• Date
  • Catalog
    Yamaha Rev 7 Reverb
  • Effect Type
  • Purpose

Some History On The Yamaha Rev 7 Digital Reverb.

  1. Introduction: The Yamaha Rev 7 was introduced in the mid-1980s. It was a part of the burgeoning digital revolution in audio processing that began to challenge and ultimately replace many traditional analog units.
  2. Design & Features: The Rev 7 was a 1U rack-mounted unit. It was known for its 16-bit digital reverberation and effects processor. The device provided various reverb algorithms such as Hall, Room, Plate, and more, alongside modulation effects like chorus, flange, and echo.
  3. Popularity & Usage: Upon its release, the Rev 7 was quickly embraced by many professionals in the recording industry due to its clear, high-quality sound and the precision it offered in tailoring reverb. It became a staple in many studios and can be heard on countless recordings from that era.
  4. Competition & Evolution: While the Rev 7 was certainly popular, it was up against stiff competition during its time. Other brands like Lexicon, Roland, and Eventide were also producing iconic reverb units that have since become classics. Yamaha itself continued to innovate, releasing subsequent reverb units and processors over the years, but the Rev 7 has remained iconic for its role in the evolution of digital audio processing during the 1980s.
  5. Legacy: As with many pieces of vintage gear, the Rev 7 still has a devoted following. Its distinct sound character is something that certain producers and engineers still seek out, even in an age where plugins can emulate almost any piece of hardware. Original units, when found in good condition, can fetch considerable prices on the used market.
  6. Emulation: Given its reputation, many software companies have sought to emulate the Rev 7’s reverb characteristics in digital plugin formats. Such emulations allow modern producers to incorporate the signature Rev 7 sound into their mixes without needing the original hardware unit.

In summary, the Yamaha Rev 7 was a significant part of the transition from analog to digital reverb and effects processing in the professional audio world. Its influence and sound can still be heard in many recordings from its era and remains a sought-after piece of vintage gear.


Digging Up A Classic Yamaha Rev 7 Digital Reverb.

From the moment I unboxed the Yamaha Rev 7 I bought on, it was evident that I had in my possession a piece of audio history. The sturdy 2U rack-mountable unit, with its tactile buttons and digital display, exudes a sense of purpose and precision reminiscent of the 1980s studio era.

Ease of Use: One of the most immediate things I noticed about the Rev 7 is its user-friendly interface. Dialing in the desired reverb type from the various algorithms is straightforward. With a few button presses, I was cycling through halls, rooms, and plates. Each preset provided a solid starting point, and the parameters allowed for detailed tweaks to tailor the sound further.

Sound Quality: This is where the Rev 7 truly shines. The reverbs have a particular character that’s unmistakably digital but in a warm and vintage way. The hall reverbs provide a lush and expansive atmosphere, while the room settings offer a more contained and realistic space. The plate reverb was one of my favorites—bright, dense, and beautiful, reminiscent of the classic plate reverbs but with that digital edge.

The modulation effects, while perhaps not the primary reason one would purchase the Rev 7, are an added bonus. The chorus and flanging effects are clean and have a certain richness to them.

Versatility: While some modern units and plugins offer more algorithms and finer parameter adjustments, there’s a certain “set it and forget it” charm to the Rev 7. It’s versatile enough for most applications, whether adding depth to a vocal or giving a snare drum that ’80s gated reverb sound.

Drawbacks: Not everything is rosy, of course. The Rev 7, being a product of its time, lacks the fullness and depth that some of the more modern reverb units or plugins can offer. Moreover, for those used to the ease and flexibility of modern DAW-integrated plugins, working with hardware can feel a bit restrictive.

Final Thoughts: The Yamaha Rev 7 is not just a reverb unit; it’s a time machine. It transports you back to an era where digital was beginning to find its footing in the world of audio production. While there might be more versatile or “realistic” reverbs available today, few can match the character and nostalgia that the Rev 7 imparts. For those seeking that classic ’80s reverb sound or just wanting to add a piece of history to their setup, the Rev 7 is a worthy investment.


Features And Specs Of The Yamaha Rev 7 Digital Reverb.

