REVERB FOUNDRY BRICAST M7 LINK PLUGIN SOFTWARE
STOP, BEFORE YOU BUY THIS!
Reverb Foundry recommends that you download the free demo from their web site and confirm that your midi interface and software are compatible BEFORE you purchase the program. Why not? It’s free!
The M7 Link software by Reverb Foundry claims it will put control of the Bricasti M7 reverb hardware inside your DAW. Before I recently purchased a Bricasti M7 I was seriously looking at the Bricasti remote control because of the unique way it brings control of the Bricasti hardware to right there next to you. I finally decided on the standard M7 and along the way I found this plugin which claimed to put control of the M7 inside the DAW. Can that work? I had to know.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
The M7 Link software uses midi sysex information to communicate with the M7 reverb hardware and to send updates from the onscreen controls back to the hardware, presumably the perfect combination of hardware controlled by software. The Reverb Foundry plugin lets you store all the information about how the reverb was set INSIDE your DAW along with the rest of the song. No more cryptic notes to remind you of how the reverb was set. No more menu diving on the M7 hardware.
The one caveat is this, don’t touch the hardware if it is being controlled by midi from the Reverb Foundry plugin. If you adjust the M7 physical hardware while the M7-link software is also controlling the hardware you might be able to get the two out of sync with each other. For me it is easy to leave the M7 hardware alone, I like using the plugin controls because they’re more intuitive.
As part of my testing I quit a test session in Logic, then modified my M7 reverb settings using the hardware controls and then restarted Logic. The M7 hardware reset itself to the settings last saved in Logic.
Installing the M7 Link software was straight forward and worked the first time without any glitches. It requires iLok authorization. I had no difficulty enabling the software in my iLok account.
I downloaded the actual software to be installed from the Reverb Foundry web site and the installation of this was also trouble-free on my Mac.
My DAW is equipped with a MOTU Midi Express 128 interface which has eight send and receive midi ports. I used the Mac Audio-Midi Setup utility to dedicate port seven send and return to the M7 Link software. Doing this in advance of actually trying to use the software caused the M7 Link to appear in Logic under the name I’d already assigned to it in Audio-Midi Setup, sweet! I love when things just work!
I connected the Motu midi interface to the Bricasti M7 hardware with a couple of brand-new 12-foot Hosa midi cables.
As a final step I quickly reviewed the 13 page manual for the M7 Link software and was ready to give it a try.
|Notice, the preset is Spaces and set to Europa|
FIRING IT UP
I started up a Logic X session I’ve been working on and created a new audio channel strip. At first I was confused what the plugin would look like or how it would manifest. As it turns out this plugin needs an audio channel strip not a midi instrument track.
|Notice, the hardware shows the preset is Europa|
I am not a person who likes solving puzzles or problems though that is exactly what I did for my career. The M7 Link software was thankfully not a puzzle, it just worked! Once I had everything set right I was looking at the settings of my Bricasti M7 in the Logic DAW.
|Shape Menu shown|
A glance at the Bricasti Hardware confirmed a match between the software and the hardware. The TAP button on the Bricasti hardware glows to confirm midi data communication between the software and the hardware.
|Delay menu shown|
Suddenly four hours of my life disappeared. Seriously, I could not stop playing with the M7. This software makes it so much more fun to explore the M7 than through the hardware buttons and display on the front panel of the actual box.
|System menu shown|
Europa! Nuff said. You gotta have a Bricasti to understand this preset. 25 second decay. Twisting the modifiers in M7-link software was audio nirvana. The Bricasti hardware delivers spectacular sonics and the M7-link software makes the human-user-interface so much better.
|Presets are much easier to choose inside the Reverb Foundry plugin|
After using the M7 Link software for a couple of weeks I learned about adjusting communication settings and default settings.
|I clicked the gear icon to expose the settings menu in M7 Link software|
There is a gear shaped icon to the left of the M7 Link logo in the upper right of the control panel. Click this gear to drop down an important menu. Here is where you specify your midi interface connection. In the picture above you can see my M7 Link software is using port 7 on my Express 128 midi interface.
Audio format refers to digital input or analogue input on the Bricasti M7 hardware. If you click on the "Audio Format" heading it exposes additional menu selections where you can select digital or analog. The initial default setting was "digital input".
|Setting the M7 hardware from digital I.O. to analogue|
The default settings are what you get during initial setup. I'm not sure why mine worked so well initially but the next day when I fired up my DAW the M7 Link software was not communicating. I had to go into the Gear Menu on the M7 Link software and set the Midi connection to the M7 midi port I had defined in Audio-Midi setup on the Mac. As soon as I selected M7 port under the Gear Menu on M7 Link software I get a message that says the software has connected to the Bricasti hardware.
In that little Audio Format menu you see the word default. If you select that then you can choose Analogue or Digital as your default when you open the plugin. Mine is now set to Analogue as the default since I mix on a 40-channel Soundcraft mixer.
Using the Default-Menu under the midi port selections I set the M7 port to be the default. Now I don't have to reset that every time.
Be sure to explore that little Gear Shaped Icon in the M7 Link software. It all works simply and reliably. This is a really impressive plugin.
Did you see that part in the beginning of this review? The part about get the “free demo” and test your rig?
I was a fool. I just went for it. I bought the software and thankfully it all worked. I’d recommend you try the free demo first. Why not? It’s free!
This is an amazing piece of software. I hope Reverb Foundry applies their midi control technology to other hardware devices. PCM 91 and PCM 92 come to mind immediately. This is a specialty piece of software which addresses user needs in unique and empowering ways.
If you have a Bricasti M7 V2 you NEED the M7 Link Plugin software from ReverbFoundry. It will make everything you do with the M7 hardware easier while giving you greater control than the Bricasti front panel controls or the expensive table top remote control. The M7 Link software is excellent and highly recommended.
Thanks for reading High on Technology, Good Music to You!
© 06-29-21 by Mark King, It’s not ok to quote or copy without written permission.
|Software control of external Bricasti hardware from inside your DAW, you need this!|