Seventh Heaven is a software reverb developed by LiquidSonics that closely resembles the prized Bricasti M7 hardware reverb and goes well beyond the static settings often associated with impulse responses.
Seventh Heaven is based on extensive Bricasti M7 hardware sampling and innovative interpolation techniques to allow a plethora of possibilities, providing us with virtually unlimited options for adjusting the sound of any Bricasti M7 preset the way we want.
Of course, this convenience has a price tag attached, but after playing a few hours with a demo of Seventh Heaven, I decided to go ahead to add it to my arsenal of absolutely must-have reverb plugins.
Seventh Heaven comes in two versions – the starter and the pro version available on Mac and PC: VST2, VST3, Audio Unit, AAX, 32-bit, and 64-bit support.
In this article, we are going to see what are the main differences between the starter and professional versions and if you should add Seventh Heaven to your arsenal of reverb plugins.
But before we start, let me state clearly that both starter and pro versions of Seventh Heaven sound absolutely amazing!
The Bricasti M7 Magic
In a previous post, I explained how to download all Bricasti M7 Impulse Responses by Samplicity and import them in Space Designer and you guys liked that tutorial a lot.
But what exactly makes M7 so popular and wanted by producers?
Bricasti Design was founded by a group of engineers who formerly worked for Lexicon, another famous high-end studio gear company best known for its reverbs. The M7 was their debut product, and it was well-received when it was released in 2007.
It did not try to replicate the Lexicon Sound, but it was believed to have significantly benefitted from the engineering team’s expertise and knowledge.
The M7 utilized CPU processing to achieve its goals. It also featured a slew of hardware specialized for digital signal processing (DSP) under the hood that might outperform desktop computers that tried to do the same thing.
Around 2010, the M7 received a significant firmware update. Its primary selling point was a second internal reverb algorithm that Bricasti said produced a little more “effect-y” sound, but the new programs utilizing it were far from flashy.
Both the original and new algorithms now include a delay feedback mechanism as part of the update. This is only relevant to people who have studied both the Seventh Heaven, Seventh Heaven Pro documentation, and the original Bricasti M7 manual. The latter covers the second reverb algorithm and the delay option, which are not addressed in the initial M7 handbook.
The M7 was never inexpensive. In today’s market, new units cost about $3500. A home studio producer is unlikely to be able to afford an M7 at that pricing. One of the reasons Reverberate 3 was so unique was precise because of this.
Fusion provided the most excellent M7 convolution experience, allowing a home studio to have affordable access to the M7 sound. Mission completed! LiquidSonics, you’ve done an unbelievable job.
Seventh Heavens Reverb
The Seventh Heaven starter version provides fewer knobs to control the reverb parameters, as well as fewer presets, however, an excellent choice to get your ears wet with the famous M7 reverb sound.
The interface isn’t a precise duplicate of the Bricasti M7’s, but it does have a similar appearance: dark grey paneling surrounds a central region that is intended to resemble the original unit’s screen.
The picture above depicts the expanded Seventh Heaven starter version user interface. When not in use, the bottom part can be hidden allowing to control the plugin via four main parameters:
- The Mix knob for adjusting the dry/wet balance of the reverb.
- The Preset knob for relative switching between various presets such as halls, plates, rooms, chambers, ambiance, and spaces.
- The output Gain knob controls the output level of the reverb.
- The decay time parameter to configure the time required for the reflections (reverberation) to die away
We will discuss the presets included in the Seventh Heavens in a second.
When it comes to decay time, there is a wide variety of options. This is what you get if the chosen time matches one of the times recorded.
There is a continuous range of decay time values available. If the chosen time corresponds to one of the times captured, you will get as close as it can be to the original results.
If this is not the case, SH will interpolate between the recorded images of the closest bracketing periods allowing you to define your own sound.
When the bottom portion is shown, it offers controls for the following reverb parameters –
The Pre-Delay setting will only impact the reverb tail, not the early reflections – go ahead and try that with any other convolution reverb plugin on the market.
The Delay utilizes a preset value of -6 dB to activate the M7’s delay function, as explained previously.
The Delay duration may be changed. However, the -6 dB level cannot. Pre-delay and Delay may be synchronized with the host’s pace – an option unavailable on an actual M7. The reverb signal is passed via two 12 dB/octave filters.
The VLF [Very Low Frequency] is an actual feature of the Bricasti M7 unit. VLF got me very confused at first, so here is how I got my head around it.
Dealing with low-end has always been a pain for reverbs, which tend to get muddy with frequencies below 100Hz. Also, when the reverb tails are lengthy, a normal low boost will swamp the reverb since you add a ton of additional energy to the bottom end.
Most reverbs deal with low frequencies by filtering them out, which often compromise the reverb body and vitality resulting in an artificial sounding outcome.
