Digital Reverb and Convolution/Impulse Response


Pro Tools Essentials


Lesson Info

Digital Reverb and Convolution/Impulse Response

The next section we're going to talk about the last one we talked about plug ins is going to be convolution digital reverb I think this is super cool because this has come in my opinion some of the longest or some of the farthest as far as the technology and what's available and how easy it is to use now first we're going talk about just sort of like generic digital re verbs which before we get started a lot of people really get excited about convolution river bs and I think they're awesome and the really natural and big sounding but also don't don't think that that means that they're necessarily inherently better I think still in a lot of mixes, especially out of types of music it's actually awesome to use really cheap, crappy, awesome cheesy sounding reef herbs eso sometimes pulling up like you know, just the standard deaver plug in that comes with pro tools which will show you right here just pulling up like the standard deeper plug in and getting like a plate you know, sometimes th...

at's perfect for the song because you want that sort of like fake cheap reverb especially in like a lot of like cool pop music that's really helpful are like, you know, I think there's a lot of like indie rock that you know, you could mix that you can use a lot of those like kind of cheaper river bs actually sound way better than if you use like an immaculate, huge sounding convolution eso there's, there's definitely nothing that's better or worse, we're going to pull ups and digital river bs to start with and then talk about convolutions, and then I'm going to show you how you can create your own custom convolution, re verbs and loved them and his presets into the waves in post response, we've reviewed it, so we'll go and pull up the river plugging I'm gonna just show you kind of some of the wave stuff. Some of the standard stuff is like the r verb the renaissance verb these model different types of river bs, so just to cover these quickly, you typically have, like rooms, halls, plates or ambience. Rooms are typically like models, or they're trying to recreate the sound of a room like a studio or a larger, sometimes a larger space halls are usually like huge spaces, like a church, a cathedral, a concert hall. You know that kind of thing a plate is modeled after how plate rivers used to be made. I have a very sort of fake sounding effect didn't really sound like a physical space, they just sound like reverb, they're really great to use on snares and sometimes on vocals for certain types of music. And then ambience and and it's usually really short time based effects that aren't really river bs but they just sort of give space to a vocal in a recording um so one of my favorites to show you just a example of an ambient reverb the true verb have plugging they have a preset called that I've loved on certain types of of stuff called well let's see where is it? I thought it was called ambience oh, there is vocal spread that's right vocal spread isn't really a reverb it's kind of like just the ambient sound so I'm gonna go in well let's go into this the right way to I'm gonna pull this up on the ambient vocal bus that we set up put up true verb and I'm gonna load the vocal spread plug in and these are kind of cool it shows you sort of the blend between the early reflections or some of the delay on then the frequency response and then the actual river of itself in the tail you could see the tails really low and it's only one hundred sixty milliseconds so it's a very short reverb which is pretty typical of ambient stuff so this was sent to the ambience a bus, something over the vocals we've been listening to bring up the ambience bus there is and listen to this terms of fire that lick up strong doing go down into the jar so it really loud you can kind of start to see that it has more of a a tiny room effect? It almost sounds like he's taking a break like vocal booth, but if using kind of like moderation, you can't really tell us there it just makes the tracks on bigger terms a fire that the cops draw um and it sort of spreads it out like separates it from other things using time based effects that could be really cool there's also what sea will pull up vocal plate on the true verma's? Well, stephen example, so this is like a short vocal plate turns a fire that lookups job in terms of fire there the cops draw senior it's definitely fake it doesn't sound like a row room, but it has that kind of short vocal plate sound terms of fire that got straw and when we when combined with the ambiance and actually it actually sounds like a pretty cool, pretty cool mix of vocal reverb, so you kind of use those two together to create different sounds again. What I would really focus on doing is trying to figure out a way that you can that you can create different types of sounds by by building blocks together, so instead of trying to, like, rely on just one reverb, try using like three in combination that you could sort of like create sort of an interesting space on a lot of times you can sort of build that by like slight amounts of reverb in different spaces create kind of a cool effect um okay, so I want make sure we have enough time for this so what I'm going to do next is we're going to talk about the impulse response, which is the next type of reverb or convolution river bs I'm gonna pull this up on a drum room so we could get an example somebody going to the river plug in for I r fall, which is the impulse response river but that waves uses and just a brief overview. So what a impulse response typically is an impulse response reverb is a algorithm that takes a sound that you send in a physical space or any sort of like time based river physical unit on dh you send a sweep file or a impulse into the actual room with the speaker and you set up microphones and record that sound as it echoes throughout the space and then you take that sound that way file and actually load