Convolution reverb is a very realistic emulation of a specific space. You have a convolution reverb plug-in with Digital Performer called Proverb, and if you have Logic Pro, you have access to Space Designer. There are also 3rd party ones from Audio Ease, Waves and McDSP.
Convolution is a tricky subject, so for today's Waveform Wednesday post, here is an article from studio engineer and programmer Ken Hamburg at B&H Photo & Video:
As a rookie studio engineer and programmer in the 1980's I remember being amazed and buffeted by the daily intrusion and profusion of digital music-making machinery, from the MIDI protocol to digital "black box" reverbs and delays, sampling keyboards and drum machines. The influence on the recording process was immediate and irreversible. Sampling in particular quickly developed into an art form, resulting in far-reaching legal disputes and a boom time for manufacturers, as the sampler became a required fixture at any competitive recording facility.
One day it occurred to me that if you could sample a drum set or a piano or a French horn, it would also be very cool to sample the sound of the stairwell or wood-paneled room or iso-booth in which that instrument had been recorded. I mentioned this to several friends in the business, and the response was largely unprintable.
The essential difference between this reverb technology and the digital reverbs we're used to as musicians and engineers lies precisely in the fact that the ambience is that of an actual acoustic space, not an artificial or ideal one created, however brilliantly, by a programmer using a series of algorithms designed to replicate acoustic behavior.
Spelunkers with Microphones
Great, Dude! But can we just tweak it a little?
I want one! Who's got one?
Audio Ease – Altiverb 6: One of the pioneering software developers of the convolution reverb. Sounds great, looks great, superbly documented and easily-operated, with a large library and deep editing capabilities. Serious CPU horsepower recommended.
|Trillium Lane Labs - TL Space Native Edition: Another pioneer in the field, now distributed by Digidesign. Nice sound, nice graphics, easy-access virtual control surface brings some fun and familiarity to the editing process.|
Waves - IR1: Comes in Light and Surround versions as well. Possibly the most ambitious and sophisticated parameter control out there, with in an intuitive if busy operating environment and a large beautifully-executed sample library of both real spaces and hardware classics.
McDSP – Revolver: Mac only, unfortunately. Fast processing, surprisingly light on the CPU load, heavy on instant gratification in terms of sound quality and editing response. Advanced EQ and a 3-band crossover are featured in the parameter list.