REVIEW: TC Electronic DVR-250DT

Plug-ins really made things easier overall – with fewer big boxes and racks to take up space. BUT, turning knobs and hardware offers up immediate (and satisfying) tactile results. TC found a way to be minimal, but still give the user fingertip functionality with their new DVR-250DT Desktop Controller.

The DVR-250DT is a plug-in emulation of the classic EMT 250 Reverb device. It was a big device back in the day with levers and controls that looked like part of the set of classic Star Trek. It was also VERY expensive, and usually only found in the most high-end studios of the time. 

The plug-in works with TC’s controller, and has four paddle-like levers that are very ’70s video game-ish. Beneath those levers are the program buttons of Reverb, Delay, Phaser, Chorus, Echo and Space. Now the plug-in will work without the controller, meaning you don’t have to lug it around. However, after 60 days, it will only process, and not offer up any adjustability. Connect back to the DAW, and all is forgiven, and it’s back to normal.

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Using it is amazingly easy; drop it in to a session and go to town. First off, the presets are really super functional right out of the box. The descriptions send you to what you are actually looking for, making tweaking something that’s not like fumbling in the dark. For drums, it interacts like you always imagined a reverb should. It’s not hyper polished, but natural and earthy. Sliding it into guitar tracks, again it doesn’t get to the point where a preset was designed based on the algorithm, it feels like the designers tailored it to actual musical situations that are quite practical and honest. Vocals also really sit nicely in the mix. A lot of times, especially with reverb, less is more, but getting that balance of less to be present when soloing a track to get a feel for it, and then re-balancing it when it’s back the mix, can be tricky. But not here; dialing in the parameters via the paddles is super-efficient overall. 

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Now with the added effects such as modulation and delay, it can go a lot deeper than just mere reverb alone. The paddles are super easy to adjust things quite quickly, and it’s very intuitive – just make the adjustment, and move on. It didn’t feel like there was a lot of back and forth across the parameters when applying this to a mix. We liked that a lot. 

Overall, the software really interacts with the hardware in an easy fashion, and offers up a quick workflow for something as delicate and subtle as a reverb can be, even at extreme settings. It’s the right blend of physical controls with a digital processing that’s not over done, and not missing any option. We like the option of controlling what’s on screen with something tactile, and hope this trend continues. 

PROS:

Highly interactive controller for excellent reverb plug-in. Super easy workflow

CONS:

None

STREET PRICE:

$349

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