Hardware stereo reverb processor is inspired by 70s and 80s reverberator units 20/04/16
OTO Machines tells us that their forthcoming BAM is a stereo reverb processor inspired by the late 70s / early 80s digital reverberator units that are sought-after by sound engineers, producers and musicians for their grainy, warm and musical reverberations. Here's the story in their own words...
At OTO, we are passionated by the technology of the digital reverberators, specially the old models ! We have carefully listened to all digital reverberators built from 1976 to 1986, studied their architecture and read all the available papers (from 1961 to nowadays) about digital reverb design.
It seemed obvious to us that the musicality of the early digital reverb processors was partly due to the algorithms (the way the processor synthesized a natural reverberation), but also due to their hardware limitations. The audio signal was severely high-cut filtered (10 kHz was standard at that time) because of the limited sample clock. Some units used 12 bits gain stepping converters to achieve a 15 bits resolution and others used the first 16 bits converters. Then the samples were digitally processed through a 16 to 20 bits fixed-point CPU with limited memory.
The algorithms had to be simple but efficient to create the most musical and versatile reverberation from these limitations. And the hardware itself added grain and warmness to the sound.
The technology used in BAM is very closed to the one used in these early digital reverberator units : 16 bits converters, 20 bits fixed-point processing, analog filtering and even an input transformer transient simulator. Some of the 7 reverb algorithms are influenced by the early structures, and some are brand new.
BAM is a very musical and unique reverb processor, in a compact format, MIDI control, 36 user presets. It mixes the sound quality of a vintage reverb processor to the playability of a desktop effect.
7 algorithms: Room, Hall, Plate, Ambient, Chorus, Non-Linear and Primitive
Input gain up to +15 dB with analog clipping
Pre Delay up to 500 ms (with the PRE DELAY pot) or 1500 ms (with the TAP switch)
Continuous control of the reverb Size parameter for fine tuning