Using impulse response/convolution reverbs to help smooth out your sound.
Most of us would probably agree that the sound of a tasty reverb on a great guitar part is a thing of beauty. And you’d think that with all the latest generation of guitar plug-ins, this wouldn’t be that hard to achieve. Unfortunately, most of them are sorely lacking in this one all-important area. One way to get around this problem—aside from owning classic amps—is to use any of the widely available impulse response/convolution reverbs to help smooth out your sound.
As a quick reference, a convolution reverb is a process where a pulse or sine wave sweep is played back into a space or actual piece of gear such as an amp or reverb unit. Using a process called deconvolution, the sine sweep is then removed leaving a clean sample called an impulse response.
When needed, I tend to rely on a number of different plug-ins to get these great reverb sounds for guitar. Audio Ease Altiverb, Digidesign TL Space, Waves IR-1 and McDSP’s Revolver are used daily in my Pro Tools system, although there are several other excellent brands available as well. Specifics vary, but most will work across the popular platforms such as RTAS, TDM, VST and AU.
So, what is it about these IRs that make them better (typically) than a traditional reverb? While the quality of the actual sample is, of course, important, it’s the fact that you’re actually hearing the real thing. When you put your instrument “into” the reverb from an old Fender amp, the sound just comes alive. The depth and character of real reverb is an almost tactile issue, and each person will have their own opinions on their favorites.
One of my first go-to settings is Altiverb’s Fender Super Reverb. The samples done for Audio Ease by Joe Gore are simply selectable as Bright or Normal. The Reverb Time (RT) is fixed at 6.70 seconds, but you can shorten it if needed using the RT dial. Gore also has samples of a Magnatone 480, a Baldwin Amp and a Real Tube Reverb, all of which are also quite nice. Altiverb also lets you sample your own amps, which I and Vincent Miraglia of Analog Design group recently did when we recorded the tasty reverb of my 1964 Gibson Falcon amp; an amp I also turn to quite a bit when needed.
And don’t think about just using the sound of actual guitar amp reverbs. You can call up such goodies as EMT 140 and 250 plates, Echoplates, spring reverbs and echo chambers. By using a buss to send just a little bit to one of these IRs you can get dull-sounding electric guitar parts to stand out. For a really “wet” signal, enable the “Pre” button on your reverb send/fader. This will send the audio directly into the reverb, bypassing the fader level. You may have to pull your fader down to compensate for the dry/wet balance, but you’ll get a full wash of ’verb that way. Experiment with that setting for a lush sound.
Impulse response settings are not just for electric guitars or amp simulators. Amazing sounds can be had for acoustic guitars as well. Think about recording that beautiful acoustic you have in your bedroom, or in a small, tight space. Yes, it probably sounds good up close, but what if you wanted something more? This is the perfect situation to use an impulse response.
One of my favorites for acoustic instruments is The Stone Room at Masterfonics Studio in Nashville, Tenn. Available in the Waves IR-1, it adds an incredible sense of depth and brightness. Also, there are many other great sampled recording studios, scoring stages, churches, opera halls, arenas and even stairwells available. Not every studio/room works for the sounds you’re seeking, so its best to get a setting, and then on the plug-in itself run through different IRs. Sometimes the room is too big, too dark or too bright. That’s when it’s time to break out some more plug-ins.
The essence of dialing in one of these sounds is to get that perfect fit in a mix situation. To lift a track up or even set it back behind the rhythm section, you may want to try EQ-ing the reverb. Instead of just settling for the sound of that plate/amp/room, try placing an EQ after the reverb. While yes, some IRs have settings allowing you to EQ the actual output, they are usually limited in scope. I tend to use a good, flexible high-quality EQ such as the Sonnox Oxford EQ, Universal Audio Cambridge, URS A10 or the EMI TG1214. These allow me to really dig into which frequencies need to be boosted or cut. Of course, you can patch in a hardware reverb as well—whatever works best for you.
Placed directly after the reverb plug-in, you can then roll off the unwanted/unneeded low frequencies (usually below 120–150Hz) in the ‘verb itself to clean up the bottom of your mix. Then, by sweeping the EQ you can also boost and/or cut any frequencies to accentuate, like string noise on an acoustic or scratches on your electric part. Impulse response reverbs are simply great for adding character to a mix. For guitarists, it’s a surefire way to get that flat-sounding DI track or amp simulator to really shine. Poke around the Internet for yourself and see which version might work best for your studio setup. Your guitar will certainly thank you for it.
Rich is a producer, engineer and mixer who has worked with artists ranging from Al DiMeola to David Bowie . A life-long guitarist, he’s also the auther of Pro Tools Surround Sound Mixing and composes for such networks as Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon and National Geographic.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.