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Best reverb for classical music?

Reverb seems to be the thing I lack the most of.
digi verb is a POS, and space designer only runs on logic.

I want something that sounds very natural. To give recordings less dead space when the musicians pause.
I really don't want to spend over a grand on this.

Are lexicons and TCs any good at that price range?
I know the Reibe is a grand, and like using it when I get the chance. So that is an option. Also I may be buying the renaissances plugin pack, which comes with a decent verb. But i rarely use it, as I have revibe and a TC 6000 to work with as well (when I am at school).

I know every one has there own opinions, but I would just like to hear what people use for their classical mixes.

Comments

aracu Fri, 02/15/2008 - 20:41
"I couldn't find that there, but I found an unfinished chapel IR here:

http://www.impulseresponse.org/real_rooms.htm

It's under the heading "Huge Unfinished Chapel". Is that the one?"

Hi Keith, it's probably the same one, it has the same name and number
of files, but it's a different site so I'm not sure. I found it on noisevault.com
on the second page of the real spaces category, and the full name is the
same Huge Unfinished Chapel.

aracu Tue, 02/12/2008 - 16:38
Yeah that Bricasti really has something going on. I heard one at AES and
decided to order one, there goes the budget. It's got to be one of the most impressive pieces of gear out there. It sounds like it reflects the whole sound of the recording, not just some of the frequencies like the
software convolution reverbs. It has it's own sound, dense and clean,
and sets a nice stage for the music to sit in. The convolution reverbs are great for creating a sense of another better space, but not so much for a noticable background of reverb, unless enhancing a recording which already has one. I'm looking forward to using the Bricasti with clean, dry recordings of acoustic music made in a highly sound absorbent room, as well as for enhancing location recordings. And last but not least, to increase the realism of midi recordings made for low budget films.

DavidSpearritt Sat, 02/09/2008 - 14:09
Just bought a cheap Lenovo, but they are pretty powerful machines now. T61, 2GB ram, 2.2Ghz Core Duo (T7500), 160 eSata drive, 15" widescreen, 1394a, Wireless etc etc. Runs so quietly you can record in the same room. It came with Vista and a whole lot of unsolicited crap installed but this only last minutes before it was nuked, of course. Now running XP SP2.

DavidSpearritt Wed, 02/13/2008 - 01:05
aracu wrote: The convolution reverbs are great for creating a sense of another better space, but not so much for a noticable background of reverb, unless enhancing a recording which already has one.
The theory of convolution reverb should refute this statement. Convolution reverb has the ability to be the closest to a real hall, after all, its the hall's impulse response at the receiving mics which should be being used. Its only limited by the quality of the impulses, many of which are still not well aquired.

The other reverb that seems to be talked about in numinous terms is the SONY DRE S777, which I haven't heard, but which, I think, uses convolution as its method of calculating reverb.

What calculation method does Bricasti use?

aracu Wed, 02/13/2008 - 04:27
I certainly agree with you about the theory of convolution reverb, although
in practice I've found it subjectively to work well as long as the reverb effect is kept to an absolute minimum, unless the original recording already has a fairly noticable background of reverb, otherwise it starts to sound quite unnatural in a destracting way. I haven't heard the Sony either so I can't comment on it. It's been said that the software reverbs are limited in sound quality due to the limitations of a computer's dsp, and have to make comprimises in the overall reproduction of the original dry sound. I don't know if that is true or not. As I understand it the Bricasti is a completely synthetic reverb, modeled by the designers to sound like real spaces and improved versions of studio reverbs, not exactly what one would expect to sound "natural". It could be criticized as sounding too "perfect" (like an idealized version of a real space). If we had great sounding spaces easily available to record in with lots of time to set up microphones, there would not be such a need for electronic reverbs for enhancing acoustic music. They would be more necessary in the production of electronic, electro-acoustic and midi based music.

Simmosonic Wed, 02/13/2008 - 05:04
DavidSpearritt wrote: Its only limited by the quality of the impulses, many of which are still not well aquired.

I think this is the biggest problem. What is required to make a good impulse? I'd imagine you'd need a sound source that could excite all frequencies equally (20Hz to 20kHz) and evenly (i.e. ominidirectional radiation pattern).

Then there's the question of whereabouts to place the impulse source in the room, and where to place the microphones. Speaking of which, what technique do you use to capture the room's response? Mono, coincident stereo, near-coincident stereo, spaced omnis, etc.

