Waves brings convolution-based reverberation and reverb sampling into more usable form with the introduction of the IR-1 convolution (sampling)-based software reverb.
The IR-1 is a sampling reverb with classic control of the primary reverberation parameters, making the power of convolution available in an easy-to-use form. IR-1 comes with a library of over 60 sampled actual impulse responses from real halls, famous hardware-based reverb devices, rooms, and other spaces as varied as the Santa Cecilia auditorium in Rome to world-famous recording studios, to Nashville's Bluebird Caf , to the interior of a Lincoln Navigator. All the samples' parameters can be controlled conventionally, from the graphic front panel -- a first for convolution technology.
Traditionally, conventional reverb devices have been popular because of their extensive control, with easily varied parameters to set room size, RT60, filtering, and other characteristics. Meanwhile, convolution-based, or "sampling" reverbs have been able to offer the sound of real spaces, but in the past it has proved impossible for them to offer the same degree of control as in the case of conventional digital reverberation units.
Now the IR-1 offers familiar, parametric control, for the first time in a convolution-based sampling reverb system. The parameters really are variable -- it's not simply filtering to get the effect of changing a setting -- and the control is generally from 0.25 to four times the natural parameter value.
For example, the user can vary the RT60 reverberation time of an actual sampled space, and also change the size of the space without losing its character according to Waves. Graphical breakpoint envelopes allow the decay shape to be infinitely modified to suit the application. Change the reverb density, analyze the frequency response and derive the room nodes, use de-correlation to optimize the stereophonic character of the reverb, add gain and pre-delay to each portion of the reverb curve -- the possibilities are endless. Innovative filtering enables the damping to be precisely controlled, and there's a classic Waves 4-band parametric EQ to control the color of the reverberation.
The technology of the IR-1 was the subject of a paper at the AES 24th International Conference in June 2003. The technique for sampling the library uses a unique combination of microphone array, including a dummy head, ORTF, and Soundfield microphones mounted on a computer controlled turntable, for astonishing accuracy and realism. Each space is sampled from multiple locations, at 96kHz and 32-bit floating point for maximum resolution, dynamic range, and SNR.
A 14-day free demo of the IR-1 is available from authorized Waves dealers or at www.waves.com. The IR-1 ships in January 2004 and is supported on Mac and PC programs via RTAS, HTDM (Mac), AudioSuite, VST, DirectX (Win), MAS (Mac), and Audio Units (Mac). The Native version has an MSRP of $800 and the HTDM version carries an MSRP of $1200.