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Exponential Audio: Stratus vs. Symphony – your thoughts
Old 25th April 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Exponential Audio: Stratus vs. Symphony – your thoughts

Good morning fellow Post-folk,

I'm looking at the 2 exponential audio verbs, Stratus and Symphony. listening, they both seem very awesome. TBH, i'm torn.

That said, i'd love to know your opinions on them. Which do you like better? Why?

What do you find the difference, practically, to your ears?

Which is more common in the post world?

Any other insight?

Thanks!
Old 25th April 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I love Stratus for dialogue. Very transparent, good for subtle exterior stuff too. Symphony is rich, much like the R2, and great for music.


Quote:
Originally Posted by postprosound View Post
Good morning fellow Post-folk,

I'm looking at the 2 exponential audio verbs, Stratus and Symphony. listening, they both seem very awesome. TBH, i'm torn.

That said, i'd love to know your opinions on them. Which do you like better? Why?

What do you find the difference, practically, to your ears?

Which is more common in the post world?

Any other insight?

Thanks!
Old 25th April 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
 

I haven't tried the others, but my understanding is Stratus is sort of built upon Phoenixverb and Symphony on R2, yes? And the latter are maybe more along the lines of 'colored' and 'musical' reverbs whereas the former are more 'neutral' and possibly more suitable for unobtrusive post-production scenarios.

Would that be about right?
Old 25th April 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the replies thus far.

One other question– the 3D option, anyone using it?
Old 25th April 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

I have r2 surround, pheonix and r4 ... also recently got symphony. For dialog i'm 80% in mono, so with r4 (and sometimes r2/phoenix) I was pretty well set for dialog. Atleast I can't tell the difference between r4 and stratus on a mono track, which might be my ear isn't good enough and I'm primarily in mono for dialog. On the other hand fx/music is often always at quad/5.1+, and symphony is definatly giving me a lift from what I was doing before. If I had the money, I'd have gotten both though for that 20% when dialog is not mono (i.e. especially trying to mix in walla to my mono tracks).

(also using the 3d for sound design with symphony)
Old 25th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I have used it in 3d for ATMOS mixes. For that it works pretty well. It wants to be 7.1.2. I have had better results using two verbs, not connected and having the second verb send into objects - but that is just me.

Randall


Quote:
Originally Posted by postprosound View Post
Thanks for the replies thus far.

One other question– the 3D option, anyone using it?
Old 26th April 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 

I was just at a demo earlier this week that was presented by Michael Carnes. From what I saw, seems the Stratus. The plethora of presets is overwhelming. If you have any iZotope products you can upgrade to the Exponential Audio Stereo Reverb Bundle (which includes PhoenixVerb, NIMBUS, R4, and Excalibur) for $199 and you'll get %35 off Stratus msrp $399 (making that about $260) so for the whole shebang about $460.

But I have a feeling for black Friday there'll be a huge discount or IMHO in the future they might combine all of these (and I mean all reverbs) into one big package for a discount
Old 12th April 2020
  #8
dix
Gear Nut
It looks like all eight(ish?) iZotope Exponential surround reverbs are on sale until 4/30, plus at least two different bundles.

My work consists of basic 5.1 sound-to-picture mixing as well as some large (non-Atmos) multi-channel sound installations. iZotope would clearly prefer that I buy all their reverbs, but I don't have the budget at this time. Would any one their surround reverbs be useful at all for my needs? There's no clear documentation on what the differences are on iZotope's site. The "View More" links for all of them go to the same general info page, with no comparison-view, or anything that would inform a purchasing decision on the individual plugins that I can find. Thx!
Old 12th April 2020
  #9
Gear Head
 
Flix's Avatar
Intersting, I was wondering too was would be the most useful of all those EA reverbs for my purposes (post mostly). For years I heard only about PhoenixVerb. Since all the different plugins get promotions and bundles now with other Izotope products, it gets more unclear which one to really go to if you like your sessions simple and compatible..
I have Stratus and Symphony now with PPS4 upgrade, getting great results, and wonder if PhoenixVerb Surround is now outdated.
Old 12th April 2020
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flix View Post
Intersting, I was wondering too was would be the most useful of all those EA reverbs for my purposes (post mostly). For years I heard only about PhoenixVerb. Since all the different plugins get promotions and bundles now with other Izotope products, it gets more unclear which one to really go to if you like your sessions simple and compatible..
I have Stratus and Symphony now with PPS4 upgrade, getting great results, and wonder if PhoenixVerb Surround is now outdated.
I also just upgraded to the PPS4. And with Space and waves Mercury/Abbey Rodes verbs, I think I should be set for a long time.
It does get a bit confusing with the differences from all their 11 verbs
Old 12th April 2020
  #11
dix
Gear Nut
Someone on the MOTU forum pointed me to this thread from 2018 where the EA developer outlines the differences. I don't think the versions have changed much, if at all, since iZotope acquired them.

