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 Forum index » How-tos » Production - engineering/mixing
Has software reverb caught up to hardware?
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bozak



Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 4
Location: toronto

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Has software reverb caught up to hardware?
Subject description: Is my PCM-81 (Lexicon) ready for ebay?
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I am a relative novice to recording.

I've been playing with Live 5, and have a number of outboard synths, plus the usual guitars, bases, and a couple of outboard FX like a FilterFactory and a KaosPad II.

I also have a Lexicon PCM 81 (which I find a bit of a pain to tweak, but) which sounds really nice. People tend to ooo and ahh at the sight of one (at least small, home studio types Wink but does it still live up to it's reputation vs. the latest software plugins?

(as an aside, I recently picked up a Mackie Onyx mixer with firewire, but to my dissapointment I can't seem to send digital signal to my PC POST FX loop. I know recording dry and adding FX later is the "right" way to do things, but even in that scenario, once multiple digital tracks are on the hard disk, getting a send from the "virtual" mixer out through the PCM 81, then back in for mixdown has me stifled.)

Meanwhile, (back on topic Wink someone has offered to buy my PCM 81 and I'm wondering if the latest software based reverb/fx are able to achieve that big, silky sound.

I was looking at Altiverb 5 which I have heard good things about, and have googled for discussion of hardware vs. software verb in general, but I haven't come across a good discussion on harware vs. software reverb that's less than a couple of years old.

I know how much progress has been made even in the last couple of years in music software quality and stability, and obviously, processor power is much less of an issue.

So, do I keep the PCM 81 just 'cause it's one of those wonderful things (like a good vintage guitar) or do I accept that this is a different case, where we're actually talking about a hardware verb that is still "digital" and "software based" (albeit with "dedicated" hardware and proprietary algorithms) and face the future so to speak.

Any thoughts, oppinions, insights are welcome and appreciated!!

Thanks

Earl

Waldorf Q/Microwave XT
Novation Nova
DSI Evolver
Nord Lead I
MiniMoog
Korg EMX1
...and other stray dogs I've adopted Smile


Not to mention that
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 2483
Location: Denver
Audio files: 1
G2 patch files: 18

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One thing you might figure out is the spare CPU% you have. A good verb takes a fair amount of calculation. Some so much that unless you only run the one verb and no other plugins, they're intended to be used while rendering, not realtime performance.

You should get some trial versions, or there's some real good freeware ones too. Glaceverb is nice, so is SIR, if you like Convolutional reverbs (though you'll see the latency with that one!). Then see what you PC handles, and whether it can replace your PCM81 (I'm still holding on to my MPX-1).
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