Following the techniques I introduced in Rhythmic Processing and Convolution Processing, I came up with Rhythmic Convolutions, a set of 200 Impulse Responses designed to add motion and timbre transformation to rhythmic loops, drum machines, drums and instruments with a percussive quality.
Rhythmic Convolutions are audio files (48KHz / 24bit .wav) that can be loaded inside convolution plugins that accept user's Impulse Responses. There are many options available, some DAWs like Ableton Live already include a convolution reverb. There is also a free plugin from Wave Arts that works really well: Convology XT.
You can get Rhythmic Convolutions for $24.99 on my Gumroad page.
Rhythmic Convolutions 2
Here's the second volume of Rhythmic Convolutions, 200 new Impulse Responses, expanding the concept of the first title with new sources and sonic transformations.
You can get Rhythmic Convolutions 2 for $24.99 on my Gumroad page.
What is convolution processing?
Here's a quick introduction on how convolution works. One of the main applications of convolution is to create realistic sounding reverb. An Impulse Response is a sampling of how a certain acoustic space responds to an impulse (a sharp, short and loud noise/signal) to generate reverb.
In simple terms, the frequency + amplitude + spatial profile of the dry signal is combined in real time with the frequency + amplitude + spatial profile of the Impulse Response. The dry signal could be a musical phrase, a performance, anything that evolves over time, while the Impulse Response has a defined length.
Impulse Responses are audio files that are loaded into a Convolution Reverb plugin. Some of these plugins allow the user to load their own Impulse Responses. The interesting part is that "any audio file" can be used as an Impulse Response, not only those created specifically to generate reverb.
I specifically put "any audio file" in quotes because, yes, you can load a non-reverb Impulse Response into a convolution plugin and happen to generate an unusual and creative sound, but the result could also be unpredictable and underwhelming due to the nature of convolution processing.
Here's one of the reasons why not everything works as imagined with convolution. If the Impulse Response contains certain frequency peaks, the dry signal will be affected by them, returning a processed sound that might appear tonal. But if the dry signal and the Impulse Response happen to have similar frequency peaks, they will combine in volume, resonate and possibly create a distorted sound.
If you listen to just the Impulse Response of an acoustic space you'll notice that it sounds like a burst of noise that fades out, without any specific note clearly detectable. Which is why when you play an instrument/sound through it, the result will be reverb.
What are Rhythmic Convolutions?
Rhythmic Convolutions are a whole different story because the intent is to create a processed sound that does not emulate reverb. The idea is to add the timbre and motion of certain materials, objects and creatures onto the dry sound. Think of it as morphing a drum sound with glass, creaking wood or water. Also, because they are designed specifically to process rhythmic sources, they can create rhythmic accents and spatial movements that are uniquely connected to the loops and performance you might want to transform.
For each of the Impulse Responses of my Rhythmic Convolutions sets, I created and tested dozens of variations, because the actual, processed sound happening through the Impulse Response reveals itself only when heard in action. Not only I wanted to create Impulse Responses with balanced profiles, but they also needed to be inspiring and musical. The final set of 200 Impulse Responses are the ones that sound the best, creating an organic sound that can be applied to a variety of rhythmic sources.