Variety of Sound released epicCLOUDS, a freeware ambient reverb plugin for Windows.
epicCLOUDS can generate soft ambient reverb textures while maintaining signal clarity. It achieves a rich ambient reverb effect without succumbing to common issues such as signal masking.
The launch of a new plugin from Variety of Sound is always cause for celebration. The developer has consistently released plugins that are among the best in the freeware market, especially in the realm of saturation and analog emulation.
However, the new epicClouds reverbs aims at a completely different target. Good-sounding reverb plugins are notoriously hard to develop, and this is especially true for ambient reverbs with long decay times.
Until now, SuperMassive by Valhalla DSP was considered the undisputed champion of free reverb plugins for ambient music and sound design.
Did it finally get a worthy rival in the form of epicCLOUDS?
I don’t think epicCLOUDS and SuperMassive are direct competitors, most notably because SuperMassive is more flexible thanks to its multiple algorithms. However, they are both reverb plugins that sound huge, so I think it’s fair to compare them.
In terms of sound quality, epicCLOUD is simply flawless. Of course, this isn’t surprising for a plugin developed by Variety of Sound. The generated reverb sounds clean and lush, without nasty resonances and artifacts.
The same can be said about Valhalla DSP’s freeware reverb, so there’s no clear winner in this category.
That said, I prefer the simple user interface provided by epicCLOUDS. This is personal preference, of course, but I find it much easier to dial in exactly the type of reverb I need in a particular situation using the new Variety of Sound plugin than with SuperMassive.
However, simplicity is always a double-edged sword. Whereas SuperMassive is often harder to tame, it is far more versatile than epicCLOUDS. It provides almost limitless combinations of ambient reverb and delay, whereas epicCLOUDS focuses on one particular reverb sound.
All considered I enjoyed testing epicCLOUDS, and it is an instant addition to my collection of go-to VST plugins (which I’m trying to keep as small as possible). It sounds fantastic while being easy to operate and surprisingly easy on the CPU.
epicCLOUDS is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST2 plugin for Windows. You can download it directly from the developer’s website (no registration required).