Here we are, part 11, Part 11! That is more chapters than the Torah and it feels like I started writing it at the same time. So what do I think? Lets go over what I’ve found….
Over the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time with Revalver and have developed some ideas of its capabilities and its failings. After spending pretty much all of the last 18 months playing guitar through my Iphone, a platform where there has been explosive development and innovation in a very short period of time, coming back to the PC was a bit of a shock. The clumsiness of using a mouse, the vagaries of a USB guitar input, configuring ASIO, it was like being back in 2007.
But in use, what do we have with Revalver 4? The core of the product is sound with a foundation of solid effects and guitar amps. As a package it also works well as a guitar tone studio processor, with very sophisticated post-processing EQ-ing and the very interesting ACT output stage. As a plugin to your DAW, it’s potential is possibly greater than Amplitube – its most obvious rival.
But the keyword here is potential. For every solid effect or convincing amp model, there is one that is oddly flat or lifeless. I reinstalled Revalver 2 and 3 to compare equivalent models and found in many cases that the basic sound quality had not improved at all. Amplitube 3 had the edge in terms of general quality and it’s Custom Shop feature is much more streamlined and intuitive to use than the clumsy shop feature in Revalver, but what shocked me is that I went back to Tonestack, Bias and Jamup and found a greater sense of depth, richness and musicality than I found in Revalver and Amplitube. These are both solid products but they are being outpaced by developments on the IOS platform. There was a sense that Revalver was a product that really needed 4 more months work to push it further towards its potential.
But all is not lost – Revalver have a history of resolving issues with extensive updates and it is very well priced for a PC guitar sim. There are genuinely exciting innovations like ACT (I suspect that even the guitar-modelling will become much more refined in future) and Revalver’s capacity in handling VST effects, speaker IRs and reverb IRs is a very powerful tool . It is also unique among currant PC ampsims in allowing tweaking at a simulated component level. It is also an important product in an area – desktop ampsims – where many old favorites such as Guitar Rig, Waves GTR and TH2 have had no major new developments for some years.
So as a new product, it is interesting but flawed, but Revalver 4.5? I think that may be a different proposition.
Thumbs Up –
Some great models, flexible signal chain, the ability to import IRs and VSTs, good value for a desktop ampsim, interesting ACT technology.
Unpolished feel, Some weak models, clunky Shop feature, the GUI is not intuitive, strong competition from Amplitube, even stronger competition from Positive Grid and Yonac. Some stability issues with external VSTs and with DAWs.
Right, I’m going to lie down now.