Dynacord DRP 15 High Quality Reverb Processor (part 1)
I would have probably called the DRP 15 a multi effects unit, but 'high quality reverb processor’ is Dynacord’s term so I think I should approach it from the reverb angle. You will turn to the DRP 15 when you need a bit of ambience and atmosphere, and while you are in the process of patching it in you will probably be wondering whether a bit of modulation, EQ, delay or pitch changing might help things along a little. Multi effects units that are capable of several simultaneous effects have been around for some time now and are not the novelty they used to be. Quite the reverse in fact, many people will say that too much power in too small a box can be a dangerous thing. Well, not actually dangerous but certainly not a safe bet in less than expert hands.
The DRP 15 is organised as a chunk of processing power that can be distributed among a number of effects. One effect algorithm is the aforementioned High Quality Reverb which takes all the brain cells of the DRP 15 to calculate, so there can be no other effects apart from a simple two band EQ at the same time. But if you are content with a slightly less than highest quality reverb then you can have more. The Multi Effect algorithm provides reverb, delay, modulation and EQ simultaneously, for example. Other algorithms include High Quality Modulation, Pitch Shift, Long Delay, Delay + Reverb, Pitch + Delay + Reverb, Instrumental Effect and Delay Line 1>2. This last is a delay line with one input and two outputs. In a similar way to Sony’s '7’ range of effects units, and others, there is no special way of selecting an algorithm, you just scroll through the factory programs until you find one with the algorithm you want and then proceed to modify it. Let’s face it, although many people say they would like to be able to create their own personalised effects from scratch, most of us just look for a preset that is close, and then tweak it to perfection. One point about the DRP 15 that gains my special commendation is the LED display where the user is clearly informed which effects are included in each preset or user program. On other effects units this may not be at all obvious. The DRP 15, like any self respecting effects unit, sports MIDI control, over both program changes and parameters via MIDI controllers. It is also possible to store the settings via a System Exclusive dump.
Half the fun of having a reverb unit is being able to play with the various parameters on offer. It’s nice to get the feeling that one is in control but not wallowing in a sea of parameters, as in the case of one nice sounding but difficult-to-program example. I think Dynacord have struck a happy compromise and there is also an Easy Edit mode for when you want a quick result. In Difficult Edit mode (no, not really!) the first parameter is the level of the original signal. Then comes EQ Low (±14dB), EQ High, Reverb Level then Reverb Type. This last one is interesting because the first option is to edit all the parameters individually. If you don’t want to go to all this trouble then spin the dial into the Easy settings which include Room, Chamber, Hall, Church, Tunnel, Plate (remember those?) and Gated. Easy mode saves you the bother of working out what the parameters for all of these ought to be and puts in values which should be about right. You can still go on to edit a limited number of parameters. For instance, for the Hall reverb you can adjust the volume in cubic metres, the reverb time and the HF and LF damping. If you had stayed in expert mode the parameters would have also included Reflection/Reverb Ratio, Reflection Type, Reverb Cluster Proportion, Predelay, Reflection Reverb Delay (the time between the first reflections and the reverberation), and for the gated program you can change the Gate Time, Colour, Slope and Predelay. Any questions?