The Mercury7 Reverb was the primary pedal launch from Meris, a Southern California based mostly builder at present comprised of solely three group members. Whereas at a look the Mercury7 might appear to be a reasonably normal reverb, it’s truly extra of a conceptual reverb instrument. In any case, the sounds of the Mercury7 have been impressed by the majestic use of reverb present in Vangelis’ unique Bladerunner movie soundtrack from 1982, and in the event you’re conversant in the work, that ought to offer you a touch as to the sorts of sprawling cinematic atmosphere this pedal can produce.
The Mercury7 Reverb pedal was truly derived from Meris’ Mercury7 Reverb 500 Collection module, the world’s first 500 Collection based mostly algorithmic DSP reverb. When you think about the Mercury7’s inspirational supply and the truth that the Mercury7 was initially designed as a studio device first, you possibly can additional think about the attitude with which it might be greatest to strategy the pedal. Increasing your perceptions on this means will provide help to see the Mercury7 Reverb as a portal that may open wormholes to uncharted dimensions of reverberant area.
- Handcrafted Algorithmic Reverbs
- Analog Combine & Dry Sign Path
- Excessive & Low Frequency Damping
- In depth Modulation Functionality
- Auto Swell Envelope (variable and foot-switchable)
- Stereo enter and output
- Switchable enter output headroom degree for Guitar, Synthesizer or Line ranges
- Expression pedal management over all parameters concurrently
- Presets obtainable by way of exterior Four-Preset change or MIDI
- MIDI in/out over TRS by way of the EXP jack
- Premium analog sign path and 24-bit AD/DA w/32 bit floating level DSP
- Premium Analog Units JFET enter part
- Shade – translucent coat of deep blue over brushed aluminum
- Designed and inbuilt Los Angeles, California U.S.A.
- Premium high quality 24 bit A/D and D/A
- 32 Bit floating level DSP hardware
- -115 dB Sign to Noise Ratio (typical)
- Premium low noise Analog sign path all through
- Auto Swell Envelope (variable and foot-switchable)
- Analog Units JFET enter circuitry
- Moist/Dry sign combine happens within the Analog area
- Selectable True Bypass (Relay) or Analog Buffered Bypass
- 150 mA complete energy consumption
- Sturdy clear blue powder coat over brushed aluminum
- Present draw: <150mA
- Dimensions: Four.25″ large, Four.5″ lengthy, 2″ tall
Go to Meris for more information concerning the Mercury7 Reverb.
Sound & Efficiency:
As is the case with the equally laid-out Polymoon and Ottobit Jr. pedals, the Mercury7 Reverb has a floor association of six knobs, a pair of buttons, and two foot-switches.
The primary knob features are usually self-explanatory, however a number of the knobs perform a bit in another way from what you’ll discover on some reverb pedals. For instance, whereas the Area Decay units the size of your reverb trails (the “decay”), there’s additionally a change in the best way the reverb dissipates relying on the place the knob is about. The knob will appear to increase and contract the reverb as you flip it, and the reverb appears to get “bigger” and extra dense as you flip the knob clockwise. This makes it extremely interactive with different parameters; because the reverb will get greater and louder, you might have to attenuate the sound with the Combine knob. Likewise, the Lo Frequency and Hello Frequency knobs may help form the environment of the reverb. You possibly can brighten the high-end so as to add extra sheen to the reverb or dampen the highs for a boxier sound, and you may take away some low-end content material for a thinner reverb sound or improve the dimensions of the digital room.
The 2 middle knobs, Modulate and Pitch Vector, present a pair additional floor choices for augmenting the sound of the reverb. Modulate provides modulation to the reverb starting from a light-weight, clean sway to deeper and extra hypnotic actions. (We’ll talk about this a bit extra once we get to the Alt features.) The Pitch Vector knob selects between totally different pitch intervals that shift the pitch of the reverb. It’s value noting the knob interaction once more; if you add a Pitch Vector choice to your sound, you could want to experiment with altering different knob values to get the right sound. With the -Oct setting, boosting the Lo Frequency may help dial in a booming low-end heavy reverb. With the Slight Pitch Down and Slight Pitch Up choices, attempt utilizing the Modulate knob to make an much more dizzying and vertigo inducing sound. With the fifth and Shimmer choices use the Hello Frequency to actually intensify or suppress these glistening higher frequencies. You’ll additionally discover how greater Area Decay values trigger the pitches to regenerate and proceed cascading within the path the pitch is shifting.
