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  • New Impulse Responses

    I just noticed these 3 new pages at the VSL website: 

    I haven't seen any discussion on these new impulse libraries from VSL. Has anyone tried these yet.....?

  • I can't speak for the third library (though my impression is that it's quite high quality) but I have definitely spent some time with the sound of FORTI and SERTI. [:D] It should be noted that FORTI and SERTI not only contain true stereo reverb impulses (with separated tails and early reflections that you can mix and match) but also some exceptional editing filters. You can hear the difference these make on Numerical Sound's demo page (and many at the product pages here on the VSL site too).

    The demos cover everything from VSL specific usage in traditional genres on to acoustic recordings and several popular genres. If you go there, you can hear it for yourself: they sound amazing, and if you have the VSL String Libraries to use the custom Film EQ or Harmonic Emphasis Timbral Impulses (TI) with, you shouldn't have to think twice about buying them. Just listen to the Tallis demo or Jordan Aguirre's Electronica and Strings demo to hear how simply applying these impulses to each string section can completely change the sound, even without any reverb.

    To my ears, I'd say that the Carmina Burana demo is one of the most impressive. If you listen to the original file on the Whitman site (which is linked on the Numerical Sound demo page) you'll hear that it was close miked and lacks the epic quality that a good performance conveys. However, if you listen to the FORTI-SERTI demos, you'll hear that the combination of impulses used (bass enhancement, TILT filter, ER and tail) bring out the drama and intensity that meets (and exceeds) what audience members actually experienced at the time.

    Roughly two months ago, Numerical Sound hired me to help assemble a cadre of demos, as well as do some marketing and technical writing. Since then, I've spent more time with the sound of the libraries than anyone except the designer (Ernest Cholakis) and I cannot say enough good things about them.

    VSL has kindly invited me to answer some questions about FORTI and SERTI at West L.A. Music tonight and tomorrow night, so if you happen to be in the L.A. area 7PM-8:30PM either night, please stop by and find out more.

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    Also worth noting: the demos at launch for FORTI and SERTI include over 120 files taken from processing ca. 30 tracks, outlining possible applications for the different types of impulses. However, they still only begin to scratch the surface of what's possible with the library and Numerical Sound has asked me to convey that they look forward to adding more in the future.

  • Thanks for that info and the link.

    I listened to a few of the demos and I can't say I'm knocked out by what I hear. The reverb sounds pretty good, but the EQ settings are not something I'd pay for in a package like this. I don't believe that a "one-size-fits-all" setting can be usefully applied to a large variety of one's own material.  I'd far prefer making EQ adjustments myself according to my music, on a track-per-track basis.

    Or maybe I'm having a bad ear day. [:S]

    Has anyone else listened to these.....?

  • Since you mentioned EQ, I'm guessing you're referring to the Film EQ impulses specifically? Certainly I don't think anyone would suggest a "one size fits all" approach to EQing and I'd have to agree with you if they did. That's not what the impulses are designed for.[:D]

    Hopefully this can clarify a bit: The "Film EQ" and Harmonic Emphasis impulses achieve a fundamental sound (prior to any additional EQing) that has a different timbral balance than the source material, but with several differences from normal EQing that become apparent during use (but are difficult to demonstrate during a demo). When used effectively the differences can be heard even with lossy compression and the tiny speakers of a mobile phone (as I've tested on an enV 3).

    #1) Phase: With most EQs, phase variances are introduced. The exception to this is normally linear-phase EQs, which suffer from both high latency and reduced bass resolution. The Film EQ and Harmonic Emphasis responses not only work at as low a latency as the Vienna Suite Convolution Reverb but also are especially strong in their treatment of the bass and all the processing is done without the phase artifacts associated with a minimum phase EQ.

    #2) Dynamics: If you listen to the demos using either the Film EQ or Harmonic Emphasis impulses (and especially with the two combined) you'll find that the dynamics often come across as more tightly controlled in a very consistent fashion.

    #3) Suitability for layering: Because of the effective differentiation between the source material and the different impulses and the phase coherence between them, you can actually use the impulses to create additional sections from a single set of samples without introducing artifacts.

    #4) Resolution and detail: The precision, resolution and detail of the impulses exceed what can be achieved with traditional EQs. The sculpting of the frequencies would take an immense number of bands (with all the drawbacks described in #1).

    #5) Powerful, quick, consistent change to the sound: The adjectives used to describe the change in sound focus on everything from "warmth" to "focus" or "level of ambience" to "transparency" and each impulse is specifically tailored to a given sample set at a given sample rate. With a couple clicks you have (in essence) with amounts to a different patch from your existing samples.

    I hope that's of some help? If not, feel free to contact me personally. Essentially, the impulses are designed to be used more like additional instrument patches and before any normal EQing that would be tailored to a given mix, and this is something that the high resolution convolution approach is well suited to since it doesn't suffer from the usual deficiencies of a traditional EQ in achieving this.

    There will still be situations where people would use the original patches. The Film EQ and Harmonic Emphasis Impulses are designed as additional sounds that can provide greater warmth and blending or highlight the radiance as opposed to the full-range and very up-front/immediate quality of the original.

    Are there any particular demos or types of demos that would be helpful to you as we put up more in the coming months?

  • I forgot to mention: the most pronounced demos for the Film EQ impulses are the ones that feature the double bass (or double basses) in isolation. If you haven't had a chance yet, take a moment to listen to those as it really does sound like a different set of samples was used.

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    Thanks for addressing a common misconception. These filters actually
    are not "one-size-fits-all" EQs at all. They are an entirely new class
    of innovative filters that sound more transparent than a regular
    multi-band equalizer or parametric EQ's plugin because they have
    virtually no phase shift - so the transients are better preserved and
    the phase shift is minimal and occurs only at the break point. This
    really gives them both a unique capability and sound.

    All the TILT filters are set at C2,C3,C4,C5,C6,C7,C8 which are
    65,131,262,523,1046,2093,4186Hz. They are quite flexible because there
    are 73 TILT filters in FORTI and 70 of them in SERTI that you can use
    to darken or brighten any audio track without imparting additional
    resonance. These filters cannot be duplicated by any combination of
    EQ's plugins currently available.

    Please give it a listen. To really hear the full impact of the effect,
    it's best to only use high quality headphones when monitoring the
    difference between the dry and the processed sound. Otherwise many
    other factors (such as the limitations of the room or speakers) may
    interfere with the comparison.

    Many well known mastering engineers, remix artists & producers that
    have had a chance to hear FORTI and SERTI and the response has been
    universally positive. With people coming from both a vintage and
    modern bias both favoring the filters, it's been really inspiring to
    hear the results these libraries have produced with their music.

    Check out the Clyde Stubblefield, Bernard Purdie and Impact Soundworks
    demos. They enhance the bass to give these tracks a contemporary
    "Timbaland" sound.

    Ernest Cholakis

    Numerical Sound