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Topic: Reverb for PC

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  1. #1

    Reverb for PC

    Does anyone have any advice on the best reverb to use as a VST plugin on a PC?

    I would love to be able to use the Altiverb, but alas, no Macs around here.

    Are there any similar acousic space sampling verbs for PC? I\'m using Logic 5.5.1
    Meantime, the Ambience verb is a pretty good freebie, huh?

  2. #2
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    Re: Reverb for PC

    Originally posted by LHall:
    Are there any similar acousic space sampling verbs for PC? I\'m using Logic 5.5.1
    Meantime, the Ambience verb is a pretty good freebie, huh?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Try SIR which is an acousic space sampling reverb. And it\'s good and it\'s free: http://www.knufinke.de/sir/index_en.html

    Ambience is also a very good sounding reverb and the presets have been customized for GPO.

    Sampling reverb (or convolution) is the wave of the future. We have recorded impulse files in a world-class concert hall and are currently working on a surprise. More on this later.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Reverb for PC

    Well I\'ve posted on this forum and elsewhere, my feelings concerning \'impulse reverbs\' and \'convolution\' \'verbs like SIR (which I do use, sometimes, but they are tricky to get a good sound for orchestral music).

    I\'m not alone in my disdain for these type of reverbs. There are valid technological reasons why they don\'t work as well as a good \'synthesizing\' type of reverb (like a Lexicon). Check out Prof. Keith Johnson\'s comment concerning them in this month\'s issue of KEYBOARD magazine. His recordings of major orchestras around the world are the very best I\'ve ever heard IMHO. He was responsible for recording the EWQLSO library.

    Having said all that, I often use the AMBIENCE reverb (bundled with GPO), having used it before getting GPO. Another one I like for many orchestral recordings I\'ve made (some with live orchestra) is one from Prosoniq. It\'s a basic Hall type of \'verb that is a little less taxing on your CPU than AMBIENCE and can be set for even less CPU usage like AMBIENCE.

    I also have an old Roland SRV-330 I have always liked for many types of recordings, but it gives a nice \'Hollywood scoring stage\' type of sound. Those units are selling used now quite inexpensively.

    That\'s just my two (or three?) cents worth!

  4. #4

    Re: Reverb for PC

    This is a thread that I\'ll be watching with interest. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    I\'ve used Sony\'s Acoustic Mirror and Nuendo\'s Acoustic Stamp, and have found a lot to like in working with good quality impulses. The best results I\'ve gotten have been with the GOS Concert Hall Impulses which were engineered by Ernest Cholakis. There are a few \"stock\" impulses that came with each convolution engine and I found them leaving something to be desired. A quality impulse is critical.

    I know that I sound like a broken record, but Ozone has a decent mastering reverb that can take well to a lot of tailoring. They have a room reverb in which (my understanding) is built off of a hardwired impulse and convolution engine. I\'ve used it for a few things and have found a lot to like - kind of a nice \"balance\" between artificial sheen and natural decay.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this discussion develops. Convolution is the future, it\'s just a matter of the algorithm and hardware catching up to the kind and amount of number crunching to get a valid reproduction of an acoustic space.

    If you want to get your feet wet, SIR is a great place to start. Try some free reverb impulses that you can download any number of places online. Ambience is quite nice for a digital reverb, and I\'m still learning how to get the sound I want from it.

    Good choices are plentiful, and from Gary\'s comments, are bound to increase. Life is good. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Reverb for PC

    I believe a great impulse is essential to getting anything out of a convolution \'verb no matter what make. I have 2 gigs worth of impulses, one of which is an oustanding one taken by a friend of a hall in Germany.

    The problem with them all (at least so far) is that when you start to send different tracks to them the reverb can tend to get \'cloudy\' or \'muddy\'. And the reverbs just don\'t \'build\' the way a great hardware unit does or better yet, a real hall or space.

    Time may prove the worth of the impulse verb, but I believe it will come at the expense of massive CPU resources limiting it to an \'offline\' effect. At least in the near future. Reverberation is a complex thing, much more so than modeling a vintage synthesiser. Even Tascam\'s new effort is not that much better from what I understand.

