As one of the first digital reverbs ever, the Lexicon 224 indeed is a classic device and even today, the Lexicon 224 reverb has its place in quite a lot of studios and productions. Whenever it comes down to that larger-than-life sound or that certain graininess, which cuts through a busy mix that easily, the 224 delivers. Of course, it can’t compete with todays smooth and silky reverb algorithms at all but instead and with its typical movement and animation, the 224 reverb tail offers tons of charm and character.
The Lexicon 224 was among the first digital effects processors. It was designed in the late 1970s using the best technology available, which at the time was the 8080 microprocessor, 12-bit converters and bucketloads of 74S/LS-series logic. (source)
The technical design was done by Dr. David Griesinger and several improvements were made over the years, leading to a variety of different versions. The 224X had better converter cards which doubled the audio bandwidth to 16kHz and came with more programs. Later on, the 224XL introduced the LARC controller which had become such a prominent gadget as seen on all the larger studio desks over the years. There wasn’t that much competition to that time but from that era two other devices had become legend later as well: The EMT 250 and the AMS RMX16.
Re-creating that sound within todays DSP standards requires precision in several major domains: First, a proper diffusion network emulation including randomization for the reverb tail animation is mandatory. How the diffusion network actually is fed with early reflections makes a huge difference in how the reverb tail gets perceived regarding depth and width. Further on, if the reverb color needs to be captured more precisely then the actual filter design has to be matched as well. Sadly, whats often left out in todays emulations is the impact of the converters.
All in all, those devices are still great companions in today’s music production, especially but not limited to all the electronic music genres.