https://*******************/thread/8...onential-audio

In a super reductive nutshell, in case it's useful to anyone else: There's two basic approaches. The reverbs based on PhoenixVerb (Phoenix, NIMBUS, Stratus) are more transparent (real?), The ones based on R2 (R2, R4, Symphony) are more colored (creative?). The iZotope site does sort of include this info, but not as clearly as the designer frames it in the thread.
Old 12th April 2020
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dix View Post
Someone on the MOTU forum pointed me to this thread from 2018 where the EA developer outlines the differences. I don't think the versions have changed much, if at all, since iZotope acquired them.

https://*******************/thread/8...onential-audio

In a super reductive nutshell, in case it's useful to anyone else: There's two basic approaches. The reverbs based on PhoenixVerb (Phoenix, NIMBUS, Stratus) are more transparent (real?), The ones based on R2 (R2, R4, Symphony) are more colored (creative?). The iZotope site does sort of include this info, but not as clearly as the designer frames it in the thread.

Link doesn't work

Last edited by SDDP; 12th April 2020 at 11:21 PM..
Old 12th April 2020
  #13
dix
Gear Nut
Hmm. It does not, and I can't figure out how to post it. I guess GS doesn't like us posting links to other forums :( It's on a forum called Real Gear Online. Thread subject "All things exponential about Exponential Audio !"
Old 13th April 2020
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dix View Post
Hmm. It does not, and I can't figure out how to post it. I guess GS doesn't like us posting links to other forums :( It's on a forum called Real Gear Online. Thread subject "All things exponential about Exponential Audio !"

Thanks, did some digging and found it:

website you mentioned then DOT com/thread/8145/all-exponential-audio
Old 13th April 2020
  #15
Here for the gear
 

If I could only have one reverb it would be Stratus 3D.

If I could have two reverbs it would be Stratus 3D and Symphony 3D. These two reverbs combine all of the previous features and capabilities and in essence really replace PhoenixVerb, R2, R4, Nimbus, etc.

Stratus 3D is the clearer, more open sounding reverb. Very natural. It works great on dialog, foley, fx, making those ridiculously big "dream verb" reverb effects, etc. It also works incredibly well on music, having great Hall, Church, Room and even Plate presets. I have literally been very hard pressed to find a sound that Stratus cannot create.

Symphony 3D is very similar sounding, but it does have additional chorus effects on the reverb tail, which make it a bit thicker and a bit better suited for music. Sort of like the Lexicon reverbs. It is really great for thickening up and blending music together, and I would say is almost as flexible as Stratus 3D.

But how Stratus can be used for dialog, fx, AND music, I would say it would be a bit of a stretch to us Symphony on dialog and FX.

Both of these can be mono, stereo, 5.1, 7.1, or 7.1.2 or 7.1.6. it probably has different options for Auro which I haven't looked at.

What this means for me is that I no longer have to completely rethink my reverb presets when going from stereo mixing to 5.1 or Atmos mixing. The same presets will work with any format of the plugin. To me, this is HUGE.

There were a lot of great stereo reverbs that I liked, but if I wanted to do 5.1 or Atmos mixing, I would need to make 5-6 duplicate instances and change their parameters slightly to get a "Atmos" reverb. Very annoying. Now with Stratus I just change the plugin format from Stereo to 7.1.2 and the settings stay the same and I can still use my favorite presets.

It doesn't work for automation though. That still gets wiped if you change the plugin format to a different channel count. I think this is more of a Pro Tools limitation than the plugin's limitation though because there is a simple work around: Duplicate the track, and then copy all automation parameters from the stereo track to the 7.1.2 track. Works beautifully.

And to put it in perspective, 80% of what I do is stereo, 20% is 5.1 and I am just breaking the ice on Atmos mixing. But for all of that I will use Stratus 3D and Symphony 3D so I can upscale at a later date without losing my favorite presets.

Thank you Michael for finally making one (or two) reverbs which can cover every needed use, and do it while sounding fantastic.
Old 14th April 2020
  #16
dix
Gear Nut
Thanks TM! I was specifically wondering which one of these surround reverbs I should start with. There's a lot of info in your post to help with that decision - especially the stuff about scalability. I work in 5.1, but a lot of my projects are for multi-channel, installations.

Based on this post, plus recos from two other colleagues I grabbed Stratus 3D. I've only had a chance to kick the tires, but it sounds gorgeous. I'll wait for the next sale to get Symphony if I need it. Thanks again!

...btw, the AU version crashes DP, but the VST2 and 3 versions seem fine.
Old 14th May 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
I think it's pretty silly that these reverbs are all separate plugins. But you can't blame a guy for trying to make some money.
I like lexicons and I was very happy with the R4.
I bought stratus 3D for its immersive possiblities but I have to say that I really like it in stereo for music as well.
It's pretty nice to just not have the chorus option
Time will tell what my go to stereo music reverb will be but I have a feeling it will be Stratus.

