The Lexicon 224 digital reverb has one of the best-known, best-loved reverb tails of all time. That also means it’s been frequently modeled and imitated. But Arturia has added the potential to take the 224 in an entirely new version – once you take the plunge and hit the “Advanced” button for a whole new view.
Look, if you just want a perfectly accurate version of the Lexicon 224 running on your computer, that’s… probably Universal Audio’s Lexicon 224, the one that’s also Lexicon-licensed. Since the original uses digital, UAD’s version even has the exact algorithms. Of course, it better be good, as even on sale the plug-in here is well into the price territory of some nice hardware reverbs.
Lexicon name aside, the Arturia LX-24 certainly sounds like you’d expect a 224 to sound. And it looks like a 224, if that’s what you want. If you don’t have a Lexicon model already, it’s probably worth owning, and if it finds its way into the FX Collection later, you’ll absolutely enjoy having it – it’s a no-brainer edition.
But I’m not here to talk about another 224 plug-in. No, what makes the LX-24 worth talking about is that it has another side – literally.
The ‘Advanced’ plug-in has far more in common with Arturia’s recent homegrown device interfaces, like the Efx-FRAGMENTS granular tool and the excellent Augmented line. You get a nice, flat, non-skeuomorphic UI, a live FFT display, and extra sound tweaking options, without sacrificing anything from the 224 model. All you miss is some pictures of faders.
I mean, it’s fun to sometimes have the restrictions of the 224 controls. Sometimes. And sure, you could ask why you’d not just use a normal modern reverb.
But it turns out those Lexicon-style algorithms and a quality control on the converter are really useful inside a modern software-style reverb. (Some other software effects have used similar “low-quality” modes you can use creatively – see Ableton.)
Just what do you get inside the LX-24 once you’re in Advanced?
- All 8 algorithms (room / plate / hall / chamber variations from the 224)
- Vintage/modern converter modes: Original filtered 12-bit converter, a modern unfiltered 24-bit converter, or a kind of vintage hybrid (24-bit but with filter). More bits and unfiltered isn’t always better; those filtered versions actually sound more like an acoustic plate or echo chamber.
- Predelay and distance (on either side of the spectrum view)
- Crossover frequency (and if you never quite understood crossover frequency, it’s much easier to grok when you see it overlaid on a spectrum!)
- Bass offset
- Drive and high-pass filter with both 24/12 dB slopes
- Ducking with threshold / ratio / release
- Reverb tail modulation (called “mode enhancement,” a phrase I find insanely confusing, but hey)
- Pitch shift – that’s applied to that reverb tail modulation
- Decay optimization: a dynamic alteration on just the reverb tail
- Master brightness, stereo width, and reverb level controls
Plus nicest of all, there’s an X/Y control combining decay and crossover frequency. And while the list I just gave is imposing, it all fits neatly into the UI. It’s a terrific design.
It’s worth saying that I think the most versatile and underrated reverb in Arturia’s existing collection is not the plate you might be tempted to go to, but their original REV-INTENSITY. And at the risk of getting into the skeuomorphic debate, I would love it if Arturia refreshed INTENSITY with this style of UI. So much of the cleverness of that reverb gets lost in a made-up hardware look with wasted space. I’m sure that’ll upset someone. Maybe there can be a switch.
Anyway, enough. LX-24 is another great reverb, the 224 still holds up, that Lexicon reverb tail always hits, and enjoy!
That’s enough talk when we could be just listening to reverb tails.
More to get you started:
In a couple weeks, I’m going to put all the reverbs I’ve reviewed in the past year into one channel and play them all at once. Get ready.