Bricasti M7 uses a separate low-end reverb rather than dealing with low-frequency tails in the main verb. Therefore, M7 has full control over the low-end tail length, which is not limited by the main reverb’s early reflections or decay time.
This means that the low-end is somehow longer resulting in a stand-out rich bottom end that supports the reverb body and leads to natural results. To sum up, you can throw any low-frequency material into Seventh Heaven and it will accurately replicate the real space.
Finally, the Early/Late knob allows for adjusting the early reflections and the tail of the reverb.
The menu section of the plugin offers the user the possibility to save and recall your presets, view the presets locations using your file browser. By default, the Seventh Heaven user presets location is as following:
On Mac: /Library/Application Support/LiquidSonics/Seventh Heaven Professional/Data
On Windows: C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\LiquidSonics\Seventh Heaven Professional\User Presets
By clicking the question-mark icon in the menu, you can access the plugin about information, online manual, and interactive assistance showing additional information when mouse-hovering over any parameter in the plugin.
And that’s pretty much all you need to know about the Seventh Heaven visual interface. Next, let’s continue by having a look at what programs are available in the starter version.
The Seventh Heaven plugin is basically a closed system – you can only work with the reverb libraries bundled in the software. The library size is approximately 3.5 GB.
The factory presets for the Seventh Heaven starter version consists of 30 presets that are almost identical to those found on the Bricasti M7. The offered banks and presets are listed below with their respective Bricasti M7 preset number associated:
|01 Large Hall||03 London Plate||01 Studio A|
|04 Large & Near||07 Old Plate||02 Studio B Close|
|05 Medium & Near||08 Rich Plate||03 Studio B Far|
|12 Sandors Hall||18 Fat Plate||06 Studio E|
|19 Boston Hall B||22 Sun Plate C||10 Large Wooden|
|01 Large Hall||03 London Plate||01 Studio A|
|06 Large & Bright||01 Large Ambience||01 North Church|
|09 Snare Chamber||02 Med Ambience||02 East Church|
|10 Vocal Chamber||03 Small Ambience||03 West Church|
|11 A&M Chamber||12 Clear Ambience||12 Cinema Room|
|17 Old Chamber||15 Percussion Air||15 Scoring Stage|
|06 Large & Bright||01 Large Ambience||01 North Church|
The Seventh Heaven starter version is gear towards producers looking for quick workflows and lower budgets. The starter version can be easily updated to the Pro version later.
Seventh Heaven Pro Reverb
The Pro version comes with everything the starter version offers so we won’t cover those details again.
When you look at it, it’s quite a simple plugin, with an elegant and clean interface that places the most common parameters right in front of your eyes: reverb type/preset, decay time [up to 30 seconds], mix [dry/wet], output gain, early/late balance, and the very low-frequency reverb [adjust reverb frequencies under 200Hz] – another notable feature of the Bricasti M7.
The front panel also has meters for the reverb’s early/late/very-low-frequency [VLF] components, with all meters spanning from -60dB to +6dB, so you can easily keep all levels under control.
Finally, we can reach the sophisticated settings and a master equalizer underneath the meters. As with its smaller sibling, the Advanced Controls section can be shown or hidden as highlighted below.
The Advanced Controls section allows the user to select different reflection patterns – another essential feature of the M7, set tempo-syncing pre and post delays, as well as the post-delay time and level, roll-off the high frequencies from the reflections and reverb [tail] separately, and adjust the low and high-frequency decay times and their respective multipliers.
The Master Equalizer is a comprehensive tool consisting of five bands that include high pass/low pass filters, a parametric middle band with variable Q, and low/high-frequency bands with shelf or bell forms and variable Q. You can access the equalizer view by simply clicking on the master equalizer as highlighted above.
The M7 doesn’t have a master filter, but it does have one for fast access to basic tone shaping. Except for the high cut, a 12 dB/Oct Massberg low-pass for better roll-off performance, the filters are twice oversampled low/shelf/bell types. The shelf and bell shapes of the low and high bands may be altered, but the bell shape of the mid-band is permanent.
The library size for the pro version is approximately 9 GB and you can probably tell that the pro version has significantly more presets compared with the starter version.
The Seventh Heaven Pro includes about 200 presets grouped in 10 banks that are almost identical to those found on the Bricasti M7. And when I say “almost” I mean, my ear may not be good enough to notice the difference.
Eight of the preset banks listed below have a “1” or “2” suffix, indicating which set of M7 programs was utilized as the source and which algorithm was employed in those programs.
According to the manual, version 1 algorithm variants have static tails, while version 2 algorithm variants have modulated tails. In addition, all of them feature modified early reflections as well as a VLF component.
