Guys, I just found something that is BLOWING MY MIND.

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,257
No, it's not a new piece of gear or anything. It's actually way more interesting and important to me than that, as hyperbolic as that sounds. Its a room simulation. Before I do say anything else or talk about what exactly is being used, I want you to listen an audio clip or two that I just recorded. It's something stupid simple but to my ears it perfectly demonstrates this room simulation thing.

First, I don't know if this works with speakers, I'd be amazed if it did anything but make garbage sounds with speakers. However, its something else entirely on headphones. I'm using DT1990s with this right now but I don't see why it wouldn't work with any other open-back over-ear headphones. It might even work with IEMs, not sure since I haven't tried any yet.

When you listen to the clip, completely ignore the tone of the guitar and the playing, it's very meh to be generous. Instead of critiquing tone, first stop and listen and then think of where the position of the sound is coming from. That's all.

Now, my experience of this might be TOTALLY different than anyone else here, that's the scary thing. It might be specific to the shape of my head, my ears, and my headphones, but I'm telling you... I'm never going to play guitar with headphones any other way ever again. This thing sounds exactly like it's coming from an open-back guitar cabinet about 3 feet to my left and 2 steps back, IN MY OWN ROOM. I literally turned around and looked to make sure that the small tube amp I keep near that corner of my room was turned off!

Basically, this is potentially life changing for me as a guitar player, though I need to see if I can keep replicating it first. I found my ultimate amp-in-the-room sound. Granted, I have to wear headphones to hear the amp, but it's the closest thing I've experienced next to actually sitting in my room playing my tube amp at a GOOD volume level, enough that the neighbors would certainly call the police. What's even crazier is I can adjust the pre-delay level to make it sound like the amp is being moved around the room, from left to right, from very close to me to quite a few meters away.

And it's just a simple stereo plate reverb pedal.


I'm using the Plate reverb algorithm in my Source Audio Collider. Size set to small, mix at >90%, decay time 0, pre-delay 0, both Treble and Bass max. Note, NOT the Room algo, that has a built in pre-delay that doesn't get the same effect for me.

Someone let me know if they can get the same effect. I really wonder if this is just me or not. Or maybe everyone else has known this kind of trick and I've been the one missing out. :p





Mind... blown.

 

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,257
It's absurd how well this thing is working for me. I just picked up my seven string strandberg that I've been thinking of selling and, man.. it's amazing. I even turned on a long modulated reverb and it sounds like there's a couple of amps in the room that are both running stereo reverb. It's nuts.
 

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,257
Axe-Fx III and a medium plate reverb with mix set at 90%, predelay set to 0 and delay set to 0.10. The first sample is with reverb, second is without. The difference is negligible if you listen in mono.

Aw man, yeah! That's exactly what I mean. Its so many leagues better than using headphones without it, I can't believe I've only figured this out now! I can finally now play at volumes where all the glorious details are - without killing my eardrums, too!
 

ColdFrixion

Member
Messages
5,407
I've been playing with this and though I've never experimented with lowering the delay / predelay time to 0 and boosting the mix, I think it replicates the sound of a cab captured with a room mic pretty convincingly.
 

Chocol8

Member
Messages
372
My headphone recipe is a touch of reverb, a very short delay, and a touch of EQ. The nice thing is it doesn’t matter what the original preset is, the additional reverb delay and EQ settings can stay the same.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
Yeah verbs are necessary in headphones. Here's something I recorded on the KPA 8 years ago using it's fantastic room verb mixed up high in the intro.

That was great!! Actual music...but you need a vocal track for this!

And I am the only one who noticed the "squirrels" on the fade out...
 

Tootone

Member
Messages
5,447
All Reverbs are intended to mimic listening to an amp in some "unspecified space"... in a room, hall, hallway, theatre, arena, cathedral, cave, canyon etc.

Its gone beyond that to a point where people forget what Reverb is and think of it as "just an effect".

I was playing with my Strymon BigSky trying to recreate some Pink Floyd reverbs, and used my inner minds eye to "see" (imagine) the size and shape of the space their reverb was creating. I used this picture to start dialling in the BigSky, rather than being conscious of Decay, Pre-Delay, Tone, Mix etc.

Then I had another look at a mode I had all but forgotten... Reflections. It's whole reason for existing on the BigSky is to take out the guess work and provide Amp In A Room parameters right there on the panel... Size and Shape of Room, Distance of Amp to back wall, Position of Amp left or right from centre (if using stereo).

I don't think OP has discovered anything new or groundbreaking. I think he has just realised what Reverb actually is.
 

yeky83

Member
Messages
2,719
No, it's not a new piece of gear or anything. It's actually way more interesting and important to me than that, as hyperbolic as that sounds. Its a room simulation. Before I do say anything else or talk about what exactly is being used, I want you to listen an audio clip or two that I just recorded. It's something stupid simple but to my ears it perfectly demonstrates this room simulation thing.

