Originally Posted by Michael Carnes
It is certainly true that I was 'encouraged' to maintain the "Lexicon Sound", but I stepped around those restrictions as often as I could. You'll notice a strong family resemblance between the 480L version of RandomHall and the PCM96 version, but you'll also notice a number of significant differences.
I've heard the demo of the PCM bundle, but I haven't heard Random Hall in the 480L, so I'll take your word for it. How would you quantify the sonic differences?
The 'Room' algorithm that appeared in the PCM96 was completely my own invention. As a matter of fact, Dave G told me he thought it was a terrible idea. But it ended up being pretty popular. You really don't know until you try.
I remember hearing the PCM Room. That was some nice stuff. It definitely went against the idea that I have read about in Lexicon manuals, about the "myth of early reflections" and the need to avoid undiffused, discrete reflections. It sounded great.
This is something I figured out in the Sanctuary mode of VintageVerb, where the first N reflections were modeled from EMT250 impulse responses. The reflections are HARD reflections, with no diffusion. I though this would sound fake. Instead, it adds a TON of presence to the reverb.
And don't forget Barry Blesser's contributions. He and Dave maintained a very friendly rivalry back in the day, and both of them benefitted from it. Barry served as a sounding board for me too. Still does. His penetrating intelligence can cause you a great amount of embarrassment if you haven't thought things through.
I've read every Blesser paper and book that I can get my hands on. I have a 1978 book on DSP with a Blesser chapter in it. Most of the rest of the book is hopelessly obsolete, but the Blesser chapter continues to yield insights every time I read it. His thoughts about the "bumpy" decay envelope caused by randomly distributed eigenmodes in a given frequency range have given me a lot of insight as to the original goals of modulated reverbs.
I will readily admit that I'm happy to be out from under the yoke. I really enjoyed being responsible for that sound for as long as I was (don't have a clue what's going to happen to it now), but I long thought there were other ways to skin a hall.
I'm not sure that anything NEEDS to happen to the Lexicon sound. People still play Telecasters and Stratocasters through tube circuits that are identical to those used by 1950's Fender tweed amps, and are happy to do so. The Lexicon sound is up there with the sound of classic compressors and EQ circuits. Being computationally efficient is a nice bonus, so Lexicon-style algorithms will probably fit on whatever computer/DSP paradigm is invented.
Having said that, I'm really excited for the post-Lexicon sound. The Exponential Audio stuff is definitely a great example of this: sonic similarities to the Lexicon stuff, but (IMO) better
. I'm currently working on reducing certain artifacts I don't like in the Lexicon-style algorithms, while emphasizing the artifacts I do like. This is an exciting time to be developing reverbs!