Old 12-01-2018, 02:08 AM   #1
Tubeguy
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Default Creating vintage drum room sound

I record mostly 60's style Rockabilly. Room sounds play a key role in this style so I utilize my room a lot for acoustics. Think of Sun Records studios. But my room is hardly the Sun and it's difficult to work with.
So I've been looking at alternatives like VST reverbs. I've tried Valhala and some impulses with varying results but think I'm missing the realism. I'm kind of having a hard time judging the reverb unless it's a real room one.
What do you use to get realistic room sound if you don't have a great recording room?

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Old 12-01-2018, 03:22 AM   #2
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I have stood in the live room at Sun & clapped my hands, etc. No idea where the magc comes from but considering it is just the front end of a glass fronted retail store with pegboard walls and a sawtooth of pegboard "waves" in the ceiling, who knows. Some kinda voodoo at work.

I wonder if anyone has had the nerve to ask if they can do IRs on the place?
I know that the classic slap echo they used was done using a tape recorder rather than all those wild tales about aircraft fuel tanks with mics in one end and speakers in the other.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:54 AM   #3
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One trick in this scenario is to focus on finding a great sounding sweet spot for one room mic, and send that into a reverb.

Sometimes this can be a mic up against a wall, on the floor in the corner, in a closet with a door ajar, stairwell, storage room, up against glass.

Search out that sweet roomy spot, and send it to a reverb.

The other really good trick is to put a stereo pair of close room mics facing the drums about 3 meters away from the kit - but only 30cm from the floor
(to avoid all of the cymbals)
Blend this stereo pair into a stereo reverb and you will have a big smile on your face.

Every engineer walking into a new studio needs to find these sweet spots, and how to capture the "right" room sound for any particular project.
Sometimes you may want a tight small sounding revereb, and other times long, and sometimes none (all on the same album).

Usually the history of the studio, and the many albums recorded prior, the engineers pass on the good micing and baffling positions that have been discovered over the years.

Research Research
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:39 AM   #4
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Despite being free try this:
https://u-he.com/products/protoverb/

Spend some time with adjusting the sound. It can do horrible too as it aims to recreate the room sound, warts and all. The Valhalla DSP reverbs are the opposite, they are designed to create an idealized sound, sacrificing some realism for musical pleasure (and also being CPU friendly).


Mix that with this tube delay (or similar):
https://www.softube.com/index.php?id=td

Last edited by Softsynth; 12-01-2018 at 05:45 AM. Reason: add tube delay (mentioned before methinks)
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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You probably know this stuff since it's your thing, but maybe watching it could spark ideas of how to get close in software:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q-scxybnp0&t=381s
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Softsynth View Post
Despite being free try this:
https://u-he.com/products/protoverb/
Interesting that you mention that one. I just got Superior Drummer 2 and all my libraries working in Linux, and u-he has Protoverb for Linux. Initially I wrote that verb off, simply because it looks like a guitar pedal, but while auditioning it on some drums I found that I really like some of the sounds it gets. Here's a sample of Superior Drummer 2 running through it. Granted, Superior has some of it's own room sound, but if I bypass Protoverb they sound almost totally dry.

https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...ongID=13812827

I was also trying out the OverTone FC70 Fairchild 670 emulation, and Pultec EQs for Linux that I just bought as well on this test.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:53 PM   #7
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Well it looks like there is no easy way out of it, I must admit I thought that would be the case but had to ask anyway. New tips and tricks are always helpful so thanks.
I think my problem is rather low ceiling. Room is pretty big and has another adjoining room which I often use for big "room" sound where I can mic it and partially close the door to get the right effect.
But for small "rooms" the ceiling is a pain to deal with. Someone suggested adding reverb to it, I'll try that, maybe it'll create higher ceiling effect who knows. Reverb is something that is probably impossible to actually measure.
Regarding the Sun Studios, I believe it's the unusual walls/ceiling shape and tiles that gives it that nice soft dispersion. I wonder how they worked it out without computer simulation but than again, back than technology could do all we can do today anyway in most cases , it was just all really big.

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Old 12-02-2018, 04:54 AM   #8
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I record mostly 60's style Rockabilly.

...Sun Records studios...

What do you use to get realistic room sound if you don't have a great recording room?
I record Rockabilly too and also classic 50's pop.

Try this Impulse Reverb. https://stash.reaper.fm/v/34948/Sunny%20Room.wav

Not sure of your recording experience so if I state the obvious please forgive me. Load the WAV file into ReaVerb (or your usual impulse response reverb). You might need to EQ lows, depending on the sound. To recreate a 'live' studio room, send everything into the reverb with a generous amount except vocals, add only a little bit to simulate the spill. If the room sounds too boxey/boomy, remove the lows until it doesn't.

