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Parametric Spring Reverberation Effect

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The unique sonic quality of spring reverberation, and its historical importance in many musical genres, motivated implementing this sound with modern digital signal processing techniques. Spring reverberation produces chirplike responses. Rather than attempt to reproduce the physical vibrations of springs, this research uses a parametric model to duplicate their sound. The basic model consists of a spectral delay filter placed into a feedback loop with a long delay line and a selectable loop gain. A delay line is modulated with a strongly correlated random-number sequence. Parameters such as delay time, chirp shape, and decay rate can be adjusted.

JAES Volume 58 Issue 7/8 pp. 547-562; July 2010
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Alex U. Case
Alex U. Case

Comment posted September 10, 2010 @ 15:29:54 UTC (Comment permalink)

This is terrific work! Thanks for reminding us of the relevance of the mighty spring reverb. We have actual spring reverbs in our studios and look forward to plug-ins to do similar.

There is probably no better example than the spring for making the point that reverberation in recorded music isn't just about simulating a space. The strong spectral coloration and unique decay envelope of the spring (and the plate, and any digital algorithm we choose) can be used deliberately by the mix engineer to alter the timbre of any track. A wonderfully more interesting alternative to EQ, springs coax a new timbre, a new texture out of a sound. Your work here will help us do this more effectively next time we mix.

-Alex Case
Sound Recording Technology
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Sound FX (focal press)

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