The offered banks and presets are listed below with their respective Bricasti M7 preset number associated:
|Ambiance 1||Chambers 1||Halls 1||Halls 2||Plates 1|
|01 Large Ambience||01 Large Chamber||01 Large Hall||01 Large Hall||01 Bright Plate|
|02 Med Ambience||02 Medium Chamber||02 Medium Hall||02 Large & Stage||02 Dark Plate|
|03 Small Ambience||03 Small Chamber||03 Small Hall||03 Medium Hall||03 London Plate|
|04 Large & Dark||04 Large & Dark||04 Large & Near||04 Med & Stage||04 Snare Plate A|
|05 Medium & Dark||05 Small & Dark||05 Medium & Near||05 Small Hall||05 Snare Plate B|
|06 Small & Dark||06 Large & Bright||06 Small & Near||06 Small & Stage||06 Vocal Plate|
|07 Large & Bright||07 Small & Bright||07 Large & Dark||07 Large Church||07 Old Plate|
|08 Medium & Bright||08 Kick Chamber||08 Large & Deep||08 Small Church||08 Rich Plate|
|09 Small & Bright||09 Snare Chamber||09 Medium & Deep||09 Jazz Church||09 Gold Plate|
|10 Deep Ambience||10 Vocal Chamber||10 Concert Hall||10 West Hall||10 Dense Plate|
|11 Long Ambience||11 A&M Chamber||11 Gold Hall||11 Concert A||11 Silver Plate|
|12 Clear Ambience||12 CD Chamber||12 Sandors Hall||12 Concert B||12 Percussion Plate|
|13 Heavy Ambience||13 Deep Chamber||13 Dense Hall||13 Live Hall||13 Echo Plate|
|14 Bass XXL||14 Amb Chamber A||14 Clear Hall||14 Koncert Piano||14 CD Plate A|
|15 Percussion Air||15 A&M Chamber B||15 Brass Hall||15 CD Plate B|
|16 Old Chamber||16 Amsterdam Hall||16 Large Plate|
|17 Sunset Chamber||17 Berliner Hall||17 Small Plate|
|18 Amb Chamber B||18 Boston Hall A||18 Fat Plate|
|19 Stone Chamber||19 Boston Hall B||19 Crystal Plate|
|20 Tiled Chamber||20 Chicago Hall||20 Sun Plate A|
|21 Fat Chamber||21 Vienna Hall||21 Sun Plate B|
|22 Echo Chamber||22 Worcester Hall||22 Sun Plate C|
|23 The ArchDuke||23 Vocal Plate B|
|24 Troy Hall||24 Repro Plate|
|25 Saint Sylvain|
|26 Mechanics Hall|
|27 Saint Gerold|
|28 Pepes Hall A|
|29 Pepes Hall B|
|30 Reflect Hall A|
|31 Reflect Hall B|
|32 Piano Hall|
|Plates 2||Rooms 1||Rooms 2||Spaces 1||Spaces 2|
|01 Plates A||01 Studio A||01 Music Club||01 North Church||01 Open Space|
|02 Small Plate||02 Studio B Close||02 Large Room||02 East Church||02 Med Space|
|03 Snare Plate||03 Studio B Far||03 Med Room||03 South Church||03 Small Space|
|04 Dark Plate||04 Studio C||04 Small Room||04 West Church||04 Vox Ambience|
|05 Rich Plate A||05 Studio D||05 Lg Wood Room||05 Cinema Room||05 Big Bottom|
|06 Rich Plate B||06 Studio E||06 Sm Wood Room||06 Scoring Stage||06 Cathedral|
|07 Thin Plate||07 Deep Stone||07 Large Chamber||07 Bath House||07 Grand Stage|
|08 Vocal Plate A||08 Music Room||08 Small Chamber||08 Car Park||08 Lush Church|
|09 Vocal Plate B||09 Heavy Room||09 Bright Chamber||09 Arena||09 Grand Church|
|10 Drum Plate||10 Large Wooden||10 Tiled Room||10 Redwood Valley||10 Concert Wave|
|11 Alpha Plate||11 Small Wooden||11 Fat Chamber||11 Tanglewood||11 Long Vox Space|
|12 Fat Plate||12 Large Tiled||12 Studio 1||12 Academy Yard||12 Dark Warm Room|
|13 Alpha Plate||13 Medium Tiled||13 Studio 2||13 Hillside||13 Live Room|
|14 Vocal Shimmer||14 Small Tiled||14 Studio 3||14 Cavern||14 Shimmering Sky|
|15 Drum & Chamber||15 Studio 4||15 Stone Quarry||15 Oak Ballroom|
|16 Djangos Room||16 Guitar Room||16 Europa||16 Ice House|
|17 Small Vox Room||17 Marble Room||17 Gated Space||17 Ice Beads|
|18 Glass Room||18 Deep Chamber||18 Reflect Chapel||18 Music Forest|
|19 Percussion||19 Dark Chamber||19 Reflect Church||19 Waving Bloom|
|20 Marble Foyer||20 Vocal Chamber||20 Brick Chamber|
|21 Large Q Room||21 Wide Room|
|22 Small Q Room||22 Lush Room|
|23 Large Rd Room|
|24 Red Room|
|25 Blue Room|
|26 Large Room|
|27 Small Room|
|28 Front Room|
|29 Center Room|
|30 Back Room|
|31 Studio K|
|32 Waits Room|
|33 Corn Room|
|34 Oakland Room|
|35 SF Perf Room|
|36 Long Wood Room|
Note: please keep in mind that Seventh Heaven cannot utilize Seventh Heaven Pro preset data files and vice versa since the data content/formats needed by the two plug-ins are not similar.