So many challenges to overcome...

Cucco Mon, 02/25/2008 - 05:13
David -

I've been playing around with the Fabrik R and the preset you sent me (thanks by the way!) and have really started getting some sounds that I like, but for some reason, when I bounce or mix down the file, all I get is some random repetetive noise instead of the music+reverb. Did you experience this? If so, how do/did you combat it?

Thanks!
Jeremy

hueseph Wed, 02/13/2008 - 08:27
Simmosonic wrote: I'd imagine you'd need a sound source that could excite all frequencies equally (20Hz to 20kHz) and evenly

I don't think you will find any impulse that would affect all frequencies equally. The same as the room you want to capture will likely not affect all frequencies equally. Just a stupid point. Yes, I'm nitpicking.

Member Wed, 02/13/2008 - 11:17
I'm thinking about getting SIR v1 (the freebie) to test out as a VST plugin in Wavelab for some post work. Of course, the issue of good impulses comes up as mentioned above.

Can anyone provide sources for GOOD usable impulse responses for classical music for use with SIR1? I don't need crap like "toilet bowl" or "cave" ... more like concet halls and churches of various characters. Any help would be appreciated!

DavidSpearritt Wed, 02/13/2008 - 12:54
Cucco wrote: They also have great links to impulses of classic units such as Lexicon 960s and Quantec boxes. Most of which are quite true to the original (since, after all, they are impulses of the actual devices).

Yes, but I have never understood this. What's the point of reproducing a synthetic reverb or another silly box when the problem is, it never sounds like a real hall. Why not just use a real hall, ie a real impulse.

Cucco Wed, 02/13/2008 - 13:00
Ah...I guess I should have explained -
I don't just use it to simulate halls. For certain vocalists, I like some of the 960 reverbs. For outdoor marching bands, the Quantec rocks. For certain jazz ensembles (particularly big band) the TC VSS3 reverbs rock. This way I can use impulses of these boxes and not have to pay to rent them or buy them.

Although, if the Bricasti is as nice as everyone claims, I'll likely be keeping/buying my review sample.

DavidSpearritt Wed, 02/13/2008 - 13:01
Simmosonic wrote: [quote=DavidSpearritt]Its only limited by the quality of the impulses, many of which are still not well aquired.

I think this is the biggest problem. What is required to make a good impulse? I'd imagine you'd need a sound source that could excite all frequencies equally (20Hz to 20kHz) and evenly (i.e. ominidirectional radiation pattern).

Then there's the question of whereabouts to place the impulse source in the room, and where to place the microphones. Speaking of which, what technique do you use to capture the room's response? Mono, coincident stereo, near-coincident stereo, spaced omnis, etc.

So many challenges to overcome...
The measurement process is extremely important and quite complex. While a spark or balloon burst or gunshot has a flat frequency emission, there's not enough energy there to excite the hall properly, so generally a swept sine is the way to go. I reckon the sound source should go where the musicians are and the measurement mics should go where you would stick a couple of omnis for a main pair.

The measurement mics should be omnis because you want flat pickup and you want the return from the hall, ie behind the mics, but it would also be interesting to have Blumlein and ORTF measurements as well. After all you are trying to reproduce what happens at the mics during a real recording.

My acoustical mate James Heddle and I are still planning to go into the Con Theatre and measure it carefully and properly at 44/24 and 96/24 with a variety of mic techniques. James is working on a fantastic point source speaker system to radiate big SPL's in as close to point source as possible, so its still going to be awhile yet.

In the meatime I will probably buy SIR2 and some of those Penguine impulses and also continue to use the new TC box. Bricasti looks like a wonderful bit of gear, but the budget doesn't extend that far at the moment.

aracu Wed, 02/13/2008 - 14:06
My favorite SIR reverb free impulse download from the internet is
from noisevault.com and it's called Unfinished Chapal. The 3 versions
were made from a chapal without all the furniture installed in it yet
or something like that. It holds up well to relatively expensive software reverbs like Waves Ir and Altiverb.
A really nice Waves Ir impulse for classical or flamenco guitar is
Nekarot Cavern, taken from a very low cieling cavern in Jerusalem,
I think.
The impulses made from hardware reverbs tend to sound pretty bad if not unusable.

Cucco Mon, 02/25/2008 - 12:20
A TC Konnekt 24D.

I got it to be the "in the studio" interface so that I didn't have to keep unracking and re-racking the Fireface.

