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Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 | 0 comments

New Research Initiative Will Dig Deep Into All Things Reverb

A project funded by the EU is taking on the challenge of modelling, synthesizing and analysing acoustic reverberation. The DREAMS (Dereverberation, Reverberation of Audio, Music and Speech) project began in February 2013 and is expected to run for three years. The research initiative is being led by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and will focus on four areas seen as pivotal to our understanding and experience of (de-)reverberation: room acoustics; signal processing; psychoacoustics; speech and audio processing. And although the research itself  is pretty technical it is expected that the findings could lead to improvements in a whole range of audio outputs and devices, such as tablets, mobile phones, etc. But will it fix the perennial problem of PA announcements at train stations?
Project website:


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Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 | 6 comments

Review of Zynaptiq’s Reverb Reduction Processor – Unveil

Reverb reduction is kind of like the Holy Grail of audio processing. Many people, myself included, have had to rely exclusively on multiband expansion to do things like increase intelligibility of poorly recorded dialog, or to make a “must use” reverberant recordings sit better in the mix. Unveil isn’t brand new to the market. It first came to my attention about a year ago. It’s also not the first reverb reduction plug-in to the market. What Zynaptiq brings to the table with Unveil is a processor with a high level of control. In fact, there is a such a fine level of tuning built into the processor that it is possible to INCREASE the amount of reverb in a signal.

My initial experiments with Unveil’s demo left me very impressed with its capabilities. I did not, however, spend a great deal of time plumbing its depths. Since developing my first impressions of the processor, a number of reviews have popped up in the community. All are very positive, but I have yet to see one explore the processor to its limits. Zynaptiq recently sent us a review copy of the full retail plug-in, and that’s what I set out to do…examine both its capabilities and limitations.

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Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 | 5 comments

Creative Uses of Reverb

Guest Contribution by Ian Palmer

There are a lot of technical articles on Designing Sound so I thought I’d try to balance that with this month’s theme of Reverb. We all know that reverb is used to create realism. Adding the correct or appropriate reverb to ADR will instantly make the dialogue fit better into a scene and remove the artifice of the replacement. However, we can use reverb in a creative way and in a wide variety of techniques. We must remember that what we do with sound always serves the narrative. Here is a small collection of examples in no particular order.

Emotional Effects

I’ll begin with a well known example from Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List (1993). After an argument over a building’s foundations, the camp commander Goeth orders the execution of a Jewish engineer. A guard pulls out his pistol and shoots the woman in the head, instantly killing her. We hear the initial bang of the gunshot very clearly, we are also fairly close to the incident. Immediately after, we hear the gunshot bounce around the hills that surround the camp. Obviously, guns are loud but would a small pistol really create so much echo? I would argue that the echo is at least enhanced and deliberately exaggerated. The reason is that this is a very shocking and emotional moment and the echo exaggerates the shock that the audience will feel. This is a heightened reality where we are focused on a single element of that event through the sound. This link will play a clip of that scene, skip to 2:50 for the execution.

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