it into the plug in and you can create your own river but actually models everything based off of what you loaded and recorded in that room on dso a lot of times like you'll get a convolution reverb and they'll have a couple presets but it's pretty empty there's really nothing there's no river bs in it you have to create your own or load your own you can find a lot of them online sometimes you can download way files or you can actually create your own and so it's really worth the money if you know the local studio you have a body that has like a really great reverb unit or a really great sounding room spend some time in records of impulse responses and load them in here and it's actually pretty easy so I'm gonna pull up the impulse responses that I've that used these air from broadcasting am seven which is like a really nice like four thousand dollars from unit and an empty plate on these air all the way files that are recorded with the actual specific units so these air expensive analog reverb cz that what they've done is senate impulse through them at different settings and recorded the stereo output as an impulse response wave and then they're able to then load those into the file into the plug in and plugging creates an algorithm based off of what you loaded to mimic what that river would be so here's how you do it it's actually pretty simple it sounds complicated but it's really not that hard typically what she would want to do is used either what's called like a shotgun sound or use a sweep file and there's sort of different and how how you would go about using those sweet file usually is pretty continuous on dso using a sweet files an impulse response requires a little more processing but usually is more accurate across the whole frequency range using a shotgun type sound is much more efficient as far as how it processes because it could just remove it from the beginning the original file and keep the reverb but you end up with more accurate time delays but not as accurate frequency response so I'm gonna play you some things I mean you could actually just hear them let me make sure might sound output it's the same here yeah we're going to go, eh? So these are shocked and sounds that were sent through an empty plate that's pretty short let's listen to a little bit longer one so that's actually what they sound like these impulse responses let's try I have them separated so the broadcast e they were recorded multiple ones recorded at each separate setting of the of the broadcasting which is awesome. So let's listen to like a hall this is a concert hall setting on the broadcast and uh sanders hall so you can actually grab these from physical spaces goto like if you have a church like go to a church, get bring us one of your studio monitors and set it up with like a playback device like your laptop or something and they get a really nice set of bringing a stereo pair of microphones as accurate as possible, set him up on the other side of the church and kind of record the sound of the shock and sound, which you can download a shotgun, sound off the internet or the sweet file on a sweep all you can actually find those online. They basically just sweep through different frequencies from the beginning all the way up to the top of the frequency range and down again, and then play that through the speaker and record it and then save that way. Filing loaded into the convolution rivermen see what kind of sounds you get. You want to line it up so that it's just right at the end of the shock and sound, and you just get a tale of the river and you can create that sort of sound on. Then you can save your own settings, and once you create a bunch of spaces, you could actually create this. The other thing this is used a lot for which is awesome is on film sets. You can record impulse responses of a room of people talking really quick on def. You end up doing a whole bunch of eighty are more dialogue replacement, a lot of sound engineers that air live salmon that air. Like set sound engineers will go and actually created impulse response every time they do dialogue in a new setting and then save those of settings so that when they give it to the mix engineer to mix the overall movie or film or whatever it is, they have these impulse responses to use if they need to take some of the room tone and each of those spaces it's a really useful thing to be able to use for that, especially for those kind of situations and you can hear how like space is specifically make a big impact like here's let's see a stone, corey um here's a church um and let's do one more car park, which is interesting a lot of reflective surfaces, but there's so different I mean, it's amazing how different those rivers actually sound so let's go through actually loading in a setting, so the first thing we're going to do is going to open up the waves plug and I'm gonna load ongoing impulse import impulse or import sweep and it's important to know if used to sweep it's a different algorithms. So I'm gonna go to impulse response um he's gonna ask me where my file is and if you notice it's asking for a left, left, left, right, right, left and right, right, so it basically wants two stereo files because you can actually record in quad to be able to record that these were all recorded justice a stereo output because it was a physical unit and it only has a stereo output there's not quite output. So instead of using microphones, these were actual devices something going import an impulse response I'm gonna go to my documents that has these the irs verbs let's start with the mccaskey and now again keeping track and keeping these all together makes a lot of sense and it's really complicated. It took me forever to figure out howto tow organize thesis that they loaded correctly. I'm going to show you how to do it stick with me because I think this is really helpful. It literally took me, like forever of trial and error to figure out in this there's no manual that shows how to do this. Okay, so I keep them all organizing folders. I