Hardware vs. software reverb and effects

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by David Nobel, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Brian Takei

    Brian Takei Guest

    Les Cargill (lcargill@worldnet.att.net) wrote:
    >
    > I tried SIR, and I got a nasty delay effect - the impulse didn't
    > come into play until quite a bit of time.
    >
    > And yes, I trimmed off the stuff on the beginning of the sampleset.


    I have not tried SIR, but the FAQ states that it has a fixed latency of
    16384 samples, which requires compensation in the host. Perhaps that
    was causing the nastiness?

    - Brian
  2. Les Cargill

    Les Cargill Guest

    Brian Takei wrote:
    >
    > Les Cargill (lcargill@worldnet.att.net) wrote:
    > >
    > > I tried SIR, and I got a nasty delay effect - the impulse didn't
    > > come into play until quite a bit of time.
    > >
    > > And yes, I trimmed off the stuff on the beginning of the sampleset.

    >
    > I have not tried SIR, but the FAQ states that it has a fixed latency of
    > 16384 samples, which requires compensation in the host. Perhaps that
    > was causing the nastiness?
    >
    > - Brian


    Nicely worded RTFM :) Thanks, Brian.

    That's it - it was a little under half a second. Bummer. It's unuseable
    because of that.

    --
    Les Cargill
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Guest

    > The Lexicon PCM91 was introduced in 1998 . . . surely a modern 2.8GHz
    > machine has serveral times the MIPS rating of a 5 year old chip?


    It is not how old the chip is or fast it is as much as it is that the chip
    is customized specificly for audio processing as well as the custom
    Lexicon DSP reverb algorthm is optimized specificly for the chip.
    The PC CPU is too generic and busy having to do many processing
    tasks. If it were just a matter of CPU speed, then Pro Tools wouldn't
    need special processing hardware and the UAD-1 and TC Powercore
    would not need to exist. You'll note that they all use DSP and/or
    microcontrollers not CPU's.

    --
    AudioGaff
  4. David Nobel

    David Nobel Guest

    <sigh> It is becoming painfully obvious to me through reading the
    discussion on this thread that I have Champagne reverb tastes on a
    Cheese Whiz budget, and that quite probably "I can't get there from
    here."

    All the inexpensive, interesting software solutions seem to be
    Windows/Pro Tools specific and leave me out. Only AltiVerb seems to
    have real potential, but it ain't really cheap for a one-trick pony.

    For the truly lush, rich sound I lust after, it seems I have to go to
    hardware reverb. But with my commitment to working at 96 kHz until
    it's time to burn, I effectively preclude any decent digital hardware,
    new or used, that I can afford, at least for the next couple of years
    into the development cycle, when the current equipment starts to show
    up used. Maybe I should stay at 48 kHz for awhile longer and pick up a
    used Lexicon or a new TC Electronics 'verb.

    Thanks for all the input!
  5. Les Cargill wrote:
    > Reverb is computationally expensive. This means that the cost
    > can be mitigated by changing details of the underlying hardware
    > platform. Plus, anybody develops a nice reverb plug is gonna
    > get it purated to hell and back, and you can't really pirate
    > a box.


    What puzzles me is the Lexicon 224XL was released 20 years ago
    and is still considered the best digital reverb ever by many
    people. I would guess a modern PC would have 1000 times the power
    of those boxes. Why should there be a problem mimicing
    the exact sound of it with a PC? I don't know.

    Timo
  6. (Scott Dorsey) wrote in message news

    > What do you want from a PC? You just don't get that many taps on a reverb
    > if you want to do it realtime, unless you have dedicated hardware to do it.
    >
    > I'd still settle for a hardware unit that sounded like a real room, let
    > alone a plugin.
    > --scott


    Exactly ...... But PCs do a great job of recording, with LOTS of
    tracks...... So the simple solution is to record nice reverb from your
    favorite hardware unit along with your 'money' tracks. (on separate
    tracks of course).... Save it and use it, or not. Storage is cheap.

