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Topic: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

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  1. #1

    Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Hi, I now have the new version on Aria. Is there a guide as to the real differences with tips on how to work effectively with them? I haven't seen anything on the MakeMusic site. Thanks.

    John Newell
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  2. #2

    Lightbulb Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Yes you are right, it's missing: in the new engine, combining Ambience and Convolution presets and/or tweaking them, you may shape by "trial and errors" a wide range of interesting reverb effects.

    By the way combining different reverbs, may drive to unnatural sound and artifacts: it's probably a matter of personal taste and computing power, but I find the Convolution better, and I simply turn Ambience off: I'm just wondering if the stereo stage control works fine without ambience on, because I didn't study the architecture of the stage effect engine.

    The sound and the footprint of Aria is fantastic with Convolution, I hope a tutorial will be available sooner or later.

    (the number of decibel on mixer faders and Convolution were my wishes, and now I got it...GREAT!)

  3. #3

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Thanks Fabio. It seems that to really place instruments (say in an orchestra) with Convolution or Ambience you need to use the Stereo Stage (as well as panning). I'm only beginning to work with Convolution, but I'm not convinced that stereo stage works with it.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  4. #4

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    I guess my approach to using ARIA's Convolution or Ambience is simplistic, as with all reverb plug-ins except the more complex Alitverb which is so different in its theory from traditional plug-ins.

    I pick me reverb, I dial in Send levels, sometimes tweak the reverb setting a bit if it's sounding unnatural. One of the most often needed tweaks is to ramp down on the reverb's low frequencies, using the plug-ins EQ control if it has one, since bass frequencies start sounding ugly pretty fast.

    But otherwise, not sure what kind of detailed instructions are needed. - I will say This about using these ARIA reverbs, or any other reverbs - too often people dial in Way too much of the effect. The theory and practice of how to avoid that is simple:

    -- Have the plug-in set to 100% - full potential reverb.

    -- Use a mixer's Send control to process just a fraction of the signal.

    -- Doing that in ARIA, you rarely need a Send to be over 8:00 on the dial. More than that, and your music is soon swimming in reverberation, as if your band is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and the listeners are standing around the canyon's rim way at the top.

    Hi, Fabio - "...combining Ambience and Convolution presets and/or tweaking them, you may shape by "trial and errors" a wide range of interesting reverb effects...combining different reverbs, may drive to unnatural sound and artifacts.."

    Interesting! I've never tried using them both at the same time. The programmers left that as an option though, since turning one on doesn't automatically turn the other one off. During Beta testing, I thought maybe it would be better to only be able to have one on at a time, to avoid confusing the user. But it really is best to have as many options available as possible, so users can experiment however they want.

    But Convolution is definitely better in sound quality since it's using Impulse Response files of real spaces. There's just no way a purely synthesized, artificial "reverb-like sound" can have the same naturalness to it. Artificial reverbs tend to add more ringing, and be more thick and muddy, whereas IR files tend to sound airy and transparent, just as we hear reverberation in the real, physical world.

    Hi, John - "It seems that to really place instruments (say in an orchestra) with Convolution or Ambience you need to use the Stereo Stage (as well as panning). I'm only beginning to work with Convolution, but I'm not convinced that stereo stage works with it..."

    The Stereo Stage is basically adding the "early reflection" part of what happens when sound hits the walls of a venue. Having that on in ARIA instantly adds a stereo image to the monophonic samples, making panning more subtle, less precise, since the instrument's sound is always coming from all directions when ST is on. But it's by no means necessary to have ST on. I often turn it off because of an overly blurred pile up of sound that can happen as the track count in projects increases.

    ST does work with Convolution though. You can run an easy test. Turn Convolution on, push an instrument's Send pot up, then in the Controls window of ARIA, move ST's Depth control back and forth - you'll hear that it is still effecting the signal with Convo on. Whether or not you want that extra bit of reverb processing added to Convo is another matter. You have to just try it and hear if you like it. No manual is going to be able to make that decision for you.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Thanks Randy for your comments and suggestions. The key I guess is to "play it by ear" and try different things. I'll be doing that with the flute piece as well as an upcoming orchestra piece that I'm beginning to orchestrate.

