Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb And Effects


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Background On The Lexicon 480L Digital Processor.

The Lexicon 480L is a legendary digital reverb and effects processor known for its high-quality audio processing and pioneering technology. Here’s a brief history of the Lexicon 480L:

1. Introduction (1986): The Lexicon 480L was introduced in 1986 by Lexicon, a company specializing in digital audio processing equipment. It was designed as the successor to the popular Lexicon 224, which was a groundbreaking digital reverb unit in its own right.

2. Digital Signal Processing Innovation: The Lexicon 480L was at the forefront of digital signal processing technology. It offered a significant advancement in reverb algorithms and processing power compared to its predecessors. The unit utilized the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology of the time to create rich and complex reverb and effects.

3. Versatility: The 480L was not limited to reverb processing; it was a versatile effects processor. It featured a wide range of algorithms, including hall, plate, chamber, and ambience reverbs, as well as various modulation and pitch-shifting effects.

4. Iconic Sound: The Lexicon 480L quickly gained a reputation for its high-quality, lush reverb and effects. It was praised for its ability to create spaces and ambiances that ranged from natural-sounding to surreal, making it a popular choice for both music and post-production studios.

5. Lexichip Technology: The Lexicon 480L was one of the first products to feature the “Lexichip,” which allowed for real-time algorithm processing. This technology significantly improved the unit’s flexibility and made it a preferred choice for professionals in various audio industries.

6. Use in Music and Film: The Lexicon 480L became a staple in the music industry, with artists and producers using it on countless hit records. It was also widely used in the film and television industries for post-production, contributing to the soundtracks of many movies and TV shows.

7. Upgrades and Expansions: Over the years, Lexicon released various upgrades and expansions for the 480L, such as additional algorithm cards and software updates, further extending its capabilities and keeping it up to date with evolving industry standards.

8. Continued Legacy: Even as technology advanced and new digital reverb processors entered the market, the Lexicon 480L maintained its status as an iconic and sought-after piece of equipment. Many professionals still favor its sound and versatility.

9. Successors and Modern Relevance: Lexicon has continued to produce advanced reverb and effects processors, including the PCM series, which succeeded the 480L. While the technology has evolved, the Lexicon 480L remains a revered classic, and its sound is often emulated in software plugins.

The Lexicon 480L digital processor stands as a landmark in the history of audio production, known for its innovative technology, iconic sound, and its enduring influence on the world of music and film.


The Lexicon 480L In Use.

Stepping into the studio, my eyes fixate on the elegant yet unassuming rack-mounted unit that is the Lexicon 480L. It’s not just a piece of audio equipment; it’s a portal to a realm of sonic possibilities. As I approach it, I can’t help but feel a sense of reverence for the legendary processor before me.

The Lexicon 480L has a reputation that precedes it, and it’s a reputation well-deserved. This iconic digital processor has made an indelible mark on the world of music and audio production. I’m about to find out why.

The interface, although vintage in design, exudes a certain charm and simplicity. It’s a reminder of a time when tactile knobs and buttons ruled the studio. I gently turn the encoder to explore the vast collection of algorithms at my fingertips – from lush halls to intimate chambers, and otherworldly spaces that defy imagination.

With a few adjustments, I set the parameters to craft the perfect reverb for a vocal recording. The 480L’s capabilities reveal themselves with every tweak. The reverb tail is a silky cascade of reflections, seamlessly blending with the dry signal. It’s this liquid smoothness that has endeared the Lexicon 480L to generations of music creators. The reverb envelopes the vocal, transforming it into something ethereal and captivating.

I decide to experiment with the modulation effects. With a few adjustments to the pitch-shifting parameters, I’m immersed in a world of sonic possibilities. The Lexicon 480L isn’t just a reverb unit; it’s a versatile effects processor that can breathe life into any sound, from gentle choruses to mind-bending pitch-shifted textures.

One of the most striking qualities of the 480L is its versatility. It can be a subtle, almost invisible enhancement to a mix, or it can take center stage, adding a touch of grandeur to any audio. The algorithms are deeply nuanced, allowing for precise tailoring of the sound to fit the mood and context of the music.

The Lexicon 480L is more than a tool; it’s a creative partner. It inspires me to push boundaries, to explore new realms of sound, and to craft audio landscapes that resonate with emotion. Its timeless sound quality, capable of delivering pristine realism or surreal atmospheres, continues to enchant audio professionals and artists across the globe.

As my session comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on the Lexicon 480L’s enduring legacy. It’s not just a piece of studio equipment; it’s an icon that has shaped the sonic landscapes of countless recordings. The Lexicon 480L remains a testament to the art of audio processing and a cherished tool for those who seek to elevate their sound to new heights.

Features And Specs Of The Lexicon 480L.

