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How to make distant sound?

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#1 Robbie S

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 23:31

Ok... I'm making a song (or more of a cover really) and I'm using a guitar sound that is supposed to sound like it's "far away".

 

I can not for my life get it to sound right. It's not specifically a guitar sound, really. Just how to make any sound/instrument sound like it's in the background, so to speak. Just lowering the volume doesn't do the trick. I tried to add some reverb, but that just makes it sound messy.

 

So, if you are sitting on a top-notch-technique to achieve this, please help a fellow Renoiser out.

 

KTHXBAI

 



#2 Neurogami

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 00:31

Reverb, generally, helps create space.  Also try cutting the higher frequencies.  Lower frequencies tend to carry farther.

 

http://physics.stack...onger-distances

 

 

Cut the high end, add some (not cathedral) reverb, lower the volume.

 



#3 ffx

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 01:34

Basic practical approach for understanding reverberation :

 

Think of a rectangle room, you as listener in the middle (horizontal). Now place the instruments in front of you.

Think of the dry amount and the wet reverbed signal separately. For now, only take care about the rear wall as the reverb reflection. In this basic reverb model the following will happen:

 

A ) near instruments

 

- dry signal comes without delay and most less eq-ed  (talking about only negative/subtractive eq-ing).

- The wet amount comes much delayed in milliseconds, because the sound has to travel to the rear wall and the again back to your ears.

- The reverb tail is much more dull, because higher frequencies loose quicker energy than lower frequencies while traveling thru air.

- The tail basically is smaller eq-ed than the dry signal. Also the wet amount is much quieter than the dry signal.

- The dry signal will arrive mostly punctual, non-wide. Thru absorption the reverb tail isn't that long.

 

B ) distant instruments

 

- dry signal comes about half time delayed of the drys wet signal. It is about the same half eq-diff (distant dry vs. near dry) like near's dry-wet difference, since all the way only one time to travel.

- The wet part comes in at almost the same time with the dry part.

- The reverb here is the brightest/original of all possible - in relation the the dry signal.

- The signals are very wide. And also more long, because less absorption.

- The dry signal is of course much quieter than the dry signal of the near instrument.

- To maximize the distant effect, you can also eq the wet signal a bit larger than the dry signal. 

 

C ) By combining A and B, you now can place instruments in between

 

D ) Place the instruments in panning maybe like a band (meh). Low bass always middle ( you cannot hear panning below 100 Hz). The more distant the place, the less wide (but only slightly) can be the panning.

 

E ) Bass reflections are mostly annoying and should be filtered

 

F ) same rules for delay

 

G ) You can think about this also for the left and right wall. Basically I would recommend here a simply a delay with filters (multi tap device). It's the same, just rotated by 90 degree.

 

H ) Using multiple EQs is totally ok. This is digital.

 

I ) Advanced stuff: transients, ear space difference / haas

 

J ) Crazily advanced stuff: Rotate your head now 

 

K ) Just use a modern reverb plugin and move "distance" slider


Edited by ffx_away, 27 December 2016 - 15:33.

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#4 Beatslaughter

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 01:41

http://www.tokyodawn.net/proximity/



#5 sodiufas

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:27

First of all u have to establish yr scale..



#6 Robbie S

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:04

Thanks for the help, ya'll!

 

Ended up lowering the Dry gain, increased the reverb & width, lowered the volume and cut of the high frequencies a bit. Sounds pretty much the way I want now.



#7 TheBellows

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 16:28

Personally i have stopped using the "width", because it's not mono compatible. In other words it will sound bad in mono when using the "width".

I mostly use the convolver to make it sound distant, just tries a variety of IRs from my collection to find one that suits. There are some IRs around that  are made primarily for adding width.


Edited by TheBellows, 19 December 2016 - 16:29.

 

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#8 vitaminx

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 17:27

There are some IRs around that  are made primarily for adding width.

 

Are they free to download? Do you have a link?

Thanks :)


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#9 TheBellows

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 17:37

Are they free to download? Do you have a link?

Thanks :)

Oh, there are so many sources with free IRs, but i'm not shure of these exact ones that i just recall seeing somewhere. I usually find stuff with google though, so you should search for the appropriate keywords and you may be lucky.

Edit: actually when i come to think of it i'm not shure if there where IR files for this i remember, but rather a plugin that used convolution to enhance width? My memory is so so. :P

But then if a plugin uses convolution to enhance width there got to be some IR samples involved...


Edited by TheBellows, 19 December 2016 - 17:54.

 

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#10 OopsIFly

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 18:01

I can second, probably the easiest and most effective way to create an illusion of placement in space are impulse responses (IR). Most authentic would be impulse responses actually capturing a sound in a certain distance. Some responses capture artificial reverb devices, but the good ones are actually recorded bangs or sine sweeps in real (otherwise dead silent) spaces.