  1. Reverb Algorithms: Various reverb algorithms are provided, including:
    • Hall
    • Room
    • Plate
    • Early Reflection
    • Delay
    • Echo
    • Chorus
    • Flange
    • Symphonic (a rich modulation effect)
    • And more…
  2. Reverb Parameters: Depending on the chosen algorithm, a variety of adjustable parameters were available, such as:
    • Reverb Time
    • Pre Delay
    • Diffusion
    • High-frequency Damping
    • Low-frequency Crossover
    • EQ and more…
  3. Hardware:
    • 1U Rack-mountable unit
    • Digital display for showing the current preset and settings
    • Rotary encoder for navigating and adjusting settings
    • Dedicated buttons for each function for ease of use
  4. Audio Specifications:
    • A/D Conversion: 16-bit linear
    • D/A Conversion: 16-bit linear
    • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz (+1 dB, -3 dB)
    • Dynamic Range: More than 80 dB
    • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): Less than 0.03% at 1kHz
  5. Inputs/Outputs:
    • Stereo Outputs (L, R)
    • Stereo Inputs (L, R)
  6. MIDI Capability: The Rev 7 also had MIDI In, Out, and Thru connectors, which allowed for program change, parameter control, and system exclusive data communication. This was particularly useful for studio setups, allowing users to integrate the Rev 7 with other MIDI gear and change settings or recall presets via MIDI commands.
  7. Presets & User Memory: The unit came with a variety of factory presets. Users could also save their customized settings into the unit’s user memory slots.
  8. Build & Durability: The build quality was typical of Yamaha’s professional gear from that era – robust and reliable.

This is a general overview of the Yamaha Rev 7’s features and specifications. The unit was well-regarded for its sound quality and versatility, becoming a staple in many studios during its time. The specs and features listed above might vary slightly based on different versions or regional releases, so always consult the original manual or manufacturer’s documentation for the most accurate details.


The Yamaha Rev 7 Digital Reverb In Use.

Amidst the urban tapestry of Chicago’s music world, Studio 11 was a sanctuary for artists. This was especially true on an evening when Wingy, a folk artist with an otherworldly edge, made her way into the studio. Her voice carried stories, and today she had a specific one in mind.

“I’ve been dreaming of this track,” she began, her voice a mixture of determination and vulnerability. “I see an underwater cave, a haven where every note I sing echoes off wet, ancient walls, mingling with the sound of water drops.”

Equipped with a vast array of tools, I felt an immediate connection with a vintage piece of equipment that had been a part of countless legendary sessions: the Yamaha REV 7 Digital Reverberator. Its reputation for delivering unique and captivating reverbs made it a go-to choice for innovative soundscapes.

Starting with Wingy’s raw recording, I decided to use the REV 7’s renowned “Plate” setting, known for its dense and shimmering reflections. This would be the base. The sound was already dreamy, but it needed that underwater dimension.

By tweaking the EQ to roll off some high frequencies, the track began to take on that submerged, distant quality. The REV 7’s reverb tail added an ethereal depth, stretching Wingy’s vocals and guitar into haunting echoes.

But it was the “Room” algorithm on the REV 7, adjusted with a longer decay and some high-frequency damping, that truly started to mimic the ambiance of an underwater cavern. The reflections now had a more pronounced, echoing nature, reminiscent of sounds bouncing off wet cave walls.

Adding to the atmosphere, I layered a soft sound of water, as if it was gently caressing the cave’s entrance. Random droplets, sourced from high-definition field recordings, echoed in the vast space created by the REV 7.

When the mix was played back, the studio was awash in the mesmerizing sounds of an aquatic cavern. Wingy, lost in the embrace of the music, murmured, “It’s like the REV 7 took us on a journey miles below the sea surface.”


The Yamaha Rev 7 – Where To Get One.

If you’re looking to purchase a Yamaha REV 7, especially given its vintage status, there are several places to consider:

  1. eBay: One of the largest online marketplaces, eBay often has vintage gear like the REV 7 listed from various sellers across the world.
  2. Dedicated to music gear, is an online marketplace where individuals and stores sell new, used, and vintage equipment, including processors like the REV 7.
  3. Local Music Stores: Some specialized music stores carry vintage gear or may know where to source it. It’s always a good idea to check with local shops or even pawn shops in your area.
  4. Online Forums: Websites like Gearslutz or other audio equipment forums sometimes have classified sections where members buy and sell gear.
  5. Specialized Vintage Audio Gear Retailers: Some retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, specialize in vintage audio gear. Stores such as Vintage King Audio might carry or be able to source a Yamaha REV 7.
  6. Craigslist: Depending on your location, you might find someone locally who’s selling a REV 7 on Craigslist or similar classified ad platforms.
  7. Facebook Marketplace: This platform has grown in popularity for buying and selling equipment, including music gear.
  8. Trade Shows or Swap Meets: Occasionally, there are audio gear swap meets or conventions where individuals sell or trade gear.
  9. Contacting Studios: Some studios upgrade their equipment and might be willing to sell older gear, including vintage items like the REV 7.
  10. Pawn Shops: On occasion, vintage gear can turn up in pawn shops. It’s a bit more of a wild card, but you never know what you might find.

When purchasing vintage gear, always ensure that the seller provides details about the item’s condition, and if possible, ask for audio samples or videos to demonstrate its functionality.


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