First, I don't know if this works with speakers, I'd be amazed if it did anything but make garbage sounds with speakers. However, its something else entirely on headphones. I'm using DT1990s with this right now but I don't see why it wouldn't work with any other open-back over-ear headphones. It might even work with IEMs, not sure since I haven't tried any yet.

When you listen to the clip, completely ignore the tone of the guitar and the playing, it's very meh to be generous. Instead of critiquing tone, first stop and listen and then think of where the position of the sound is coming from. That's all.

Now, my experience of this might be TOTALLY different than anyone else here, that's the scary thing. It might be specific to the shape of my head, my ears, and my headphones, but I'm telling you... I'm never going to play guitar with headphones any other way ever again. This thing sounds exactly like it's coming from an open-back guitar cabinet about 3 feet to my left and 2 steps back, IN MY OWN ROOM. I literally turned around and looked to make sure that the small tube amp I keep near that corner of my room was turned off!

Basically, this is potentially life changing for me as a guitar player, though I need to see if I can keep replicating it first. I found my ultimate amp-in-the-room sound. Granted, I have to wear headphones to hear the amp, but it's the closest thing I've experienced next to actually sitting in my room playing my tube amp at a GOOD volume level, enough that the neighbors would certainly call the police. What's even crazier is I can adjust the pre-delay level to make it sound like the amp is being moved around the room, from left to right, from very close to me to quite a few meters away.

And it's just a simple stereo plate reverb pedal.


I'm using the Plate reverb algorithm in my Source Audio Collider. Size set to small, mix at >90%, decay time 0, pre-delay 0, both Treble and Bass max. Note, NOT the Room algo, that has a built in pre-delay that doesn't get the same effect for me.

Someone let me know if they can get the same effect. I really wonder if this is just me or not. Or maybe everyone else has known this kind of trick and I've been the one missing out. :p





Mind... blown.

Not every room algorithm has a built in unadjustable pre-delay, and room reverbs are typically going to be better for simulating room. For instance FAS room reverbs are really good and they're a pleasure to use for headphones. If a tweaked plate reverb made you happy, you'd really enjoy good room reverbs.
 
Last edited:

joebloggs13

Member
Messages
1,761
Aw man, yeah! That's exactly what I mean. Its so many leagues better than using headphones without it, I can't believe I've only figured this out now! I can finally now play at volumes where all the glorious details are - without killing my eardrums, too!
Just curious as to what you are plugging your headphones into?
 

Andre LaFosse

Member
Messages
384
Valhalla Room is glorious for headphone guitar ambience! Just the early reflection section alone can create spaces for the guitar to really come alive and breathe, in a way that raw mono generally doesn't (for me, anyway).

 

LaXu

Member
Messages
5,610
I bought the Fractal FAS-FX Reverb plugin just for this purpose. It really helps add that missing space for headphone use. It is less metallic sounding than Valhalla too.
 

MoonBoy

Member
Messages
69
Another trick to try (at least on the Axe FX, not sure about others?) is to use a more "traditional" reverb setting (delay > 1s and mix = 15-30%) but bump the early levels to and drop the late levels instead. Not the same as what Brandon suggested, his settings makes it feels like the cab's in the room but "further" away, compared do swapping the early/late levels which still sounds like the cab's in the room, but much closer. Both are great for headphones, give it a go and find out what you prefer :)
 

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,257
Not every room algorithm has a built in unadjustable pre-delay, and room reverbs are typically going to be better for simulating room. For instance FAS room reverbs are really good and they're a pleasure to use for headphones. If a tweaked plate reverb made you happy, you'd really enjoy good room reverbs.
I'm really disappointed that the source audio Room algorithm has a built in predelay of about 30 ms minimum. You can raise it past that but can't get it down to zero, or even close to zero. It sounds like a slapback delay at high mix values.

I'm going to try the Helix plate reverb and see if that gives a similar effect, though I'm not expecting much out of it. I'm using the Helix for everything else though right now and I gotta say, using reverb like this has completely changed how I think of their amp modeling. It sounds amazing, I just needed to hear it in the context of an amp-in-the-room, which this reverb at 100% is giving me.

There's another part of this trick that makes it REALLY come alive and fully fool my brain; volume.

The room is not nearly as convincing when I listen and play with this reverb on if I don't have to volume up to emulate how loud the amp would be if it were physically in the room.

If I play at a volume that is more typical to how I'd normally listen to music, something a little louder than conversational in level, then it loses almost all of the magic and doesn't trick my brain in the slightest. As I raise the volume so the room becomes more and more apparent though, the more convinced my ears become that I'm listening to an actually amp in the room without even wearing headphones.

