the Lexicon 224 reverb sound

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.

Comments

  1. Harerton Dourado says:

    Hit the play icon and get a “file not found” message…

    By the way… can we excpect an “EpicVerb 224” ???

  2. Nasty 224!

  3. Please tell me your designing an emulation?

  4. EpicVerb in 224 style is exactly what I’m thinking.

  5. The big problem with the 224 is that it shifts the signal flat as you increase pre-delay due to a hardware limitation. Please don’t emulate that or at the very least make it optional!

    We got around it by putting a delay into the echo send.

    • Chuck Zwicky says:

      Not true… the pitch will go flat temporarily while you are adjusting the predelay, as it does on any delay line, but it does not stay that way, Bob.

      I’ll be happy to send you sound clips proving my point.

  6. klemperer85 says:

    The last sentence made me smile.When was the 224 originally designed :)? It might well be a nice companion – even to music that is not totally and entirely fitting into the category “all kinds of electronic music”🙂.
    Great reading, extremely interesting.

    • Be in mind, that this was *the* era of electronic music.

    • susiwong says:

      As much as plate reverb dominated the 70s, in the 80s you couldn’t escape the almighty Lexicon, on vocals, drums and everything else – and nobody wanted to. 😉.
      No mainstream pop ballad could do without …
      If you check out the years, many of the recordings typically attributed to the better known 480L were in fact done with the 224/XL, the 480L only appeared in 1986.

  7. I still have my Lexicon Native Reverb Plugin, and use it on a number of songs. It’s a great sound for classic verbs.

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