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Convolution Reverb and Beyond
Written by John Duesenberry - 2005, PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. Reprinted with Permission.
Convolution reverb imposes the characteristics of a real-world reverberant space on an input signal. To create convolution reverb, an impulse response (IR) signal that is recorded in the reverberant space is convolved with the input signal. You can go well beyond the confines of reverb processing, however, by substituting other audio material for the IR signal.

I'll start with an example of stereo convolution reverb, and then demonstrate how easy it is to generate a much less conventional reverblike effect using a sample of a crash cymbal in place of the IR signal.

Hack Away Many sample editors and other audio applications now support convolution. Here, I'll use SoundHack, Tom Erbe's Mac OS shareware utility. SoundHack is easy to set up and use, but you should keep two things in mind. Under OS 9, your should set the memory partition to at least 16 MB before performing the examples here. Under OS X, SoundHack may not recognize your audio interface, in which case you'll need to temporarily set the Default Output to Built-in Audio in the Audio MIDI Setup utility.

You'll find my audio source sound files on the EM Web site. For more details on convolution theory, see Square One: Convolution Number Nine in the June 1999 issue of EM. This is an excerpt from the following article: Convolution Reverb and Beyond.


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