In a market seemingly bursting at the seams with competition, Sinevibes has done it again, deploying their trademark streamlined interface design in service of a truly innovative take on a classic effect: reverb.
Comprised of twelve color-coded dials and a concurrent display area, Emission belies its deceptively simple panel with a dense granular reverb network. Under the hood, the feedback is processed by an 8 by 8 Hadamard matrix with spline interpolation and all-pass diffusion filters. The blue dials, set by clicking and dragging up or down rather than twisting left or right, govern the core reverb parameters. Pre-Delay time offers up to 500ms of distance from an initial impulse to its first reflections, perfect for slap back effects with low decay times or honing perceptual room size.
Decay Time determines the primary length of the reverb as expected, though it works along with the Time Span control directly below it, which shortens or expands the distance between reflections: at a minimum value of 1x, the result is an incredibly smooth reverb tail, while 10x Time Span results in a gritty granular extension of the decay time, while a range of textural gradations lie between.
Stereo Width functions as expected by increasing the time difference between reflections across the left and right channels, while the Damping control handily allows for high-pass filtration at higher values and low-pass filtering at lower values; double-clicking resets it to a default bypass directly in between. The Shift controls are where Emission’s true innovation excels: Shift Type’s four settings allows for a selection of positive or negative Bode frequency or granular pitch shift modes, along with a full bypass option.
Polarity determines whether pitches are shifted up or down, with the Bode shifter creating the perception of continuous downward or upward motion, while the granular shifter delivers a noisier, digital-sounding shift that remains comparably stable at its destination frequency. Shift Amount predictably controls the intensity of the pitch shift applied, while adjusting the Time Span control can deliver entirely different pitch shifting textures. The animated upper display represents the decay time and amount of shift applied to the feedback network, providing a welcome – though not highly detailed – visual cue.
While Emission’s results can already be imbued with a high degree of metallic shimmer, the yellow dials control Modulation amount and Frequency – from 0.1 up 10 Hz – to generate additional chorusing and vibrato effects, adding an extra layer of sheen and sparkle where desired. The three red controls at right control the gain staging: an Input dial along with separate Send and Return controls allow for selectively applied reverb without sacrificing any tail decay, while still running as an insert effect.
At default settings with shift modes bypassed, the result is an ultra-clean and easy to use reverb with a wide range of decay times. Just a bit of experimentation easily yields a diverse range of results, from deadly gothic downward diffusions, to uplifting striated expansions and unique percussive embellishments. The sound quality remains impressive throughout, delivering high resolution results even at the most extreme settings. Bizarre doppler nebulas, dystopian ambience, sci-fi sound effects, and gliding bubbles of atmosphere are all available with a few simple tweaks. At such a low price, anyone looking for an inspiring new reverb and sound design tool would be foolish not to give Emission a chance.
Price: $29 USD
Pros: Great interface, excellent sound, easy to use, unique results.
Cons: No host-tempo synchronization for pre-delay time, slightly processor-intensive side – and of course, Mac only, as are all of Sinevibes’ devices.