reverb signal with the Reverb level knob. This dial can also be used creatively to boost the reverb signal by up to 6dB, an unusual but appreciated option.
DeVerberate also provides spectral control over the reverb reduction applied. Activating the Emphasis button overlays a 4 band EQ on top of the spectral analyser. Adjusting this alters the level of the incoming signal and thus the frequency weighting of the reverb signal. This is useful for my creative purposes, or for adjustments where the on board algorithm hasn’t quite got the sound I wanted.
How does it sound?
Acon Digital’s DeVerberate 3 is an impressive audio repair tool. Its ease of use and deep learning driven reverb detection algorithm make it accessible for audio novices, whilst its additional features, and multiple reverb detection algorithms mean its a tool that would hold its own in an audio professional’s plugin folder.
As with any reverb reduction, or audio repair tool, you can expect to hear digital artifacts when DeVerberate 3 is pushed to extreme settings, however, at less extreme settings you will easily achieve natural sounding reverb reduction with almost zero artifacts.
To those unfamiliar with reverb reduction tools, don’t be surprised if your cleaned signal sounds a little tinny, especially when processing signals with heavy reverbs. Though not ideal, this is often an unavoidable side effect of reverb reduction – it’s almost impossible to perfectly remove reverb from an audio source, so we can’t mark DeVerberate 3 down too much for this minor issue.
The new algorithm introduced in version 3 of DeVerberate makes it a worthy upgrade to its predecessor. This tool will be appreciated by people working with audio across the spectrum. Music producers, podcast editors, YouTubers and TikTokers alike will appreciate DeVerberate 3, but those working with recorded dialogue will particularly benefit from the brand new AI based reverb detection algorithm. As owners of DeVerberate 1 and 2 can upgrade for less than £40, it’s a bit of a no brainer for current users who meet this criteria, but if you’re totally new to the world of DeVerberate, or the world of reverb reduction as a whole, this plugin is certainly worthy of your consideration.
Dan Brashaw is a producer and writer based in Bristol, UK. He releases dance music under the moniker Skeleton King, and his music has been released on Lobster Theremin, Fantastic Voyage and Breaks 'N' Pieces. His writing has been published in DJ Mag, Electronic Musician, and via a multitude of online outlets.