The vintage Eventide SP2016 from 1982 is familiar to many hit record producers and can be heard on records from artists like Madonna, Mariah Carey, Adele, and Eminem. This ought to speak for itself – it’s one high-profile effects unit we are talking about, and it also happens to be the world’s first rackmount digital multi-effects processor.
That’s a nice bit of history for sure, and definitely more than cutting-edge at the time. Eventide will forever be proud of this unit, hence it welcomes you to a lesson in history.
A notably innovative feature was a primitive implementation of plug-ins – that is, users could remove a panel to install ROM chips with effects! Or is it effects presets? We are not 100% sure on the minute details because we never had the privilege of handling one. But now, thanks to modern technology, almost everyone has it.
Eventide recreated the SP2016 in plug-in form, modeling every aspect of the original hardware. There are three reverb types, each available in Vintage and Modern versions. So you can go for the original 80’s character, or hear it taken up to 2018 standards with more high frequency content, diffusion, and higher bit resolution. Very clever to provide this kind of choice!
The reverbs are as follows:
Room – a no-frills room ambiance with an “extreme” pre-delay range which makes reverberant doubling and single echoes possible.
Stereo Room – a large concert hall with clear, natural reverbation.
Hi-Density Plate – plate reverb with dual pickups that simulate the effect of a big, heavy plate. It makes vocals, guitars, and percussive instruments be perceived as bigger and brighter than they really are.
The reverbs can be fine-tuned with predelay, decay, position and diffusion controls, while the EQ section enables basic low and high filtering with boosting and cutting. The final touch is the inclusion of presets by engineer and producer royalty like Dave Pensado, Joe Chiccarelli, Richard Devine, Sasha, George Massenberg, and others.
Final summation? This is Eventide. This is an Eventide plug-in. Do we really have to say anything? We don’t usually give this kind of praise, but the brand’s reputation is strong enough to speak for itself in this case. We wonder, though, did Eventide ever consider pairing this reverb with a hardware controller like T.C. Electronic did with their EMT 250 reverb reincarnation ? Now that would have been all-around cool!
Price and availability
The SP2016 Reverb is sold for an industry-standard (of sorts) USD 249 in the form of an AAX, AU, or VST plug-in for Mac and PC. It’s currently on a promotional sale of only USD 80 until October 31, which sounds like a no-brainer to us. Furthermore, owners of the Eventide 2016 Stereo Room or Anthology XI can crossgrade for USD 30 during the same period. A fully-functional 30 day trial version is available if you are on the fence.