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Best reverb/room simulator for dry violin solo/duo/trio/quartet
Old 11th March 2012
  #1
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Best reverb/room simulator for dry violin solo/duo/trio/quartet

Hi,

I'm recording myself and my child with solo violins in a very dry room (small room, equipped with lots of absorbers). Mostly classical like Bach solo sonatas, Ysaye sonatas, etc. Also, I record all parts of violin duos, trios, and quartets and combine them later, panning the parts to make it sound like an actual duo/trio/quartet.
For the dry results, I need a reverb or room simulator. I've seached this forum and the rest of the internet and read all I could find. Unfortunately there hasn't been too much info dealing with this kind & type of music recording.

So I tried everything I could get my hands on so far, starting with freeware like SIR (+free IRs), Reaper's own reverb, and some more. However, what I achieved with those wasn't the sound I'd like to have.

Altiverb seemed a better option, especially with the stage positioning which I loved from the beginning. Nevertheless, after playing around within the trial period, the results to me never were like recorded in a real concert hall, and the violin sound was always a bit changed vs. reality. I see myself as a beginner in recording, so maybe I just couldn't handle Altiverb properly.

From Gearslutz I learnt about Flux Ircam Tools. With Verb I got results I liked much more, and Spat I loved as well. The sound is transparent and more natural, so I almost decided to buy at least Verb. However, I was not very happy with their unresponsive support, which lead me to try something different:

Lexicon's PCM plugins eventually did the trick: Especially the Hall plugin sounds exactly (nearly ) as I want. Both Random Hall and Concert Hall (I tested presets) added some extra "artificial" sound for my ears, so my favourite is now indeed the Lexicon Hall.

What I'd like to discuss here: Did anyone do similar tests, and with what findings? I had assumed, that Lexicon is not the ideal tool for classical music? I have also revisited Flux Ircam tools and tried to get the same results, but didn't succeed (yet) with the restricted trials version. I had loved to have a room simulation to make myself sound as a quartet on stage, but that might be possible with a simple verb + panning?
Finally, I know that there's also Bricasti M7 out there. I'm still hoping though to end up with a plugin, because that seems much more flexible.

Since the Lexicon plugins are available individually, I'll most likely buy the PCM Hall plugin. That's a reasonable investment and leaves all options open for a future upgrade/change.

I'm looking forward to the discussion,
best regards,
PhanRec

P.S.: Can anybody please give me a hint, if the individual Lexicon plugins are also available in Germany? I could only find the bundles here.
Old 11th March 2012
  #2
Registered User
The Bricasti M7 would rock your world. If you want the best natural sounding rooms, it's the sound to beat.

Convolution reverb is worth looking into ... but the quality is only as good as the samples used. Any sample taken from any hardware unit will never be as good as the actual hardware unit ... but there are some impulses taken from great sounding acoustic spaces.

I bought some Numerical Sound impulses, just to see if they are as good as claimed. Beware of their use policy - they want you to credit them if you use their sound, which I find insulting and not what I agreed to when I paid for them. But I have to agree they are bloody good - I just won't use them now that I have an M7.

From what I can tell with the Numerical samples, he took some great recordings from some great spaces, but used some advanced custom written additive synthesis to recreate the sounds. So they are 'artificial' and full range EQ and devoid of noisefloor - so you can compress them and eq them to taste. They sound good, and don't require modulation or any of the artificial artifacts that things like Lexicon impose.

The M7 uses a huge amount of CPU power to get a very dense, natural sound that doesn't need modulation to break up resonances, which most cheaper reverbs need.
Old 11th March 2012
  #3
bee
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bee's Avatar
 

I'm really curious about the Flux Ircam verb... let us know if you go with it. East West Spaces might be worth looking into.
Old 11th March 2012
  #4
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Many of the plugs you listed a very good plugs. I am interested in how you used them. Did you put the reverb on the recorded track or on an aux send? If an aux send was used did you put an EQ in front of it? Some info would be helpful.

