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iZotope Neoverb Review
All in all, iZotope Neoverb is a fun and inspiring plugin to use, and as iZotope intended, can really simplify your reverb workflow. For the price, it's definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a reverb that can cover a lot of ground and has a lot of intelligent features to keep you making music.
Ease Of Use
Izotope AI reverb assistant is very cool and highly useful.
Blend Pad helps you apply reverbs accurately with quick setting adjustments.
Built-in EQ controls allow you to easily tailor the reverb to taste.
No spring reverb-style sounds.
Wish there was more interchangeability between the 3 reverb combinations on the blend pad.
Wish automation for blend pad worked better in Pro Tools.
iZotope has long been at the forefront of music production software, making legendary plugins that are industry standards in both music, film, and dialogue production. In the past few years, they have expanded into developing AI functionality within their plugins to allow you to create “intelligent” presets with their products, as well as using AI to save time and take the guesswork out of analyzing audio.
While iZotope is generally known for their “utility” plug-ins, such as RX for audio repair and noise reduction, Nectar for vocal processing, and Ozone for mastering, their new plug-in, Neoverb, is iZotope’s first reverb offering.
I had some time to play around with Neoverb on some songs I am currently producing for my own musical project Out on the Weekend. Here are my thoughts.
iZotope Neoverb Review (Verdict)
All in all, iZotope Neoverb is a fun and inspiring plugin to use, and as iZotope intended, can really simplify your reverb workflow.
The ability to blend and match between three different reverbs at once with a simple move of one knob allows you to focus on the reverb in a musical way rather than trying to calculate the right amount of time or level needed to fit the project.
The reverb assistant is also a great tool to get you up and running if you’re not exactly sure how much or what type of reverb you want to use, and the built-in EQ section allows you to filter out any nasty resonances or muddiness that comes with adding reverb liberally.
iZotope Neoverb is an “intelligent” reverb plug-in designed to take the guesswork out of applying reverb when recording/mixing. Its designed as a one-stop shop plug-in to get you a great reverb sound that is unique to your project without using multiple types of reverb, and complicated routings through EQ to get the reverb to sit right.
One of the big selling points on Neoverb is its ability to prevent muddiness in your mix due to reverb. The AI-powered eq section allows you to both EQ the sounds going into Neoverb as well as adjust the overall sound on the output. Neoverb features reverb algorithms developed by Exponential Audio, so if you are familiar with their R4 or PhoenixVerb plug-ins you’ll get the same type of reverb “style” in Neoverb.
Neoverb Blend Pad
One of the biggest elements of Neoverb is the blend pad, which takes up most of the plug-in screen when in use. Neoverb is actually three different reverbs in one, and the blend pad allows you to use all three algorithms together or separately. Rather than have a bunch of complicated and confusing control knobs to adjust parameters, Neoverb has a large trangular shaped “pad” with an almost joystick-esque control on it. At each corner of the pad you have the three different reverbs that are currently in use, with short early reflections being at the top, a medium-sized room at the bottom left, and a large hall at the bottom right.
You can also select a plate reverb instead of the room, and a large chamber instead of the large hall sound. The blend pad is very intuitive and fun to mess around with, allowing you to audition a lot of different reverb sounds quickly to sculpt a unique sound for your mix. My only wish in this section would be
The one thing that I wish was easier to set up on the blend pad (and this may not even be iZotope’s fault really), is the ability to automate the control so that you can actively change the blend. I was immediately drawn to the idea of using the reflection section to make your verses feel smaller and more intimate, and then seamlessly blending the reverb into a larger hall or room sound for a chorus.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the automation control to play right in Pro Tools, but I also might just need to play around with it more to make it happen. In my opinion, being able to do automation would open a new realm of possibilities, and allow you to craft new reverb sounds throughout your song easily and intuitively.
