**Matt Olivo is the founding guitarist of extreme metal trailblazers Repulsion, whose Horrified LP ranks as Decibel's #1 grindcore album of all time. Because we know that every reader ever plays guitar, we are bringing his print column to the Deciblog. In issue #124 Matt gave his feedback on the Peavey ReVavlver 4, which "promises virtual insanity." We’ve all had the fantasy. You know, the one where you own a state-of-the-art recording studio that’s stacked with every metal amp north of hell. The tracking process then becomes one of selectivity, taste and style instead of “oh, that’s good enough—moving on.” Well, thanks to the staggering accuracy of today’s amp simulation software, it is possible to have that (virtual) recording studio, and if done properly, no one will know the difference. Legendary American amp masters Peavey poured their knowledge of all things amplification into their sonic sim app, ReValver 4. This month, we took a very skeptical look at it, and were surprised by what we found.
Environment ReValver 4 is a full-feature, professional audio app that happens to be free! That’s right—it costs exactly fuck-all to obtain it. Just download to your Mac or PC and install; then you’re up and running with the two included amp modules, the RIR 2 Lite cabinet simulator, a handful of ACT modules and some effects. From within the app, users can demo all available amp, effects, cabinet and ACT library “modules,” then buy them from the Amp Store, with prices ranging from $1.99-$7.99 for single purchases. The Amp Store generates a license for your purchase and automatically loads it into an available USB thumb drive (not included) connected to your computer. Then, the purchased module is activated and functional. With this method, you selectively build your own amp closet with just the gear you want. Purchase bundles are also an option if you want a wide range of amps at a better price value.
Oh, right—what’s an ACT library?! ReValver 4 boasts this insane feature that utilizes serious white-man magic to process your incoming guitar signal to sound like a handmade acoustic guitar (or a dobro or a classic Les Paul, Strat, etc.). Pretty convincingly, too, and downright handy if you need that instrumental texture for the tune you’re working on, but don’t own the axe.
Under the Hood (The Metal Lowdown) OK, here’s a few ReValver 4 amps that gave us righteous tone boners: the Angel (ENGL), Peavey 6505+, Michael ACM 900 (Marshall), Peavey Budda Superdrive, Flathill Dual (Mesa), Peavey XXX II and the Herr Demon (Diezel). Every last one of these beasts are instant gratifiers. In addition, the (multitudes of) cabinet modules have mic’ing options, including an incredible collection of virtual mics with placement choices. As if having this level of control wasn’t enough, ReValver 4 enables limited modification of every module’s virtual circuitry. The feature allows users to view an interactive schematic and change electronic components or tubes for tone-changing results!
Summary Nothing beats having the real thing, but with over 40 amp and cab modules at your fingertips, Peavey’s ReValver 4 software can offer a highly respectable, flexible and full-featured virtual alternative. We reckon ReValver 4 is a valuable tool for home and pro audio production, but if we ever catch any metal musician plugging an axe into a laptop on stage, there will be blood and hair on the walls. Keep it amped! Nuff said.
For more info on ReValver 4, go to: http://peavey.com/products/revalver/
For add-on modules, prices vary.