 

"OpenAIR" is a place with a few spaces, you will find others googling for "impulse response(s)". Some freebies on the net are of suboptimal quality though (not crisp, no even frequency curve), but sometimes this gives a nice extra effect.

 

You can cut & fade out to smoothen the reverb tail in a sample editor if it is too heavy, the main positional cue might still stay intact. But the right amount of reverb does add a great amount of believability of a space and a position to the illusion, so don't cut too much of it. Downside is you are bound to a single position for the sound, crossfading the convolved sounds won't be perfect for moving them.



#11 vitaminx

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 18:12

"OpenAIR" is a place with a few spaces...

 

Oh yes, nice one, I used some of their IRs before but forgot about that site :P

 

but the good ones are actually recorded bangs or sine sweeps in real (otherwise dead silent) spaces.

 

Using IR recorded by baloon bangs or claps is easy with the convolver, but how would you use IR recordings of sine sweeps in Renoise?
Wouldn't you need to substract the sine from the IR recording somehow?


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#12 OopsIFly

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 18:28

You need to "deconvolve" it with a tool that is able to do it right, giving the exact original sine sweep sample as reference. Then the tool will fold the sine sweep (result) into something that would happen if a perfect impulse (all the frequencies from the sweep, but at once and not in progression) was the source generating the response. Much better Quality than using claps, bangs, or whatever.



#13 Ancient Origin

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 21:26

-eq the high end down

-fatten the track width

-slap a mpreveb on

 

?



#14 Robbie S

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:57

Personally i have stopped using the "width", because it's not mono compatible. In other words it will sound bad in mono when using the "width".

I mostly use the convolver to make it sound distant, just tries a variety of IRs from my collection to find one that suits. There are some IRs around that  are made primarily for adding width.

 

I'm using the KORG M1 VST which I would guess is in stereo. I hope. I'll play around with the convolver and see what that leads to.



#15 TheBellows

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 16:09

You need to "deconvolve" it with a tool that is able to do it right, giving the exact original sine sweep sample as reference. Then the tool will fold the sine sweep (result) into something that would happen if a perfect impulse (all the frequencies from the sweep, but at once and not in progression) was the source generating the response. Much better Quality than using claps, bangs, or whatever.

Do you know how these tools do it right? I mean, as far as i have understood the basic theory behind IR samples is to record a sine sweep in the space you want and then subtract the sweep from the recording and you're left with an IR representing the reverb of the specific placements in this space. If i try this in Renoise by adding a phase inverted version of the sweep to the recording, would i ever be able to make this work? My guess is no, so i haven't bothered testing it yet.... :P


 

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#16 ffx

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 16:38

Korg M1 only was/is mono (no osc panning), but the built-in fx are stereo AFAIK.


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#17 OopsIFly

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 17:12

No, it isn't as easy as that. You need a special tool capable of doing the number grinding. If you compare a sweep to an impulse, you will see the sweep can be seen as an impulse smeared in time considerably. Deconvolution will undo this smearing, and will move the sweep echoes with it. So - shifting each frequency of the recorded sample in time with the original sweep as time scale master template. The benefit of a sweep over the clicks is a sheer improvement in data resolution and less problems with sweep/impulse playback hardware inaccuracies.

 

Also maybe some tools can remove and/or equalize-correct it, but the sweep will actually stay in the response, just folded together to an impulse (a pretty click) by the deconvolution letting through some quasi-dry signal as recorded by the mics.

 

I you want to capture phase/delay and frequency response of a plugin, you can also just fire a one sample 1.0 click followed by zeroes through the plugin, record the output, and put the result into convolver. It will capture and reproduce filtering and delay/reverb/comb/phase actions, but not distortions or anything else adding harmonics or tearing. The sweep/deconvolution is really just for extra quality.


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#18 TheBellows

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 17:27

No, it isn't as easy as that. You need a special tool capable of doing the number grinding. If you compare a sweep to an impulse, you will see the sweep can be seen as an impulse smeared in time considerably. Deconvolution will undo this smearing, and will move the sweep echoes with it. So - shifting each frequency of the recorded sample in time with the original sweep as time scale master template. The benefit of a sweep over the clicks is a sheer improvement in data resolution and less problems with sweep/impulse playback hardware inaccuracies.

 

Also maybe some tools can remove and/or equalize-correct it, but the sweep will actually stay in the response, just folded together to an impulse (a pretty click) by the deconvolution letting through some quasi-dry signal as recorded by the mics.

