It’s not everyday you come across a plugin that absolutely over-exceeds your expectations, but let me assure you, it’s a great feeling.
REV is a fresh new plugin from new kid on the block; Output, a Los Angeles based music software company. The plugin itself offers users the chance to play instruments in real time in reverse, and includes over 1,000+ presets spread over 4 unique yet closely-related engines. As a short description, this really doesn’t do REV any justice.
The plugin is hands-down revolutionary, not only that, but it makes sense. There are plenty of complex and unique plugins out there, but I feel like I need a degree in engineering to figure out how they work. With REV it’s simple, intuitive, and easy.
What is REV?
REV from output is a vast collection of intricately recorded and designed instruments, including pads, rises, loops, harmonics, pianos, and loads more – in reverse!
It comes packaged in a collection of 4 unique engines, as mentioned above. These are all built in Native Instrument’s Kontakt and work perfectly fine in Kontakt Player as well, meaning you don’t have to shell out money for the full version of Kontakt. As a whole, REV contains over 1,000 patches with a rather large, 14GB library of uncompressed audio samples.
It’s important to note that this plugin isn’t a sampler. If you just want to reverse a vocal line in your song then REV isn’t going to help much. On the other hand, if you’re looking to add some delightful and complex atmosphere, unique tension, and dense cinematic sounds & FX – this plugin will be your personal favorite for a very long time.
The 4 Engines
The primary focus of REV is reverse instruments, which by itself is certainly satisfactory, but satisfactory doesn’t over-exceed one’s expectations. Therefore, Output; the company behind REV, have created a total of 4 separate engines:
Real instruments recorded in a state-of-the-art LA recording studio. This engine contains complex sounds, pads, swells, pulses, plucks… you name it. The amount of possibility in here is overwhelming and merely listening to patches will give you inspiration for full tracks on their own.
Here are some sound examples of REV’s Instrument section. BT – This Binary Universe, anyone?
The Timed Instruments section expands on REV’s Instrument section by offering the ability to set note length (half, quarter, whole, and so on). Of course, this automatically locks to your tempo, so you don’t have to worry about pesky time-stretching inside the DAW.
Here’s a showcase containing a few of REV’s Timed Instrument sounds:
Hey, what about us EDM producers?!
REV has a ‘Rises’ engine which contains a load of time-locked rises. These could be reverse ride cymbals, with filters and other FX, modified noise, etc. Another thing to note is that the modulation capabilities here are pretty awesome, not to mention the effects (which we’ll get to soon).
Obviously you can design your own rises, and as an EDM producer these may not fit well with the genre you produce – but if you’re someone who relies on sample packs for this kinda stuff and dislikes the lack of customizability attached to that, then this engine might come in handy.
This is by far my favorite engine, and if you’re a follower of my music then you’re bound to hear some REV stuff in my future tracks. The Loops engine contains literally hundreds of loops with multiple octaves, speeds, stutters, and fx. These aren’t just percussion loops by the way, no, there are pianos, guitars, swells, glass. Let’s just say there’s enough to keep you busy for a while.
My writing not convincing enough? These sound examples will be:
Now that you know what REV is, why not navigate over to the next page where we look at certain sections of REV’s interface a little more closely.