Is there a specific type of reverb that gets the retro sound found on these Best Coast and The Drums songs:

Just pumping up any old reverb doesn't seem to do the trick so any tips on how to get this retro sound would be great thanks!

3 Answers 3


For the guitars retro reverb would be vacuum tube driven springs as found in a 1963 to 1965 Black Face amp such as the Super Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, etc,. Also Fender and others had a standalone tube driven spring reverb that was far superior than the amps mentioned.

Many effect boxes emulate this sound, Zoom does it pretty well. I have a replica Uncle Spot stand alone reverb--actually an improvement over the original Fender that I use and love.

Check it out here:


For the vocals tube driven springs may be too much like Dick Dale, perhaps a good 'Hall' reverb at about 40% to 50%.


I dont know why no one has mentioned it but if you go for vintage style reverbs there are 4 ways to achieve:

  1. Spring reverb
  2. Plate reverb
  3. Actual big space on recording
  4. Reverb chamber

3 & 4 are hard to have nowadays.

Spring reverbs can get pretty pricey like AKG 20 but there are many other cheaper, also spring reverbs have a signature "boing" sound when you hit them with drums! To avoid the boing you have to EQ your signal before with HP filtering. But i dont think a spring reverb can get so "lush" sounding. They have a darker approach and not so much decay time.. The good thing is that a fine tube spring reverb can add distortion which provides nice compression and coloration to the result.

My pick on this would be a plate EMT style. Very lush sounding, long decay times and a kind of metallic frequency footprint. Also EMT has the legendary tube pre amp which is very very useful! EMT's were used in countless recordings as the go to reverb when a chamber was not possible.

The EMT reverb is the go to reverb for many engineers that try to create that vintage sound!

At last you have to keep in mind that reverb is an effect that stays "as is" very few times. So take a good reverb plugin and start messing with it there are countless tricks you can apply to manipulate it and make it sound like you want!


The 'verb sound you're looking for is sort of "metallic" and "ringy", which in technical terms would be described as a non-flat frequency response and/or a low modal density. Reverb designers consider this an undesirable quality, in the sense that it's an artifact that most users don't want.

For parametric reverbs, try turning down the room size and keeping a medium-sized decay time to approximate this effect. For convolution reverbs, try to find an IR of a bathroom or other small space.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.