    J_West
  7. "Ethan Winer" <ethan at ethanwiner dot com> wrote in message
    news:_rudnTSSa-Z-jdOiXTWJjg@giganews.com...
    > I'm surprised nobody mentioned what to me is the biggest advantage ALL
    > plug-ins have over hardware: you can contain the mix entirely in your DAW


    I'm not sure "staying completely inside the DAW" makes for quality mixes.
  8. "Les Cargill" <lcargill@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    news:3F4E7C5B.CA3B65B8@worldnet.att.net...
    > That's it - it was a little under half a second. Bummer. It's unuseable
    > because of that.


    Just slide the tracks going to it ahead 16384 samples or slide the other
    tracks back by that amount. There's even freeware plugins to put across the
    busses that will do it for you:
    http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/audio/sslide.htm
  9. Rob Reedijk

    Rob Reedijk Guest

    Timo Haanpää <thaanpaa@sci.fi> wrote:

    > What puzzles me is the Lexicon 224XL was released 20 years ago
    > and is still considered the best digital reverb ever by many
    > people. I would guess a modern PC would have 1000 times the power
    > of those boxes. Why should there be a problem mimicing
    > the exact sound of it with a PC? I don't know.


    Part of it is the analog stages. The 224XL simply "sounds good". Call it
    tone if you will. My PCM 90 has a zillion more tricks but just doesn't
    have the ear-pleasing tone.

    Why would anyone want to use a plate? Same thing.

    Rob R.
  10. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    David Nobel <dnobel@sympatico.ca> wrote:
    ><sigh> It is becoming painfully obvious to me through reading the
    >discussion on this thread that I have Champagne reverb tastes on a
    >Cheese Whiz budget, and that quite probably "I can't get there from
    >here."


    So, build a chamber. Not very expensive, though it might take up some
    considerable attic space. Sounds like the real thing, or better than
    any of the digital simulations anyway.

    >For the truly lush, rich sound I lust after, it seems I have to go to
    >hardware reverb. But with my commitment to working at 96 kHz until
    >it's time to burn, I effectively preclude any decent digital hardware,
    >new or used, that I can afford, at least for the next couple of years
    >into the development cycle, when the current equipment starts to show
    >up used. Maybe I should stay at 48 kHz for awhile longer and pick up a
    >used Lexicon or a new TC Electronics 'verb.


    Why do you want to run 96 ksamp/sec? I'd pick a 44.1 system that sounded
    good over a 96 system that sounded bad, any day.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  11. Fibes

    Fibes Guest

    On 29 Aug 2003 10:19:17 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

    >David Nobel <dnobel@sympatico.ca> wrote:
    >><sigh> It is becoming painfully obvious to me through reading the
    >>discussion on this thread that I have Champagne reverb tastes on a
    >>Cheese Whiz budget, and that quite probably "I can't get there from
    >>here."

    >
    >So, build a chamber. Not very expensive, though it might take up some
    >considerable attic space. Sounds like the real thing, or better than
    >any of the digital simulations anyway.



    Chambers are great and Altiverb rocks... Altiverb has made it
    possible for me to tolerate DAW 'verb. It's easily worth 5 times the
    price of admission. ironically the fave settings for me are the Cello
    studio chambers. It's the first digital reverb that costs less than a
    new car that doesn't get grainy at longer settings. it will eat quite
    a bit of CPU however. I recently tracked a choral group in a 20x25x10
    room and Altiverb made it possible to put them in the church of their
    dreams.

    ---Scott--- you need to try Altiverb, unfortunately it doesn't work
    with Magnecords.
    Fibes

    "You can like it, or not like it."
  12. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Guest

    Brian,

    > many [and most if not all newer] digital outboard boxes can be controlled

    via MIDI <

    Okay, but that's not what I meant. As soon as signals leave the computer
    they need to be mixed externally, and it's the external mix setting that
    cannot be recalled by the DAW program. I suppose you can leave the DAW, go
    to outboard gear, then come back in. Or maybe your DAW can control the
    mixer. But for me those create more problems/complications than they're
    worth.

    > the big advantage ALL plugins have over a box is the ability to use

    multiple instances of it in a mix. <

    Excellent point.

    --Ethan
  13. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Guest

    Ricky,

    > I'm not sure "staying completely inside the DAW" makes for quality mixes.

    <

    I've never experienced quality problems mixing entirely in a DAW, and I know
    many others who also use DAWs successfully. What kind of quality degradation
    do you mean, and what specifically / technically would cause it?