Interested if it works for you. Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:56 AM   #9
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I've got no idea,

But in terms of Spatial simulation or Room Reverb (and workin ITB), perhaps you could try the Waves "AbbeyRoad Chambers",
or the Eventide "Tverb", which seem to focus specifically on obtaining oldschool tones with room echo/effects..

The effect may be too apparent, but it could also give you ideas in setting your own rooms/mics.


Besides, I guess you could use sensibly placed Tape sims on some of the tracks..


And in terms of EQ (besides all the retro Channel Strip/Desk emulations available..),
I say you're better using Soft Analog-like EQs, nothing too Linear or Strong.

Perhaps something like the "Oxford Native EQ", which has a certain Roundness/Softness that I find pleasant,
and quite useful for cutting the low freqs on Bass or the Master.


As for Compressors, I really can't think of one that will give you a true Analog sound..
But besides the usual "Fairchild" or "1176" repros, maybe you could try the Stillwell "Rocket", Softube "FET Compressor",
or why not just a regular Waves H-Comp..

Last edited by ernzo; 12-02-2018 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tubeguy View Post
Regarding the Sun Studios, I believe it's the unusual walls/ceiling shape and tiles that gives it that nice soft dispersion. I wonder how they worked it out without computer simulation but than again, back than technology could do all we can do today anyway in most cases , it was just all really big.
Fuuny - according to the engineer I spoke to in there it was all a happy accident, down to the sheet sizes of pegboard available at the time. Also the concertina panels on the ceiling are framed out in 2x4 timber! Must be a deal of weight up there. What amazed me was how small the actual room itself was. but definitely close to golden triangle ratios in terms of height width & length.

What surprised me most was all the hard surface "souvenirs" they had humg over the pegboard walls! The room is still in regular use for recording & I would have thought the extra reflective surfaces would have messed up the original "sound" but to my untutored ears it sounded prett much like it did on those old fifties records.

A thought on your own situation - have you tried a ceiling cloud and maybe some half height gobos with a wet side & a dry side? Extra absorption AND dispersion almost free...
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:50 AM   #11
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Interesting that you mention that one. I just got Superior Drummer 2 and all my libraries working in Linux, and u-he has Protoverb for Linux. Initially I wrote that verb off, simply because it looks like a guitar pedal, but while auditioning it on some drums I found that I really like some of the sounds it gets. Here's a sample of Superior Drummer 2 running through it. Granted, Superior has some of it's own room sound, but if I bypass Protoverb they sound almost totally dry.

https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...ongID=13812827

I was also trying out the OverTone FC70 Fairchild 670 emulation, and Pultec EQs for Linux that I just bought as well on this test.

That room sound is very naturalistic/realistic which could suit the O.P's needs. A good example for Tubeguy.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:00 AM   #12
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Might have *a teensy tiny* bit to do with the talent in the room ; )


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who knows. Some kinda voodoo at work.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:58 AM   #13
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If you want to completely change the sound of the drums, short reverbs are the way to go, imo. I picked up Abbey Road Chambers from Waves during the sale last week and it's really great for this sort of thing, but if you load up ReaVerb and find some nice IR files of small rooms, you can change the sound very drastically.

Also, ToTape5 from airwindows does a great job of pumping in a vintage sound (free). You can put it on every track for some very nice retro coloration. It does really amazing things to bass and kick as well.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
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That room sound is very naturalistic/realistic which could suit the O.P's needs. A good example for Tubeguy.
I used the factory patch called "Long Room" on that test recording. It instantly caught my ear as I was dialing through the presets.

I've always loved Lexicons algorithms for rooms sounds too. They have some of the more realistic sounding small to medium room sims around IMO. I've even had a couple of times when people asked me about my drum room, because of the sound, and I had to tell them that it was simulated.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:56 PM   #15
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Fuuny - according to the engineer I spoke to in there it was all a happy accident, down to the sheet sizes of pegboard available at the time. Also the concertina panels on the ceiling are framed out in 2x4 timber! Must be a deal of weight up there. What amazed me was how small the actual room itself was. but definitely close to golden triangle ratios in terms of height width & length.
There is a show running on PBS that features bands performing at Sun Studios. I think the room probably is perfect for a singer, stand up bass, drums, 1 guitar and piano playing the 50s and early 60s style of music but mostly what they show are rock bands with B3's and Fender Twin's, 2 guitarists a singer, 3 backup singers and a horn section. You can tell it's VERY crowded and the mix is horrible. The room is just not made for that type of band.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:45 PM   #16
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Might have *a teensy tiny* bit to do with the talent in the room ; )
Obviously, but there was certainly something special about the room sound just when I clapped my hands.

