Dramatic New Hollywood Reverb Impulses change Timbre
"Hollywood Impulse Responses" is a new product by Numerical Sound that has three very unique features that are not available in any other reverberation impulses in the marketplace.
1) Based on 20 major Hollywood blockbuster films released between 1977-2006
2) Timbre. The second feature unquie to HIR is that the impulses were designed to change the percieved timbre of an individual instrument, ensemble or even the entire orchestra. The user can now adjust the tone of a track by selecting the appropriate Dark, Warm, Flat, Clear or Bright impulse when mixing the wet signal in with the dry. This dramatic effect cannot be matched by any kind of EQ.
3) Instruments. A new feature unique to HIR is the addition of 6 sets of RI’s that are high pass filtered at points of the frequency spectrum that match the range of acoustic instruments. These point are at the notes C2, G2, C3, G3, C4, and G4. This instrument designed approach offer much more sonic precision and clarity than any other currently available hardware or software reverberation. For example if you have a solo violin track the RI’s from the G3 set will exactly match the range of this instrument. C3 would work for the Viola and C2 for the Cello.~
Yes I agree that the string demos does not properly cover the range of timbres of a string instrument(s). I posted some examples with a are real soloist playing the violin (Laurence Stevenson). You can hear the examples at http://www.numericalsound.com/HIR_Demos.html I will post an ensemble demo in the next couple of days.
Here are two links to Sound on Sound articles that give an overview of RI's the second goes into much more detail.
Could you give us any idea of which Hollywood blockbuster films, recording studio’s sound stages and symphony halls you are talking about?
Here I give several points why it is better not to lists the details your requested.
First of for legal reasons it is better (for me) not to disclose the films and recording venues. The films are the major ones that everybody knows and any film composer or serious film student would know the recording venues because there are only a few of them.
Second film ambience is really not a specific physical space. Here is an excerpt from the liner notes of Hollywood Impulse Response CD that may help to clarify this.
"The musical scores for these films were recorded in some of the greatest recording studios, sound stages and concert halls in Hollywood and London. The sound of these films was designed to give the listener a “larger than life” listening experience, so often the actual impulses of these rooms are not accurate reproductions of actual acoustic spaces. The source material in these film recordings often contained more bass and lower midrange power than comparable “normal” acoustic spaces, so the perceived size of the reverberant space is often much larger than these studios' physical dimensions would ever be able to create. For an engineer to get this type of sound, a pair of ambient mics would be placed a good distance from the orchestra (usually placed near the ceiling), routed to a digital reverberation unit and then EQ'ed before blending them with the dry signals into the final mix. This approach “samples” the natural acoustics of the room by capturing phase and delay differences between the direct sound and the ambient mics. When all of the dry and wet signals are mixed together, the resultant sound is huge. Capturing and making available to users the immensity and grandeur of the Hollywood film sound is the central focus of this library. Due to this additional signal processing, film ambience is more a composite reverberation impulse (CRI) which is electro-acoustic in nature."
A third point I would like to mention is that all the reverberation impulses are not a direct copy of a particular space (really not possible anyways) they were analyzed deconstructed then reconstruction. The technical advantages to this re-synthesized impulses is that they are better sounding than what any microphone could ever capture. Each is optimized for extended frequency response virtually flat (no coloration) offering maximum richness, and an incredible high signal to noise ratio (beyond any microphone) 140db.
Forth I classify RI's overall timbre in a musical descriptive way that makes much more sense to a producer or musician engineer that a picture in describing the quality of the reverb space. Here is a brief excerpt from the HIR liner notes outlining this approach:
"Three numbers are used to describe the "timbral" quality of each RI. These numbers give the user an indication of the relative length of the decay time of the bass, midrange and treble frequency bands. Every RI, regardless of the category, is referenced to the same hall with the average median of (Lo Mid Hi ) 100 100 100. For example, HIR no. 4 has a RI decay characteristic of 129 89 83 which means that the bass frequencies ring or resonate 129% more that the reference hall, 89% (or 11% less) in the midrange band and 83% (or 17% less) in the treble region. So, overall this reverb has a darker sound with more low end resonance. Remember that your source material has to have bass energy in order to hear the RI's effect on low end resonance."
And finally on more of a philosophical point - the market response (by some convolution suppliers) is to offer an idea/product that one can buy the essence of any one particular space. I do not believe this is possible. Although dramatic pictures of halls help sell RI'S the basic ethereal essence of each space offers so many complex variations that to simplify to this degree is impossible.
So Justin I would conclude that you please consider using your ears not your eyes in evaluating this product - something that is very hard to do in our visually saturated environment.