 

I you want to capture phase/delay and frequency response of a plugin, you can also just fire a one sample 1.0 click followed by zeroes through the plugin, record the output, and put the result into convolver. It will capture and reproduce filtering and delay/reverb/comb/phase actions, but not distortions or anything else adding harmonics or tearing. The sweep/deconvolution is really just for extra quality.

You seem to have the answer as usual, thank you OopslFly!

 

I really would like to make my own IRs, but i rather make them from real world reverb than from plugins, though it seems like a nice trick. Would i be able to get a convincing result by simply recording a short click with my tascam recorder over the room? I guess background noise would suck out much of the realism? Would it even be possible to record such a small click without killing my monitors?


Edited by TheBellows, 20 December 2016 - 17:29.

 

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#19 vitaminx

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 17:35

Would it even be possible to record such a small click without killing my monitors?

 

Some of the IR recordings I saw are created by popping an air balloon.

Seems like a smaller investment than bying a new pair of speakers after each IR recording  ;)

Not sure about the quality of the resulting IR though compared to other methods.


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#20 TheBellows

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 17:45

Some of the IR recordings I saw are created by popping an air balloon.

Seems like a smaller investment than bying a new pair of speakers after each IR recording  ;)

Not sure about the quality of the resulting IR though compared to other methods.

Hmm, wouldn't that color the sound quite a lot? Should probably work well for making effects, but can i achieve realistic results with balloons? Maybe if i cut off the actual pop sound and leave the release tail? 


 

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#21 vitaminx

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 18:13

https://www.gearslut...ding-field.html

http://marjan.fesb.h...ic-aaaa2007.pdf

 

some interesting read on the topic


Edited by vitaminx, 20 December 2016 - 18:14.

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#22 OopsIFly

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 22:11

Thanks, I will read into those docs soon!

 

I just thought something else, regarding the sine sweeps. I'm not really deep into this matter, but it seems logical somehow. Shouldn't it be fair enough for rough tries to just reverse the sweep used, and then convolve the recorded data with it? I'll try that soon in the digital domain, when no colourage from speaker and mic are in the game, and when I have the cdp tool installed on my system...seems too easy for me right now...

 

Ofc sweeps are grand, they don't blow speakers so fast like impulses, and the whole wattage of the speaker gets concentrated at one frequency at a time. But you have one downside, it is very annoying, you need good speakers and a good mic, and the time where about any slight background noise can fuck up your ir of that special place is stretched painfully, so you have to record again and again because of that dog barking, and the guy sneezing, and your heavy panting of pain of expectation of yet another noise....


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#23 vitaminx

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 22:30

it is very annoying, you need good speakers and a good mic, and the time where about any slight background noise can fuck up your ir of that special place is stretched painfully, so you have to record again and again because of that dog barking, and the guy sneezing, and your heavy panting of pain of expectation of yet another noise....

 

No one said it's easy ;)

 

EDIT: or cheap, lets take an example made by Pros:

http://www.openairli...ctory-warehouse

 

done with:

- Genelec S30D Speaker / $2850

- Neumann KM 140 Cardioid / $1350

- Soundfield SPS422B Microphone / $5500
 
Total: ~$10k
 
 
And that's only the beginning, probably more speakers are needed for omnidirectional sine sweep + probably something between 2 and 6 mics are needed to do Stereo / 5.1 recordings. Do the math! :P
 
That's probably why almost all the people uploading IR recordings to openairlib.net are researchers, scientist, professors - most likely with some considerable funding.

Edited by vitaminx, 21 December 2016 - 17:21.

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#24 Robbie S

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 15:51

Korg M1 only was/is mono (no osc panning), but the built-in fx are stereo AFAIK.

 

Oh... maybe that's why I thought it was in stereo. Either way, I got it to sound the way I wanted using Renoise built-in fx and Korgs own fx.



#25 TheBellows

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 16:52

Haha, i guess i'll be going the lo fi version either way, i'm definately not buying a 5K+ mic the next few millenniums. :D

 

Edit: I can't wait to go to my secret spot in the woods where echo sounds unreal, i'm baffled everytime i go there. I could try to throw a rock off the cliff, but i guess it would bounce around and make a whole lot of noise. I could ask my friend to bring his hunting rifle, but i doubt he wants to be caught with a rifle in the middle of a national park. We are however close to new years eve and they start right about now to sell this horrible firework crap, so i could buy some of those and make a homemade firecracker with on big bang (firecrackers aren't allowed here not even around new year, but huge and dangerous fireworks containing firecrackers are ok, one or two weeks in the year, obviously. This all makes sense if you put all logic aside ). I guess that would be my best choice.


Edited by TheBellows, 21 December 2016 - 21:19.

 

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