Using… AltiSpace and Audio Reverb

Music App Blog gives a great overview of AltiSpace and there’s not much I can add to that. Given that it only supports IAA, not Audio Units, and is somewhat CPU intensive, the obvious role for AltiSpace is as a Send effect, and that is how I’ve used it so far.

One of nice features of convolution reverbs like AltiSpace is that they can be expanded with new impulse response (IR) files and there are many cheap or free ones available. There is a nice collection at EchoThief. It is a bit tedious to import IR files into AltiSpace, but here is a process that worked for me.

  1. Download the zip file and open in AudioShare:
    img_0610
    The files appear in AudioShare as a top-level “EchoThiefImpulseResponseLibrary” folder that you can drill into to see folders and then drill in again to see individual files.
  2. Import with AltiSpace – drill down to a file, click the “export” button and “Import to AltiSpace”:img_0611
  3. Convert to sample – the file won’t be available for use in AltiSpace until it is converted to a sample. First, find the file in AltiSpace by clicking on Settings at the top then Files at the bottom, then the file itself.img_0612
  4. Now click “Convert to sample” and note where it put it – in this case Other.Converted.TransitCenter:img_0613
  5. You may want to click the Samples button and change the Device and Group to more easily find it later. Here I’ve changed the Device to “EchoThief” and Group to “Stairwells” to more closely match the structure in AudioShare.img_0614
  6. Use the sample – Finally, click the Settings button to go back to the main application screen and find the sample in the selector on the rightimg_0615

Now AltiSpace is ready to be opened in an IAA host, Cubasis in my case.

How does it compare to Audio Reverb? In a word, “different”. Smite Matter gives a good write up on this app
as does Music App Blog. The key features for me are the range of sounds achievable (both the presets provided and the tweakability) and the fact that it supports the Audio Units protocol, meaning it can be used multiple times in the same DAW project. This makes it suitable for use in the Insert effect slots of tracks and not just a single Send effect.

The only tip I’ve come across for Audio Reverb is that you cannot save a preset in Audio Unit mode. So if you think you might want to  save the results of you’re tweaking, do it in IAA mode first, save your preset, and then switch to Audio Unit mode and recall your saved preset.

The biggest deficiency of both apps is the inability to automate any of the effect parameters. Cubasis does allow the send level to be automated, but not for insert effects. And neither supports MIDI input so that work-around is not available either. Bummer.

In my latest project, I wanted to control the dry/wet level of an insert reverb as a special effect. What I did was to set up an Audio Reverb instance as an insert effect 100% wet. Then I froze the track, moved the resulting audio to a second track, unfroze, and then turned off the effect in the original track. Now the volume level of the wet track can be automated to achieve the desired control. It looks like this:
img_0617

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