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Any new methods for reverb out there?

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:58 am

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has come up with or is using any kind of new software to add convincing reverb to sets that are a bit on the dry side? I've tried Reaper a number of times in the past and I find it entirely too complicated, so I'm not interested in going down that road again. Due to the fact I run multiple channels and have also reviewed units from Lexicon (and didn't care for the outcome and inevitable high cost), I was hoping perhaps someone knows of some new software that is easy to use, adds good reverb without a lot of hassle and doesn't put a huge load on the computer in the process.

Thanks in advance.

Marc
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby mdyde » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:11 pm

[Topic moved here.]
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Martin.

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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby jharmon » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:31 pm

Marc - I've forgotten, any chance you are using Mac? I've used Reaper with Liquidsonics and never cared for the results. I think it was Ian McG. that shared he used the reverb native to IOS systems. I tried it and find it is excellent after tinkering with settings. The Reaper/Liquidsonics combinations seemed to cause the samplle sets to lose clarity. I think the problem was that I never found IR's that completed the package.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:05 pm

jharmon wrote:Marc - I've forgotten, any chance you are using Mac? I've used Reaper with Liquidsonics and never cared for the results. I think it was Ian McG. that shared he used the reverb native to IOS systems. I tried it and find it is excellent after tinkering with settings. The Reaper/Liquidsonics combinations seemed to cause the samplle sets to lose clarity. I think the problem was that I never found IR's that completed the package.


I'm still running Win 7 Pro. In my earlier days of HW and being on a quest at the time to do something to add reverb to some drier sets I had, I tried the Reaper / Liquisonics deal as well, in fact I think I may have been one of the early ones here to discover Liquisonics and then use the available IR's out there as I had posted info about what I had discovered about it at the time and how to use it. It was OK as far as sound, but far from good as the main issue for me like many I've tried is it introduced too much ringing into the sound, which as you note causes the set to lose clarity and if not more so overall realism, it just wasn't good. As an experiment late last year I decided to try the hardware approach and picked up a Lexicon just to try on 2 channels for starters thinking if I liked the results I'd pick up a few more. I ended up fiddling around with the thing for a couple days using both the built in pre-set and some of my own custom user configurations, it was awful and I returned it! Lexicons might be great for guitars but they sure aren't good for organ sets IMHO. Since then I've relegated myself to either go for wet sets only that have the acoustic I like which of course can somewhat limit you from otherwise great sets, that or just leave things alone and as is. Years ago I purchased a Zoom effects processor but was for my guitar, the reverb and hall effects it had were fantastic, but of course again only good for 2 channels. I was hoping by now there would be some type of simple and reasonably priced program that has a good reverb without all the complication.

One of the reasons I bring this up is I've been eyeballing that Skinner set from SP, it's a great sounding set, but if the thing just had a tad more moisture to it...........

Marc
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:02 pm

1961TC4ME wrote:Just wondering if anyone has come up with or is using any kind of new software to add convincing reverb to sets that are a bit on the dry side?


You could see my posts on this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7175&hilit=verberate&start=30
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:38 pm

The latest from LiquidSonics is the Seventh Heaven product which is arguably the finest software reverb module available. The $69 version is so simplified that it is hard to make a mistake with it. Reviewers have been ecstatic about it's natural sound. I don't want to be their spokesman but it's is important that we start with the basics regarding the quality of the product.

My suggestion would be that if this latest product proves too difficult to set up that we revert to using the many excellent surround sample sets that are on the market rather than try to find a better reverb. Any reverb, even in a real life space, blurs the dry audio of any instrument. I remember listening to the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts playing in a sonic shower stall, a large Houston Methodist church which had a lot of stone that would have pleased an organist I'm sure. For the band, it was a nightmare environment but they did well all the same. Talk about blurred sound! I spoke with a gentleman who had recorded the performance with a pair of hyper cardioid microphones and he let me have a listen to the results. He had done well considering the echo chamber we were in. So artificial reverb is always done in moderation. If you notice it it's too much.

