Vintage Digital & Analogue Studio Effects
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RSP Technologies are better known as Rocktron, but for a short time they produced the RSP Technologies brand, aimed more at studios. The RSP Technologies Intelliverb was something of a sleeper, but from all reports it is a very good reverb and their current prices would support that.
The RSP Technologies Intelliverb is a 24 bit intelligent effects processor providing 6 unparalleled effect algorithms and superb sound quality not found in effect processors twice its price. Complete programmability and full MIDI implementation are coupled with a user-friendly operating scheme to ensure that designing both unique and useful preset sounds is as simple as possible.
Providing Virtual reverberation, 4 voice pitch shifting, 8 voice stereo chorus, various types of delay effects, delay ducking and HUSH Systems’ fully digital implementation of HUSH noise reduction, the impressive sonic quality of the Intelliverb is, in part, due to the incorporation of three individual 16 bit converters and Sigma-Delta A/D conversion, achieving a 64x oversampling rate and a dynamic range of over 100dB.
To achieve the maximum possible performance (zero wait states) from the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) engine, the Intelliverb uses a large number of very fast (and expensive) Static Ram (SRAM) memory ICs. All other digital effects processors we have examined, including ones costing several times the price of the RSP Technologies Intelliverb, use much slower and cheaper Dynamic Rams (DRAMS). This extra-powerful hardware allows the Intelliverb’s Virtual Room algorithm to achieve unequalled levels of room simulation.
The concept behind Virtual Room
The HUSH VIRTUAL ROOM configuration is unique among most reverbs in that it provides a “room” in which the size and perceived absorption of the walls and ceiling can be modified to provide a vast array of reverb-based effects. Contained within this loom is an audio source (or the signal input to the Intelliverb) and a listen position (or the position where the sound is retrieved). The listen position can be thought of as a pair of microphones (left and right).
The distance between these microphones is determined by the “SEPARATION” parameter found in the Position function. When the separation is very small, the listen position can be thought of as human ears. Both the source and listen position may be individually maneuvered anywhere within the room to achieve the desired effect. In addition, when using a small room width, the SEPARATION parameter can be set high enough to place the left and right listen position “microphones” outside of the room.
When a signal is input to the RSP Technologies Intelliverb, the resulting sound is perceived at the listen position four ways. The first is the direct signal, or the actual signal at the Intelliverb input. The level of the direct signal can be adjusted in the Mixer function parameters. The second manner in which sound is perceived is by the delayed direct signal, or the direct signal after it has travelled the distance from the audio source to the listen position.
The amount of delay is dependant on the distance between the source and listen position, and the level.of the delayed direct signal can also be adjusted in the Mixer function parameters. The left and right channel delay lengths will often differ. For example, if the audio source is on the left side of the room and the listen position is on the right side of the room, it will take longer for the delayed direct signal to reach the right microphone than the left, because the right microphone is farther away.
The third manner is by the early reflections (reflections which have only bounced one or two times) which come at the listen position from all directions, reflect.ng from the walls and ceiling. The amount of sound reflected from each wall and the ceiling is determined by the “REFLCT” parameters found in the Room function for each surface. A low setting of a “REFLCT” parameter will increase the simulated absorption of the surface and result in a “deadening” of Ale reflections for that surface.
The fourth and final manner is the actual reverb decay, or the remainder of reflections following the initial early reflections. The reverb level and decay length are controlled by parameters found in the Reverb/EQ function. The reverb can also be delayed relative to the early reflections by use of the “REVERB DELAY” parameter in the “PRE/EARLY” function. By careful choice of the multitude of parameters, many different type, of reverbs can be provided, such as plates, rooms, halls, etc.
Quantization: 24 bit
Sampling Frequency: Unknown
Frequency Response: > 20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range: 105 dB
I discovered this machine at a live guitar rig. Mixing that band live, I found that I really loved those guitar tones. A few months later I bought one for my recording studio. Since then this is my go to reverb for all clean electric guitars. I would have never expected that sound from an unit like this. It sits in my rack next to EMT252, Sony DRE2000, Eventide 2016, AMS RMX16 and Lexicon 300.
IMHO it can‘t get any better than this for guitars. Tried it on other sources as well, but without that success. I think the manufacturers huge knowledge with guitar processing units seems clear – those converters just seem to love guitars… It‘s not easy to find the right words to describe what exactly I like in it soundwise. Let me try: It sounds somehow more 3D and more real than other reverbs. Esp. if you compare it with plugins. Even if you use it in mono – directly in front of a guitar combo with just one SM57, it somehow sounds 3D. It‘s weird.
Downsides: external PSU with custom plug; you gotta be very careful not to clip it on the inputs. Many presets sound quite bad, to my taste. Some singular ones are great, though. 90% of the time I just use one Virtual Room preset with a rather short decay. Whenever I try micing guitar cabs with additional stereo room mics, I end up prefering the Intelliverb on the close mic!