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Best De-Reverb Plugins: 6 Tools to Remove Echo from Audio

Photo by Adrian Hernandez / Unsplash

Reverb is all around us, literally. It’s an ambient acoustic effect created when sound waves from a source bounce off surfaces in space at different times and strengths, and it leads to a cascade of audible reflections. These reflections happen so fast and closely that we don’t hear them individually, usually lasting mere milliseconds.

But what if you prefer none of that at all? That’s when you turn to de-reverb.

What Is De-Reverb?

De-reverb, which is short for de-reverberation, is a technique or effect in audio software used to minimize or eliminate the reverberation present in a recorded sound.

Reverberation is the lingering echo you hear in a room after a sound is made. For example, when you clap your hands in a big, empty hall, you hear the sound bouncing around for a while before fading away.

De-reverb processing is designed to reduce this echoey quality. It makes the audio sound cleaner and clearer by focusing on the direct sound rather than the reflections.

Who Would You Want to Use a De-Reverb and Why?

Musicians and producers

They could want to remove unwanted room reverb from live recordings for a cleaner and more professional sound. A plugin could fix their recordings made in an acoustically challenging environment.

Podcasters and content creators

This group might want to improve dialogue recordings in interviews and conversations, as well as clean up field recordings.

Broadcasters and radio stations, voice-over artists and narrators, film and video production.

These professionals work in controlled environments that offer optimal recording conditions. However, even in these situations, they sometimes face challenges, such as subtle room reverb or environmental noise that can detract from the overall audio quality.

So, whether you’re a musician, a broadcaster, a voice-over artist, or anyone else trying to improve audio quality, let’s explore those plugins.

Best De-Reverb Plugins

1. LALAL.AI’s De-Echo

LALAL.AI’s De-Echo is one of the best de-reverb plugins, which uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to eliminate echo and reverb from recordings. It identifies and isolates echo and reverb components in audio signals, and it then suppresses these artifacts for a cleaner, more natural sound.

Credit: LALAL.AI

This feature is compatible with various audio and video files containing voice or vocals. To use it, open LALAL.AI and enable De-echo vocals in the settings menu. Choose between Vocal and Instrumental or Voice and Noise stem processing modes, then upload your file.

The tool supports WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, AAC, MP4, AVI, and MKV.

2. Accentize’s dxRevive

dxRevive by Accentize is a speech restoration plugin designed to elevate the quality of dialogue recordings across different sources. It’s advertised to go beyond many standard restoration tools — instead of just filter signals, it actively identifies and reintegrates missing frequency components.

Key features include reverb suppression, noise removal, restoration of absent frequencies, elimination of codec artifacts (for example, from Skype or Zoom recordings), recovery of clipped audio, spectral corrections, and restoration of band-limited audio such as phone call recordings.

The supported formats are WAV, AIFF, and MP3.

3. Waves’ Clarity Vx DeReverb Pro

Clarity Vx DeReverb also uses AI technology to improve vocal and dialogue recordings. It’s designed to address issues like excessive room sound, reverb, and echo that can detract from audio quality. This tool is backed by Waves Neural Networks® technology and is used by industry professionals.

The AI-powered processing is tailored for both spoken dialogue and sung vocals, which makes it versatile for various audio projects. In the software, use the knob to adjust the effect strength. You can also fine-tune with settings like strength multiplier, tail smoothing, limiter, and more.

WAV and MP3 are the only file types supported.

4. RX’s De-Reverb

RX’s de-reverb plugin processes audio based on the reverberant/direct ratio (wet/dry ratio) detected in the signal. The tool can analyze your audio and recommend frequency and decay time settings. Or you can manually adjust these settings based on your own preferences.

To use the De-reverb, open the module in Pro Tools, then click Learn to analyze the reverb characteristics in your audio. Adjust sliders for low frequencies and tail length based on the reverb’s tone and duration. Dial in the reduction amount using the Reduction slider while being mindful of artifacts.

You can work with WAV, AIFF, MP3, FLAC, and OGG.

5. Zynaptiq’s Unveil

Unveil by Zynaptiq is a real-time plugin that uses de-mixing to adjust reverb components in mixed signals of any channel count, including mono sources. It’s powered by the proprietary MAP (Mixed-Signal Audio Processing) technology and leveraged artificial intelligence. The tool can enhance location audio, tighten live music recordings, remove reverb and “mud” from musical signals, and enable creative sound design.

You start with Default Unveil settings for reverb reduction. Fine-tune with controls like Adaption for decay matching, Transient Solo for punch, Refract for sensitivity, Presence for high frequencies, and Localize for band control. The Focus Bias feature helps target specific frequencies if you need it.

6. Acon Digital’s DeVerberate

DeVerberate by Acon Digital is a reverb reduction plugin that can decrease or increase existing reverberation in recorded material. It features a deep learning-based algorithm for automatic reverb reduction in recorded dialogue, which means AI automatically separates dialogue from reverb.

Version 2’s reverb reduction algorithm includes an Early Reflections Filter. It uses statistical methods to estimate early reflections’ impulse response and helps in canceling out their effect.

You can edit ACID information in WAV, WAV64, AIFF, MP4 (AAC - requires Windows 7 or higher), MP3, OGG, FLAC, and WMA audio files.

How to Use De-Reverb Well

Avoid overprocessing

Be cautious not to overprocess your audio with excessive reverb reduction because this can lead to unnatural artifacts or a dry sound. You may be aiming for that level of reduction, but more likely, you just want to clean up the audio slightly. So, use subtle adjustments to achieve a more natural result.

Combine with other processing

De-reverb can be part of a broader audio processing workflow. For instance, you might use it in conjunction with noise reduction, EQ adjustments, or dynamic processing. By making smaller tweaks in different ways, you’ll make sure the processing is less noticeable.

Rely on what you hear rather than purely on numbers or scales

Your ears are the ultimate judge of how audio sounds. They can pick up subtle nuances, tonal changes, and overall clarity that numbers might miss. What may seem like an acceptable reduction in reverb to a measurement tool might sound unnatural or overly processed to your ears.

Don’t stress about it too much

If you’re using an AI-powered tool, this integration allows you to focus on creativity rather than getting bogged down in technical details. This way, you can simplify the process and achieve great results without overthinking it. Besides, too much tweaking can take away from the essence of the recording.