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A question about reverberation
#3003277 07/16/20 09:28 AM
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It seems to me that reverberation influences sound from musical instruments rather a lot, and it is clearly a factor in digital pianos and VI's. Unfortunately for me, I don't quite understand how they go about generating it.

In my trusty old Yamaha AV-Receiver there are a lot of different reverberation scenarious, which I know are obtained through sampling in specific physical locations (concert halls, etc.) Logically, it is also possible to calculate theoretical reverberation patterns strictly from equations.

But, are there other ways to generate reverb digitally, and is it generally known which type of reverb is being used by the various VI's and digital pianos?


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Pianoteq 6.7.3 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite, Production Voices Estate Grand
Re: A question about reverberation
QuasiUnaFantasia #3003287 07/16/20 09:59 AM
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IMHO the most realistic reverb effects use "convolution" technique. With convolution you can emulate the behavior of many scenarios with a very good result. Problem: it requires much computational power. Today PC can manage it quite well, but I guess current DP engines use less demanding algorithms, because IMHO their quality is not on par with the reverb you can get on a PC.

For example, you can get a very realistic convolution reverb effects with the Galaxy Piano VSTs, like the Vintage D.

Re: A question about reverberation
QuasiUnaFantasia #3003289 07/16/20 10:06 AM
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Reflections are emulated and dealt with in two categories - early and if to call it late reflection.
So they try to emulate a room by sending and delaying signals that return and blend with original.

And how they kling off and how much of various frequencies that are absorbed make them sound different.

Back in the day there were ways like sending signals in springs, spring reverb sending acoustic signals that take it's time to travel through springs, and plate reverbs that are just thin like steel plates.

These send signals like vibrations through medium like springs or a steel plate - and then pickup signal in the other end. Can give huge sense of space since there are natural reflections occuring in that medium.

They also had like echo chambers that were like bathroom kind of feel to it etc.
And there were tape delays as well to create echo. Early Elvis Presley is example of those.

Modern electronics do this in digital fashion sending early and late reflections through delay lines as samples and mix those again later - getting a sense of a confined space depending on parameters for how long various reflections take.

Then there are impulse responses - that are actual recordings of a snappy sound in a real ambient space like a theater and you have microphones in a specific listener spot. Original snappy sound is removed and you send any type of signal through it's math calculations and recreate that space. Plugins that handle IR files are widely spread and you can find for various wellknown theaters as IR's. Really cool.

Interesting thing with impulse responses is that you can record through various amps and speakers to recreate what they do to the original sound. Limitation is that IR can only do linear transformation and what we not seldom want is some distortion in a dynamic way which is non-linear. So to recreate what high end preamps like Neve do is not easy to do and not doable with a single IR - you would need many.

In the digital realm a reverb can be lots of different techniques and how many reflections they handle to really create a confined space is very different. A Hall reverb of one brand can sound very different from another depending on this. Different amount of parameters and different quality too in how they mix reflections not to sound harsch.

But idea is similar to all of them - send signals on trips that eventually return. If to emulate a small space delays are shorter than like in a church.


Kawai MP7SE - Hammond XK3c - Synthesizers
Re: A question about reverberation
QuasiUnaFantasia #3003320 07/16/20 11:48 AM
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Last edited by VladK; 07/16/20 11:49 AM.

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Re: A question about reverberation
QuasiUnaFantasia #3003411 07/16/20 04:36 PM
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Thank you for your answers. They cleared up quite a few important things. For example I now realize why Pianoteqs reverb seems so unsatisfying. Without knowing it, I have been (and still am) a fan of convolution reverb.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Pianoteq 6.7.3 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite, Production Voices Estate Grand

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