I'd suggest trying the free trial version of Seventh Heaven which unfortunately does require an iLok device. The results can easily be as good and as clear as the best of the current surround sample sets. It's important to totally understand one's audio configuration with either the surround sets or the dry sets with reverb to produce the best possible sound. The easiest approach is with the surround sets. I posted elsewhere about the phenomenal sound of the latest offering from Augustine "out of the box" with no tweaks except to ensure that all speakers are set to approximately the same gain.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:39 pm

OK, just to make sure I've got this correct. Seventh Heaven is a plug in, which I then assume will require something like Reaper as the host in order to use. Correct?

Seventh Heaven by itself may be much better than its predecessors and I really didn't so much have an issue with the plugins part other than the sound wasn't quite where I wanted it. The issue for me was with how Reaper itself is laid out and functions, just a lot of overkill to me to have all the additional gadgets and features, the sometimes confusing routing hassles and configurations within Reaper to make it properly work in order to just have a simple reverb that sounds good. This is why I was wondering if there is perhaps a new program or maybe better put, a new host out there that is more simple to use. Also, for some reason on several occasions my i5 sure didn't like Reaper and would lock up, forcing me to do a hard shut down which I'd like to avoid, and is probably the #1 reason besides the less than spectacular results I got for ditching Reaper in the first place.

Marc
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby adrianw » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:23 pm

No new methods, no. Still hardware, software or masonry.

If you are looking for easy-to-use, no hassle, low overhead, nothing beats hardware. (Its way cheaper and more flexible than masonry :) . I've tried a lot of software reverbs - ranging from adequate to awesome - but in the end found them all too much effort and abandoned them. Because I mostly play wet sets and I don't always use reverb, when I do I want to just flick a switch and have it there, turn a knob and adjust its depth etc. Having to worry about plug ins, containers, licenses, version upgrade, bit rates, sample depths, channel allocations or memory and CPU overhead spoils the moment.

Modern DSPs mean that even the cheapest reverb units boast pretty good digital sound these days. I bought a cheap (£40 on EBay) secondhand Behringer MicroFEX. Its been powered up continuously and worked faultlessly for years. And it sounds just fine.

- Adrian.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:49 pm

If I remember correctly the hardware equivalent of Seventh Heaven, the Bricasti, starts at $3400 and goes up from there. That's for just a pair of outputs, not multiple instances, say for front, rear, and pedal. Current Lexicon models like the MX400 can be had for $300 and offer four outputs, so that would look like an interesting choice. High end Lexicons go for $1800 and up and I'd suppose are roughly equivalent to Seventh Heaven Professional at $300.

A neat comparison would be between the Lexicon MX400 and the Seventh Heaven Professional version, both priced about the same. Of course both would be software based internally. For that reason I don't see the two as being very different except for the extra costs of a power supply and digital/computer circuitry that isn't needed for Seventh Heaven as it uses the resources of your PC or Mac. On the other hand Seventh Heaven does require some sort of DAW to plug into as well as an iLok device. Wish I had both at hand to do an A/B test. With everything digital becoming more powerful each year I wouldn't choose hardware more than a couple of years old.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby GrahamH » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:28 am

Hi Marc

jkinkennen wrote
My suggestion would be that if this latest product proves too difficult to set up that we revert to using the many excellent surround sample sets that are on the market rather than try to find a better reverb. Any reverb, even in a real life space, blurs the dry audio of any instrument.

