[linux-audio-user] Decent reverb, and DSP in hardware?

Wolfgang Woehl tito at rumford.de
Tue Feb 1 09:24:31 EST 2005

> > difference. Choosing "cath_reims.ir" from a list of presets instead
> > ... well, wouldn't that be a bit thin?
> I think you're dangerously close to saying that recorded music sucks
> and only the live one is "true music". :-)

I'm a sucker for recorded music. And for sound effects. But to cut a 
long story short: I think the only *Decent Reverb And DSP* sits in the 
thing between your ears, surrounded by the space you take it to.

Simulating space in soft/hardware is a crap compromise. Technically 
interesting and educational, ubiquitous, therefore well known, 
recognizable and all. But it takes you nowhere. Well, most people use 
it as sound effect anyway, don't give a hoot about space. And that is 
most likely a heritage from the caveman days where big animals expelled 
frequency-rich sounds to stun their next meal. A faint memory of that 
thrill seems to live in our genes. Cool thing is you don't have to be 
scared anymore because you know it's just a guy with a bigbuck lexicon 
sitting in a booth being bored to death. Wild theory to accomodate the 
wild animals, I'll concede that.

> Anyway, yeah, i listened to all kinds of records with pre-classic
> music played on organs. It was pretty cool, sort of. But then i
> listened to The Real Thing, a true, breathing organ at Biserica
> Neagra (The Black Church) in Brasov, Romania. It blew my mind. Light
> years ahead of any canned music.

Probably great.

> Unfortunately, not everyone can go to the Cathedral of Reims or to
> Biserica Neagra whenever they feel like. Hence, the need for
> procedures that emulate that sound. And you know what? If i record
> music live in the cathedral, and then i record the same music in the
> studio but then run it through convolution, and the sound is the
> same, who cares? It's just recorded music in both cases. It does not
> compare with live performance. But if it sounds the same, who cares?
> (and, with modern reverbs, it will sound pretty damn much the same on
> a CD)

I use convolution for lots of things *but* reverb. By the way: Don't 
expect any upcoming realtime convolvers to sound like what they 
promise. It's tricks and good mixing of different effect stages that 
make these algorithms usable in realtime. Basically I'm trying to say 
that you should care for the difference -- not because of the sound but 
because of the soul you put into your music.


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