[linux-audio-user] Re: Decent reverb

tim hall tech at glastonburymusic.org.uk
Thu Feb 3 19:31:33 EST 2005

Last Thursday 03 February 2005 22:11, davidrclark at earthlink.net was like:
> Bob,
> You recently posted:
> > I use the ' less is more ' when it comes to reverb!
> > Also using just one reverb  as an Aux send and sending all tracks to it
> > with varying amounts really helps.
> This is what many hardware synths do for a "performance" or "program."  All
> of the instruments go through the same reverb (and chorus).  The amount of
> reverb can be varied for each channel.
> With care, this can be made to sound ~OK.  Electronic instruments are
> recorded directly, so there are no room acoustics.  Other instruments are
> recorded in rooms with noticeable acoustic properties. When these
> instruments sampled under different conditions are combined, the room
> acoustics are imbalanced. In order to correct this problem, one can add
> reverb to those instruments which have little to none while adding none to
> those instruments which were recorded in some sort of room.  What is really
> being done here is that the user is attempting to recreate the room that
> some of those instruments were sampled in, which may sound OK.  If one then
> adds additional nonphysical reverb to the mix, the sound begins to deviate
> from that of a real room --- so "less is more" --- that is, less sounds
> more like a real room.  Any rooms that samples are recorded in is usually
> small, so normally there isn't much overall reverb with this approach.
> I can't say and am not saying that this is what you are doing, but it may
> at least partially explain why you say "less is more."
> Personaly, I don't like the sound that my hardware synths produce when I
> attempt to do what you described.  Part of it has to do with the reverb,
> but it also has to do with the artificial stereo separation for most
> instruments. It never sounds good with headphones with this approach no
> matter what I do. Even those genres which use little reverb don't sound
> good.  The room acoustic models, such as they are, and listening models are
> physics-deficient.

I agree that we could do with better reverbs.

None of this is to be taken as a diss on Freeverb or Gverb. They still sound 
better than my old quadraverb!

I'm not particularly technical, so I'm reading this thread with some interest. 
Now you have mentioned it I do notice these behaviours, like the centre field 
being 'unrealistically' as wet as the edges and stereo separation which is 
tantamount to half of the notes being in one ear and the other half in the 
other, drum kits and pianos in soundfonts sprawl all over the stereo field. 
With reverbs there are issues of 'translucence' - I want it, but what the 
heck _is_ it? There's a natural randomness factor that I'm listening for. I'm 
not content with my synths sounding like a stylophone in a dustbin.

Here I'm just going to pay attention and take notes. There is a certain school 
of engineering which goes for naturalistic reproduction and I'm not worthy to 
even patch your outboard effects. So, as a humble student I would say that it 
doesn't have to be 'realistic'. Over-the-top reverbs have their uses, 
however, they do have to be pleasing to ear. I guess I'm not going to be 
surprised if you tell me that's best achieved by following naturalistic 
principles too, but surely we don't _have_ to try to reproduce the room?

I want a virtual forest please ;-)


tim hall

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