Haven’t you ever wanted to replicate the acoustics of an Egypt pyramid?
What about the Sistine Chapel? Or perhaps Wembley Stadium?
Of course you have. Who wouldn’t want to?
Well, Altiverb 7 is probably the plugin that you’re going to want.
The software developers are Audio Ease, who are based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. They have some interesting additional products in the mix, including Speakerphone which I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on.
In a nutshell, Altiverb 7 allows you to replicate acoustics, echo, spaces and reverb.
I think that Audio Ease says it best:
“… it lets you combine your input sound with any of these acoustic fingerprints, and it allows you to make your own samples of acoustic spaces.”
It has a number of different functions that you can utilize:
- Library of Acoustics – 18 bed rooms, 30 car interiors, trains, boats, forest, stadiums, bathrooms and many more….
- Reverb gear and purpose built echo chambers
- Experimental impulse responses
- Stage positioning
- Musical gates and delays
- Modulation tools
SIR2, Space Design, IR1, TL Space, Revolver, Liquid Sonics Reverberate, Aether.
The Run Down
Beyond the fact that this plug in is incredibly fun to play around with, it is also an essential for anyone in the post production/sound design industry.
We all know that things on-set don’t always go as planned. To be able to replicate the acoustics of the input can be a massive money and time saver. Instead of going back on site or spending hours searching for a sample that has the exact same echo, you can simply create the space anew from scratch and focus on creating a quality designs that create atmosphere. People simply don’t have the time and money for re-recordings and with sound, there are so many variables that can mean a recording just isn’t up to scratch (traffic, air traffic, noise, quality of recording equipment, to name a few). Altiverb 7, for myself, offers a certain piece of mind. It allows the design process to be more cost effective in the long run and for the finished product to be more realistic to the audience. You can be more fluid with post recording changes and create a better working experience for the entire crew by making the post production process easier and quicker.
However, not everything is about fixing mistakes and sometimes (as the name, sound design suggests) there is a need for creativity that physical locations simply can’t produce. For fantasy, horror and sci-fi genre productions, there are often sounds that are incredibly difficult to emulate in real life. How do you replicate the echo of boots on a walkway, suspended over ten stories of hollow space? How do you refine the acoustics of a scream in a small, claustrophobic chamber? This is where Altiverb 7 really shows it’s true colors. It allows you to transport the setting and to provide a level of realism that travel budgets sometimes can not provide. Sound is not just the touch of a finger on a piano key but the echo of that note as it fills the room; the way that it sounds if the actor is sitting eight rows from the front, instead of right beside it. To be able to provide realism to the visuals gives your own design a sense of credibility but overall makes the finished product higher quality.
I continue to be impressed by Audio Ease’s focus on the Altiverb 7 product and the fact that they continue to update their library regularly. When money is spent on technology, there can be the fear that the technology will become redundant relatively quickly after purchase. However, having watched the updates trickle in, I feel confident that the software developers are still focused on the product and are committed to keeping it at the forefront of the market.
The interface is also quite intuitively designed. Most sound designers will, due to the nature of the job, be technologically savvy. Even so, we all probably remember our first glimpse of ProTools and the sense of confusion that slapped us in the face (although now it’s like second nature to navigate). With Altiverb, I didn’t feel a sense of dread at having to understand the interface but instead a sense of excitement as I clicked through the easy to navigate functions and categories.
I’d go as far as to say that this is an absolute necessity for anyone involved professionally in the Sound Design / Audio Production industry. Already, I’ve used this plugin countless times and having it available can make all the difference when a production team is deciding who their sound designer will be.
Yes, the plugin is expensive. But I personally believe that the price is outweighed by the benefits. With such a versatile range of functions at your disposal, the time saving costs alone make this value for money!