Jeff
Old 11th March 2012
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRStudio View Post
Many of the plugs you listed a very good plugs. I am interested in how you used them. Did you put the reverb on the recorded track or on an aux send? If an aux send was used did you put an EQ in front of it? Some info would be helpful.

Jeff
Hi Jeff,

after some plaing around I used an aux send. By that, I could feed in 2 violin parts into 2 different channels. I turned Altiverb to 100% wet, and also Ircam Spat. All others were used as a mix of dry/wet - since recently by turning the plugin to 100% wet, and partly bypassing the aux track; sometimes I had the aux send pre-fader, sometimes post-fader (the latter in order to be able to use the pan-knobs of the two violin tracks).
No EQ was used in front of the plugin. I guess one would do that to simulate damping of higher frequences by air? In that case that'd be probably obsolete for Spat and Altiverb but would make sense for the others?
Maybe I should give it a try, while my 7-days Lexicon trial is still on.

Cheers,
Phanrec
Old 11th March 2012
  #6
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I find it best to put all reverbs on an aux send. Insert an eq before your reverb regardless of which plug you use. EQ out some of the low end and any area of mud. Also I find two or more verbs work better than one. Say a very short reverb with about 30 ms pre delay. Second, a longer reverb with a longer pre delay. Hope this helps.

Jeff
Old 11th March 2012
  #7
Registered User
Do you want to sound like you are in a hall? Or a more intimate small room? The smaller, realistic rooms are hard to nail - and this is where Bricasti shines. For the type of music you say you are making, it would be extremely flexibile and easy to use. If you have some spare s/pdif in and out I would use it digitally. Doesn't even need EQ - it's own EQ is great - and the behaviour of air dampening is more complex than EQ, so best to let the algorithmn do it's work.

For this type of music, the reverb is basically as important as your instruments. It all depends on how much quality you want.

Smaller room sounds need Early Reflections to define the size of the space, but cheap reverb ERs often sound like a cluster of delays that become a nasty resonating comb filter. For non-realistic music I would turn the ERs off and use delays instead. But with the M7, the ERs are so smooth they meld into whatever acoustic ambiance you have, and with it's own reverb tail. I haven't found anything that compares for small rooms. It's like silk.

I have a Kurzweil Rumour, which is pretty good for rooms - but it's insanely bright compared to the warm M7 sound, and needs taming to avoid sounding harsh. And it takes a lot of work to tweak a patch to sound right and avoid nasty resonances on certain frequencies ... I still rate it higher than any software I own. I haven't been convinced by any Lexicon small room sound, unless I specifically want that lush fake Lexicon small room sound, which i'm growing weary off. I wouldn't consider it for classical quartets etc - unless you are wanting a pop sort of sound.
Old 11th March 2012
  #8
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KevWind's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
The Bricasti M7 would rock your world. If you want the best natural sounding rooms, it's the sound to beat.

Convolution reverb is worth looking into ... but the quality is only as good as the samples used. Any sample taken from any hardware unit will never be as good as the actual hardware unit ... but there are some impulses taken from great sounding acoustic spaces.

I bought some Numerical Sound impulses, just to see if they are as good as claimed. Beware of their use policy - they want you to credit them if you use their sound, which I find insulting and not what I agreed to when I paid for them. But I have to agree they are bloody good - I just won't use them now that I have an M7.

From what I can tell with the Numerical samples, he took some great recordings from some great spaces, but used some advanced custom written additive synthesis to recreate the sounds. So they are 'artificial' and full range EQ and devoid of noisefloor - so you can compress them and eq them to taste. They sound good, and don't require modulation or any of the artificial artifacts that things like Lexicon impose.

The M7 uses a huge amount of CPU power to get a very dense, natural sound that doesn't need modulation to break up resonances, which most cheaper reverbs need.
+1 on M7 havent tried it on violins but on acoustic guitar it is stellar

here are some cello samples posted by Rob King scroll to post 130 Bricasti M7 - Woohoooo!
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