Conclusion There are two clearly distinguishable schools in the software reverb world: Almost every software maker has liquidsonics reverberate algorithmic reverb, but not everyone has a convolution reverb. Which explains the success of products bundled with tons of IRs and the loss of interest of certain software makers, considering liquidsonics reverberate high cost of producing such libraries. As such, it’s no wonder that new algorithm-based reverbs pop up like mushrooms every year while their convolution counterparts are clearly scarcer. Let’s see what this Reverberate 2 has liquidsonics reverberate store for us… Technical aspects First, let’s take a look at the technical specs:
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In the real world of reverberation, our input signal that to which we are adding reverb is normally going to be many hundreds of thousands of samples in length. Furthermore, for a large space, like a cathedral, our impulse response is going to be five or more seconds long and several hundred thousand samples in length.
Instead, some breathtakingly complex mathematical processing allows the equivalent to be accomplished in a vastly more efficient manner. Here, the equivalent to convolution is straight multiplication — but drastically less of it is needed than doing convolution in the time domain. Once an inverse FFT is done frequency to time domain , the end result is exactly the same as doing it the long way in the time domain. Make no mistake — the computer code to accomplish these marvels is very complex.
One last thing — from where do reverb impulse responses come in the real world? The classic description has somebody digitally recording the results of firing a starter pistol or popping a balloon the space for which the impulse is desired. That pop of sound is like our digital unit impulse: But more sophisticated solutions are available that avoid capturing invalid results due to various kinds of audio interference.
The impulse capture is repeated and spread out, and decoded by special software devoted to that purpose. But in the end, the results should be pretty close to that balloon pop or starter pistol shot. A final point: You can record, for example, crumpling up paper and use that a special effects convolution impulse image.
That would not be anything close to reverb, of course, but convolution reverbs and actually general purpose convolution processors that happen to mostly be used as reverbs. Simply find a preset you like, tweak a handful of controls if even that and enjoy a glorious sound. But for those who like such activities, you have more than enough tweakability to keep you occupied for hour upon hour. Let me also observe that while most applications of this plug-in will be to introduce realistic ambience, there is more than enough capability to introduce over-the-top special-effects-type results to satisfy all manner of unusual requirements as might exist for soundtracks or other off-beat applications.
But let us focus on the more conventional goal of achieving realism. I have chosen here to use the default skin, but several others, including several with much lighter UI choices are available.
Reverberate 2 offers two IR processors, the outputs of which can be mixed, optionally with the mix levels modulated. True stereo is supported. Normal stereo involves two channels of IR information, one applied to the left audio channel and the other to the right.
True stereo uses four channels of IR information: IR-on-left-input-to-left-output, IR-on-left-input-to-right-output, IR-on-right-input-to-right-output and IR-on-right-input-to-left-output.
Where true stereo IRs are not available, several techniques are available for simulating true stereo. The truly exciting feature in Reverberate 2, the thing that distinguishes this reverb from all others, is the Fusion option. Recall that the chief limitation of convolution reverb is that, although we can get an incredibly realistic audio snapshot of a space, it is frozen in time. In real spaces, moving air, audiences and other factors can introduce constant variation in ambience characteristics.
Algorithmic reverbs can introduce modulation to various factors to mimic real-life variations. But modulating the characteristics of an IR is far too processor-intensive to work in real time. Enter the Fusion solution. Liquidsonics solves the problem by providing an IR format that contains multiple IR snapshots in a single IR file and the wherewithal in Reverberate 2 to utilize that information, internally modulating between the multiple internal IR snapshots.
We are not told, for example, if multiple means just two or means even more than that. We are not given any details of what is being modulated. Is it just mix levels or maybe frequency-spectrum-specific modulations? At the moment, the Fusion IR format is found only in IRs supplied by Liquidsonics, but the format will soon be made public and third party Fusion IRs may one day be available. There are currently two collections of Fusion IRs available from Liquidsonics — they come as free downloads and not as part of the basic install.
One is a more conventional collection of rooms, halls, etc. The other is a collection made from running signals through a Bricasti M7 hardware reverb, and this one is the real show-stopper. This IR collection was done apparently with the blessing of Bricasti — and why not, since it brilliantly shows off the finesse and elegance of this fabulous outboard processor.
Thanks to Liquidsonics, however, we have the next best thing at a very affordable price. One point is noteworthy: They invariably just use the first.
With the Fusion option, the extra capability is just not needed because we already have an internally modulated process happening in just the first IR processor. The size of the Fusion IR files is a clue as to how much is packed into one of them. Even if Reverberate 2 offered no other bells and whistles, if would be well worth the price for the Fusion capability and the two Fusion IR collections alone.
You simply have to hear the results to understand just what a treasure you have available. Much more exists on the IR Edit tabs. Two sub-tabs of the IR Edit tabs allow for the generation of ER segments and reverb tail segments that conform to certain characteristics. These synthetic ER and tail segments can be used to augment an IR by placing them in the extra IR Edit slot or they can be used on their own. A set of modelling parameters is provided to get things started. For example, the ER generation begins with specification of a space type: Grand Hall, Roman Dome, Chamber, etc.
Additional parameters are provided to control density, distances, and so forth. The ER and tail tabs are respectively shown below. With these, we can not only set static EQ characteristics, but can actually introduce sweeps, which produces a very synthy-sounding result — a spectacular special effect even if one used only rarely. This brings me to one of my few criticisms of Reverberate 2.
Even worse is that Dry-Wet is in the same position as Gain on every other tab. Notice the signal flow diagram in the lower portion.
You can see that two IRs can be run in parallel or serially, which opens up some opportunities for super-ambient, deep-space effects. We also have a chorus and a delay, both with plenty of options. They are well presented in the manual and they are great at adding further movement to the output of the IR process. Let the UI image of the Delay tab suffice for the moment. Is Reverberate 2 for You?
I already had a handful of very fine convolution reverbs installed on my DAW computer, and some of those were accompanied by superbly-produced IR collections that covered the breadth of types of natural spaces. In fact, if there were to be no further advances in reverb technology in my lifetime, I would feel no disappointment.
Oh, I will still certainly use algorithmic reverbs here and there, especially for specific FX situations. Most of us, I suspect, would have a hard time justifying the expense of adding yet another reverb to the collection of them we already possess.
I would make the argument that Reverberate 2 is so special and unique, that this natural instinct should be suppressed in this case, at least to the point of auditioning the demo version. Enthusiastic thumbs up on this one. For more information or to purchase, go here:
Reverberate LE provides a basic stereo convolution tool for Windows PCs…
LiquidSonics is committed to developing high quality, efficient music production software for Mac, Windows and iOS. When I reviewed Liquidsonics’ Reverberate, back in , it stood out for a couple of reasons. It was priced very attractively, at a time when most real-time.
VIDEO: Liquidsonics Reverberate
Audiofanzine puts LiquidSonics’ Reverberate 2 software reverb to the test. Liquidsonics released the first version of the Reverberate reverb plug-in approximately seven years ago. It was an excellent convolution reverb that boasted.