I’ve already covered off most of the major reverbs in my 12 Reverb Workstations post, as well as some of the more unusual ones in the one on Ambient Delay + Reverb Pedals; I will also be doing a separate post on Spring Reverbs. This article covers the more spacey sci-fi style reverbs - which give you a taste of that otherworldly dimension of deep outer-space.
These are all about modulation really, and how they manipulate, move and make those frequencies dance, shimmer and sparkle. There is a really wide range for consideration, ranging from the Mr Black TrancePortal at the most simple, to the Walrus Descent at the most complex.
In between there are all manner of fluttery modulated vibrato, chorus and tremolo -style effects. Each one here is pretty distinct from the other and does things slightly differently. I tend to favour the more compact-sized enclosure, meaning The Astronaut, Afterneath, TrancePortal and Procession are my absolute favourites here, although there is much to recommend also the Météore, Cadavernous and Descent.
Of all of these, my most likely acquisitions are those 4 mentioned compacts, followed by the Météore and Reverberation Machine.
Pedals are listed alphabetically by brand:
This is regularly listed as several players' favourite all-time reverb. It's a touch of a leftfield choice, and not quite up with the popularity of Strymon or TC Electronic or other more mainstream examples. The best thing about this is the slightly warbly modulation - as is aptly demonstrated in the above video. This is quite a distinct reverb which is likely to find favour with certain types of more ambient players most likely - I really like the sound of it.
This is one of the two bigger boxes listed here and has a plethora of settings to achieve some really unique sounding reverbs. If you're into more otherworldly modulated reverb sounds - then this should hit the mark for you. It's a somewhat specialist pedal as such, but sounds particularly lush.
This pedal is somewhat bizarrely inspired by the ultra-modern line 14 of the Paris Métro. It's reverberation artefacts are a little more organic and irregular than obvious comparisons - 'Knobs' describes them well as 'meandering artefacts'. No doubt a pedal that would appeal to the likes of Björk. And trust 'Knobs' above to give you the perfect context for how best to use this pedal. You get suitably spacey gliding effects which give you the illusion of forward movement. It's not a pedal I've thought particularly hard about acquiring, but several people have recommended it to me, and it's still under consideration.
As 'Knobs' aptly describes above, this is far from your typical every-day reverb. It's a sort of tweakers' delight where you get all manner of weird feedback artefacts - particularly when a couple of the dials are near their peak. This pedal is quite organic and seems a touch randomised - the sort where you may struggle to dial exactly the same thing in twice in a row. I see it as sort of on similar lines to the above Caroline Météore - they are individually distinct, but do have significant aspects in common.
This is probably best described as the most regular irregular choice of reverb. Meaning that for those looking for an unusual reverb, this one seems to be picked more often than any other. With the 6 dials you have lots of scope for tweaking the sound, and there is a really broad pallet of tones available.
This pedal is largely built on the shimmer type of reverb with plenty of modulation via Evolve and Space dials, and a 3-way voicing mode selector for 5th | Bend | Octave. Perhaps not as full-featured as some of the others covered on this page, but sounds really pristine and elegant versus some of the more grittier artefact types of reverbs here. This one is pretty hard to get hold of - no UK reseller which means it's probably best bought direct from manufacturer.
I featured Hungry Robot's Wash Ambient Delay-Reverb in my piece on Ambient pedals, this occupies similar but slightly different territory - providing a rich and large ambient reverb with plenty of trem-like modulation - as demonstrated by Nick Jaffe above. Note that this pedal comes in two varieties - same as The Wash - with and without tap-tempo.
Lastgasp is quite a leftfield producer of pedals, nothing they do is anywhere near vanilla flavour. I've had my eye on and mentioned its Gomorrah, Super Ocillo Fuzz and Misty Cave pedals previously on this blog. The Transroom is something different again, using analogue Bucket Brigade chips to create very much an analogue reverb with fluttery style modulation which can eke out Chorus and Vibrato style effects too.
A pretty basic but pristine sounding shimmer-style reverb with just 3 dials - Level | Time | Regen. This is a beautifully 'tuned' pedal which can give you exceptionally pristine chorus and flanger-like modulations and lush shimmery octaves.
Old Noise is another one of those boutique pedal makers that specialises in somewhat out of the ordinary pedals. It is probably best know for its eerie 'Haunt' fuzz, but this particular pedal runs it close. Old Noise describe its action pretty well - "Procession Reverb is a huge, long-tail reverb with ethereal modulation that gives it this spacey, other world vibe."
This is actually the pedal that kick-started this category, and the one I'm most likely to acquire or at least most likely to acquire fairly soon. A Russian-based pedal-maker which is available via Reverb.com. It has a 11-mode voicing dial for all manner of spacey, reverse / ascending / transcending style reverbs - and 3 further control dials - Level | Mix | Decay. It sounds suitably lush and exceedingly 'spacey' on most modes - very aptly named too.
Walrus seems to be pretty adept at these sorts of bigger box solutions - with its Bellwether, Janus, Luminary, Monument and Vanguard pedals all being exceptional even if a little on the large side for my tastes. The Descent is no different to that already lofty standard - utilising octave-style shimmer harmonics with pretty much more bells and whistles than anyone else for the ultimate degree of modulation manipulation. With its 8 dials, this is easily the most tweakable pedal in this selection. Its size kind of eliminates it from my wishlist to a degree, there is no doubting its capabilities though and wonderful spacey output.
As I mention a couple of times above - the pedals that appeal the most to me here are really the A+ Astronaut and the EQD Afterneath - those are the ones I would go for first. The Descent, Cadavernous and Météore intrigue, but they are all just a dash on the large side really.