Convolution Reverb

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by DonnyThompson, May 4, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I've been using convolution-based reverb more these days, as opposed to the stock verb plugs that come with progs like PT, Sonar, etc.

    My convolution "player" is PerfectSpace, which allows me to import many different manufacturer's impulse files.

    My current faves are a library of various Bricasti M7 and Lexicon impulses. Now... to be fair, these do not sound exactly like the real Bricasti or Lexicon, ( although I think the Lexi comes damn close) these are code-written emulations, like any other plug. My point is that these impulse files perform much better than your average, standard-stock reverb plugs.

    I find them to be much smoother, richer and warmer, and far less brittle and glassy, than I do the standard stock plugs by manufacturers like Sonitus (Sonar) and Rverb (PT).

    I love being able to sculpt the reverb alone, and not just in the run-of-the-mill fashion of dry vs wet, but also with parameters like Width, Secondary Impulse, EQ/Damping/ LPF/HPF, Delay, etc.

    I know that many stock plugs also let you tweak these things, but it's how they perform that makes the difference. In PerfectSpace, these various functions are much more effective in that I have to do less to get the sound I want, and the end result is always much nicer than cheap, stock reverb plugs.

    For those who are interested, below is a link to several impulse files libraries. They are free (DonationWare) and while I'm typically unimpressed with freebie stuff like this, these files really are not bad at the very least, they are a lot better than the average stock plugs that come with DAW programs.

    Here's the link ---> Reverb Impulse Libraries

    I realize that I could be preaching old news here - with the exception of a few very lucky people like Chris who have access to the real deal with his Bricasti's - probably the majority of engineer cats here are already using impulse convolution reverbs, and maybe have been for quite some time - but I just thought I would bump the subject to see what others are doing, what convolution based progs you are running and which impulse files you like in terms of fidelity.


  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I'm just curious? From whence and how, type of source, is the impulse making impulse? A little clicker? Wood blocks? Dropping a metal pipe on the floor? I've never really quite figured this out? I guess any of those impulse generators would be fine? But certainly, an impulse has a pitch, a frequency? So wouldn't that influence the impulse? To be used? For the reverb? I mean the source impulse could be made with a number of items, no? I've never really played with convolution reverbs much. Once. So I really wasn't up to speed with it. Though yeah... I must admit I thought it sounded smooth. Too smooth. But I guess it depends on the genre? Surely for a choir, orchestra. I didn't find it exciting enough sounding for rock 'n roll? Like I said I had no time on it.

    I thought we all loved playing and modifying our reverbs? Equalizers at the input. Equalizers, at the output. Delay slap double back. KEPEX-1 & Deci Linear DBX RMS versus peak, Downward Expanders & Gates. I did that with the Plates. The AKG BX-20. And my Lexicons, Yamaha and ALESIS', since those are in racks. And don't require a separate room to house them in. Works better in a truck. I mean I thought we always modified our reverbs that way? That's half the fun of having them. Was plugging the other stuff ya have fun with into them. What could be bad? It's a win-win. In the box or out.

    Is that to go or to eat here?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm with Remy. I actually had to google this just to be sure I understood the full concept too. I found a good article on Sound on Sound here which was specific to the Bricasti M7 but explained what the convolution reverb is all about in a nut shell. Its what I needed.

    Even though I've read many topics discussing a convolution reverb, I had little interest up until right now! Pretty cool indeed. How can one not be useful? I'm going to do some study on these now.

    Where I they most suited? Sounds like another great addition to the mixing arsenal.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    If you have real Briasti's, Lexi's, TC's or Rev 7's, in your rack, then you don't have much need for the impulse-based plugs.

    Like I said in my first post, there's no way that the Bricasti impulses are going to be as good as a real Bricasti, or a Lexi ...or a TC Electronics.
    But... they offer a nice alternative to the stock reverb plugs that come with most DAWS, which I find mostly to be brittle and fizzy sounding. The convolution types are far smoother, warmer and more natural sounding than your run of the mill stock plugs.

    Remy's comment about them being "too smooth" is a valid point. It may be because we've grown used to the common DAW digital reverb sound, as opposed to the sounds of emulating a real space.

    I find the impulses to work very well on things like drums and guitars.... for example, if I'm working on drum samples and going for a more natural room-type sound, I find impulse verbs to be far more natural sounding than the typical plug reverbs do.
    To my ears, when comparing a Sonitus or Waves Rverb room to an impulse-based room, there's no comparison.

    I'm certainly not suggesting that people should throw out their Waves or Sonitus reverb plugs, and I definitely wouldn't be as presumptuous as to suggest that you get rid of your real Lexi's or Bricasti's if you have them.

    But, if you don't have those real models, impulse verbs are a nice addition to what most of us use, a solid option that very often sounds better than a typical reverb plug.

    IMHO of course.



    edit: Remy, this is a well written explanation of how convolution/impulse reverbs are created:
  5. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I use the built-in convolution reverb in Cubase ("Reverence"). It's quite good, though I don't put heavy demands on it. I work almost exclusively with acoustic music and mostly use reverb to add back some "room" to my recordings, I almost never use it as an effect. I find it to be much more natural and smoother than other reverbs that I have.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    How do you think the impulse reverb's sound like in comparison to old-fashioned EMT Plates? Do they sound as good as the UAD EMT, emulation? I mean that still doesn't sound like a plate but it's probably the next closest? I wouldn't know, since I don't have one?

    Damn I miss my plates! It's hard to speak without them in. Good thing I always brushed my teeth.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    do you have a DAW with a convolution player? If you do I could send you a few wive files that you could load and see for yourself...

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