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I've still got a few... all connect to PTHD via I/O that I have dedicated to aux sends / returns specifically for outboard effects.
A Yamaha SPX 900 that mainly gets used for its early reflection, dual pitch shifting (+/- 5-10 cents) and small room algorithms...
An old Lexicon LXP-15 that doesn't get used at all anymore since I started using the Lexicon reverb plugins...
A couple of old Ensoniq DP/4's... an original and a one is a DP/4+. I use them as utility effects; they do especially well for modulation based effects, and not too bad for delays...
My Yamaha digital board also has four on-board effects processors that I've been known to utilize too.
What else do I like? Bricasti M7, Lexicon 300, 480, PCM70, PCM96, TC Electronic System 6000, etc. etc. Do I own all of those? I wish! But plugins are getting better and better all the time, and that is starting to take up some of that slack. Like I said, the Lexicon plugin stuff is really good - it's definitely got that "Lexicon sound."
"Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
- George Carlin
"It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
- Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears
"The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
i just picked up a tc electronics m3000 for a really good price... should be here early next week... i like the fact that it's dual engine... i was looking at the rev 4000 but when this came up i thought i'd jump on it
my experience with hardware reverbs is very limited... not sure if i'll send individual tracks through it and print them (to dial in the amount of verb i want later) or just set up a couple on the send returns to mix with
should be fun to experiment though
there's a few of those yamaha ones on ebay quite cheap here at the moment
edit... actually it's the spx90 that is cheap on ebay
Yeah, there's a pretty big difference between a SPX90 and SPX900. The original is only 12 bit, and not as nice IMO. Still, in its day, the SPX90 was incredibly popular - it even still has some fans today.
As far as outboard / hardware reverbs, you may as well print the return to a stereo track in your DAW. That way, even if it dies, you'll still have the sound in case you ever need to remix. In fact, printing virtual instruments and plugin effects to audio isn't a terrible idea in general when you consider how plugins get abandoned and become obsolete fairly often.
In the old days (analog / hardware mixing), we all primarily used aux sends and returns, and occasionally we'd use an insert... all the effects stuff got printed to the 2 track in real time, along with the rest of the mix, and if you needed to change the settings on the reverb for the next song / mix you did. You'd save presets as needed, and that, and maybe a couple of Polaroid pics of the board settings was about as automated as things got for many people.
If you are using a program with good delay compensation, and you have enough I/O on your audio interface, you can configure the I/O as an aux send / return. An aux in the software sends the signal out of an output on your interface (analog or digital) and that feeds the effects processor. The output from the effects processor goes back to inputs on the audio interface, which return to a stereo aux input in the software. From there you can use it in real time, or route it to a stereo audio track and record it.
If you wanted natural reverb on a guitar you could try another. Take a small guitar amp, place it in the bathroom and dial up the sound you like. Then get yourself a couple of 50 or 100' mic cords and a pair of high to low impedance transformers. Plug the high side of the transformer into the guitar, run the long mic cable to the bathroom and use another low to high transformer to plug into the amp.
This will in essence, change the guitars signal to low impedance for the long run through the mic cable then change it back to high impedance to plug into the amp so you wont have the high frequency and gain losses running a long guitar cord. Then use the other mic cable and strategically place a mic in the bathroom so it captures the best tone. You will want a balance between the wet and dry tones so placement is key. You can also use two mics, one close and one farther away. You could also split the guitar signal and run two different amps in two different rooms then blend the two mixing.
This method will be more limited because you don't have the ability to pipe any instrument of a live band through the bathroom, but for those on a budget will eliminate the need for a mixer and pa cab. The cool part is you can be sitting at your recording DAW with the guitar amp far away as you record and get some truly novel sounds.