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Acustica Audio Silver

Acustica Audio Silver

The masters of convolution have finally produced a reverb, but it’s far from being a straightforward convolution reverb.

When we hear the word ‘convolution’, we half expect it to be followed by the word ‘reverb’. But the developers who have done the most to push the boundaries of convolution have, until now, used it for practically everything except reverb. There have been reverb IR libraries for Acustica’s Nebula, and the Ebony channel strip plug‑in includes a reverb, but Silver is Acustica’s first dedicated reverb plug‑in.

The Silver plug‑in itself is free, and comes with four presets to show off what it can do; Acustica aim to make their money by selling additional Volumes of content. However, these are not conventional impulse response libraries, and Silver is not a conventional IR player.

In developing Silver, Acustica identified two long‑standing problems that, they feel, afflict convolution reverb in general. One is that basic convolution can only capture a ‘static’ impression of a space or other reverb generator; it can’t recreate the subtle variations, modulations and non‑linearities that contribute to the sound. The other is that acoustic and electro‑mechanical sources of reverb are, by their very nature, imperfect. Even halls that we perceive as sounding good exhibit resonances and other behaviours that can become problematic when IRs are captured and applied to dry sounds.

To combat both of these tendencies, Acustica have developed a proprietary technology that combines machine learning and conventional DSP techniques. This applies what they call ‘micro‑equalisation’ to correct resonances and imperfections as they occur, and ‘crossfeed’ to add motion to the sound. Although details are scant, these seem to be paired with a proprietary measurement technique that captures the properties of a source space in a rather different way from conventional IR recording.

Acustica have developed a proprietary technology that combines machine learning and conventional DSP techniques. This applies what they call ‘micro‑equalisation’ to correct resonances and imperfections as they occur.

A Is For Reverb

At launch, only one Volume is available, containing over 120 samples from 77 different physical spaces. About half of these represent recording studios, churches, concert halls and other environments relevant to music production; the rest are drawn from domestic and other interiors of the sort that might be used in post‑production. Volume A takes up some 10GB of drive space and, like the Silver plug‑in itself, is downloaded and authorised painlessly through Acustica’s Aquarius utility.

The Silver plug‑in itself, meanwhile, comes in...

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