Every of the Mercury7’s knobs has an Alt perform which is accessed by pushing and holding the Alt button whereas turning any of the knobs. These features add deeper ranges of customization to the reverb.
The Predelay Alt perform behaves barely totally different from how I anticipated it to in comparison with the various different reverbs I’ve used. The utmost time you’ll be able to insert earlier than the onset of the reverb is comparatively brief, however it’s going to allow you to add a bit of additional area earlier than the reverb in order that your decide assault and transients can breathe. Contemplating how delicate it’s, this can be extra of a set-and-forget parameter moderately than one which’ll have dramatic impact on the location of the reverb in a mixture; nevertheless when you’re utilizing the Mercury7 with different devices apart from guitar, you could discover the Predelay helpful for tweaking the response of the reverb to work properly with totally different audio supply(s). The Density Alt perform “sets amount of initial build up of echoes before the reverb tank”. To my ears this appears to clean out the reverb as you increase the Density. With shorter settings extra element of the reflections can be audible, however at greater settings the reverb appears extra subtle. It’s value exploring how this interacts with the Area Decay. If I’m utilizing longer decay settings, I discover myself liking so as to add extra Density, however with shorter decay occasions, I wish to maintain it low to create a sparsely reflective response that appears extra room-like.
There are a pair totally different modulation Alt parameters. The Mod Velocity choice units the “dominant” velocity of the modulation. I discussed which you can dial in a variety of modulation textures with the Modulate knob. As you improve the Mod Velocity and lift the Modulate knob’s floor worth, you’ll discover that there’s all types of gargling modulation occurring. It sounds just like the Mercury7 is utilizing properly multiple LFO to generate the motion, and it will probably go from delicate to sea-sickening as you improve each of those parameters. And in case you add within the Vibrato Depth Alt perform, you’ve got but much more modulation so as to add to your reverb, this time within the type of extra delicate sine wave based mostly pitch modulation. The vibrato has a set velocity, maybe a disadvantage for these want for extra from the vibrato perform. You’ll in all probability not discover the counter-movement of the set vibrato velocity if the Vibrato Depth is about low and for those who’re utilizing each of the modulation choices directly; issues will simply get extra fascinating with all of the motion happening.
The Pitch Vector Combine Alt parameter adjusts the combination between the traditional reverb sound and the pitch-shifted reverb. It primarily allows you to stability out how a lot of the pitch-shifting is in your moist reverberated sign. It may be tempting to only max it out in order that whenever you activate the Pitch Vector you get a full-on pitch-shifted reverb, however it may be simpler to rigorously set the Pitch Vector Combine by ear whereas the Combine and Area Decay are set to ranges at which you usually use them. I personally went by way of a part of feeling like I didn’t just like the Mercury7’s pitch-shifting results that a lot till I noticed how crucial it’s to be aware of how a lot Pitch Vector sign is mixed into the digital reverb tank. For me a Pitch Vector Combine setting round 11 o’clock usually works properly for getting a pleasant Shimmer impact that’s current with out being overly outstanding.
The Assault Time Alt parameter units the onset time for the Swell impact. Let’s speak about that intimately…
The auto swell perform has it’s personal devoted foot-switch. When activated the reverb will swell from silence to full quantity in response to your enjoying. It’s good to set the Assault Time Alt parameter to get a response that fits the texture you need to accompany your enjoying. This perform additionally works rather well with the Combine cranked up for a totally moist reverb sign. Beneficiant quantities of Area Decay may also assist create an enormous cloud of reverb, and you may maintain down the Swell foot-switch to max the Area Decay to maintain the reverb going when you auto-swell in additional of your enjoying. This provides some additional efficiency flexibility to the Mercury7.
Cathedra & Ultraplate
It’s lastly time to speak concerning the Mercury7’s two reverb modes. Whereas some pedals come loaded with perhaps a half-dozen, dozen, or much more reverbs, this pedal has solely two. Is that a disadvantage? Properly, should you simply need a spring reverb sound, the Mercury7 undoubtedly gained’t be your first selection, however the two modes on faucet do cowl a variety of floor. Let’s talk about.