    --Ethan
  14. David Nobel

    David Nobel Guest

    johnston_west@hotmail.com (Johnston West) wrote in message news:<7ecb413a.0308290107.6ba29fc5@posting.google.com>...
    > (Scott Dorsey) wrote in message news
    >
    > > What do you want from a PC? You just don't get that many taps on a reverb
    > > if you want to do it realtime, unless you have dedicated hardware to do it.
    > >
    > > I'd still settle for a hardware unit that sounded like a real room, let
    > > alone a plugin.
    > > --scott

    >
    > Exactly ...... But PCs do a great job of recording, with LOTS of
    > tracks...... So the simple solution is to record nice reverb from your
    > favorite hardware unit along with your 'money' tracks. (on separate
    > tracks of course).... Save it and use it, or not. Storage is cheap.
    >

    My inexperience must be showing, because you lost me completely here.
    I don't understand the mechanics of what you are suggesting, or the
    point of it, for that matter. Could I trouble you to spell this out in
    a little more detail for a technically challenged freshman?

    Thanks!

    — David
  15. Les Cargill

    Les Cargill Guest

    Timo Haanpää wrote:
    >
    > Les Cargill wrote:
    > > Reverb is computationally expensive. This means that the cost
    > > can be mitigated by changing details of the underlying hardware
    > > platform. Plus, anybody develops a nice reverb plug is gonna
    > > get it purated to hell and back, and you can't really pirate
    > > a box.

    >
    > What puzzles me is the Lexicon 224XL was released 20 years ago
    > and is still considered the best digital reverb ever by many
    > people. I would guess a modern PC would have 1000 times the power
    > of those boxes. Why should there be a problem mimicing
    > the exact sound of it with a PC? I don't know.
    >
    > Timo


    Arguably, a Deluxe Reverb electric guitar amp will do what it
    does better than a DSP model of it, too. Same sorta thing.

    --
    Les Cargill
  16. Fibes

    Fibes Guest

    On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 11:17:10 -0400, "Ethan Winer" <ethan at ethanwiner
    dot com> wrote:

    >Ricky,
    >
    >> I'm not sure "staying completely inside the DAW" makes for quality mixes.

    ><
    >
    >I've never experienced quality problems mixing entirely in a DAW, and I know
    >many others who also use DAWs successfully. What kind of quality degradation
    >do you mean, and what specifically / technically would cause it?


    I agree Ethan, but as you know it's a long debated buzz concept. heh
    Chances are the guy running the DAW or Analog board are going to have
    a lot more impact than the tool. There are advantages to both, knowing
    when to pick up a tool is what we are paid for. Making rash
    generalizations isn't. It's so easy to pick on the DAW mix buss but so
    hard to do great mixes. Fortunately you choose to actually work rather
    than complain.
    >
    >--Ethan
    >
    >


    Fibes

    "You can like it, or not like it."
  17. "David Nobel" wrote:

    > Johnston West wrote:


    > > Exactly ...... But PCs do a great job of recording, with LOTS of
    > > tracks...... So the simple solution is to record nice reverb from your
    > > favorite hardware unit along with your 'money' tracks. (on separate
    > > tracks of course).... Save it and use it, or not. Storage is cheap.
    > >

    > My inexperience must be showing, because you lost me completely here.
    > I don't understand the mechanics of what you are suggesting, or the
    > point of it, for that matter. Could I trouble you to spell this out in
    > a little more detail for a technically challenged freshman?
    >


    Just that you can print the effects return (be it a hardware fx box, or
    actual room or plate, etc) to a track, so that you have the effect, even if
    the effect source is unavailable.

    Fer instance: if you only have one really nice outboard reverb and you want
    to use more than one setting at a time, you print the return to its own
    track, then adjust the box and print the new setting to its own track, etc.
    This could mean just printing the mono or stereo return from everything
    that's sent to it. Or it could mean printing the return from each track sent
    individually so that you can rebalance individual wet/dry ratios later.
    (Don't succumb to the temptation to do this, though... Be strong. Commit!)

    This is basically the same idea as recording room mics while tracking close
    mic'd instruments. With a DAW, though, since you may be limited by the
    number of tracks that will play back at the same time, your almost never
    limited by how many tracks you a store, so you don't have to be thrifty and
    therefore aren't limited to recording ambience on just a couple tracks.