Which can only make it easier to do a great performance AND for the engineer to capture it.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:51 PM   #17
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I've spend whole day yesterday trying to recreate this room sound, both guitar and the drums using VST distortions and various reverbs. It's an awesome room sound I'd love to be able to replicate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQwQiRVEklI&t=11s
But no cigar. I get close but it doesn't sound real or should I say natural.
I might need to spend few weeks trying to mic every corner of my place to get this without plugins :-)
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:38 PM   #18
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It's an awesome room sound I'd love to be able to replicate.
I think you could pretty easily get that sound just like you said, but it should only take a few hours in a decently absorbent room, not weeks. You only need one mic and the right spot in the room. Move it around with closed phones while someone plays the drums to find it. Use the same mic position but then move the amp closer than the drums and find its sweet spot in the same way. Then add a bit of period specific degradation and some tape saturuation. ToTape5 from AirWindows is great for vintage sound. Also free.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:36 AM   #19
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Yes that basically what I'm doing. I'm getting best results that way even though not as good as I'd want. So far I've not come across VST reverb that can do faithful room reproduction. Even my Lexicon MX300 doesn't cut it even though it is much better than any VST I've used.
Would be cool to find IR sample of Sun studios just to see what the results might be like. I'm surprised no one took it yet since there are IR of just about anything.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:46 AM   #20
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I'd suggest ReaVerb with some good IR files and if you can pick up Abbey Road Chambers cheap during one of the Waves sales, it's great for radically altering the room sound too. Also, compress the reverb channel.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:44 AM   #21
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If one could find a good high quality recording from that studio with a relatively isolated hand clap, stick click, rimshot, even a tight snare or kick with enough time after for the room to ring out...
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:05 AM   #22
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From experience I might say: Embrace your room sound and make it work.
Why?
Fifties rockabilly recording technique (aka "sound") is most likely one to max three microphones. You basically capture 50% source and 50% everything in between, i.e. room.
An impulse response would just superimpose its own character on top of the already recorded room character, which will blur the 100%.

You might try to record as dry as possible and position the mics accordingly far, then use an impulse response, but if I was you I'd try to make my own room work. Acoustic treatment first: put as many absorbers on the ceiling as physically possible, then clever mic'ing technique in order to avoid the worst reflection spots of the space.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:12 AM   #23
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Actually I think you're right. It's mostly about drums really. I mic drums with some distance. Well, I only have an overhead mic about 1.5m angled toward snare and another mic in separate room for the "room" I mix in.
But I also have standard close mic on the snare which I use to mix in some punch if I need to. By varying these three mics I create my rooms. Not easy but it works, nice room would be much better though :-)
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #24
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Have a look at the “One Mic Recording Channel” on YouTube. That might give You Some ideas...
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:04 AM   #25
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Actually I think you're right. It's mostly about drums really. I mic drums with some distance. Well, I only have an overhead mic about 1.5m angled toward snare and another mic in separate room for the "room" I mix in.
But I also have standard close mic on the snare which I use to mix in some punch if I need to. By varying these three mics I create my rooms. Not easy but it works, nice room would be much better though :-)
Ah! So have you ever tried using *only* the overhead and nothing else (hopefully a dark mic, like a ribbon)? Slightly saturate/compress it so the room gets accentuated a little more, and that should be it.
In case you use more mics e.g. for bass, guitar and vocals, I'd probably try to leave their channels open when tracking drums - so the distance and the bleed characteristics will create the room in the end.

But what I mean is: no dedicated room mic
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:18 AM   #26
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Got to agree with the two posts above this one. From what you've said, you are aiming for the "Sun Records Studio" sound while having an element that was never a part of what they did in the equation.

With that part there, you take seems to be "I think that it is X/Y/Z..." while ignoring that you have thrown an element foreign to their approach into the equation.

While I haven't read a lot about that approach, I do remember reading "Ribbon Vocal Microphone/Slapback" from someone a ways back. If you think about pictures that do exist, they don't really discount that possibility.

To me, it seems like the logical approach would be "Start There/Exhaust Possibilities In That Approach".

Have you tried ribbon as a vocal microphone as you "Room" microphone? Set it up in position, and the back side of said ribbon is the "Room" sound?
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:19 AM   #27
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If one could find a good high quality recording from that studio with a relatively isolated hand clap, stick click, rimshot, even a tight snare or kick with enough time after for the room to ring out...
It's not a ribbon mike etc. I'm sure genuine mics and gear would make a difference in sound but it is a particular room sound I'm trying to create.

Took me a while but I've managed to get a snippet from some jam at Sun Studios for testing. Not good enough to use but trying it tells me it's exactly what I'm looking for. I can make my drums sound very similar to their recordings. Off course the bad sample is ridden with other unwanted noises, but this was enough to show me direction I need to take. I need a very short reverb that has a barrel like dark ambience in it.
The reverb length is very short, only about the same as if I take sample in a tripple car garage. Very short. But the garage doesn't have the barrel sound it needs. Besides I don't want to use convulsion reverbs, too limited.