It is also interesting to note that the 3 reverbs you select for the blend pad are not entirely interchangeable. For example, you cannot swap out the reflections for a plate, and you cannot move the “short” algorithms to the spot where the “long” algorithms are. You still have plenty of versatility with the way that it is set up, but it would be nice to have full interchangeability of the 3 different reverbs on the blend pad.
The bottom of the window shows you the EQ curve, with two different tabs, one for the EQ pre reverb and one for the EQ post reverb, as well as the classic iZotope active analysis in the background of the EQ curve.
While the AI assistant is designed to do most of the legwork here as it listens to your audio for you, it’s easy to adjust parameters after the fact as you see fit. The auto cut and unmasking features really help you to get rid of any muddiness from the reverb and allow you to keep the reverb from overwhelming your dry signal, even if you want to use a lot of reverb.
Neoverb works great if you want to just use 1 reverb for your entire track instead of separate reverbs for individual elements, which can also help glue your entire song together with a single unique space.
While Neoverb is designed to be pretty user friendly and not make you worry too much about individual settings to keep things musical and inspiring, there is an advanced panel for those who want full control over their reverb parameters. On the left side you can open up the advanced window, which brings up a full array of typical parameters you’d find in a reverb plugin for each of the 3 selected reverbs. The advanced panel also features a modulation section and pre-delay controls. All in all, Neoverb is a very musical and inspiring way to approach reverb in a way thats both clean and unique from most other reverb plug ins out there.
Neoverb Reverb Assistant: Your Reverb Butler?
iZotope Neoverb’s reverb assistant is what truly makes this reverb an intelligent reverb. Like many of iZotope’s other products, it’s designed as an easy way for you to get up and running with a sound that fits your song without spending 30 minutes setting up complicated routing and tweaking minute controls endlessly.
When you open up the reverb assistant, a menu pops up with a few simple questions to help you get a “vibe” for the reverb sound you want. Then, you hit play on your song, and the AI will listen to your entire mix, and develop a reverb for you to start out with.
In my experience so far with this, every setting you choose comes up with a reverb that is both useful and great sounding. The AI also automatically gives you a pretty good starting point with it’s EQ so that your reverb never sounds muddy or overpowers the mix.
Once you’ve set up a starting point, the reverb assistant is also a useful tool later in the mixing process. In the EQ section, you can apply the auto cut and unmasking modules as needed, which is particularly useful if you set up the reverb for your vocals and then decide you want to also add the reverb to your drums or guitars.
The auto cut and unmasking modules will adjust the EQ curve to ensure that the different elements that have reverb added to them will not clash or create any strange resonances, and it does it very quickly. Again, you can always adjust these settings to taste, but it takes out 90% of the guesswork of what you need to do to keep your mix sounding clean.
While the AI-powered reverb assistant somewhat takes away the need for a long list of presets, iZotope also included a nice set of presets within the plug-in as well.
They are also a good tool to get a feel for the overall sounds you can get out of the plugin and can be a worthy method of finding the right style of reverb you want for a given application. iZotope doesn’t really hide the fact that this is a reverb for music-making, as the algorithms by Exponential audio are more intended to be effects rather than physical spaces.
The presets for vocals are all nice and cover a wide span of styles, so you can quickly audition something and get up and running quickly.
Neoverb Audio Demos
Here are a couple of samples I made from a song I’m currently working for my musical project Out On The Weekend.
I’ve processed some of the individual elements through some various settings on Neoverb that I liked for the part after starting with Reverb Assistant to get a starting point.
The first clip in each section is totally dry, and the second is with Neoverb.
The final clip is of the whole mix with the various elements heard before processed through Neoverb.
For the price, it’s definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a reverb that can cover a lot of ground and has a lot of intelligent features to keep you making music.
While all of the settings in Neoverb make it easy to get a great reverb sound, I didn’t think any of the settings were particularly groundbreaking, but that’s okay. iZotope isn’t trying to re-invent the sound of reverb in your studio workflow, but they are giving you a great new way to apply it to your music.
That said, I do wish it had a spring reverb setting, and maybe in future updates, they will expand and add that.