Death By Audio Reverberation Machine Review

The Reverberation Machine is a new “reverb” pedal released this summer by the incredible Death By Audio. DBA released a pedal called the Sunshine Reverberation last year in collaboration with Ty Segall. Like anything limited edition and emblazoned with Ty Segall’s moniker, the original sold out instantly. The Reverberation Machine builds on the concept behind that elusive pedal.

As the name implies, this is a reverb pedal. As far as reverbs go, this one falls on the non-traditional end of the spectrum. It is not a re-creation of a spring reverb, or an emulation of a hall. This is a wholly original effect that can switch between an intense shimmering mode, and a dark, “cavernous” sound. Additionally, the pedal has a control called “Altitude”. The Altitude knob adds gain to the signal. Sound familiar? The fuzzed-out DBA Echo Dream also combined distortion with a time-based effect. The gain on the Reverberation Machine is more like an overdrive. It has a warm, full character, and none of the square buzzsaw of the ED.

The shimmering mode adds high frequency almost synth-like reverberations to the signal. The sound is akin to the Mr. Black Eterna pedals. With a single coil pickup this mode is especially satisfying. It produces sounds from a beautiful chime, to an ear-peircing shriek, depending on the Altitude control.

The cavernous mode is the inverse, accentuating the low end in the wet signal. This creates a more withdrawn sound, which can go from haunting to heavy with the Altitude control. Something like what you might hear on a track from Dirty Beaches, or, unsurprisingly, A Place to Bury Strangers.

Death By Audio pedals are always stunning in their versatility. They are musical, expressive instruments in themselves. Niel Young once said to Patti Smith, “If you wanna write a song, ask a guitar.” The same dictum could apply at a whole different level to Death by Audio pedals; each one contains a whole band’s worth of sound. The Reverberation Machine is a glorious continuation of that tradition. – Nathan Smith