Seventh Heaven Reverb – BEST Bricasti M7 Alternative

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

Bricasti-M7-Remote. Source: knobdude.com

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

Seventh Heaven starter interface. Source: knobdude.com

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 –

Seventh Heaven advanced settings. Source: knobdude.com

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. 

Seventh Heaven reverb menu. Source: knobdude.com

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.

Presets Library

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:

HallsPlatesRooms
01 Large Hall03 London Plate01 Studio A
04 Large & Near07 Old Plate02 Studio B Close
05 Medium & Near08 Rich Plate03 Studio B Far
12 Sandors Hall18 Fat Plate06 Studio E
19 Boston Hall B22 Sun Plate C10 Large Wooden
01 Large Hall03 London Plate01 Studio A
ChambersAmbianceSpaces
06 Large & Bright01 Large Ambience01 North Church
09 Snare Chamber02 Med Ambience02 East Church
10 Vocal Chamber03 Small Ambience03 West Church
11 A&M Chamber12 Clear Ambience12 Cinema Room
17 Old Chamber15 Percussion Air15 Scoring Stage
06 Large & Bright01 Large Ambience01 North Church
Seventh Heaven starter presets library

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

Seventh Heaven Pro. Source: knobdude.com

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.

Seventh Heaven Pro expanded. Source: knobdude.com

Advanced Controls

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. 

Master Equalizer

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.

Presets Library

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 1Chambers 1Halls 1Halls 2Plates 1
01 Large Ambience01 Large Chamber01 Large Hall01 Large Hall01 Bright Plate
02 Med Ambience02 Medium Chamber02 Medium Hall02 Large & Stage02 Dark Plate
03 Small Ambience03 Small Chamber03 Small Hall03 Medium Hall03 London Plate
04 Large & Dark04 Large & Dark04 Large & Near04 Med & Stage04 Snare Plate A
05 Medium & Dark05 Small & Dark05 Medium & Near05 Small Hall05 Snare Plate B
06 Small & Dark06 Large & Bright06 Small & Near06 Small & Stage06 Vocal Plate
07 Large & Bright07 Small & Bright07 Large & Dark07 Large Church07 Old Plate
08 Medium & Bright08 Kick Chamber 08 Large & Deep08 Small Church08 Rich Plate
09 Small & Bright09 Snare Chamber09 Medium & Deep09 Jazz Church09 Gold Plate
10 Deep Ambience10 Vocal Chamber10 Concert Hall10 West Hall10 Dense Plate
11 Long Ambience11 A&M Chamber11 Gold Hall11 Concert A11 Silver Plate
12 Clear Ambience12 CD Chamber12 Sandors Hall12 Concert B12 Percussion Plate
13 Heavy Ambience13 Deep Chamber13 Dense Hall13 Live Hall13 Echo Plate
14 Bass XXL14 Amb Chamber A14 Clear Hall14 Koncert Piano14 CD Plate A
15 Percussion Air15 A&M Chamber B15 Brass Hall15 CD Plate B
16 Old Chamber16 Amsterdam Hall16 Large Plate
17 Sunset Chamber17 Berliner Hall17 Small Plate
18 Amb Chamber B18 Boston Hall A18 Fat Plate
19 Stone Chamber19 Boston Hall B19 Crystal Plate
20 Tiled Chamber20 Chicago Hall20 Sun Plate A
21 Fat Chamber21 Vienna Hall21 Sun Plate B
22 Echo Chamber22 Worcester Hall22 Sun Plate C
23 The ArchDuke23 Vocal Plate B
24 Troy Hall24 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 2Rooms 1Rooms 2Spaces 1Spaces 2
01 Plates A01 Studio A01 Music Club01 North Church01 Open Space
02 Small Plate02 Studio B Close02 Large Room02 East Church02 Med Space
03 Snare Plate03 Studio B Far03 Med Room03 South Church03 Small Space
04 Dark Plate04 Studio C04 Small Room04 West Church04 Vox Ambience
05 Rich Plate A05 Studio D05 Lg Wood Room05 Cinema Room05 Big Bottom
06 Rich Plate B06 Studio E06 Sm Wood Room06 Scoring Stage06 Cathedral
07 Thin Plate07 Deep Stone07 Large Chamber07 Bath House07 Grand Stage
08 Vocal Plate A08 Music Room08 Small Chamber08 Car Park08 Lush Church
09 Vocal Plate B09 Heavy Room09 Bright Chamber09 Arena09 Grand Church
10 Drum Plate10 Large Wooden10 Tiled Room10 Redwood Valley10 Concert Wave
11 Alpha Plate11 Small Wooden11 Fat Chamber11 Tanglewood11 Long Vox Space
12 Fat Plate12 Large Tiled12 Studio 112 Academy Yard12 Dark Warm Room
13 Alpha Plate13 Medium Tiled13 Studio 213 Hillside13 Live Room
14 Vocal Shimmer14 Small Tiled14 Studio 314 Cavern14 Shimmering Sky
15 Drum & Chamber15 Studio 415 Stone Quarry15 Oak Ballroom
16 Djangos Room16 Guitar Room16 Europa16 Ice House
17 Small Vox Room17 Marble Room17 Gated Space17 Ice Beads
18 Glass Room18 Deep Chamber18 Reflect Chapel18 Music Forest
19 Percussion19 Dark Chamber19 Reflect Church19 Waving Bloom
20 Marble Foyer20 Vocal Chamber20 Brick Chamber
21 Large Q Room21 Wide Room
22 Small Q Room22 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
Seventh Heaven Pro presets library

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.

Sound Quality 

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!  

Liquid Sonics - Seventh Heaven starter. Source knobdude.com

Seventh Heaven

$69.00

Sub Price

For quick workflows and low budgets. It has 30 Bricasti M7 presets [3.5GB]

LiquidSonics - Seventh Heaven Pro. Source: knobdude.com

Seventh Heaven Pro

$299.00

Sub Price

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.

Bricasti-M7-Remote

Bricasti M7

$3950.00

Sub Price

The real deal but a steep price tag for most producers and studio budgets.

Lexicon PCM Bundle

Lexicon PCM

$659.00

Sub Price

Description for this block. You can use this space for describing your block.

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.

Conclusion

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!

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