Peavey ReValver MK III.V Guitar-Amp Simulation Software Review

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Michael Cooper

A GREATLY EXPANDED VARIETY OF GUITAR TONES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

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Figure 1: ReValver III.V adds several new amps, the Budda Budwah stompbox, the Peavey VCL-2 opto compressor and a dizzying multitude of new impulse responses to the popular guitar-amp simulator.

Figure 1: ReValver III.V adds several new amps, the Budda Budwah stompbox, the Peavey VCL-2 opto compressor and a dizzying multitude of new impulse responses to the popular guitar-amp simulator.

When it bowed a couple of years ago, Peavey ReValver MK III guitar-amp simulation software garnered a lot of rave reviews for its tube-like tone and the ability to tweak its virtual electronics right down to the component level (for example, modifying the plate load of its simulated tubes). ReValver MK III.V—a paid upgrade from MK III—adds seven new amps, the Budda Budwah effect and Peavey VCL-2 compressor modules, to the mix. (See Fig. 1.) It also more than quintuples the number of convolution-based speaker simulations to 778, counting impulse responses that incorporate variations on microphone choice and position for the same cabinet.

ReValver MK III.V (Mac/Win) supports AU, RTAS and VST plug-in formats, and an included stand-alone version implements full MIDI mapping. I reviewed the AU plug-in in MOTU Digital Performer Version 7.21 using an 8-core Mac Pro running Mac OS 10.5.8. My sonic evaluations were made playing a ’62 Strat routed in series through a Demeter tube direct DI box, Millennia HV-3D preamp, Apogee Rosetta A/D and MOTU 2408mk3 I/O box (digital input).

LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD
For the uninitiated, ReValver allows you to chain together scores of stompbox, preamp, power amp, amp (preamp and power amp), cabinet and effects modules in both serial and parallel configurations. Drag and drop modules allow you to change the order in which they are chained. You can add tone stacks and swap out or add virtual tubes to your amp sims and save the result as a custom impulse response (a stereo, 44.1kHz WAV file) to load into a speaker-simulation module. It’s all very intuitive.

With the addition of its new modules, MK III.V now offers simulations of 21 stompboxes, 21 amps and 11 effects. (The Effects browser also includes a VST host module, which allows ReValver to use third-party VST plug-ins with AU and VST hosts.) In addition to its hugely expanded library of convolved sims, MK III.V also includes the same modeled speaker emulations (called Speaker Construction Sets) as offered in MK III.

ReValver MK III.V offers both a 32-bit mode for real-time processing and a 64-bit, 4x oversampled “mixdown” mode for bouncing the track offline. (Mixdown mode yields very high-resolution processing, but is too CPU-intensive for real-time use.) Both modes sound great.

More importantly, the MK III.V update still doesn’t allow you to synchronize any time-based effects (delays and reverbs) to your host DAW’s tempo. Only the stand-alone version of MK III.V can automate module parameters using MIDI; the plug-in versions of MK III.V support automating its parameters using your DAW’s facilities. ReValver lacks undo and redo functions.

So the MK III.V upgrade is all about the new tone palettes that it brings to the party. For that reason, I’ll focus this review on my impressions of the new modules, starting with the Redhot amp.






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