Audio Ease Altiverb

One of the biggest innovations in reverb processing came with the development of convolution effects. The process might be a little tricky to get your head around, but the results are undeniably impressive.

Convolution reverbs work by using an impulse response captured from a physical space or a piece of equipment. To create the impulse response, an impulse – essentially a short burst of noise – is played into the space or gear, and the response is captured. Alternatively, a sweeping sine oscillator can be employed. Whichever approach is taken, the resulting impulse response is a snapshot of the acoustic behaviour and frequency response of that space or equipment. This can then be ‘convolved’ with an audio signal in real time. That is, the characteristics of the original source are applied to the audio.

Thankfully you don’t need to understand the process in order to understand the end result: incredibly accurate, crystal clear reverbs which offer unprecedented accuracy when it comes to recreating the acoustic characteristics of real spaces and classic hardware reverb effects such as plates and springs.

There are lots of good options when it comes to convolution reverb. Many DAWs now include built-in convolution plugins as standard, but the cream of the crop is still the original: Audio Ease’s Altiverb plugin. In addition to the extensive range of presets built into most convolution plugins, you can also find impulse responses available to download from a number of online sources, often at little or no cost.

Thankfully you don’t need to understand the process in order to understand the end result

A convolution reverb such as Altiverb may be the most versatile option of all the reverbs on our list. The applications and end results are only limited by the selection of impulse responses you have to hand. The downsides? There are very few, but if we were being picky we’d say an algorithm-based reverb usually offers a slightly more intuitive approach when it comes to editing the effect. The ideal solution? Have one of each for different purposes.

25th June, 2014

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