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Old December 31st, 2007, 04:30 PM   #16
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I used to work at the Naval Weapons Lab in the early 60's. We were routinely firing 5 inch and larger guns and occasionally we'd run a proof test of a 16 inch naval rifle. I think we had 500 or 700 pounds of propellent in the gun along with a 2000 pound projectile.

Didn't need any help getting a big bang. No help whatsoever! You could probably have recorded it from a mile away.

They had a bunch of old barrels sitting out in a field in storage and I remember putting a 9mm pistol inside and firing through the 16 inch barrel. Very satisfactory noise indeed!!!!
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
I see a lot of fascination attached to the word "convolution" as attached to reverb. YAWN! It's a buzz word that has captured the imagination of too many people. Sure there's a place for reverb, but I have two very nice reverb plugins that aren't "convolution" that work just fine.
Whoa. Ty. I couldn't disagree more.

My background is as a composer using orchestral instruments. We use sample players to playback individual notes from sampled instruments. Typically, they are recorded dry, and reverb is applied later. (Some are recorded in concert halls and such, but there are drawbacks to this approach that are out of scope.)

Going from worst to best:

* A real orchestra recorded in a real space offers wonderful complexity and detailed spatial information.
* Individually recorded dry instruments with each instrument processed with a subtly different impulse (convolution reverb) can also provide complexity and spatial information.
* Individually recorded dry instruments with each instrument processed with different reverb settings can provide spatial information, but only if applied with expert care given to different right/left pre-delays and phasing. A simple reverb will not provide the complexity of a good impulse.
* Combining dry instruments and adding reverb afterwards can sound muddy and does not produce a realistic soundstage.
* Dry instruments sound thin and wimpy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Reverb doesn't make things sound bigger. It may make them sound as though they are in a bigger space, but in doing so, it makes them sound farther away, especially in a dense mix.
Again, I have to disagree. I have some dry tsaiko drum samples that sound absolutely wimpy. Process them with the right impulses and they sound huge and powerful.

If you prefer to use a standard reverb, make sure to add a lot of pre-delay to make the initial sound close, loud and dry, followed by the initial reflections and tails. It will still sound close, but will also have some mass behind it.

Consider a lightning strike. It's just an impulse. BAM! And it's super loud. But it's followed by reverberation through the hills that is complex and can actually drop and gain volume a second or more after the initial sound. The landscape provides that complexity that makes it sound huge and strong. Take a recording of lightning and do a fast fade after the initial hit and it will sound weak and stupid. Run it through a simple reverb without pre-delay and it will sound mushy. Add pre-delay and it starts to get there, but will sound simplistic. Run it through a convolution with a lightning impulse (or, should I say, a landscape impulse) and it will approximate lightning quite well.

BTW, here's a paper that I wrote for Tascam's GigaPulse product.
http://tascamgiga.com/details;9,7,48,17.html

All that said, I think we have different opinions here because of our different backgrounds. In production recording the goal is often to make the voice sound natural and uncolored. We don't want the voice to sound like it was recorded in a small bedroom, nor do we want it to sound like it was in Carnegie Hall. In music and sound effects we often want the result to be bigger than life.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Huge sounding gunshots are the result of sound design, unless you own a Desert Eagle. (Ka-BOOOOOM)

I recorded a battery of German weaponry earlier this year with a cmc641 at about 4-8 feet. No problem, but you do have to have a few test shots to get you record levels right.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty, I wanna be there the next time you do this. Only I want to build a trench and have some kinda bulletproof glass and have the guns just shoot right at us!

Ok, we don't have to go that far. But I seriously wanna be there.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 12:56 AM   #19
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I'm guessing this involves the pad. :)
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:36 AM   #20
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Whoa. Ty. I couldn't disagree more.

My background is as a composer using orchestral instruments. We use sample players to playback individual notes from sampled instruments. Typically, they are recorded dry, and reverb is applied later. (Some are recorded in concert halls and such, but there are drawbacks to this approach that are out of scope.)

Going from worst to best:

* A real orchestra recorded in a real space offers wonderful complexity and detailed spatial information.
* Individually recorded dry instruments with each instrument processed with a subtly different impulse (convolution reverb) can also provide complexity and spatial information.
* Individually recorded dry instruments with each instrument processed with different reverb settings can provide spatial information, but only if applied with expert care given to different right/left pre-delays and phasing. A simple reverb will not provide the complexity of a good impulse.
* Combining dry instruments and adding reverb afterwards can sound muddy and does not produce a realistic soundstage.
* Dry instruments sound thin and wimpy.

>>>> "Dry instruments sound thin and whimpy?" Really! With all due respect that sounds like you have never heard really good instruments or you have a really bad reverb jones.

>>>I record and produce music for a living as well. Some of it recorded in large halls, most of it not. Examples are on my site on the sampler page. The reverb setting I use do create spatial info and I'm very careful with that. I don't have any particular affection for the sound the great orchestral concert halls of the world. I have heard fine recordings done in them. I'm not stunned by their reverbs. I do popular music, singer-songwriters, blues, jazz. I don't want my instruments to sound like they are on one of the great concert halls of the world. That would be way out of context.

>>>I've had the whole "orchestral space vs other space" conversation many times. When you're actually IN the room with a good performance, it kicks your butt. Capturing the full effect of that on a recording isn't really possible. That's the magic of being there.

>>>I'll give you this. If you're trying to replicate the space of big concert halls, fine, use convoluted reverbs, they still aren't the real thing. Next year when the marketing departments need a new spin and come out with a "new paradigm in reverb" saying Convolution Reverbs are passe, I'll still be making space happen around my client's voices and instruments with what sounds best.


