Most visitors to MusicRadar will be acquainted with reverb and its various applications in music production and sound design, and readers versed in the tools of electronic music-making may well have heard of convolution reverb, too.
This type of reverb, introduced to the market two decades ago, has since become one of the most popular means of generating digitally produced reverb and lies behind some of the most popular reverb plugins and tools used in both music production and media post-production.
All reverbs, convolution or not, imitate the sound that is generated by the reverberant characteristics of a physical space. But the way that convolution reverbs achieve this is unique.
Where algorithmic reverbs simulate these characteristics through the use of mathematical algorithms, convolution reverbs utilise what are called impulse responses - recordings of sounds produced in an acoustic space - to model the acoustic profile of these spaces and generate realistic reverbs that sound just like the real thing.
Though this type of reverb is often taken advantage of by those working in post-production for film and television to emulate the reverb sound of particular spaces and locations, convolution reverb is also a highly musical tool, and one that presents a huge amount of creative potential to the music producer, beatmaker or recording artist. And while there are a number of convolution reverbs available on the market, there’s only one that delivers the level of flexibility, control and quality of spatial reproduction that is demanded by the modern music producer: Paragon ST.
Paragon ST is a convolution reverb that gives producers the flexibility of an algorithmic reverb. What this means in practice is that, while the majority of convolution reverbs provide a number of static impulse responses with fixed characteristics that the user is able to choose between (or modify using time stretching or other techniques that degrade the audio quality), Paragon enables the user to modify the decay and room size parameters for any impulse response from within the plugin.
This is made possible through revolutionary technology developed by Paragon alongside notable academic partners that analyzes, decomposes and resynthesizes impulse responses to create new and authentic spaces, without sacrificing the clarity and quality of the reverb sound.
This means that those using Paragon’s convolution reverb will no longer need to keep a mammoth library to hand packed full of every size and shape of impulse response: with Paragon ST, only a select few are necessary, which can be tweaked to configure a near-limitless amount of spaces. Within the plugin’s dedicated IR panel, the user can easily change the frequency response of real spaces by EQing the reverb model and adjusting its frequency-dependent decay rate.
Paragon ST repurposes the game-changing technology found in Nugen Audio’s Paragon plugin, favoured as an industry-standard by those working in sound design for media, film and television, into a package that’s geared solely towards music production. As a result, it’s packed full of useful controls that make it a versatile tool for processing pretty much any source material, from vocals and guitars to drums, synths and much more.
The plugin’s mic distance control enables the user to fine-tune early reverb reflections in order to emulate an increase or decrease in distance between the source sound and the listener, without modifying the sound of the space itself. For example, when processing vocals for a bedroom pop track, the user will be able to quickly and easily use the mic distance control to make the vocal sound closer or further away, perhaps allowing for interesting spatial variations between the track’s verse and chorus.
In addition to the mic distance control, Paragon ST is outfitted with tempo-locked pre-delay and modulation controls, allowing for excitement and variation to be introduced to the signal that blends rhythmically with the overall tempo and project. Furthermore, the plugin benefits from a stereo width control that allows the user to precisely dial in the amount of expansion to the stereo image that they’d like to introduce to their source sound, using technology borrowed from Nugen Audio’s renowned Stereoizer plugin.
Never before has a convolution reverb offered so much in the way of versatility and flexibility. Whether you’re adding a touch of natural room ambience to dead-weight drums, placing guitar riffs in a reverberant cathedral or pushing synth lines into interstellar and experimental territory, Paragon ST has the capability to bring new dimensions to your sound and music.