The Lexicon 480L is a renowned digital effects processor known for its high-quality reverb and versatile effects. Here are some of its key features and specifications:


  1. Multiple Algorithms: The Lexicon 480L offers a wide range of algorithms, including various reverb types (hall, plate, chamber, ambience, etc.), modulation effects, and pitch-shifting effects.
  2. Lexichip Technology: It features the Lexichip, which allowed for real-time processing of the advanced algorithms, ensuring high-quality and real-time effects.
  3. User Interface: The unit has an intuitive front-panel user interface with dedicated knobs and buttons for adjusting parameters. The interface is known for its straightforward operation.
  4. MIDI Control: The Lexicon 480L can be controlled via MIDI, allowing for automation and integration into larger studio setups.
  5. Presets and User Memory: The processor includes a significant number of factory presets that can serve as starting points for various effects. It also provides user memory for storing custom settings and presets.
  6. Dual Stereo or Mono Configuration: The Lexicon 480L can be used as a dual stereo or dual mono processor, offering flexibility for stereo and surround sound applications.
  7. Balanced Analog I/O: It features balanced analog input and output connections to maintain audio quality and compatibility with professional studio equipment.
  8. AES/EBU and S/PDIF Digital I/O: Digital inputs and outputs are included, supporting various digital formats.
  9. LCD Display: The unit comes with a backlit LCD display that shows parameter values and menu options, making it easy to navigate settings.


  1. Audio Resolution: 16-bit, 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sample rates.
  2. Processing Power: The Lexicon 480L features powerful processing capabilities for real-time effects and reverb processing.
  3. Algorithms: The processor includes a variety of algorithms for reverb, delay, chorus, pitch-shifting, and more, offering a range of sound-shaping possibilities.
  4. Dynamic Range: The dynamic range of the Lexicon 480L is typically around 96 dB.
  5. Connectivity: It features balanced XLR and 1/4-inch TRS analog inputs and outputs, as well as digital AES/EBU and S/PDIF inputs and outputs.
  6. Dimensions: The Lexicon 480L typically comes in a 2U rack-mounted format.
  7. Power Supply: The unit usually requires a standard AC power source (110-120 V or 220-240 V, depending on the region) and consumes a relatively low amount of power.
  8. Weight: The weight of the Lexicon 480L may vary depending on the specific version but is generally around 10-15 kg (22-33 lbs).

Keep in mind that the Lexicon 480L has undergone different hardware and software revisions over the years, and specific specifications may vary slightly between models and versions. When considering a Lexicon 480L, it’s essential to refer to the product documentation for the precise specifications of the particular unit in question.

Gettin’ Weird With The Lexicon 480L.

Once upon a late night in the heart of a bustling recording studio, I found myself in the company of the legendary Lexicon 480L. It was a session unlike any other, with an experimental indie band seeking to create a soundscape that pushed the boundaries of conventional audio processing. They were keen on incorporating an effect that was as unique as their music, and they had a vision – to get the coolest ping pong delay to modulate in and out of a lush, expansive reverb.

The Lexicon 480L stood before me, its iconic interface gleaming under the dim studio lights. I had a vision in my mind, a concept of sound that I wanted to bring to life. It was a complex and intricate task, but I was determined to make it work.

First, I selected the ping pong delay algorithm, and I marveled at the precision with which the Lexicon 480L handled it. The delay created a mesmerizing cascade of echoes that bounced between the stereo channels, creating a dynamic and spatial effect.

But it was the reverb that would add the magic. I navigated the menu and selected a vast, cathedral-like algorithm. The reverb was a sonic cathedral, with infinite walls and an otherworldly decay that seemed to stretch into eternity. It was the canvas upon which the delay would dance.

As I adjusted the parameters, a moment of inspiration struck. The Lexicon 480L allowed for the modulation of various parameters in real-time, and I set out to modulate the delay mix and feedback, causing it to ebb and flow like the tide. With the precision of a conductor, I mapped out the modulation, allowing the delay to swell in intensity and then retreat into the background, creating a mesmerizing rhythm.

The reverb, too, was not to be outdone. I initiated a gentle modulation of the reverb size and diffusion. It was as if the very walls of the cathedral were breathing, swelling and contracting in harmony with the delay. The two effects intertwined, one fading as the other grew, like a dance of light and shadow in a mystical forest.

The band members, who had been observing the process in anticipation, couldn’t hide their excitement. As the delay and reverb intertwined and modulated, they knew they were hearing something truly special. It was a sonic journey, a captivating narrative that enveloped the listener in its embrace.