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Old 12-31-2018, 03:16 AM   #28
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Besides I don't want to use convulsion reverbs, too limited.

Those "Convulsion reverbs" sound rather macabre!

Did you try the new version of Eventide SP2016?
https://www.eventideaudio.com/produc.../sp2016-reverb

I suggest used in modern mode, to sound more like a room than a recreated 80s processor sound.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:43 AM   #29
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Those "Convulsion reverbs" sound rather macabre!

Did you try the new version of Eventide SP2016?
https://www.eventideaudio.com/produc.../sp2016-reverb

I suggest used in modern mode, to sound more like a room than a recreated 80s processor sound.
I've not tried the Eventide but think that's an 80's style one. Will see if the have a demo but looks a bit pricey for a plugin. I''ll have to be better than my Lexicon which is good but still can't get me what I'm after.

I've been trying few things on various reverbs and it seems that around 0.12s time is about right. So it's very short. Like I said I can get close but it does't have "mojo" like real quality room. Come to think of it, maybe I should be looking for an ambience and not a room reverb?

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Old 12-31-2018, 10:40 AM   #30
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I've not tried the Eventide but think that's an 80's style one. Will see if the have a demo but looks a bit pricey for a plugin. I''ll have to be better than my Lexicon which is good but still can't get me what I'm after.

I've been trying few things on various reverbs and it seems that around 0.12s time is about right. So it's very short. Like I said I can get close but it does't have "mojo" like real quality room. Come to think of it, maybe I should be looking for an ambience and not a room reverb?
SP2016 uses the code from the original hardware unit. Eventide say it is actually superior both in terms of accuracy and performance to their own 21st century hardware recreation.

I find it impressively naturalistic and easy on the CPU, despite being modelled on this old hardware.
I suggested it because many of the forum users got the older "Stereo Room" version free and upgraded that for $29 when it came it. Also the Xmas sales.

The VST is superior to both the old and newer hardware versions:
https://reverb.com/uk/news/eventide-...-software-pick

"The Princeton Digital box, TDM release, as well as the 2016 Stereo Room were based on my initial attempts at emulating the original SP2016 box. The algorithms are fairly exact, but I did screw up some minor stuff, including— funnily enough—the sample rate," Agnello says. "My memory was that the original sample rate was exactly 40kHz. Turns out it's close, but not exact. I never bothered to measure the box."
"That, plus a few other errors/bugs resulted in the Princeton Digital stuff sounding really good, but not exactly like the hardware. Eventide's DSP guys decided to dig in and 'make it right,' the Eventide SP2016 Reverb Plugin is the great-sounding result of that," Agnello says.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:05 PM   #31
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An authentic 70's sound seems to require an authentic Storyk-70's era room.

That soft, distant sound required that kind of room back then, and still does despite technology in the box. I've got to accept a New Year's resolution that I can't fight that coloration.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:05 PM   #32
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I'll have to give the Stereo Room a try and see if it can do it. In the mean time I've re-discovered this old reverb based on Alesis Microverb. It seems to match my naturally recorded room and just extends it so it doesn't actually sounds added on top like most other reverbs I've tried. But I need to experiment with it more. There is only one setting I find appealing, but it is interesting. I set it on level 1 in the Large section, mix at 30%. Gives it that slightly trashy roomy effect.
This one here at the bottom page if you've not tried it before. http://www.longsound.de/html/en_vstfx.html
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:24 AM   #33
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I'll have to give the Stereo Room a try and see if it can do it.
Don't confuse the older "2016 Stereo Room" product with the new "SP2016 Reverb" which has a newer version of the Stereo Room mode within it.
Easy to do since they are both modelled on SP2016!
New version:
https://www.eventideaudio.com/produc.../sp2016-reverb

Of course if the Alesis Microverb does it for you then great.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:41 AM   #34
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Yeah I'll stick with the Microverb for now. It kind of grows on me as I play with it. It's better than I initially thought and I'm actually getting some good results from this reverb. So at least I can stop that never ending search for the holy grail - for a while :-) Thanks for help.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:30 PM   #35
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Microverb for a vintage room sound? I guess I have to check it out again. I though it was only good at very digital reverbs.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:43 PM   #36
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On that setting I mentioned it extends the natural room I all ready have. I think it just matches it right, maybe by a chance. Can't use too much of it though. Worth a try, it's free anyway.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:05 PM   #37
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While there seems to be some sort of a "Just Because" grumble with convolution reverb, I'd consider looking into the "Hardware" Quantec QRS and maybe giving this impulse set a look.

http://signaltonoize.com/?p=1066
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:24 PM   #38
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Reverb needs to be mono for sure. Could be band passed roughly between 500hz and 5k. You could run it trough tape or vinyl sim.
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