Perhaps more of a niche effect, NonLin2 provides the ultimate flexible gated reverb effect. Back in the 80s, this effect was popularised by producer Hugh Padgham, most notably on ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, where room ambiance mics were fed through noise gates triggered by the dry drum signal, and compressed heavily. Units such as the AMS RMX-16 and the Yamaha SPX 90 provided similar sounding reverb settings, without needing fiddly noisegates (or the Townhouse Studios’ live room!)
The main page of NonLin2 provides a clear graph where the shape of the reverb is set using an Attack-Hold-Release model, familiar to analogue synth programmers. Points on the graph can be dragged to adjust these and Predelay and Wet Level parameters. On the Modify page one can choose from 20 different Reverb Styles (Explode, Box, Smooth etc.), differences are more obvious when the Diffuse setting is lowered.
Following this is a selector for 20 different ‘Twists’ (Woolly, Tunnel, Chicken etc.), with associated Ratio control. These spice up the effect in a number of unusual ways, and some radical tonal changes can be made to the reverb, often making it sound like the reverb is generated from a different dry source.
By setting a slow attack, reverse reverb effects can be made, and brutal Hi and Lo Cut Filters add further tonal control. The large number of Styles and Twists will keep you playing for hours.
Not for everyone, but provides a smooth, authentic gated sound hard to achieve in most plugin reverbs.
Reproduced with kind permission from George Shilling. Copyright George Shilling.