OK, Voxengo Pristine Space VST alpha is finally here. It’s a very early alpha and it may still have bugs and shortcomings.
It can be download at https://www.voxengo.com/downloads/
Some facts. The user’s manual is in the works, so this should help to answer some of your questions. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions, though: your questions can help to write a more useful user’s manual.
1. Pristine Space (PS) is a 8-channel convolution processor PC VST plug-in. Each channel is independent of the others making it possible to use Pristine Space in various surround configurations, and to apply ‘True stereo’ kind of processing, when each stereo channel uses its own reverb impulse (this setting requires 4 convolution channels in total).
2. PS allows you to load up to 8 impulse files in uncompressed WAV format of any bit-depth, mono or stereo, and to manipulate these files in a non-destructive manner, by means of various envelopes. Please note that PS does not automatically resample the loaded impulse if its sample-rate differs from the output sample-rate. You should use impulses already resampled to the output sample-rate. Why PS works this way? Simply because a good-quality resampling requires much CPU resources, and since PS is intended to be used in real-time, resampling is not a suitable procedure. It is also not a good idea to sacrifice quality having the option of speeding up the resampling.
3. Any channel of any loaded impulse file can be routed to any convolution channel.
4. PS supports WAV files of any length. Be cautious when loading very large files because this can quickly overload the CPU.
5. PS implements three calculation modes which are identical in their results: FPU, SSE and 3DNow. These are automatically engaged if found on the host computer’s CPU. On AMD processors, by default 3DNow is used instead of SSE. But you can force SSE usage, if it shows the better performance (according to AMD’s claims, SSE is preferred to use, on their latest 64-bit processors). With the latest processors, FPU is the least preferred mode. Also note that the implemented SSE support is compatible with SSE2 (SSE2 by itself does not add anything specific which can be utilized by PS bringing any speed boost).
6. You can choose plug-in latency. This setting also affects the CPU consumption. For most applications it can be useful to select 32768 samples latency, since with this latency CPU usage is minimal. By default PS uses 16384 samples latency.
7. Also note that the higher plug-in latency is more efficient with the longer impulses, only. For example, using a very short impulse with a high latency simply forces PS to waste some resources.
8. PS was optimized for multi-channel and multi-instance use. I believe you can use PS with soundcard latency of at least 1024 samples, or more (with 16384 plug-in latency). With less soundcard latency, full stability is not guaranteed. When using multiple instances it is suggested to use different convolution channels for each instance (e.g. 1&2 in the first instance, 3&4 in the second instance, etc.).
9. Plug-in latency, calculation mode, number of inputs and outputs are global settings which affect all instances of PS, loaded in any audio host. VST specification and VST host implementations simply do not allow such settings to be made instance-specific.
10. File slots are color-coded. You can immediately see which convolution channel the slot you are editing now was assigned to.
11. Envelope editing workflow is identical to that of Voxengo Redunoise VST.
12. Currently, Volume and Stereo Width envelopes can be applied, only. Release version will possibly feature Low- and High-pass filter envelopes along with an equalizer.
13. PS implements two quality modes: the Max and the Low. Each convolution channel can work either in the Max or in the Low quality mode. Though, the Low quality mode is not preferred for the final mixdown, it can be used pretty efficiently during mixing saving loads of CPU resources.
14. The existing GUI design is not final. It can be changed in the release version.
15. PS can be seamlessly integrated with Impulse Modeler since PS `catches’ the changes of the loaded files. So, you simply have to press the ‘Generate’ button in IM and after the generating is complete PS will automatically load the updated WAV file.
16. You can expect introduction price of US$108. The regular price will be US$139. There will be a bundle available, consisting of Pristine Space, Impulse Modeler and Deconvolver programs.
So this plugin is multiple input, multiple output?
Could you please explain True Stereo in a bit more depth and could you use multi impulses to simulate overhead mics and ambience mics for accoustic drums?
The concept of 'True stereo reverb' is very simple. Chances are, in most cases, you are using a single stereo reverb impulse file with the stereo input meaning that each input channel is processed with a single channel of the impulse file. This concept works good with non-panned mono signals. But if you wish to pan the input, such approach gives unsatisfying results: the output signal will be also panned, but its reverb structure will remain the same. This is, of course, does not sound nice at all, especially when mixing several panned sources. To overcome this problem a so called 'True stereo' processing can be used. But for this to work you should have two stereo reverb impulses, and four convolver channels routed two outputs.
Of course, you can also use several convolver channels to mix ambience and overhead mics having only a single stereo drum input. This is one of the most useful things in a multi-channel convolution plug-in.
As a big fan of a convolution I couldn't miss a such interesting plugin.
It would be a good idea to add one more menu - 'Veiw menu' - for ENV's window (All, Volume, Filter...). Thus, a user could select which ENVs he/she wants to see at the same time. E.g. if 'All' is selected, one can see all ENVs. An active ENV (for editing) would be one selected in far left (at today) menu. What is it for? Beside using for reverb, a convolution can be used for getting, lets call it, 'Impulsing space'. To get it, 'inconsistent' ENVs are used (for Volume, Filter...) If we use it for snare's part, for example, we can get pretty interesting drum loop where a reverb is part of it, not just an environment. To do it I edit an impulse in CoolEdit. But this is a such headache because one can't hear a result and edit it 'on a fly'. If it would be implemented in PS, all these sort of things would be much more easier to do. Of couse, first, you have to get 'right' impulse in IM :)
A bug: if we put Volume's ENV control points down (0%), 'Auto' is On, PS produces cracks-like noise.
Thanks for that idea. I'm not sure I've understood it fully, though...
BTW, that bug you've described is already found and fixed. It won't appear in the release.
If you don't mind I will send a private message where I wil try to describe my idea, OK?
I used to have a PCM 90 (a true stereo unit), and always used it in stereo mode...very nice. Could you explain the routing for using your plug in 'True Stereo' mode in very specific detail. I am assuming you use the same stereo impulse (x2) and use the PS routing scheme to avoid the 'reverb panning' problem, but am not sure exactly how to implement this.
Which of your EQ algorithms would you use? Personally, I would not like to see you to scrimp on CPU for the EQ...this would defeat the purpose of creating a high-end verb.
Could you correlate the EQ with the time plane? For instance enabling an EQ envelope that would allow the early reflections to pass through unaltered and then a gradual rolloff during the tail.
If you add the EQ and filter options, please add a bypass button.
The widening envelope sounds wonderful...very Lexicon. As one last request, an option to add subtle chorusing during the tails would be great. Perhaps a chorus envelope similar to the time plane EQ envelope (this could be implemented by having a delay line on the chorus).
Not meaning to increase your workload :~) but I would pay more for these additional features!
Vitaly, yes, go on with posting a message to email@example.com
arrangeit, EQ and filters were not present in that alpha. I've only added envelopes. Yes, in the release version you will have the option to make that gradual roll-off.
Bypass button is already available - Env Enable allows you to enable/disable any envelope.
Chorusing will require additional and very large block of controls. I don't think this will fit into Pristine Space. You can always use a chorus on a send channel.
BTW, there's more to come. I've managed to get 64 samples latency (1.5ms at 44100), with a minimal CPU overhead (68% more, measured on my PC).
Now to routing... Load your left impulse into Slot1 and your right impulse into Slot2.
Convolver Channel1: File 1L, Input 1, Output 1
Convolver Channel2: File 1R, Input 1, Output 2
Convolver Channel3: File 2L, Input 2, Output 1
Convolver Channel4: File 2R, Input 2, Output 2
Don't forget to set Dry knobs to -INF.
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