Funny thing is, I can't get anywhere these NEAR these volume levels without the reverb on. Normally the sound is MUCH too in-your-face, far too brash and harsh to get anywhere close to this loud without it downright hurting and sounding just horrible. However, slap the reverb on at 100% and it brings everything down in the same way that moving your ear away from a speaker sounds much more pleasant and well-rounded. This is especially noticeable with low notes and bass. Without the reverb the lower notes tend to be far too boomy and I have to drastically cut the low end (like, at around 160hz) in order to control it. In contrast, in fact I have completely disabled the low cut on the cab block while the reverb is on and it sounds fantastic, the low end is very defined and not boomy at all unless I use the amp controls to dial it in that way on purpose. And it is leagues better than actually listening through my amp in my room without headphones. My room has an incredibly boomy low end resonances. For instance, I have to cut worth a notch EQ at 138hz (C#) by about 15db in to get that note from overpowering everything else. I don't have to do anything drastic like that with this technique, it just sounds like I'm sitting in a well-treated room (though larger than my actual room) . I don't even need high cuts with this either, simply turning down the high EQ on the reverb a little fixed any harshness in the highs completely.

While it might sound like I'm playing at volumes loud enough to be ear-damaging, that's not really the case. I compared the levels I was using with a commercial track from Spotify and its only a little louder than I would normally use when doing some casual music listening. That is only when the reverb is on though, the levels become unbearably harsh as soon as I turn it off and I have to turn my headphone amp down in order to get something more usable.

Funny thing is that turning down the levels at my headphone amp doesn't sound anything like turning down the amp channel volume. So having the room reverb volume very high but the amp volume low sounds exactly like I'm in a room with the amp turned down (reverb is the last thing in my signal chain here, by the way.) Turning down everything all together sounds far more artificial and unnatural, not analogous to anything I've ever experienced in real life without headphones.

Just curious as to what you are plugging your headphones into?
Good question. You might need some power to push your source loud enough to get the effect of being fully immersed in a room, depending on how easy your headphones are to drive. My audio interfaces is a MOTU Ultralite mk4 and I've got one of the stereo outputs of that running into a dedicated Matrix M-Stage headphone amplifier. That thing has a ton of juice on tap, FAR more than the interface's headphone output provides. I'll have to try working on my gain staging though, I could probably set the levels in my Helix and on the Collider quite a bit hotter which would keep me from having to drive the headphone amp so high and would probably let me use just the stock phones output on the interface.

Also, the DT1990's I'm using aren't all that easy to drive, hence why I have a dedicated headphone amp. It's a little easier to drive my Sennheiser HD6XXs which I used for a few minutes with this reverb thing and it works great through those cans as well. Same with my HD58Xs. Gonna try my close set of headphones, DT770s, with this setup here shortly.

Valhalla Room is glorious for headphone guitar ambience! Just the early reflection section alone can create spaces for the guitar to really come alive and breathe, in a way that raw mono generally doesn't (for me, anyway).

Oh, I have and love all of Valhalla's plug-ins, and couldn't agree more about Room being glorious! I've never used it with the mix set anywhere near high enough to get this in-the-room-binaural-effect though, so I'm extremely excited to try it out!

The reason I stayed experimenting with fully-wet reverb mix on my Collider though is that I wanted a non-VST method of simulating a room. Now that I know it works very well, it's going to be really fun diving into the super high quality VST reverb collection that I have. That's how I'm going to spend every minute today! :D
 
Last edited:

JWDubois

Member
Messages
7,589
If I'm reading this right, it sounds like the "room" parameter in the Axe III cab block, which seems to add the body of a reverb without adding the any reverb trails.
 

fancysalmon

Member
Messages
18
Try these two tricks, I've found that they add to the 3D-ness of the sound, especially while playing through headphones:

1) Dual IRs. Find two very similar sounding IRs (it's very important they sound very similar, otherwise it won't work), and pan both 99% left and right (not hard left and right, 99% works better for whatever reason). Makes the sound way more three-dimensional, especially for distorted tones.

2) Chorus. Find a stereo chorus and tinker with the settings so that it sounds super wide, but sounds the least "chorusey". Now start dialing the wet/dry down, and if your particular chorus is right for the job, you'll find that you've widened the stereo image, but it doesn't sound chorusey at all. The effect is somewhat subtle, but try playing for a few minutes with it on, and then turn it off. It won't be so subtle anymore. For VSTs, I recommend Mercuriall WS-1 (it's free), seems to work perfectly for the job.
 