I’m an enormous fan of plate reverbs, and I wish to attempt each plate emulation I can get entry to. Briefly, the Mercury7 Reverb’s Ultraplate algorithm is my private favourite plate reverb for utilizing with a brief pre-delay. The truth is, the stereo unfold of the Ultraplate is so interesting to me that I’ve been utilizing the Ultraplate as my default “always-on” reverb for mild to average atmosphere for the previous six months. Whereas the sound of the reverb could also be extra synthetic than a room-modeled reverb, it does what I want it to do, and when in comparison with algorithms from different noteworthy pedals, I maintain going again to the Mercury7. Since I actually simply depart it on almost on a regular basis, if I need to use one other reverb, I’ll stack one other reverb that has a much less spectacular stereo sound in entrance of the Ultraplate. The Mercury7 Reverb creates the area for all the opposite pedals to take a seat in.
The Cathedra is arguably the Mercury7’s flagship reverb that basically magnifies all the sound design prospects on faucet. If you’d like one thing extra restrained, you’ll in all probability stick to the Ultraplate. However if you would like see how far you’ll be able to journey, the Cathedra will take you past the horizon. The Cathedra has far more complexity in its sound and may completely dominate the frequency spectrum with its large presence and additional lengthy reverb decay. It you’re creating music with sparse instrumentation however need to create a temper by means of evocative use of reverb, you’ll discover loads of expressive nuance in utilizing the Cathedra. The knobs beg to be turned when you really feel audio into the pedal, and also you’ll in all probability discover it worthwhile to think about using an expression pedal to regulate a number of parameters directly.
I already talked about how impressed I’ve been by how good the Mercury7’s Ultraplate sounds in stereo. (The Cathedra is superior in stereo, too, by the best way.) In case you haven’t observed but, I can’t stress sufficient how extremely I like to recommend making an attempt this pedal in stereo. And operating the Polymoon & Mercury7 collectively in stereo is the stuff goals are manufactured from. The Mercury7 and different Meris pedals additionally let you choose between Line and Instrument degree alerts. This makes it simpler to combine the Mercury7 in a synthesizer based mostly rig. You can too take full management of the pedal’s adjustable parameters with MIDI, permitting management of the pedal from a MIDI controller or sequencer. Meris lately launched their long-awaited MIDI I/O adapter, and for my testing the Chase Bliss Audio Midibox labored completely high quality.
Ups & Downs
I actually need to discover some faults with this pedal, however I can’t actually discover something that may be a deal-breaker. I’ll say that I’m beginning to want extra reverb pedals would come with a Excessive Cross Filter to assist make area for different low-frequency devices moderately than with the ability to do it solely in publish processing. It’s important to separate parts in an audio combine, and an enormous reverb can dominate the audio frequency spectrum. The Lo Frequency can tame the lows fairly properly, however I often like to only minimize out all low frequencies under a sure level. Additionally, I’ve observed that I want the Alt parameters on all Meris pedals have been labeled in small font beneath the primary parameters. Whereas I don’t spend a lot time adjusting them as soon as issues are set, that’s additionally the rationale why Alt labels can be useful – to assist customers keep in mind which parameters are the place for the event when customers do have to make a fast tweak and aren’t positive which Alt parameter hides underneath what knob. The one different challenge I can consider is that you’ll want a separate system (just like the Meris Preset Change) if you wish to save and recall presets. I personally have all of the Meris pedals arrange with MIDI and discover that to be my most popular means of interfacing with and controlling the Mercury7 (and different Meris pedals). The Mercury7 will not be as flashy seeming or “wow-ing” at first, nevertheless it sounds superb and is definitely among the many nice reverb pedals obtainable at the moment. And like I stated, the Mercury7 has grow to be the one reverb pedal I can’t flip off.
The Meris Mercury7 Reverb is a masterpiece of refined reverb sound design, and the flexibility of its two interstellar algorithms helps the pedal maintain its personal towards reverb pedals that include many extra. The pedal’s two humble algorithms boast an unimaginable vary of risk because of a variety of rigorously calibrated parameter controls. It’s superb how the Mercury7 (and different Meris pedals for that matter) can appear quite simple to make use of but home such a breadth of potential. Relatively than be crammed to the brim with several types of reverb (with lots of them failing to encourage), the Mercury7’s Ultraplate and Cathedra are exceptionally properly crafted, and the interactive parameter controls make it attainable for these two modes to cowl lots of floor. The Mercury7 alone might encourage the environment of entire albums, and this pedal will little question be used to attain some cinematic masterpieces to return within the ensuing years.
That concludes our Meris Mercury7 Reverb assessment. Thanks for studying.