Convolution plugins like AltiVerb, Waves IR-1 and Space Designer are known for their often stunning realism in recreating the sound of real acoustical spaces with the use of carefully crafted Impulse Responses of these spaces. As our computers are doubling their processing power nearly each year we will be relying more and more on convolution applications in our real and virtual studios. We are already seeing concepts like GigaPulse from Tascam and MIR from VSL that boldly go beyond the currently accepted stereo and quad channel plugins that we can use now, with our current computers.
Still, the methods of sampling real spaces is quite difficult, to put it mildly. There are many factors involved that can have a very significant effect on the final sound: the microphones used, their positioning, the sound emitter (starters pistol, a popping balloon, or a speaker), the chosen distance between emitter and the mics, and finally the (empty) hall. And of course, the last thing you want from a sampled space to have it sound like a loudspeaker on a stage!
A good alternative is to capture the sound of top-end digital reverb units that are commonly used in most studios to emulate acoustical spaces. Although this sounds contradictive, digital synthetic reverbs are in many cases still preferred over sampled "real" spaced by top producers and engineers, due to the vast amount of knowledge on psycho-acoustics that has been built into the digital reverb algorithms.
While the art of capturing "real spaces" will certainly evolve and improve in the coming years, there are currently already some great hardware units available that we are hearing in most of our favorite film score recordings.
I am proud to announce the release of a new Impulse Response Library with 90 "True Stereo" impulse sets. These impulses are based on the presets of a top-end digital reverb unit. True stereo means that you have two stereo impulse responses, one for input from the L channel and one for input from the R channel.
Next to the standard stereo IR sets there are also 5 more elaborated sets, for source material from different positions: LL, L, LC, C1, C2, RC, R, RR. These IR's contain the early reflections appropriate for placing instruments, or mixer "busses", at specific positions in the stereo field. There are also IR sets for these 5 programs with "less" and "no" early reflections, to be used for material that already contains a healthy amount of early reflections, such as the EWQLSO and ProjectSAM stage mics.
Finally, all IR sets also have a "lighter" mono-to-stereo version, which requires 50% less CPU. To use these mono-to-stereo versions (or "C" as I call them) you need to create an mono or near-mono input source (e.g. by using Waves S1 in a reverb bus), because a single IR cannot transfer sound from one input channel to the opposite output channel. These IR sets can be handy when you do not have sufficient CPU power left, or when you have material like orchestral percussion that does not have much lateral stereo information.
The Samplicity T600 impulses sometimes require significant amounts of CPU power, due to their lengths. The IR's have been constructed with long sweeps to give optimal signal-to-noise ratios. The last fade out often does not come before -100 to -115 dB, even when the SNR of the original preset was around -80 dB. This increase in SNR is a result of recording the sweeps with a much longer time than the actual reverb time. Some IR's are as long as 8 - 9.5 second. To reduce CPU resources you can reduce the length of the IR in your convolution plugin, for instance by drawing a fade-out curve (e.g. in Waves IR1, Pristine Space).
The Samplicity T600 IR's are very well suited for combining sample libraries with different amounts of ambience captured into the samples.
Listen for example to this clarinet from VSL: Dry and Ambient
or to these orchestral tutti, built with separate, dry instruments: Dry and Ambient
or this piece from Chopin, played on Michiel Post's Bösendorfer 290 (Dry 8 layer): Dry and Ambient
For people who like to work with orchestral samples, like myself , the library contains 46 Hall-type impulse sets, besides the rooms, plates and some special effects.
The website is now up and running, including the order page. Shipping will start next Monday, February 28.
With kind regards,