The Lexicon 480L had become a vessel of creativity, a tool to weave audio magic that transported us to another dimension. It was an experience that reminded us of the boundless potential of sound and the infinite horizons of music. The coolest ping pong delay had not only met the majestic reverb but had become a part of a sonic story, an ever-evolving narrative that could mesmerize the senses and stir the soul.

In the end, it wasn’t just about manipulating parameters; it was about crafting an experience, a sonic adventure that left us in awe of the magic that the Lexicon 480L could conjure. The band left the studio with a recording that carried the echoes of that night, a unique piece of art that bore witness to the power of creativity and the wonders of sound.


The Lexicon 480L In Pop Music.

The Lexicon 480L has left an indelible mark on the world of popular music, making its presence known in a wide array of genres and on countless hit records. Renowned for its exceptional reverb algorithms and versatile effects processing, the Lexicon 480L has contributed to some iconic and groundbreaking recordings. Here are a few notable examples of its use in popular music:

  1. Pop and Rock Music:
    • In the realm of pop and rock, the Lexicon 480L has been a go-to choice for creating lush, immersive soundscapes. Artists like U2, Peter Gabriel, and Radiohead have used the 480L to add depth and ambience to their tracks. It played a significant role in shaping the signature sound of U2’s hit album “The Joshua Tree.”
  2. Electronic Music:
    • Electronic music producers and DJs have also embraced the Lexicon 480L for its ability to create unique and evolving textures. It has been used by electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and Daft Punk to add spatial and atmospheric elements to their compositions.
  3. Hip-Hop and R&B:
    • In the world of hip-hop and R&B, the Lexicon 480L has found a place in the toolbox of producers and engineers. Its reverb and effects capabilities have been used to enhance vocal tracks and create immersive sonic environments.
  4. Film Soundtracks:
    • The Lexicon 480L is not confined to music production; it has played a crucial role in the creation of film soundtracks. Composers and sound designers have relied on its high-quality reverb algorithms to shape the sound of numerous films, adding depth and dimension to on-screen experiences.
  5. Classic Recordings:
    • The Lexicon 480L’s presence is felt on classic recordings across different genres. It has been an essential tool for iconic artists like Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna, helping to create memorable sonic landscapes.
  6. Live Performances:
    • Many touring musicians and live sound engineers have incorporated the Lexicon 480L into their setups to recreate the studio sound in a live concert environment. Its ability to add spatial richness and clarity makes it a valuable asset for live performances.
  7. Contemporary Music Production:
    • Even as technology advances, the Lexicon 480L continues to find its place in contemporary music production. It offers a timeless quality that complements both vintage and modern musical styles.

The Lexicon 480L’s impact on popular music can be summed up in its ability to provide a sense of space, ambiance, and depth that enhances the emotional impact of a song. Its use in popular music is a testament to its enduring appeal and the way it has shaped the sonic landscape of countless recordings. Whether applied subtly or boldly, the Lexicon 480L remains a revered tool for artists, producers, and engineers seeking to elevate the quality of their music.


Where To Obtain This Relic.

While it might not be readily available at traditional music equipment retailers, you can explore various sources to find a Lexicon 480L:

  1. Specialized Vintage Audio Equipment Retailers: Some specialized vintage audio equipment retailers or dealers may occasionally have Lexicon 480L units available for purchase. These retailers often focus on vintage and classic audio gear.
  2. Online Marketplaces: Online platforms such as eBay, Reverb, and Craigslist may occasionally feature listings for Lexicon 480L units. However, exercise caution and thoroughly research sellers when buying from these platforms to ensure authenticity and functionality.
  3. Audio Equipment Auctions: Keep an eye on audio equipment auctions, both online and offline. Vintage gear auctions or estate sales may offer opportunities to acquire a Lexicon 480L.
  4. Vintage Gear Brokers: Some vintage gear brokers or brokers specializing in pro audio equipment may have access to Lexicon 480L units or can help locate one for you.
  5. Online Audio Communities and Forums: Online forums and communities for audio professionals and vintage gear enthusiasts can provide information on potential sources and sellers. Engaging with fellow enthusiasts may lead to recommendations or opportunities.
  6. Music Production Studios and Professionals: In some cases, recording studios or audio professionals who have owned Lexicon 480L units may be willing to sell them. Networking within the music production community may help you find opportunities.
  7. Audio Equipment Restoration Services: Consider working with audio equipment restoration specialists who may be able to locate, restore, and provide you with a reliable Lexicon 480L unit.
  8. International Sources: Be open to sourcing the unit from international sellers, as vintage audio gear may be available in different parts of the world.

Keep in mind that the availability of Lexicon 480L units may vary, and prices can be relatively high due to their vintage and collectible status. When considering the purchase of a Lexicon 480L, it’s essential to verify the condition, authenticity, and functionality of the unit. Additionally, consult the specific product documentation for accurate specifications and features.


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