    -jw
  18. > >
    > > Exactly ...... But PCs do a great job of recording, with LOTS of
    > > tracks...... So the simple solution is to record nice reverb from your
    > > favorite hardware unit along with your 'money' tracks. (on separate
    > > tracks of course).... Save it and use it, or not. Storage is cheap.
    > >

    > My inexperience must be showing, because you lost me completely here.
    > I don't understand the mechanics of what you are suggesting, or the
    > point of it, for that matter. Could I trouble you to spell this out in
    > a little more detail for a technically challenged freshman?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > ? David


    No Problem........ Say you're recording your main vocal track onto
    your computer. You sing into your micorphone, the signal goes into
    your mic pre-amp and then into your computer right?

    Well in adition to that, as you're recording, take a tap, (bus, split
    signal, whatever), from your mic preamp, run it though your favorite
    hardware reverb (Lexicon PCM 91 in my case) and record the output of
    the unit (reverb only, no dry signal) onto two seperate tracks into
    your computer at the same time.

    You can then mix the reverb in later as you like, as it is on seperate
    tracks. The purpose for doing this is simply because you like the
    sound of the hardware reverb better than your plug-ins.

    Of course you will need a sound card that let's you record 3 tracks at
    a time if you want the reverb to be in stereo, which is my preference.

    The other alternative is to record the track dry, and then at any time
    later, run that track though the reverb unit and record the output
    onto two additional tracks. You can do this on as many of the
    instruments as you like, and then automate the tracks like any other
    tracks.

    Simple huh? ........ Well my explanation may not be, but the concept
    and process is........ It's called "printing" the effects. It's often
    done with analog recorders and boards, bu the limitation of amount of
    tracks makes it less common. Most modern compter reocrding programs
    offer virtualy unlimited tracks, as long as you have enough storage.

    J_West
  19. On PC, SIR is definitely the way to go. The real spaces sound better than my
    TC M5000. If you have full delay compensation as in Nuendo, you can use it
    on auxes. If you're on Cubase SX, use it on inserts (SX 2.0 should have
    delay compensation throughout, and is due out in a month or so). Other
    programs, I can't say, but certainly you can slide the tracks.

    Unfortunately most other plugs are a compromise.

    --
    Bill L


    "Fibes" <gam777@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:3f4f6860.5051879@news.cis.dfn.de...
    > On 29 Aug 2003 10:19:17 -0400, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
    >
    > >David Nobel <dnobel@sympatico.ca> wrote:
    > >><sigh> It is becoming painfully obvious to me through reading the
    > >>discussion on this thread that I have Champagne reverb tastes on a
    > >>Cheese Whiz budget, and that quite probably "I can't get there from
    > >>here."

    > >
    > >So, build a chamber. Not very expensive, though it might take up some
    > >considerable attic space. Sounds like the real thing, or better than
    > >any of the digital simulations anyway.

    >
    >
    > Chambers are great and Altiverb rocks... Altiverb has made it
    > possible for me to tolerate DAW 'verb. It's easily worth 5 times the
    > price of admission. ironically the fave settings for me are the Cello
    > studio chambers. It's the first digital reverb that costs less than a
    > new car that doesn't get grainy at longer settings. it will eat quite
    > a bit of CPU however. I recently tracked a choral group in a 20x25x10
    > room and Altiverb made it possible to put them in the church of their
    > dreams.
    >
    > ---Scott--- you need to try Altiverb, unfortunately it doesn't work
    > with Magnecords.
    > Fibes
    >
    > "You can like it, or not like it."
  20. knud

    knud Guest

    >I don't go near the Waves stuff,
    >its boxy and crappy.


    More of a room simulator. Slapping some onto a simulation of organic
    sampled instruments (orchestral emulation etc) can produce uncanny results.

    One trick with the ol' Waves True verb is to just defeate the early
    reflections. Switch them out, every time. The early reflections are where the
    rooms simulation occurs. For a rock song you never really need to make your
    vocals sound as if they were recorded in another room, you just want to
    increase the late reflections to make it bigger. Applying a buncha overbearing
    realistic early reflections to a signal that already has early reflections
    tends to be the worst of both worlds.


    blahblah

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