Huub
Old 14th May 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
I think it's pretty silly that these reverbs are all separate plugins. But you can't blame a guy for trying to make some money.
I like lexicons and I was very happy with the R4.
I bought stratus 3D for its immersive possiblities but I have to say that I really like it in stereo for music as well.
It's pretty nice to just not have the chorus option
Time will tell what my go to stereo music reverb will be but I have a feeling it will be Stratus.

Huub
The reason that Michael Carnes made each of these reverbs in not solely for money, It was for a natural progression of how each evolved and what input he was having from users.
For example...
Lexicon made the 224, the 200, the 480, the 300, the 960 and others.
I wouldn't say Lexicon did it exclusively for the money but to different targeted buyers. The same with Exponential Reverbs,
Right now if I had to buy his reverbs I would buy "Stratus 3D" and "Symphony 3D" . Each of them have a focus in a particular area.. Stratus for Dialog and Symphony for Music.

Having worked with Michael since the Introduction of Phoenix and have Beta Tested everything he has made it would be difficult to find another more
focused and passionate plug in designer. We would have hour long conversations
and the next thing you know I would see things implemented within the plug ins such as Atmos, DTS X and Auro capability in Status and Symphony . Buy what you can afford but know that Stratus and Symphony are very flexible and efficient.
Old 14th May 2020
  #19
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
I think it's pretty silly that these reverbs are all separate plugins. But you can't blame a guy for trying to make some money.
I like lexicons and I was very happy with the R4.
I bought stratus 3D for its immersive possiblities but I have to say that I really like it in stereo for music as well.
It's pretty nice to just not have the chorus option
Time will tell what my go to stereo music reverb will be but I have a feeling it will be Stratus.

Huub
Well, these are plugins. They're very high quality and you buy one once and you get updates for free. If he saturated the post market with Phoenixverb and then not only updated that plugin but offered free upgrades to new ones with more features he'd make no more money. It'd be purely a work of passion at that point.

And the upgrade paths were good with Exponential Audio and they remain really good with iZotope, especially if you wait for a good deal. About twice per year they have deep sales on specific products and suites so I just picked up the Post Suite for $299 last month. I mean, I'd say anyone looking for really solid reverbs would/should easily pay $299 just for those reverbs - and I got everything else in the suite on top of that.

So I really think it's pretty fair pricing to be honest.

I agree with Marti of course...
Old 15th May 2020
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Can anyone comment on the differences between Phoenixverb Surround and Stratus? Does Stratus offer noticeable improvements as a post option?
Old 15th May 2020
  #21
Gear Guru
 

Haven't used the function yet but I believe Stratus offers you the ability to adjust the amount of reverb according to the input signal, but not in a... "linear" way. It's more like the ability to have less reverb while someone is talking and more when they're not. There's a video of it somewhere... maybe on iZotope's site.
Old 18th May 2020
  #22
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
I have sent a message to support, but maybe someone here knows:

I would like to use Stratus 3D for live broadcast, as there are no immersive hardware solutions.
Does Stratus support for example 5.1.4 or even 4.0.4 or other "non pro tools" formats?
If so, am I dependent on the AU or VST host to implement support for these formats?

I use Live Professor, this application supports 8 channels but Stratus 3D becomes an 8 channel reverb that's still stereo

Just asking, you never know

Huub lelieveld

Last edited by huub; 18th May 2020 at 09:24 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 19th May 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
To partially answer my own question; Stratus has a smart way to overcome the limited bus possibilities in pro tools.
So you can create a 5.1.4 reverb for example.
I think I will use pro tools for the live reverb.

Huub
Old 21st May 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
 
cebolao's Avatar
 

@ huub

two questions - how do you make this 5.1.4 stratus trick? and offtopic but - what and how do you broadcast in immersive format? interesting
Old 21st May 2020
  #25
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
Hi!

If you create a 5.1 stratus, on the left in the plug in GUI you can choose other formats.
In this case you could choose auro 9.1.
Which is, in effect 5.1.4
The extra .4 appears as input options on new (aux) inputs, because a new subgroup for input sources appears.
Now you have interface, busses, plug in.
Under plug in the new .4 channels appear.

Huub
Old 21st May 2020
  #26
sm5
Gear Head
I sold all my stereo-only reverbs and just use the 3D versions. They sound pretty similar if not the same as the stereo-only versions but they are more future-proof. It's nice knowing if I'm mixing a song in stereo now with Stratus 3D and decide to later put it in an ATMOS mix ... It's one less thing to deal with. I prefer Stratus simply as it's a bit cleaner.
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