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This article was originally published in issue #64
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The DVR250 DT is a fantastic addition to any studio, not only giving pristine, authentic vintage reverbs, with incredible depth and realism, but also keeping your source tone true, with great space and separation
Cost-effective plugin/hardware-based version of a legendary reverb, using TC’s award-winning algorithms.
Fantastic control surface for hands-on application.
Not just for reverb!
The only slight niggle is the multiple USB’s when using all ICON series controllers.. but I’ve already addressed this in the other reviews!
Power supply via USB micro port
Dimensions (W x H x D): 133 x 109 x 52 mm
Weight: 500 g
Jamie Humphries reviews the DVR 250 DT as TC Electronic continues their line of hybrid hardware/plugin based effects with a groundbreaking reverb based on the legendary EMT 250 Electronic Reverberator.
Introduced in 1976 the EMT 250 reverb was the first commercial digital reverb, and to many is said to be one of greatest reverb units ever made. This large clunky piece of hardware with its Flash Gordon space ship style control levers, and 16k of memory, may seem incredibly dated, and slightly comical compared to modern day processors, but more than 40 years on this reverb is still highly regarded by many world class record producers. It can be heard on countless classic recordings including Prince’s “Purple Rain”, Elvis Costello’s “Spike” and the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Stadium Arcadium”. With only 250 units made and a $20,000 price tag you could say that this hallowed unit may be somewhat out of reach to most of us, but thanks to the good people at TC Electronic its now possible to own a plugin version, with a hardware controller based on the original EMT “lever” control design for much more affordable price, and not to mention the size difference!
TC Electronic have now introduced the DVR 250 DT, which is based on the iconic EMT 250, to their ICON series of hardware/plugin effects, alongside the 2290 DT, 1210 DT, and the 8210 DT, making up an impressive selection of desktop hardware controllers for hands-on control of some fantastic software based effects. The algorithm for the DVR250 hails from the highly acclaimed high-end processor platform of the System 6000, which offers unsurpassed sound quality and performance. The DVR250 DT supports VST 2, VST 3, AAX-native and AU, 32/64 bit plugin formats, compatible with all leading DAW’s. As it is plugin based you can open as many instances as your CPU will allow, with each instance controlled from the same hardware controller. The DVR250 can be used either s an insert, or as n auxiliary effect, and can be run in either mono or stereo operation. The DVR250 DT isn’t just a vintage reverb, it can also be used for delay, phase, chorus, echo and space effects, making it a very powerful addition to your studio setup.
The primary controller features a metal chassis desktop controller, that is connected to your Mac or PC using a micro USB cable. As with the other controllers in this range, the top of the unit includes input and output level meters. This units controls are based on the controls on the original EMT 250, with four levers that’s control a variety of parameters depending on which effect is selected. A series of secondary controls can be accessed for each effect when the “set” button is engaged. The plugin displays the level status, for ease of seeing what parameter is being controlled by each lever depending on whether the “set” button is engaged or disengaged. The bottom of the unit boasted series of “program” buttons, which engaged the following effects;
The secondary control, the plugin, is pretty straightforward, and as I’ve already the “lever status” section will be your main focus, to see what parameter each lever is controlling. Be sure to check out the demo video where these various parameters are covered and visible. The “mix” section illustrates six boxes with the name of each effect, plus percentages to represent the wet and dry mix. These can be adjusted using either a lever, or by clicking and dragging with the mouse. These parameters like the input and outputs can be locked, which especially handy when using the plugin on an auxiliary, where you’ll want 100% wet signal, with this setting being kept consistent when opening other instances of the DVR250. The “vintage” section parameters are emulations of the classic hardware unit where you can emulate a lower bandwidth and bit resolution, as well as emulating the sound of the input transformer for a totally authentic vibe. The “vintage” setting will affect all of the effects found in the DVR250 globally. We can also access the preset library, check the status of the plugin via the “link” icon, and give each instance of the plugin a name.
This plugin is beautiful, and straightway auditioning the variety of effect types available using the presets was a great starting place. The reverb is rich, warm and beautifully vintage, and with some subtle tweaks of the levers can be tailored to your needs. I have to say the control surface on this particular unit is very pleasing and was very easy and fun to operate. The modulation effects are very subtle; don’t expect anything too extreme, just sweet, usable vintage modulation. The echo was also very vibey and sounded great with a short slapback on some slide guitar. For me though the “space” effect floored me; beautiful long ambient space likes reverb, great for atmospheric chords and haunting melodies.
The DVR250 DT is a fantastic addition to any studio, not only giving pristine, authentic vintage reverbs, with incredible depth and realism, but also keeping your source tone true, with great space and separation. The additional modulation, delay and echo effects make this an incredibly versatile plug to add to your library, as well as adding some historic value to the sound of your recordings.