want all of the halls to show up separately, so I'm gonna goto halls and I'm gonna do the first one large hall and it's gonna load and asked me now for the second stereo file and I'm like it's the same one so just uses one. So this is the impulse response now what I'm gonna do is going to save save two new file and I'm gonna call this, um halls dot x p s now what's really important is where I put this file that's the important part so I'm gonna go to my applications folder goto waves go to plug ins and I'm gonna find the I r one impulses folder and if you notice in there there's a folder called custom I are verbs now how these air organized going based on what I named each of these files somebody go ahead and say new folder and I'm gonna call this broadcast e m seven and then a between a new folder called halls and then I'm going to call this these are gonna be all of the halls and it's going to save each of the halls in that folder something it's safe I mean it's nasty what I want to call this and this was large hall also one large hall okay, so if you know what I gotta load now shows up under here large hall I'm gonna do this again for the next one um load impulse response from file on to the next one medium haul and I'm going to save put into pre set menu as o two medium haul and then I'm gonna do the same thing again import it's important that important import impulse response from filed a small hall again put their saved two halls x p s as o three small hall and I just keep doing that you know I missed up the first one I'm sorry I'm gonna load important impulse response from file medium haul save save two halls dot e x p s as low to medium haul um and then if you notice these are all going to fill in and eventually when I have I have a huge list of all those that have loaded and what's interesting and this is what took me forever to figure out so once I close the session and then reopen it members command shift oh reopens the same file I just opened when I go back to here and I lo these they're no longer the top now there's the's custom I are verbs down here and they're organized by broadcasting hall's and there's all my holes I just loaded so at the end I'll have my customer of herbs and this folder will show all of the different spaces of modeled and then in each of those I have subcategories with each of those that I can load. So they're all based on where I put those in those folders that I showed you in that waves plug ins folder and that's super helpful, because having these all just listed out in sequential order would be super messy and hard to find, but loading him in those folders specifically allows me to have this tab here and all haven't organizing the specific folders a couple questions about the impulse response stuff, could you? If you're making impulse responses of a room, could you pop a balloon? Yeah, and that would work instead of actually setting up of physical speaker and yeah, a lot of people actually use like an actual blank and in a handgun to ok, some people use a balloon pop that I mean you could experiment, try with different ones and see which one of the most effective I think. Typically the goal is to basically create a sound that is loud enough to create the decay that you need but broad range sound enough to get the frequency response that she'd that's. Why a gunshot is really good because you have you have a because it's such a broad range of frequencies, you have a low end of the bang and in the high end ring out. So there is a big sound and it's going to be accurately reflecting the frequency range or the entire frequency range a balloon pop of similar but it's just a lot smaller frequency range, I would think, but, you know, you experiment, try with them and things do you use a mic at each end of the room? So you get early reflections as well? That's definitely a way to do it, and I think the best way to do is trial and error like, try sending it up really close and say that is one setting and you could have that be like near have another one that's like medium and then all the way at the back to get the early reflections and you could have, you know, record twenty different versions and load them all in and see which ones you like the best eric wants to know on the waves. True ver plug in, do you normally leave in the direct sound as well? There's an option to turn it off so it isn't doubling the dry vocal or is that desire to that's a really good point? And I didn't do that. I always forget to do that on waves. Plug ins are on the waves river plug ins, there's a direct button right here, that's basically their version of the dry, wet mix because I've brought this up as it dogs a zoo, a plug in an august and put and I'm using the sends, I want to make sure there's no direct sound because I'm just using the send level to control how much I'm sending to the river, but I don't want to add in additional direct sound. So with the trooper plug ins, absolutely you want to get rid of the direct sound for sure, I'm really glad you pointed that out.

Class Description

Learn the ins and outs of Avid's Pro Tools HD, the recording industry’s most comprehensive DAW, with Zach Varnell. Zach is an industry veteran, who has worked in dozens of studios throughout Seattle. In this comprehensive guide to Pro Tools, he’ll share the best practices he's picked up over the years.

In Pro Tools Essentials, Zach will walk you through the entire mixing platform including the intricacies of bussing, VCA groups, key input, HD functionality, and notable plug-ins. He’ll also show you how to create custom impulse responses from time-based outboard gear and rooms.

You will learn about Elastic Audio and Beat Detective along with a comprehensive workflow and track management process and how it can be applied to a studio session with a band or film scoring with triple-digit track counts.

If you are ready to take your Pro Tools game to the next level or just want to brush up on some time-saving techniques, don’t miss Pro Tools Essentials with Zach Varnell.