I believe he is absolutely right and it's how I have been operating for some time!
However, although your audio set-up is much more elaborate than mine (front stereo speakers plus a sub-woofer and a home-made "butt-kicker") you may find this interesting:

Several years ago I bought a low-end Lexicon reverb unit for use with my 2.1 stereo set-up but I couldn't find any settings that gave a satisfactory result and I put the reverb unit away in a drawer.
A few years later I still hadn't put the Lexicon on eBay, so I got it out of the drawer and tried a different approach:
By this time I had an audio interface/sound card that had dual stereo outputs - both phono sockets and 1/4" jack sockets - and usually I simply connected the phono outputs to my (front) speakers.
I also happened to have a redundant Creative Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 stereo system that had originally been bought for use with desktop computer so I dug this out and set it up at the rear of my (very small 11' x 10') music room.
I then interposed the Lexicon reverb unit between the 1/4" jack outputs of my sound card and the rear stereo set-up only. If your sound card doesn't have dual outputs you could use Y-splitters to achieve the same result.
I configured the Lexicon for what I considered to be the most appropriate reverb variation and length etc. and - this is the important bit - I set the Mix at 100% wet (i.e. zero dry), and I set the volume level of the rear speakers to be very low.
With this set-up I didn't get any blurring of the sound from the main front speakers, but at the same time, when I lifted my hands off the keys after the final chord of a piece, the sound didn't instantaneously die as normally happened with dry-ish sample sets.
I guess you could call it a sort of "poor man's surround sound"!

Regards
Graham
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby magnaton » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:30 am

Old Hammond organ tone cabinets (not the Leslie) had forward facing drivers and a reverb driver that pointed straight up. Generally the cabinet was placed some distance away from the console so you heard an 'air mix' of straight tones and reverb. The method was quite effective.

Some audio interfaces like MOTU, Apollo, and Presonus offer on board DSP and Reverb. On my MOTU unit the reverb controls and selections are very slim; just 4 reverb types and a gain control. For my single dry set, I add just a little of the reverb to alleviate the sterility. The flexibility here using MOTU's CueMix software in my multi-channel setup, I can specify which (or all) channels get the reverb, even fine tune different amounts per channel if need be. Of course I don't bother with that and keep it even across all channels.

I've been very happy with the surround sound sample sets I've purchased as they seem to resolve any reverb issue for you. There has be some discussion about the release sample truncation feature makes pipe ranks sound unnatural. I disagree. I believe you have to find the right trim point. In my experimentation, some release points sound better or should I say more symmetrical than others. Fortunately HW give you plenty to choose from. I make these statements in the context of surround sound sample sets where the middle and or back channels continue to ring when the front channels stop.

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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby jbittner » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:40 pm

1961TC4ME wrote: Due to the fact I run multiple channels and have also reviewed units from Lexicon (and didn't care for the outcome and inevitable high cost

I'm using a Lexicon MX400 and I'm quite pleased with the result. The unit is fed a mono mix, implemented in Hauptwerk, of my six main channels. I'm running the Lexicon in the stereo mode and the two channels out, which contain only the reverb component, are sent to their own amplifiers and speakers.

I use different reverb patches for different organs. Although you can create your own patches, I haven't taken the time necessary to do so. Currently I'm using three presets. For totally dry classical samples I use a patch named "Gothical" which, as you might expect, is a large cathedral space. For dry theatre organ samples I'm using one called "Realism" which has a tighter sound in keeping with typical theatre acoustics. The third patch that I use is one called "Small Room" which I use with wet samples. This patch doesn't add anything to the reverb tail, but fattens up the sound a bit.

Because the MX400 is programmable via MIDI, I use Hauptwerk's Advance Midi settings to send the unit a program change message when the organ loads to automatically select the desired reverb setting for that organ.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby jrball » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:01 pm

A far-out solution might be an Arduino with maybe an outboard DAC or some other similar microprocessor.
Then program some reverb into the DAC and insert one at line level in each audio channel.
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby magnaton » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:28 pm

jbittner wrote:Because the MX400 is programmable via MIDI, I use Hauptwerk's Advance Midi settings to send the unit a program change message when the organ loads to automatically select the desired reverb setting for that organ.

Very clever! :idea:
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Re: Any new methods for reverb out there?

Postby ludu » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:46 am

jbittner wrote:Because the MX400 is programmable via MIDI, I use Hauptwerk's Advance Midi settings to send the unit a program change message when the organ loads to automatically select the desired reverb setting for that organ.

Could you please explain how you send this program change automatically during the loading of the organ? Thanks in advance.
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