Mine also works flawlessly in internal mode but I'd hate to do a full playback for a reverb. Although, if I went with any other hardware reverb, I'd have to do the same.

I'll just bite the bullet and let it do its thing.

Simmosonic Sun, 02/10/2008 - 09:42
DavidSpearritt wrote: Just bought a cheap Lenovo, but they are pretty powerful machines now. T61, 2GB ram, 2.2Ghz Core Duo (T7500), 160 eSata drive, 15" widescreen, 1394a, Wireless etc etc. Runs so quietly you can record in the same room.

Well I'll be hornswoggled! [insert sound of hornswoggling taking place, allow to run until end of message]

Actually, I love the fact that standard off-the-shelf PCs and laptops are now powerful enough for most audio needs. Granted, you're probably running some DSP in the TC box, so I'm going tangential here, but nonetheless. I can remember not too long ago when putting together a PC for audio was a very serious undertaking; now you can buy an off-the-shelf laptop, hook up something like the Konnect and there it is.

DavidSpearritt wrote: It came with Vista and a whole lot of unsolicited crap installed but this only last minutes before it was nuked, of course. Now running XP SP2.

Yeah, I can't 'see' the point in Vista for audio... [Ouch! Gentle with that hornswoggler, boy...]

DavidSpearritt Sun, 02/10/2008 - 12:04
The Lenovo as configured above was only $1400. The TC box does take most of the CPU load, one of the reasons I bought it, and I have recorded 14 hrs of 4 channel 96/24 audio with it, without a hitch or should that be glitch.

I am keen to try a 12 channel recording with it soon, 12 channels of 96/24 will be interesting. I think the HDD is the bottleneck in these setups now and it should not have any problems with 12 x 96/24.

On the whole very happy with this new setup. Nagra are going to have to perform miracles to get me anywhere near interested in the VI.

Cucco Sun, 02/10/2008 - 13:31
FYI - In case anyone is interested or cares -
I just also purchased an off-the-shelf laptop for audio and have run 12 tracks of 24/192 for several hours using the fireface.

The config specs are almost identical to the specs that David listed. The difference is, it's a Dell. (Insert gasp here. I actually used to work for Dell and IBM as an on-site repair guy for laptops during 2000-2001 timeframe. I repaired about 8-20 a day for around 2 years. Overall, despite most people's bitching about them, Dells are made quite well. I will agree the IBM is a more solid piece, but nowadays, the difference is marginal).

Anyway- the WHOLE reason I chose the Dell was that the Ad that they sent me stated that they had a new machine catering to small businesses and that this particular machine would be configured (software and hardware) EXACTLY as you wish. No AOL? No problem. No MSN Messenger? No problem.

The maching cost $479 and included Win XP Home (which is fine for audio since the biggest differences in XP home and pro are network and workstation features). The great thing is - when I turned it on and went to the "Remove Programs" list fully expecting to see a bunch of other CRAP software in there, it was virtually empty. There was one Dell piece of software that I removed and nothing else.

After adding a nice external HD and a Siig Firewire card (TI chipset) and a nice case, I was out under $1k.

The longest session I have done on it was yesterday with over 8 hours at 10 tracks (two different recordings though - about 4 hours on each) and have done in total since then (first of the year) 14 location jobs and not a glitch yet.

All that being said - my point is - Simmo, you're right. The off-the-shelf laptops today are quite powerful and if your plans are mainly centered around tracking (not heavy/hardcore editing and effects) most laptops can be easily configured to accept the load.

Cheers-
Jeremy

PS - One note - the machine I got does not have the widescreen - only the regular 15" screen. As I understand it, they've gone up $100 since then as this was a Christmas promotion.

Cucco Sun, 02/10/2008 - 13:37
Although, I should add to my PS, that I had a 15" LCD in a very small and light road case that I would take with me when using my old portable PC. I can drag that with me (it's in a case the size of a briefcase) and thanks to WinXP, I can have both the laptop monitor and the external monitor active and have a dual monitor setup very easily. This comes in seriously handy keeping the interface mixer on one screen and the DAW software on the other keeping from having to minimize and redraw each time (which I've found causes dropped packets sometimes.)

Member Sun, 02/10/2008 - 13:57
Bricasti reverb is something that has no paralel around. The natural, very real sound of its reverbs is quite amazing. It is something very different than Lexicons or TCs (BTW it has 16 times more DSP power than Lexicon 960L). Not speaking of the ease and creativity of the controls. For classical music, it would be very difficult to find a better, more natural choice. The most remarkable feature is a feeling of being "really in the space" without any usual sound artifacts. With the original source sounding intact and with full details.

