A WHOLE UNIVERSE OF REVERBERATION
Now unveiling “Planetary Convolution” – a pack of Reverb Impulse Responses, each based on a planet (including dwarf planets!) of our Solar System.
Each of the examples were created using different custom settings of Ableton’s built-in Reverb Algorithm, re-sculpted into Impulse Responses, and then further enhanced. Each is presented as a “Convolution Reverb Pro” preset for Ableton Live 9 (+MaxForLive) with individual IRs, tone control parameters and a special 1-knob extra effect for each.
Using Ableton Live, the presets will open with their corresponding impulse files automatically.
Mercury Reverb – Has a sizzling, bright tone, like you’re getting fried by the sun. Xtra FX: “Liquid” – adds a creamy movement; molten.
Venus Reverb – Sandy-sounding with a smooth high end. Xtra FX: “Scorch” – adds a subtle fuzz which is affected by the tone control. Also has an enhanced “Thick Chorus” control.
Earth Reverb – Our good ol’ home planet, you know? This has a medium room sound, good for hip hop drums. The overall tone is (you guessed it) earthy. Xtra FX: “Gravel” – this adds a nice gritty, chalky color to the reverb.
Mars Reverb – This reverb has a punchy, forthright quality. It is well-suited for march-style drum patterns, brass, or other high-energy instruments. Xtra FX: “Anger” – dials in some burning bite to the sound.
Jupiter Reverb – This reverb has a ridiculously long and smooth tail (25.6 seconds to be precise). Use this for extreme spaciousness and super fade-outs. Xtra FX: “Storm Swirl” – adds movement to the sound as you get carried along the current.
Saturn Reverb – Very large and with a resonant, ringy quality. Xtra FX: “Rings Twirl” – take a trip along the concentric circles.
Uranus Reverb – Has a billowy texture, as if enveloped in thick fog. Xtra FX: “Vapor” – adds a smokey layer of reverbish decay.
Neptune Reverb – Has an icy, chilly spaciousness. Xtra FX: “Frost” – dial in some crystalline crunch.
Pluto Reverb – Very small, very cold. Just listening to it will drop your body temperature by a few degrees. Xtra FX: “Interior” – fade into the interior cavity of the sphere. It must be hollow?
Eris Reverb – A lesser-known dwarf planet, Eris is known as the Goddess of Chaos, having a bizarre orbit. It has a short, foreboding sound, like the feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Xtra FX: “Dirt” – adds a muted, broken darkness.
Reverbs By Style
Booth Type (very small) Pluto / Eris
Room Type (small) Mercury / Venus / Earth / Mars
Hall Type (large) /Uranus / Neptune /Saturn
Epic Type (vast) Jupiter
Ableton Racks Macro Controls
Dry/Wet: Convolution Reverbs tend to be quite lush, and often are audible at even 1% wet. These start at 23% as a default starting position — make sure to adjust this carefully to not over-use reverb.
Tone: Starts in the middle by default. Each planetary reverb has its own unique band interactive filtration which will occur upon moving the “Tone” control up or down. If you have the EQ pane open, you can see a visualizer of the audio input spectrum and the EQ curves. After adjusting with the “Tone” dial, you can grab any of the 3 individual EQ nodes and adjust them by hand to fine-tune (they are not “locked” to the control). However once you move the tone knob again, that planet’s custom filter curve will take over again.
Distance: This begins at the default (normal) setting. Turning it down will make the object sound closer; turning it up will make it sound further away. Use this to alter the spatial depth of elements in a mix.
Special Effect: This Macro is named differently for each planet, and has a different sonic effect on each.
Predelay: The time before the reverb first begins. Can be useful for preserving your original transients or adding a stuttered rhythmic feel.
Chorus: Adds a subtle creamy stereo movement. The planet Venus has a more extreme “Thick Chorus”.
Stereo Width: Lower settings place the reverb at the middle of the stereo field; greater setting lead to more spread up til the maximum possible.
You Can Also: Using controls on the Convolution Pro device (which aren’t mappable to the audio effect rack), one is able to lengthen or shorten the decay, shorten or lengthen the size, combine 2 different planet IRs attack and decay sections, alter the shape of the early reflections and length, cause “cascade” overlapping of decay curve, implement reverb fade-in or fade-out, adjust the Damping Curve (basically the EQ for the decay), or even flip the reverb into a reverse reverb.