    One last comment: ONE sound on ONE track sent to an impulse that is VERY good can even sound spectacular, but...the result doesn\'t develope. The complex thing happening that Prof. Johnson talked about in the article in KEYBOARD, can only be best approximated at this time by synthesis, not convolution.

    I would like developers to work on bringing the Lex 480L type of thing (for REAL) down to a VST that most people could afford.

  6. #6

    Re: Reverb for PC

    Thanks everyone. I\'ll try the SIR and see what happens.

  7. #7

    Re: Reverb for PC

    Originally posted by nexus:
    The problem with them all (at least so far) is that when you start to send different tracks to them the reverb can tend to get \'cloudy\' or \'muddy\'. And the reverbs just don\'t \'build\' the way a great hardware unit does or better yet, a real hall or space.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I agree with you to the degree that there are good digital reverbs and bad ones (as implied by your \"great hardware\" allusion above), as well as good convolution engines and bad ones. (and we\'ve already covered that there are good impulses and bad ones...) You can get cloudy or muddy mixes with just about any reverb.

    The real power of using impulse convolution reverb today is through an insert on a stereo mix. The \"traditional\" thinking of sending individual tracks to a mix buss is probably not the best way to go - as you have part of the sound that is \"unaffected\" by the \"virtual space\" and you get into the issue of escalating \"pressure\" to balance the sound and \"clouds and mud\" are not far behind.

    IMHO, it\'s better to commit to a complete \"dry\" mix and then send the entire shooting match through the convolver. It seems to be a more legitimate way to put it into play. It\'s a different workflow than most folks are accustomed to, but it has lead to better results in my experience.

    As far as convolution being an offline process, that is just a matter of time. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] (pun) Once we start seeing 64-bit native processors and mulit-processor computers as the norm, then you\'ll see the improving convolution algorithms meeting technology along the way and real-time convolution will be more widespread. Until then, I\'m pretty happy with having both off-line convolvers and digital reverbs today.

  8. #8

    Re: Reverb for PC

    Well what you say is true to a certain extent. I agree that better results can be achieved by shooting the whole mix through it together and I have tried this also, even using it at the mastering stage.

    For quite a while, I was really committed to the impulse reverb thing. I tried Acoustic Modeler, then SIR, then I even took my submixed tracks over to a friend and we finished them on his MAC with Altiverb. He has a fabulous impulse of a great hall in Germany. In fact it\'s the best one I\'ve heard, and he was gracious enough to make copy of it for me to use in SIR.

    I regret that after much work with impulses they are dissapointing to me. I REALLY wanted them to work great, as I was desperate to get the same quality of \'verbs I used in pro studios.

    I use to rent a Lex 480L from a local pro audio shop at a cheap price and used that on occasion until the shop went out of business. I really fell in love with that unit.

    If you checked in top film composers studios you might see an altiverb or something, but mostly 480\'s.

    The synthesizing allows vertical reflections to be simulated that I just don\'t hear in any impulse.

    The perfect example of what I mean is when you take a very well done impulse of something like a 480L and apply it to your mix, then run the mix exactly through a real 480 and compare. You\'ll be stunned at the difference. It\'s as if somebody has suddenly put a high roof on your concert hall. You get some of that proscenium arch reflection going on that really makes the brass come alive. The whole mix sounds better.

    So I\'ve come to not using convolution much anymore, and I\'ve collected nearly all the impulses worth owning (over 2 gigs worth).

    I do wish I had a \'verb to plug in that would REALLY give me a 480L, not marketing hype.
    I wish they would give up a while on the \'fad\' of convolution and get serious about bringing the 480L or Quantec Yardstick level of \'verb down for the masses. It should be possible now with recent computer advances. I mean afterall, the 480 came out years ago!

    I\'m certainly not bothered by people using impulse \'verbs all the time. I think it\'s like the early sampling instruments were years ago, right now, like a Mirage versus something like GPO.