My first encounter with Bricasti M7 impulse responses was via the almost decade-old Samplicity files, which were decent enough to give me a taste of the M7 hardware but, owing to their nature [traditional convolution IRs], were a little dull and lifeless.
Then I tested the first version of Fusion IRs with Reverberate 2 and Reverberate 3, which is unquestionably a significant sound enhancement.
Seventh Heaven is something else altogether; it’s an important step ahead in sound quality, and it seems more “alive,” with more “depth” than ever before.
I own Bricasti M7 hardware in my studio, and after a few intense hours of A/B comparison, I really could not tell the difference. Yes, that good!
But even if you don’t own the original hardware, Seventh Heaven sounds like a “better reverb” in every way when compared to prior Bricasti M7 Samplicity true stereo IRs.
Most importantly, it’s a fantastic reverb in its own right, deserving to be considered among the finest, which is a significant achievement given the current level of competition.
Which one should I get?
Assuming that both are within your budget, the decision between the Seventh Heaven and Seventh Heaven Pro boils down to two factors: a) will you utilize the additional programmability in the pro version, and/or b) do you need more presets?
Do you fancy the reverb sound of a well-known and highly acclaimed Bricast M7 that most likely cannot afford due to its almost $4K price tag?
If that’s the case, Seventh Heaven is your BEST option. It took me about 2 hours to realize Seventh Heaven is a must-have in my arsenal of reverb plugins. And yes, I got the pro version.
Please don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and try it. There is a 14-day trial available for both the starter and pro versions on the LiquidSonics website.
But I warn you: you better have the money ready as once you hear it, you’re going to be hooked – no joke!
For quick workflows and low budgets. It has 30 Bricasti M7 presets [3.5GB]
Seventh Heaven Pro
For experienced producers and studios.
It has about 200 presets [9GB]
And one more thing. iLok 2/3, iLok Cloud, or iLok machine activation is required to use Seventh Heaven, and here is a rationale for that.
Liquid Sonics’ high regard for this intellectual property, as well as the belief that a hardware dongle is significantly more secure even if this could mean fewer sales.
And I don’t blame Liquid Sonics for choosing this path. They truly have something unique here, let alone the very long list of high-quality plugins and synths you might miss just because you [like me not long ago] have no stomach for an iLok.
However, if I could not change your mind on the iLok thing, Reverberate 3 might be the closest Seventh Heaven alternative.
It lacks the features of Seventh Heaven, but it does have a large number of Fusion-enabled M7 sounds and spaces. Not to mention that at least once per year, Liquid Sonics has Reverberate 3 on promotion.
But hey, if I’ll have to complain about something, it would be the lack of discounts for both Seventh Heaven standard and pro versions.
The lack of an SH-to-SHPro upgrade discount option is my sole complaint about Liquid Sonics. Customers who buy SH will, I believe, be so pleased that they will seriously consider upgrading. Liquid Sonics may lose more than a few sales due to the lack of a customer-loyalty advantage.
Seventh Heaven Reverb Alternatives
Seventh Heaven is a reverb worth falling in love with, so why not get the original? The cost is perhaps the greatest deterrent, but nothing matches the real thing if you have large pockets.
The real deal but a steep price tag for most producers and studio budgets.
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One of the reasons the M7 is so sought after is because it is essentially several reverbs in one. Keeping this in mind, no one plugin can fully replace it. A collection of them? Maybe. A suite of Lexicon’s quality? Getting closer.
Overall, Liquid Sonics created a highly comprehensive and professional reverb plugin, most notably a very well-crafted M7 replica that may quickly become a go-to option for music, sound design, and post-production.
With everything out of the way, Seventh Heaven [starter/professional] is now the closest thing to having a Bricasti M7 “in the box” at an incredibly affordable price compared with the real deal.
In conclusion, all I can say is that I am in love with this beast. Liquid Sonics, you don’t chase to amaze us!