Universal Audio’s Del-Verb Ambience Companion has been on the market for over a year. While it garnered some initial praise when it first launched, the sheer number of guitar pedals hitting the market these days meant that other delays, reverbs, and multi-effect boxes soon replaced the buzz. 

This sharp increase in the popularity of such pedals is likely due to the increasing number of music producers using pedals on their plugins and hardware synths, opening up entirely new levels of creativity (along with that coveted out-of-the-box sound). But unlike guitarists, whose pedal boards comprise 5-10 pedals they use religiously, music producers like me take a different approach, investing in a few choice pedals for specific purposes in their workflow. 

So through that lens, let’s dive into the Del-Verb Ambience Companion by talking about what it is, what my favorite parts of it are, what I wasn’t impressed by, and a few different ways it quickly wiggled its way into my workflow in the studio making melodic, organic house music

So, let’s start by explaining some of the more tedious and technical aspects of this synth before deep-diving into this pedal to decide if it’s worth picking up for your productions (and guitar playing, of course). A handful of audio examples of included throughout the review, all of which feature a dry signal of a loop or riff followed by the signal ran through the pedal just to make it easy for you to hear exactly how the pedal sounds live in action!

Learn More About This Pedal While Supporting Our Team Of Writers Through Our Affiliate Partnership With Sweetwater Here 🔥 🔥 🔥

What Is The Del-Verb Ambience Companion

Del-Verb Ambience Companion Review

The Universal Audio Del-Verb Ambience Companion is a dual-function reverb and delay pedal integrating six authentic effect models from the UAFX series. The reverb section offers three modes:

  • A classic tube-driven spring reverb
  • An atmospheric plate reverb
  • A transparent hall reverb inspired by early digital units

The delay section includes three vintage-style echoes: a ’70s tape echo, an analog delay, and a precision digital delay. The pedal also features two setting-specific knobs, Color, and Mod, for extensive customization. The UAFX Control app enhances functionality with downloadable custom voicings and additional tweaking options.

The Del-Verb Ambience Companion includes several utility features, such as analog dry through, spillover/trails functionality, tap tempo, and stereo/dual mono operation.

 Each reverb and delay effect replicates renowned hardware units, providing many tonal options that harken back to the golden days of analog. You can adjust specific elements of each effect with the Color knob and add distinct modulation effects with the Mod knob, which is an excellent feature! 

Universal Audio’s Del-Verb Ambience Companion Delay and Reverb Pedal features stereo processing, allowing for separate reverb instances and delay for maximum depth and atmosphere. The pedal operates in stereo and dual mono modes, retaining the dry signal’s purity with analog dry through and offering buffered bypass operation to maintain signal strength over long cable runs. 

Okay, with that all out of the way, let’s dive into my hot takes and favorite parts about the Del-Verb Ambience Companion.

The Del-Verb Ambience Companion Review: The Pros!

It Handles Transients Incredibly Well

Del-Verb Ambience Companion

Producing melodic house music, I naturally gravitate to using reverb and delay a lot in my productions. I love finding plugins and tools that accomplish this effect in unique ways. Until recently, all of the delays I used tended to wash out the source signal, pushing it further to the back of the mix by dampening the transients, which got lost in the ping-pongs and echos of the effect.

But the Del-Verb Ambience Companion did something that I very rarely find in delay effects; it was able to process and handle the transients of the source signal incredibly well, meaning the lead sounds that I wanted to sound spacious and evolving without sinking into the background of the mix did just that! 

This was also handy when adding rhythm and momentum to specific drum sounds. I often want to add a bit of delay to my hats or bongo loops for this exact purpose, but this usually comes at the cost of transient energy. But that’s not the case while using the Del-Verb Ambience pedal.

Every Change Is Meaningful 

I’ve reviewed a TON of different delay pedals and plugins over my time running this website, and the ones that pride themselves on being specifically for ambient music usually have a massive suite of knobs, parameters, and buttons that help me dial in the sound to exactly what I want. That’s fun, but sometimes I want some touchpoints to shape my sounds or spaces quickly.

But the Del-Verb Ambience Companion offers a versatile spectrum of different sounds and textures, all from its small and manageable 8-point interface (six knobs and two switches that toggle between the various styles of delay and reverb).

Every turn of the dial or flip of a switch on this pedal changes the source signal noticeably and impactfully, which is fun, inspiring, and, most importantly, useful.

