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ART Proverb Digital Reverb

Article from Making Music, July 1987



OPINION



The Proverb is dead simple. It's a rackmounted box with - on the front - a two digit red LED, two level indicator lights, a Mix slider, and four buttons. Programs are accessed in order with the incrementors, which means that it's not possible to switch between, for example, Programs 02 and 86 without flicking through all the others in between, unless you use MIDI.

The memory divides up like this: spaces 00 to 13 are plate reverb simulations, detailed in the manual as 'Tight', 'Deep', 'Loose', etc. The 'Wide' of Prog 04 sounds good on drum machines, while the three 'Loose' settings don't.

From 14 to 40, the Proverb takes us through a series of rooms of increasing size and varying levels of brightness. I liked 'Small Room' (16), and 'Large Bright Room' (36), but found psycho-acoustic experiences like 'Wide Medium Room' (26) and 'Medium Dull Room' (27) a bit boomy and lacking in the finer frequencies. An interesting inclusion was 'Large Piano Room' (33), which seemed to have a lightly chorused decay, adding a hint of colour to my plonky Messiaen impressions.

The next set of reverbs (41-49) are the big halls, with long swooshy decays, up to 25 seconds. Sibilants and mid-range are beautifully clean, though I noticed a tendency towards muddiness on low bottom (ie it didn't like the bass drum in my Cocteaus' pastiche).

Of the gated (50-59) and reverse (60-69) reverbs, I found the sloped programs far more useful than the chuffy flat (which means the reverb doesn't decay before it cuts off).

The five flanges (70-74) vary between gentle panning and boxy feedback. The choruses (75-79) are good, with special praise being reserved for 'Choir'.

Delays on a preset unit are of more limited use than reverbs. Since the rhythm of the repeats is not controllable, it's a matter of pot luck (or varispeed) whether or not their timing suits your song. Echoes on the Proverb cover the usual range, from 40mS slapback, to 600mS repeat. There's a tapped delay (89), plus a series of flanged delays with lots of feedback that sounds like frying sausages. One of these (93) comes - deliberately - with a permanent drone, unfortunately tuned to A#.

DECISION



If you're a home recordist without either time or patience for the technicalities of programmable effects units, a preset jobby like the Proverb is ideal. It's pig simple to use, high quality, and it offers a very broad range of reasonable reverbs, plus a number of other useable effects. And some silly stuff, which you can ignore.

This is a direct competitor for Alesis' Midiverb II, offering many similar programmes, though not quite such versatile changing. It's possible that the Midiverb II has the edge on quality, but the Proverb is distinctly cheaper, which immediately makes it more attractive.

SPEC — ART PROVERB

PRICE £344
DESCRIPTION preset multi-effects
EFFECTS reverbs, chorus, delays
MIDI FACILITIES 99 programs, assignable to any preset
OUTPUTS stereo -10dBm x2
BANDWIDTH top end 10kHz



Previous Article in this issue

Petrol Babble

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Knobbly Needs


Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Jul 1987

Gear in this article:

Studio/Rack FX > ART > Proverb


Gear Tags:

Digital FX
Reverb

Review by Jon Lewin

Previous article in this issue:

> Petrol Babble

Next article in this issue:

> Knobbly Needs


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