North

Member
Messages
228
I'm really disappointed that the source audio Room algorithm has a built in predelay of about 30 ms minimum. You can raise it past that but can't get it down to zero, or even close to zero. It sounds like a slapback delay at high mix values.

I'm going to try the Helix plate reverb and see if that gives a similar effect, though I'm not expecting much out of it. I'm using the Helix for everything else though right now and I gotta say, using reverb like this has completely changed how I think of their amp modeling. It sounds amazing, I just needed to hear it in the context of an amp-in-the-room, which this reverb at 100% is giving me.

There's another part of this trick that makes it REALLY come alive and fully fool my brain; volume.

The room is not nearly as convincing when I listen and play with this reverb on if I don't have to volume up to emulate how loud the amp would be if it were physically in the room.

If I play at a volume that is more typical to how I'd normally listen to music, something a little louder than conversational in level, then it loses almost all of the magic and doesn't trick my brain in the slightest. As I raise the volume so the room becomes more and more apparent though, the more convinced my ears become that I'm listening to an actually amp in the room without even wearing headphones.

Funny thing is, I can't get anywhere these NEAR these volume levels without the reverb on. Normally the sound is MUCH too in-your-face, far too brash and harsh to get anywhere close to this loud without it downright hurting and sounding just horrible. However, slap the reverb on at 100% and it brings everything down in the same way that moving your ear away from a speaker sounds much more pleasant and well-rounded. This is especially noticeable with low notes and bass. Without the reverb the lower notes tend to be far too boomy and I have to drastically cut the low end (like, at around 160hz) in order to control it. In contrast, in fact I have completely disabled the low cut on the cab block while the reverb is on and it sounds fantastic, the low end is very defined and not boomy at all unless I use the amp controls to dial it in that way on purpose. And it is leagues better than actually listening through my amp in my room without headphones. My room has an incredibly boomy low end resonances. For instance, I have to cut worth a notch EQ at 138hz (C#) by about 15db in to get that note from overpowering everything else. I don't have to do anything drastic like that with this technique, it just sounds like I'm sitting in a well-treated room (though larger than my actual room) . I don't even need high cuts with this either, simply turning down the high EQ on the reverb a little fixed any harshness in the highs completely.

While it might sound like I'm playing at volumes loud enough to be ear-damaging, that's not really the case. I compared the levels I was using with a commercial track from Spotify and its only a little louder than I would normally use when doing some casual music listening. That is only when the reverb is on though, the levels become unbearably harsh as soon as I turn it off and I have to turn my headphone amp down in order to get something more usable.

Funny thing is that turning down the levels at my headphone amp doesn't sound anything like turning down the amp channel volume. So having the room reverb volume very high but the amp volume low sounds exactly like I'm in a room with the amp turned down (reverb is the last thing in my signal chain here, by the way.) Turning down everything all together sounds far more artificial and unnatural, not analogous to anything I've ever experienced in real life without headphones.


Good question. You might need some power to push your source loud enough to get the effect of being fully immersed in a room, depending on how easy your headphones are to drive. My audio interfaces is a MOTU Ultralite mk4 and I've got one of the stereo outputs of that running into a dedicated Matrix M-Stage headphone amplifier. That thing has a ton of juice on tap, FAR more than the interface's headphone output provides. I'll have to try working on my gain staging though, I could probably set the levels in my Helix and on the Collider quite a bit hotter which would keep me from having to drive the headphone amp so high and would probably let me use just the stock phones output on the interface.

Also, the DT1990's I'm using aren't all that easy to drive, hence why I have a dedicated headphone amp. It's a little easier to drive my Sennheiser HD6XXs which I used for a few minutes with this reverb thing and it works great through those cans as well. Same with my HD58Xs. Gonna try my close set of headphones, DT770s, with this setup here shortly.



Oh, I have and love all of Valhalla's plug-ins, and couldn't agree more about Room being glorious! I've never used it with the mix set anywhere near high enough to get this in-the-room-binaural-effect though, so I'm extremely excited to try it out!

The reason I stayed experimenting with fully-wet reverb mix on my Collider though is that I wanted a non-VST method of simulating a room. Now that I know it works very well, it's going to be really fun diving into the super high quality VST reverb collection that I have. That's how I'm going to spend every minute today! :D
For Helix, try the Tile reverb with a high mix, around .6 second decay and a high cut around 6K or so. Its been a while since I had Helix, so can´t remember the other settings.
 

Starquasi

Member
Messages
203
This has been one of the best discoveries/ideas I’ve stolen in the last year (I stole it from Jon at Sonic Drive studios) Placing a room reverb immediately after my cab or IR, before other modulation/delay/reverb effects has made a huge improvement in my IEM experience with the Helix. It even seems to improve the....wait for it... “feel”...

:hide
 




Top