Pro Audio

Acustica’s Silver reverb opens up a new world of ambience

Acustica specialises in creating exacting emulations of vintage processors. In the Silver reverb suite, a massive range of real-life chambers and classic units is available. We took a few of the volumes in Silver for a test.

Acustica Audio has made its name on the back of painstaking sampling of classic hardware processors. The result: an unparalleled realism in tone and workflow. With Silver, a new and growing suite of reverbs, it continues to build on its legacy.

Silver itself acts as a host for a number of digital hardware recreations, as well as several real-life chambers. We took Silver for a test in the studio on an acoustic guitar and a piano using some beautiful spaces and the newest addition, Volume J Part 1 — Turquoise 5990.

The base version of Silver is a free download from the Acustica Audio website. It falls under Acustica’s Acqua banner: a group of plugins that features (according to the Acustica website) “impeccable reproduction quality” with tone that’s “nearly indistinguishable from the original devices.” And on firing up Silver and its handful of free presets, it’s hard to argue with that claim.

Onboard are two churches, a studio, and a theatre. Being a reverb that relies on impulse responses rather than algorithms alone, the controls aren’t necessarily what you’d expect.

Early Level and Depth are on the left, Direct Level and Output Reverb Level in the middle, Time and Late Level on the right, and an EQ section up top. Hit the Guru button at the bottom and you’ll unlock a raft of advanced parameters: pre-delay of both early and late reflections, width, spatialisation, input trim, and panning.

Acustica Silver

Some pure reverbs were spectacular. For instance, the Chiesa di San Francesco was so good from the get-go, I didn’t want to tweak it at all. Others were more versatile, like the Sonoria Studio: with some adjustments to the pre-delay and level of the early and late reflections, creating very musical rhythmic information — especially on percussive material — was easy and fun.

The new kid on the block was the Turquoise 5990, which was launched in May 2022. Based on an iconic Danish reverb from the late ’90s. With 77 presets to choose from, as well as the controls available on the Silver player interface, there’s a plethora of digital ambience to dig into.

Though it’s based on a ’90s unit, the ’80s character definitely shines through. Atmospheric hall ‘verbs, and tight wooden chambers are the order of the day. Though Turquoise 5990 is capable of extreme ambience, I found the most interesting results came from when you used to create short reflections and thicken up sounds via the Early Level and Depth controls. Reverb is its main gig, but with a bit of lateral thought, it’s capable of so much more.

If you’d like to get more experimental with the spaces in your mixes, Silver and Turquoise 5990 is well worth your time. Beware though, with so many chambers and classic units available, you might become addicted.

Visit the Acustica Audio website for all the details.