UK developers LiquidSonics have long been held in high regard for their excellent convolution plugin Reverberate. For 2017 though, they decided to offer something new and very special. To those in the know, the Bricasti M7 is possibly the greatest reverb of the modern era and it’s famous for it’s three, separate reverb engines, one for early reflections; one for the late decay tails and one for early reverberation under 150Hz. Thanks to LiquidSonics’ proprietary convolution technology which they term ‘FusionIR’ they were able to take on the legendary
M7 with a large degree of confidence. The idea behind Fusion-IR is to utilize multiple captured, true stereo reverb streams with modulated inputs which are then ‘fused’ or summed together before they are output. By fusing both early and late reverb ‘components’ the end result should be ideal for the recreation of such a complex beast as the Bricasti. It’s clear that this project was taken very seriously as LiquidSonics decided to develop their Fusion-IR tech even further to include multiple variants of each preset in order to more accurately capture it.
I used a free app called JDownloader to handle the substantial library and plugin package. It allows you to restart your downloads if your signal should get interrupted. Be aware that Seventh Heaven weighs in at over 10GB total. The Impulse Response library itself may be moved anywhere after installation (including a third party HDD) to save space. Simply look under SETTINGS in the main plugin GUI to re-link everything.
You can find the install location by looking at the file path under ‘SETTINGS’ in the plugin. Then navigate to that folder, grab everything and dump it on an external or alternate HDD. Be sure to add the final ‘Data’ folder in the Seventh Heaven Professional folder structure when relinking your library or the plugin won’t work.
What's it like, Mister?
Seventh Heaven Professional also comes as a bundle – if you can call two a bundle, that is. Seventh Heaven is the base model. It is a gorgeous looking plugin that captures the understated
elegance of the hardware unit but has a unique look and character all it’s own. Seventh Heaven Pro is simply more of the same. During use I did find that I not only loved the look of the strange meters featured on the right hand side of the Pro version but I found them to be both readable and extremely useful. Enabling me to see the amount of energy passing through each module in a comparative fashion.
It’s as intuitive as glancing at a spectrum analyzer.
As a producer it’s really important to get the right reverb on your vocalist as quickly as possible – but you want that reverb to make it through the entire project rather than be simply used as a vocal pacifier during playback. To these ends I have to mention the remarkable Seventh Heaven base plugin. The layout of the presets on the main dial is borderline perfection for someone like me. A big dial that takes you through the most important space options quickly and easily.
Preset surfing on Pro is not quite so quick and intuitive – mainly due to the vast wealth of choices that it has over it’s simplistic brother. One must make do with simply clicking on the forward or back LED arrows or choosing from the neat and readable dropdown that appears when you click directly on the display. What you’ll find is an array of options and combinations that are very useful – something both versions share. It’s one of the only reverbs I’ve used that makes me want to explore the options. All of them. Kudos to LiquidSonics for inspiring confidence in choice, even when an engineer is under pressure.
Seventh Heaven is shockingly good. So good, in fact, that I almost don’t want to use any other reverb on vocals after hearing it. It’s complex, lush, silky and unobtrusive. It feels so good that you sometimes forget that it’s on, but the second you bypass it, you immediately regret it. I found that the ‘Decay Time’ dial on Pro came in extremely handy for major reconstruction on the fly and I have to note that if you move time related controls quickly, the IR’s take a microsecond to catch up but that is not how I like to adjust a reverb. Slow and easy is the preferred style.
“Seventh Heaven is shockingly good. So good, in fact, that I almost don’t want to use any other reverb on vocals after hearing it. It’s complex, lush, silky and unobtrusive.”
This reverb literally makes me want to buy a real M7. It is so addictive when being fed through multiple SENDS because you don’t get caught in a tidal wave of frequency build-up. The sound is so clarified and this is due to the fact that the source unit didn’t have the level of unwanted coloration suffered by normal algorithmic reverbs and therefore uses less modulation – hence a purer, sweeter sound. Because of this I found myself regularly reaching for the VLF (or Very Low Frequency) control. This imbues so much character into the sound that it is a must on good vocal performances.
Having trained myself to high-pass algorithmic verbs on my returns to avoid sonic confusion and aural brine it was a real treat to be able to chase the full body of the vocal and enjoy the stunning tails created by this plugin without penalty. Of course there is a very high quality, 5 band, oversampled Master EQ accessible from the right hand tab at the bottom. With Lo and Hi Cut filters, and a choice of shelving or bell curves for the Low and High and a fixed bell for the mids you can make any adjustment necessary from onboard the plugin, guaranteed.
I would have to say that I was very surprised by the simplicity and ease of use that both versions of Seventh Heaven exhibited. For some reason though, I just kept going back to the standard version – I think because it is so devastatingly fast to dial in. Certainly though when in an engrossing mix session I found that the increased functionality of the Pro version, with the 218 presets (compared to just 30 for the standard) based off both version one and version two of the M7 made a lot of sense. Add the ability to tweak early reflections, the high visibility metering, the 5 band EQ and early/late roll off filtering and it’s no surprise I was able to get a more balanced result. Unbelievably the standard Seventh Heaven can be purloined for $69… This has to make it one of the best value plugins on the market – at some $30 cheaper than the venerable Lexicon MPX. Seventh Heaven Pro, on the other hand, comes at a noodle-inducing $299. Both plugins use the full iLok 2 (or 3) USB system as machine licensing is not supported.
“it was a real treat to be able to chase the full body of the vocal and enjoy the stunning tails created by this plugin without penalty.”
Compatible on Mac:
macOS 10.9 or newer
VST 2.4, VST3, Audio Unit and AAX compatible host
Compatible on Windows:
Windows 7 or newer
VST, VST3 or AAX compatible host
64-bit DAWs are recommended (32-bit is supported)
Copy protection is via physical iLok versions 2 or 3 (host-based licenses are not supported)
- Clean, 21st Century reverb ITB
- Ease of use
- The Price
- Kills HDD space
- Only useable on returns (because of latency)
- No iLok machine authorization