Source Audio firmly established themselves in the stompbox big time with the release of the Nemesis delay a couple of years ago. Now they are poised to really turn some heads with the new Ventris Dual Reverb ($399 street). With tons of processing power courtesy of two 56-bit chips, this beautiful box has the muscle to deliver classic reverb sounds as well as all new textures.
The Ventris is dressed up in a pretty, green, brushed-aluminum housing, with a very reasonable footprint given its two footswitches and seven knobs. It has 12 onboard reverb engines, with more to choose from via the Neuro mobile or desktop apps. In true Source Audio fashion, the Ventris is simple to use right out of the box, but it can go as crazy deep as you want with full MIDI implementation (for 128 presets), expression control, additional parameter editing, USB connectivity, and then some. You don’t have to use any of these functions, but they’re there if you want ’em.
What the Ventris really does, however, is sound awesome. Like, “up there with the best reverbs you’ve ever heard” kind of awesome. I won’t go through all the engines, but here are some standouts. The True Spring sound is astoundingly good and realistic. It has the drip and sproing of the real deal with none of the cartoonish artifacts that can taint some simulations. The Room and Hall algorithms are luscious and E-Dome (Tap fans take note) is freaking enormous. Some of the most inspiring sounds can be found with the Shimmer, Swell, and Offspring engines. The octave-up notes that accompany Shimmer are fabulously in tune and lend themselves to beautiful pads. Swell is super vibey and dynamic. Offspring is my personal favorite and one of the most creativity-boosting sounds I’ve come across in a long time. According to the manual, Offspring “uses all-pass filters to extract cascading frequency bands, creating an effect similar to an arpeggiator.” That’s true, and it’s a real mind-blower. You can use tap tempo to sync the repeats to your groove, and then play just about anything and it’ll come out amazing. Short, staccato chords take on a life of their own, pick drags go all horror-movie soundtrack, and single-note lines morph and tweak in freaky-but-musical ways. This pedal would pretty much be worth the money if Offspring was all it did. But…
The very name of the Ventris Dual Reverb tells you that it does a lot more. At first I didn’t get the genius of two reverbs at once, until I heard it. Rather than being washy or overly diffuse, these dual sounds are lush, detailed, and gorgeously complex. You can run any two engines (or the same engine twice) in series, parallel, left/right signal paths, “spill” one into another for seamless preset changes, or hold one and play another on top.
This is truly awesome and needs to be heard to be appreciated. Spring into Room, Reverse into Lo-Fi, and anything into Offspring are all incredible, but that’s barely scratching the surface. It’s hard to say enough good things about this great reverb machine. If the Nemesis delay was a home run, the Ventris is a grand slam.
Kudos Awesome sound. 12 reverb engines. Ability to run any two engines in series. Deep editing via Neuro app. MIDI.