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This is it, the reverb made famous by Chris Lord Alge who uses it to this day on all his mixes, the Sony DRE 2000. It is a beast of a reverb both physically and in terms of it’s sonic signature. There are few units left in the wild, as they are fragile and difficult to fix, but thankfully plugin recreations are starting to appear which should preserve it’s place in history, and deservedly so.
The Sony DRE 2000 was the very first digital reverb from a Japanese company, and was first shown at the 67th AES Convention in New York in November of 1980.. The Sony DRE 2000 was released in 1981 with a retail price of US$15,000. It took some time for their countrymen to follow, but follow they did starting in 1983 with the release of the Yamaha Rev1 and in 1984 with the Roland SRV-2000.
In August of 1982, Sony released Version 2 software that provided improved stereo imaging, increased depth to the reverbs, smoother decay and the addition of a second early reflection. In addition to the original Reverb-A which was improved in Version 2 software, Sony added Reverb-B (Medium size concert hall), Reverb-C (Plate reverb) and Reverb-D (Plate reverb).
In 1984, Sony released the Sony DRE 2000-A which came with Version 2 software pre-installed and oddly they chose to remove the digital input and outputs. The fact that the sampling rate was 32kHz may have had something to do with that decision given the lack of compatibility at that time.
The front panel of the Sony DRE 2000 went through three iterations as can be seen from the above images. The second and third iterations used the “DIGITAL” logo that appeared on many Sony professional audio products of the era, including the Sony PCM-1630 digital recorder. Similarly, the remote control too had three iterations over the life time of the product.
Digitally processed reverberation effects
With the advanced digital technology employed in the Sony DRE 2000, high-quality reverberation effects with a better signal-to-noise ratio, better frequency response and wider dynamic range can be added to incoming signals.
Reverberation not susceptible to external vibration
Unlike conventional mechanical reverberators, the Sony DRE 2000 is unaffected by external vibration or mechanical shock because all operations are performed electronically. Because of this, the Sony DRE 2000 can be installed almost anywhere.
Reverberation parameters easily programmed
The reverberation parameters which determine the reverberation characteristics are easily programmed with the parameter buttons on the supplied remote control unit.
Programs can be memorized
Up to 10 programs can be stored in the non-volatile memory for later recall.
The delay function produces a delay between the sound source and the delivered signal, with delay times of from 1 to 999 milliseconds (for each channel) in mode-1 and delay times of from 1 to 999 milliseconds (channel 1) and from I to 499 milliseconds (channel 2) in mode-2.
Echos can be added to incoming signals in two modes. In mode-1, the same echo pattern is added to both channels and in mode-2, different echo patterns are added to each channel.
Pre-programmed reverberation, delay and echo modes
Four modes of reverberation, two modes of delay and two modes of echo have been pre-programmed in the unit.
Compact and lightweight
The Sony DRE 2000 is more compact and lightweight than conventional mechanical reverberation units.
Owning several EMTs, Yamaha Rev1, AMS RMX16, Bricasti and Lexicon 300, I really have to admit that the Sony DRE2000 is the most incredible tool in my workshop. Throw it on snare drums, on analog modular synths, electric guitars, even on orchestra, it S-H-I-N-E-S ! That’s all – simply the most 3d “artificial flavoured” reverb out there, bar none, ever, period. things it cant do: giving dimension to upright bass, bass drum and hihat. anything else: rarely something greater than the Sony! sadly it is hard to service, sometimes impossible. anyone experienced in repairing those precious gems? mine starts to bother me sometimes with weird noises coming out of the DA converters at times…
Quantization: 16 Bit
Sampling Frequency: 32kHz
Frequency Response: 30Hz-13kHz
Dynamic Range: 81dB
THD: Below 0.3%
VerbSuite Classics is a partnership with LiquidSonics, and uses proprietary FUSION IR processing to capture the evolving and modulating characteristics of the modeled hardware reverb tone, including the Sony DRE 2000.