Since the PCM70s primary function, to my mind at least, is as a digital reverb unit, I think I should start at Program 3.0 - the first of the twenty-two basic reverb Programs. The Programs in Row 3 of Figure 2 are designed to emulate real concert halls, and they do a pretty good job too. As the manual states, the reverb starts with a low initial density which builds up gradually over time. As well as the reverberation itself, the Concert Hall programs also have four early reflections, each of which can be independently adjusted for level and timing. There is also a gate for stopping the reverb abruptly, an effect which was especially popular on drum sounds at the time the PCM70 was introduced, but sounds a bit naff now.
Stepping down to Row 4 (you press the down key to increment the number) we find the Rich Chamber programs. I cant improve on Lexicons description: The Rich Chamber programs produce an even, relatively dimensionless reverberation, with little change in colour as the sound decays. The initial diffusion is similar to the Concert Hall programs, but the sense of space and size is much less obvious. This characteristic, along with the low colour in the decay tail make the Rich Chamber programs especially useful on spoken voice, giving a noticeable increase in loudness with very low colour. This is actually a very helpful description of the sound, not just an advertising copywriters message, which Lexicon provide in their manual for all the Program families. When you understand the designers intentions, it makes operation of the unit more rewarding (a lot more rewarding than simply flicking through presets). The programs in Row 5 are plate simulations with a high initial diffusion and bright sound. Lexicon recommend their use on percussion. Row 6 is dedicated to creative Inverse Room programs. Many of the reverb programs have editable parameters in common. Here is a selection which should indicate the power available in the PCM70:
As you can see, there is a good range of parameters available, but not I think too many to put the average user off editing the original programs. The one drawback is that the display is quite small and some of the parameter names have had to be abbreviated beyond the point where people can be expected to work out their meaning - but you have to remember that classic effects units have their failings, just as classic cars leak oil.
The other effects have a whole new set of adjustable parameters, far too many for me to go into here, but I must mention the PCM70s party trick. Every engineer will want to use it at least once and I recently placed it, suitably tailored, on the opening of the CD The Killing Tide by Sol Invictus. The effect is known as Resonant Chords.Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR