A wise sound designer once told me that there are reverb effects, and there are “The Reverb” effects. Since I’m browsing and testing many different reverb units, both hardware, and software, I must say that I agree with this 100%. Low-quality reverb unit can just make your instruments sound muddy and lifeless. On the other hand, high-quality reverb effects can definitely introduce a totally different dimension and simply make everything sound better.
Abbey Road Chambers by Waves Audio
The Abbey Road Chambers plugin recreates a defining part of the studios’ legendary sonic signature – the echo chamber used by Abbey Road’s pop engineers to create exciting reverbs, delays and other unique spatial effects on countless classic recordings by the Beatles and beyond. Developed together with Abbey Road Studios, Waves’ Abbey Road Chambers puts you at the controls of the Studio Two echo chamber, complete with the original valve Neumann KM53 microphones and Altec 605 speaker, as used on almost every pop recording done at Abbey Road during the ’60s.
Let’s start testing
In the next tutorial, I will guide you thru the Abbey Road Chambers user interface. Like always, I will show you a few practical examples. For the purpose of this tutorial, I have previously made a short sequence in Soundbridge: DAW, which contains almost all the elements which are essential for the full mix. I will first add a fresh instance of Abbey Road Chambers to a guitar sequence. After that, I will insert it on a clap group, In the end, we will compare the difference between unprocessed and processed instruments as well as full mix. So let us start!
Abbey Road Chambers by Waves Audio is truly a unique and complex effect. Besides reverb processing it gives you an additional set of the original filters going into the chamber – EMI’s RS106 hi/low pass filter and the EMI RS127 Presence EQ – to further sculpt the perfect chamber sound. Furthermore, there is a recreation of the famous S.T.E.E.D setup (Send, Tape, Echo, and Delay). This is a system designed to extend the chamber’s natural sonic palette into new territories. It splits the signal and creates a feedback loop from the studio’s REDD console, through a dedicated tape delay, via RS106 and RS127 filters, and then to the chamber and back.
Let’s check out all aspects of the Abbey Road Chambers interface from top to bottom. In the top part of the interface, we can see a dedicated metering section as well as input and output controls. They have a retro look, just like on old mixing consoles of the Abbey Road Studio. The central part of the interface shows us the actual chamber presented from the top perspective of the room.
The middle section is reserved for switching between chamber types. It offers 3 choices: Chamber 2, Mirror and Stone. The chamber 2 type offers a bit more controls than the other two including microphone type, the position of the microphones in the chamber and type of the speaker used in the chamber. Finally, you can control the position of the speaker.
The bottom section is divided into 3 parts of which the first is the S.T.E.E.D. which we mentioned above. Followed by the upper switching and controlling between the chamber types, we can say that this is the core of this awesome plugin. What’s more, the S.T.E.E.D section contains controls for Feedback, a Feedback filter, Drive, Modulation and Delay Sync. On the left from that, we can see a “Filters to Chamber” section where we can control the gain and frequency. The last two parameters for control are the actual reverb amount and Dry/Wet Mix.
Now, after an explanation of the interface of the Abbey Road Chamber, we can move to audio examples.
~Electric Guitar Riff – Unprocessed
~Electric Guitar Riff – Processed with ARC
~Claps & Percussion – Unprocessed
~Claps & Percussion- Processed with ARC
~Full mix – Unprocessed
~Full mix -Processed with ARC