Altiverb is nice, but a bit "blurred" and thin sounding in comparison. Breverb sounds to me just as one of many software reverbs (and probably not the best).

Simmosonic Wed, 02/13/2008 - 20:41
DavidSpearritt wrote: I reckon the sound source should go where the musicians are and the measurement mics should go where you would stick a couple of omnis for a main pair.
That makes sense, of course...

DavidSpearritt wrote: The measurement mics should be omnis because you want flat pickup and you want the return from the hall, ie behind the mics, but it would also be interesting to have Blumlein and ORTF measurements as well. After all you are trying to reproduce what happens at the mics during a real recording.

Right! I think anyone serious about making impulses would be using a number of different stereo miking techniques at the same time. I have some for SIR, can't remember what they are now, that offer two or three different mic techniques. Each sounds a bit different...

Then again, would the differences between the capture techniques be of any true relevant after going through the convolution process?

DavidSpearritt wrote: My acoustical mate James Heddle and I are still planning to go into the Con Theatre and measure it carefully and properly at 44/24 and 96/24 with a variety of mic techniques. James is working on a fantastic point source speaker system to radiate big SPL's in as close to point source as possible, so its still going to be awhile yet.

This sounds fantastic. With all of those things in place, you'll be halfway there (IMHO)...

Cucco Fri, 02/29/2008 - 12:23
David -

Just a quick follow up:

Thanks again for sending me your presets to work from. I've taken it, listened to it extensively and have been playing around with the Fabrik R reverb a LOT over the past week. I'm coming around VERY quickly to using this reverb and once I figured out its (IMO) quirky interface, the reverbs sound amazingly smooth and full without any hint of a traditional reverb sound.

Thanks a million!

J.

Cucco Thu, 02/14/2008 - 09:39
aracu wrote:
The impulses made from hardware reverbs tend to sound pretty bad if not unusable.

It depends what you use them for.

For orchestra- yes, they're not usable. But then again, I've found very few boxes that were good for this in the first place.

For pop/rock vocals, they're quite good.

Otherwise, I'll agree, for orchestra - good samples reign supreme.

DavidSpearritt Fri, 02/15/2008 - 03:54
There's nothing you can carry in your pocket that will excite a room (concert hall) with enough energy. Even a loud gun is not likely to do it. If you want the response of the room to a symphony orchestra, you have to get somewhere near the energy production. Even though the system is supposedly linear with amplitude. Its all to do with having enough S/N in the measurement of the response.

A powerful multi driver loudspeaker point source capable of 120dBA is a good start. Add a decent signal generator and many mics and a multitrack recorder and you have some chance.

This is why there are not too many decent impulses out there and why companies like Altiverb protect their measurement results (their only real IP by the way) with great enthusiasm.

http://www.audioease.com/IR/

Cucco Fri, 02/08/2008 - 15:18
I have personally found that no reverb under $1k can really compete with a good plugin (such as SIR or Altiverb).

The TC 2000 is nice for some things, but lacks a little bit when it comes to classical. I find the main verbs to be a bit dry and brittle.

The Lexicon stuff under $1k works a little better IMO - especially a used PCM91 but I can almost always spot the use of a Lexicon reverb (this golden halo of euphoria around the reverb).

The Kurzweil Rumor is surprisingly good for the money, but is a little tricky to get dialed in just right.

I'll be reviewing the Bricasti M7 here soon but it's significantly more than the $1k price you were asking about. I suspect it sounds a bit nicer than the traditional reverb box too.

Other than that, I've truly found the SIR plugs to be phenomenal.

I'm also going to be trying the new "BREVERB" soon. It supposedly has some cool features that make it better than IR reverbs. I can't comment though as I haven't touched it.

Cheers-
J.

DavidSpearritt Fri, 02/08/2008 - 15:32
Up until recently, we commonly used TC2000, TC3000 and SIR with some great impulses for all our classical live and mastering work. Of these SIR and the impulses sound the best. The TC 2 and 3000's are great for live stuff.

BUT, all of these pale into insignificance compared with the reverb in my new TC Studiokonnekt 48, which I believe are the Fabrik R algorithms from the 4000 and 6000 boxes. This reverb is so real, clean, misty and so easy to control and setup its scary.
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