    Best, John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  6. #6

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    The Stereo Stage is basically adding the "early reflection" part of what happens when sound hits the walls of a venue. Having that on in ARIA instantly adds a stereo image to the monophonic samples, making panning more subtle, less precise, since the instrument's sound is always coming from all directions when ST is on. But it's by no means necessary to have ST on. I often turn it off because of an overly blurred pile up of sound that can happen as the track count in projects increases.

    ST does work with Convolution though. You can run an easy test. Turn Convolution on, push an instrument's Send pot up, then in the Controls window of ARIA, move ST's Depth control back and forth - you'll hear that it is still effecting the signal with Convo on. Whether or not you want that extra bit of reverb processing added to Convo is another matter. You have to just try it and hear if you like it. No manual is going to be able to make that decision for you.

    Randy
    Randy, In previous posts (some time ago... regarding setting up an orchestra... it was mentioned that Stereo Stage in Ambience works with Panning to place the instruments in a realistic setting, e.g. strings up front with less Stereo Stage, winds with more and brass & percussion with even more, to create a depth of field and imitate their setting on stage. That makes sense to me and in my initial trials seemed to work. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks. John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

  7. #7

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Newell View Post
    Randy, In previous posts (some time ago... regarding setting up an orchestra... it was mentioned that Stereo Stage in Ambience works with Panning to place the instruments in a realistic setting, e.g. strings up front with less Stereo Stage, winds with more and brass & percussion with even more, to create a depth of field and imitate their setting on stage. That makes sense to me and in my initial trials seemed to work. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks. John
    Yes, Stereo Stage introduces "early reflections" which is part of the sonic picture in creating the illusion of venue spaces. On its own, it doesn't sound like reverb as we commonly think of it, because it is just that early reflection part of a reverberant sound. The early reflections become farther apart from the dry signal as you turn the effect up, so you would use more for instruments that are farther away.

    It can work in conjunction with panning to create the illusion of a stage performance. But ST does indeed blur the panning. If you need an instrument to be more definitely come from a particular location on stage, you'll get that precision with ST off. And if your project has a large number of instruments, you'll find that things can get a bit messy if you have ST stage on for all the tracks and/or turned up very high.

    Also, as noted earlier, turning ST one instantly gives a stereo sound to GPO's mono samples, because the sound is coming from all directions, bouncing off all 4 walls - and that's also why the stereo image becomes more blurry and less specific.

    Basically, I recommend using ST sparingly. It can add some dimension to a mix, but most of your work in creating an illusion of a real space is done with your panning settings and reverb plug-in settings.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: Ambience vs. Convolution Reverb - Is there a guide?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Yes, Stereo Stage introduces "early reflections" which is part of the sonic picture in creating the illusion of venue spaces. On its own, it doesn't sound like reverb as we commonly think of it, because it is just that early reflection part of a reverberant sound. The early reflections become farther apart from the dry signal as you turn the effect up, so you would use more for instruments that are farther away.

    It can work in conjunction with panning to create the illusion of a stage performance. But ST does indeed blur the panning. If you need an instrument to be more definitely come from a particular location on stage, you'll get that precision with ST off. And if your project has a large number of instruments, you'll find that things can get a bit messy if you have ST stage on for all the tracks and/or turned up very high.

    Also, as noted earlier, turning ST one instantly gives a stereo sound to GPO's mono samples, because the sound is coming from all directions, bouncing off all 4 walls - and that's also why the stereo image becomes more blurry and less specific.

    Basically, I recommend using ST sparingly. It can add some dimension to a mix, but most of your work in creating an illusion of a real space is done with your panning settings and reverb plug-in settings.

    Randy
    Thanks for the advice, Randy! It will really help in my upcoming project.

    John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

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