    Convolution will probably be the way to go in the future, but it will have to run with multi impulses, say maybe a dozen different ones going at once, with some kind of logical steering of impulses taken from different areas of the hall or room. That kind of thing will take mucho computer horsepower to pull off, and then what about your virtual instruments? How much CPU will be left for them, thats what I think.

    Nevertheless....

  9. #9

    Re: Reverb for PC

    I understand what you are saying about the 480L, and I agree that it has a nice sound. However, I\'ve spent more time in concert halls than in a studio, and I\'m not looking for the 480L sheen. If I thought it was a deal-maker for me, I\'d just buy a unit and be done with it. But you\'ve got to understand that a lot of this discussion is based on what we as individuals have been conditioned to hear as \"good\".

    For quite a while, I was really committed to the impulse reverb thing. I tried Acoustic Modeler, then SIR, then I even took my submixed tracks over to a friend and we finished them on his MAC with Altiverb. He has a fabulous impulse of a great hall in Germany. In fact it\'s the best one I\'ve heard, and he was gracious enough to make copy of it for me to use in SIR.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Gracious, indeed. Folks are getting pretty casual about theft these days... Did you \"collect\" all of your impulses that way? I\'m done in this conversation - except to quote this from the noise vault discussion group:


    A message From Audio Ease

    A single set of samples from one room may cost us up to $20000 to create. As you know we do not charge for our samples, we give them to our customers, customers of Altiverb.

    For some reason, many people on your site believe that is allowed, or at least not illegal, to resample and share Altiverb samples.

    This is not true, for one single reason: Before installing, via a license agreement, the user and audio ease specifically agree to use the samples only in Altiverb. It also prohibits resampling of the samples by any means.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">

  10. #10

    Re: Reverb for PC

    Many of the impulses I have are purchased in some way, others were obtained from friends, and still others I downloaded from forums like \'noisevault\'.
    And then there were the ones bundled with Acoustic Modeler. I cannot really vouch for the legality of any of them, can any of you here of yours? The only ones I am sure of are the several given me by the friend I mentioned. I KNOW he recorded these himself! I\'ll vouch for that (they are not available anywhere). I also would take Altiverb\'s claim of \"$20,000\" with a grain of salt. Maybe it\'s so, but it really doesn\'t take a world class recording setup to obtain a good impulse. I\'ve even taken one from a local practice hall that has a nice short room sound.

    I only mention the Lex unit as I have a lot of experience using it over the years and it can be tweaked to a terrific hall sound. I don\'t get any kind glassy sheen out of it though. I am able to get a smooth lively hall sound out of it with alot of \'height\' (something missing in \'impulseverb\'). You may prefer a real hall (who wouldn\'t!) and in fact I was able to help a friend mix his tracks with a send out to a real hall (a decent one) many years ago and let me tell you, it is GREAT! It\'s just a shame it\'s so impractical for most of us on this forum.

    I too have logged some hours in concert halls, I have been involved with recordings of local orchestras in areas I\'ve lived. I spent many hours at concerts of the Philly Philharmonic with my father and grandfather. I believe I know what to listen for. I also have listened to hundreds of great classical recordings over my many years.

    I only mention this so one will know I\'m not a crank or something here with my \'evangelizing\' sounding posts!

    I would suggest that people not jump at the incredible hype being generated by the makers of Altiverb, Gigaverb, etc. And stop focusing on reverb tails (yes they can be impressive with impulse \'verbs but thats just one small part of a good hall sound). If we don\'t buy into advertising hype than maybe we can push developers into bringing the high end hardware verb sound like a classic Lex or Quantec down to a plug in anyone can afford. Hasn\'t anyone ever wondered why they don\'t REALLY make such plug ins? Convolution is easier to pull off right now than hard research into making those expensive units cheaper.

    I guess I\'m finished here too on this topic, and I\'ve enjoyed discussing it. Thanks for the feedback (I wish people would discuss more of this kind of thing than arguing over EWQLSO vs GPO and that kind of thing).

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