Sony entered the world of digital studio effects with a bang, a big bang. The Sony DRE-2000 was launched in 1981, and was a very expensive product for it’s time, and still are if you can find a working unit. The Sony DRE-2000 has been loved by Chris Lord Alge for many years and he has created some amazing mixes using the Sony DRE-2000 for reverb duties. It was some years before Sony introduced a new product, but they never made another digital reverb at that price point again.
In 1986 Sony released the Sony MU-R201, a far more affordable reverb, and a true stereo in and out reverb for the first time. The Mu-R201 was hugely successful in Japan, but no so much elsewhere. It was time to rethink things…Sony invested time and money to develop their next major effort in digital studio effects, the DPS series released in 1991. The DPS series consisted of four effects processors, each specialising in something different, the Sony DPS-R7 for Reverb, Sony DPS-D7 for Delay, Sony DPS-M7 for Modulation and the Sony DPS-F7 for Filtering effects.
The DPS series were very successful, primarily the DPS-R7 and DPRS-D7 and primarily in the broadcast world, but that is not to say they did not sell well to studios too, they did. As digital technology became more affordable and easier to make, Sony released their ultimate studio effects processor in 1995, the Sony DPS-V77. The DPS-V77 was essentially a ‘best of Sony’ effects processor. It is often called a poor mans Eventide, but this a is unfair. The DPS-V77 is a great processor with not only superior electronics to it’s earlier stable mates, but the effects patches too were great.
A few years later and Sony offered the world the Sony DPS-V55, a four channel version of the DPS series, but form all accounts it does not sound as good as the DPS-V77. As a final goodbye to studio audio, Sony unleashed their finest reverb to date, the Sony DRE-S777. This was an all out assault on the professional reverb market, and it used the very latest sampling technology (convolution) to reproduce real world spaces. The results were truly excellent, but it was expensive and came perhaps just a touch to late to market.