Again, I have to disagree. I have some dry tsaiko drum samples that sound absolutely wimpy. Process them with the right impulses and they sound huge and powerful.

If you prefer to use a standard reverb, make sure to add a lot of pre-delay to make the initial sound close, loud and dry, followed by the initial reflections and tails. It will still sound close, but will also have some mass behind it.


>>>>I don't use reverbs in any standard way. My settings are my secret sauce. I know how to move waves of reflected sound; early, middle and late. I don't need convolution reverbs to do that. I can hear the effects.

>>>If you have a percussive strike in the clear, you can use reverb to make it sound as though it were in a big space. But that's not the same as making the source sound bigger.

Consider a lightning strike. It's just an impulse. BAM! And it's super loud. But it's followed by reverberation through the hills that is complex and can actually drop and gain volume a second or more after the initial sound. The landscape provides that complexity that makes it sound huge and strong. Take a recording of lightning and do a fast fade after the initial hit and it will sound weak and stupid. Run it through a simple reverb without pre-delay and it will sound mushy. Add pre-delay and it starts to get there, but will sound simplistic. Run it through a convolution with a lightning impulse (or, should I say, a landscape impulse) and it will approximate lightning quite well.

BTW, here's a paper that I wrote for Tascam's GigaPulse product.
http://tascamgiga.com/details;9,7,48,17.html

>>>> Ah, so you're writing for Tascam. I saw and heard the first iterations of effects based on a gui that allowed placement of sources in a space years ago. It was an interesting approach and, perhaps, helpful for anyone who can't wrap their head around the math of delays and reverbs. In it's own way, BFD the drum program, offers a graphical approach to the placement of mics in a virtual room.

All that said, I think we have different opinions here because of our different backgrounds. In production recording the goal is often to make the voice sound natural and uncolored. We don't want the voice to sound like it was recorded in a small bedroom, nor do we want it to sound like it was in Carnegie Hall. In music and sound effects we often want the result to be bigger than life.[/QUOTE]


>>>It would be a mistake to presume that my sole pursuit was the making voice recordings. BTW, I think you're an obviously educated person who's very much 'in" to symphonic space and I think you made a nice case for Tascam's product. Can we agree on that?


>>>I forgot, this was about gunshots. {My apologies to the group for pulling WAY off topic}
Adding reverb to gun shots to make them bigger may make them sound as though they were fired in a larger space, provided the space is devoid enough of other sounds to allow you to hear the ring, but it won't make the gunshot itself sound more massive. That's a very important distinction. Reverb doesn't make the source sound bigger, it makes the space around the source bigger. To make the source bigger, especially gunshots, you need sound design.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; January 3rd, 2008 at 09:44 AM. Reason: additional material
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:44 AM   #21
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Um, how's this?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 01:51 PM   #22
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Good response, Ty.

(Well, aside from the reverb jones thing :) )

BTW, I don't work for Tascam. I just wrote that one paper for them. (And I got nice sample library in exchange. But no royalties. Dangit.)

You are correct that with expert use of reverbs (initial, early, mid, tails, etc.) you can get the effects that you seek.

But "convolution" isn't just some marketing term. It's one of the two main methods of applying a digital filter or delay. Convolution is used for finite impulse (FIR) response filtering. Infinite impulse response (IIR) filters use feedback, require fewer operations, but can become unstable. Both are equally valid tools. Neither will go the way of the dodo.

You wrote:
> "Adding reverb to gun shots to make them bigger may make them sound as though they were fired in a larger space, provided the space is devoid enough of other sounds to allow you to hear the ring, but it won't make the gunshot itself sound more massive. That's a very important distinction. Reverb doesn't make the source sound bigger, it makes the space around the source bigger. To make the source bigger, especially gunshots, you need sound design."

Excellent summary.

While I agree with the distinction (big space vs. big source), I think there is a psycho-acoustical link between the two. Consider footsteps from a gigantic monster in a Hollywood movie. (Booooooom.) They tend to have long tails (the sounds, not necessarily the monsters.) I think the reason is that we expect huge (loud) sounds to echo from afar. If it doesn't echo, it must not have been loud.

I think the word "huge" can be taken two ways. One would be physically large. The other is loud and powerful. I've been using the second definition.

For physically large sounds, I agree that compositing is the way to go. If we just pitch things down, it doesn't do the trick. Compositing allows us to include humongous low frequencies as well as shattering high frequencies as needed.

Coincidentally, compositing can add the tails and resonance needed to make the overall sound loud and powerful. The lingering "boooom" and seconds worth of shattering glass speak to the space, rather than the initial explosion.

In my dry tsaiko drum example, I don't really have the option of compositing for each hit. I find reverb critical to making the tsaikos sound loud and powerful. Without a response from the space, I find that the hits just sound wimpy. (If I get a chance, I'll post some examples.)
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 07:28 PM   #23
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Reverb

accurate or not I still haven't heard anything sweeter or musical as my old 480L
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Old January 4th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #24
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I'm not sure what this thread is about. Anyway, here is a very nice (and affordable) convolution reverb plugin:
http://www.voxengo.com/product/pspace/

Also, here is an outstanding mastering limiter:
http://www.voxengo.com/product/elephant/

And this is a nice voice plugin:
http://www.voxengo.com/product/voxformer/

They also have some excellent free plugins that are useful and offer an opportunity to try out the technology. Audition, for example, will use vst plugins.
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