It Molds Itself To What It’s Being Used On

I ran a sliding guitar solo through the pedal, and then a shaker loop through the exact settings, and the results were completely different. I found it super interesting to hear just how different this pedal sounded when other instruments were run through it, even if the settings on the pedal remained the same. 

This was especially true when playing with the parameters in real time. If a pitched instrument, like a guitar solo mentioned above, was being affected and  I adjusted the Delay Time parameter, the expected jumping of the pitch would apply to the signal, as you’d expect.

But if I ran a shaker or hi-hat loop through the same effect while adjusting the delay time, cool artifacts would POP out of the loop (along with some cool skip-heavy grooves). 

But the same settings, applied to a pitched instrument or ambient texture would sound completely different, which really inspired me to try this pedal on as many different things as I could in the studio, if anything just because I was curious to hear how it sounds on everything from drums, to leads, foley texture, and more. Take the above example and compare it to the one below, what was a textural, gritty and groovy hat loop is now makes a sexy sax sample even more sultry (try saying that five times fast!).

The Del-Verb Ambience Companion Review: The Con

Its Bulk Might Not Be For Everyone

Del-Verb Ambience Companion

This is a bulky pedal; there’s no other way to say it. 

It’s even more bulky than the Maestro line of pedals I reviewed a few years ago, and I thought those were clunkers! 

Many guitarists play complex Tetris games with their pedals, trying to fit as many onto their pedalboards as possible. The Del-Verb Ambience Companion takes up enough real estate for two smaller pedals, which is something to consider. 

This may be fine if you’re a music producer looking for pedals to run your hardware and softsynths through and you have all the room of a small studio to spare (it slides perfectly into my studio setup alongside my sequencers and multi-effect pedals). 

But it’s worth thinking twice if you’re a touring musician or need to be hyper-selective because of the space on your pedal board. It’s not entirely a deal-breaker; it’s more like a first, not a third, strike. 

How I Used The Del-Verb Ambience Companion

On Counter Melodies 

Shorter and more intermittent riffs that harmonize with or play alongside the main melody in my projects really come to life when I add spatial effects like reverb and delay. 

This is because they often have more space between the runs of notes, which the delays fill in. Because I could get such a wide range of different delay sounds from the Del-Verb, it quickly turned into a Swiss Army Knife of spatial effects for riffs and motifs that support the main melody and other ear candy like that. 

On Drums 

As I said before, I love how transient-forward this pedal can be, making it my new go-to tool for adding delay to add a bit more momentum to my drums. The crispiness of the initial attack on layers such as shakers and hats is an X-factor here that’s easy to fall in love with.

Messing around with the different delay times also created exciting grooves and shuffles. I found that running a hat loop through the pedal, recording the outcome, and then editing the result by removing unnecessary hits so that only the best, most excellent, and swingy-est portions of the loop remained generated some interesting rhythms. 

On Soundbeds

I love having field recordings and other foley samples in the breakdowns of my tracks, and I have had great success running these same field recordings through the pedal to create hyper-washed-out sounds alive with movement and color. 

These layers came to life when I experimented with the different parameters on the pedal and recorded the results over time. I checked out most of the reviews and breakdowns of this pedal while familiarizing myself with it, and I was excited about how great it sounds on lead synths and guitars for ambient music, which is true in its own right. Still, it also sounds smashing on lighter and evolving textures in the background of the track. 

Should I Buy The Del-Verb Ambience Companion?

The Del-Verb is a fantastic, albeit bulky, guitar pedal capable of way more than just washing out the signal of your six-string electric. It packs a ton of functionality and features into a super easy-to-navigate interface, making it fun and inspiring to use. 

Sure, it’s as bright as you need it to be and about as transient-forward as you could ask for, but not in a way that brings a lot of attitude. Suppose you’re a lead guitarist in a rock or metal group looking for a delay pedal with a tone of bite and color. In that case, you’d be better off with something like the Keeley Dark Side Multi-effects Pedal ($50 cheaper than the Universal Audio pedal, I may add). 

But suppose you’re looking for an incredible, delicate, in all the best ways, and versatile spatial pedal that tackles both the duties of a guitar pedal and an ambiance generator for sounds, drums, and other supporting instruments. In that case, the Del-Verb Ambience Companion is a total no-brainer. 

Learn More About This Pedal While Supporting Our Team Of Writers Through Our Affiliate Partnership With Sweetwater Here 🔥 🔥 🔥

The post Del-Verb Ambience Companion Review: Unpacking Universal Audio’s Amazing Spatial Pedal appeared first on Magnetic Magazine.