Working with Space Designer’s Envelope and EQ Parameters

Space Designer’s main interface area is used to show and edit envelope and EQ parameters. It consists of three components:  the button bar at the top, the main display, and the parameter bar.

Figure. Envelope and EQ views.

Using Space Designer’s Button Bar

The button bar is used to switch the main display and parameter bar between envelope and EQ views. It also includes buttons that reset the envelopes and EQ or reverse the IR.

Figure. Button bar.
  • Reset button: Resets the currently displayed envelope or EQ to its default values.
  • All button: Resets all envelopes and the EQ to default values.
  • Volume Env button: Displays the volume envelope in the foreground of the main display. The other envelope curves are shown as transparencies in the background. See Working with Space Designer’s Volume Envelope.
  • Filter Env button: Displays the filter envelope in the foreground of the main display. The other envelope curves are shown as transparencies in the background. See Working with Space Designer’s Filter.
  • Density Env button: Displays the density envelope in the foreground of the main display. The other envelope curves are shown as transparencies in the background. See Working in Space Designer’s Synthesized IR Mode.
  • EQ button: Displays the four-band parametric EQ in the main display. See Working with Space Designer’s EQ.
  • Reverse button: Reverses the impulse response and envelopes. When the impulse response is reversed, you are effectively using the tail rather than the front end of the sample. You may need to change the Pre-Dly and other parameter values when reversing.

Zooming and Navigating Space Designer’s Envelope View

When displaying envelopes, the main display offers the following zoom and navigation parameters (not shown in EQ view).

Figure. Main display in envelope view, showing Overview display.
  • Overview display: Indicates which portion of the impulse response file is currently visible in the main display, helping you to orient yourself when zooming.
  • Zoom to Fit button: Click to display the entire impulse response waveform in the main display. Any envelope length changes are automatically reflected.
  • A and D buttons: Click to limit the “Zoom to Fit” function to the attack and decay portions of the currently selected envelope shown in the main display. The A and D buttons are available only when you are viewing the volume and filter envelopes.

Setting Space Designer’s Envelope Parameters

You can edit the volume and filter envelopes of all IRs and the density envelope of synthesized IRs. All envelopes can be adjusted both graphically in the main display and numerically in the parameter bar.

Whereas some parameters are envelope-specific, all envelopes consist of the Attack Time and Decay Time parameters. The combined total of the Attack Time and Decay Time parameters is equal to the total length of the synthesized or sampled impulse response, unless the Decay time is reduced. See Setting Impulse Response Lengths in Space Designer.

The large nodes are value indicators of the parameters shown in the parameter bar below—Init Level, Attack Time, Decay Time, and so on. If you edit any numerical value in the parameter bar, the corresponding node moves in the main display.

To move an envelope node graphically in Space Designer
  • Drag the node in one of the available directions.

    Two arrows are shown when you move the cursor over any node in the main display, indicating possible movements.

To change Space Designer’s envelope curve shape graphically
  1. Drag the envelope curve in the main display.

  2. Drag the small nodes attached to a line for fine adjustments to envelope curves. These nodes are tied to the envelope curve itself, so you can view them as envelope handles.

    Figure. Main display section, showing graphical envelope edits.

Working with Space Designer’s Volume Envelope

The volume envelope is used to set the reverb’s initial level and adjust how the volume will change over time. You can edit all volume envelope parameters numerically, and many can also be edited graphically (see Setting Space Designer’s Envelope Parameters).

Figure. Volume envelope parameters and nodes.
  • Init Level field: Sets the initial volume level of the impulse response attack phase. It is expressed as a percentage of the full-scale volume of the impulse response file. The attack phase is generally the loudest point of the impulse response. Set Init Level to 100% to ensure maximum volume for the early reflections.
  • Attack Time field: Determines the length of time before the decay phase of the volume envelope begins.
  • Decay Time field: Sets the length of the decay phase.
  • Volume decay mode buttons: Set the volume decay curve type.
    • Exp: The output of the volume envelope is shaped by an exponential algorithm, to generate the most natural-sounding reverb tail.
    • Lin: The volume decay will be more linear (and less natural sounding).
  • End Level field: Sets the end volume level. It is expressed as a percentage of the overall volume envelope.
    • If set to 0%, you can fade out the tail.

    • If set to 100%, you can’t fade out the tail, and the reverb stops abruptly (if the end point falls within the tail).

    • If the end time falls outside the reverb tail, End Level has no effect.

Using Space Designer’s Density Envelope

The density envelope allows you to control the density of the synthesized impulse response over time. You can adjust the density envelope numerically in the parameter bar, and you can edit the Init Level, Ramp Time, and End Level parameters using the techniques described in Setting Space Designer’s Envelope Parameters.

Note: The density envelope is available only in Synthesized IR mode.

Figure. Density envelope parameters.
  • Init Level field: Sets the initial density (the average number of reflections in a given period of time) of the reverb. Lowering the density levels will result in audible reflections patterns and discreet echoes.
  • Ramp Time field: Adjusts the length of time elapsed between the Initial and End Density levels.
  • End Level field: Sets the density of the reverb tail. If you select an End Level value that is too low, the reverb tail will sound grainy. You may also find that the stereo spectrum is affected by lower values.
  • Reflection Shape slider: Determines the steepness (shape) of the early reflection clusters as they bounce off the walls, ceiling, and furnishings of the virtual space. Small values result in clusters with a sharp contour, and large values result in an exponential slope and a smoother sound. This is handy when recreating rooms constructed of different materials. Reflection Shape, in conjunction with suitable settings for the envelopes, density, and early reflection will assist you in creating rooms of almost any shape and material.

Working with Space Designer’s EQ

Space Designer features a four-band EQ comprised of two parametric mid-bands plus two shelving filters (one low shelving filter and one high shelving filter). You can edit the EQ parameters numerically in the parameter bar, or graphically in the main display.

Figure. EQ section.
  • EQ On/Off button: Enables or disables the entire EQ section.
  • Individual EQ band buttons: Enable or disable individual EQ bands.
  • Frequency fields: Set the frequency for the selected EQ band.
  • Gain fields: Adjust the gain cut or boost for the selected EQ band.
  • Q fields: Set the Q factor for the two parametric bands. The Q factor can be adjusted from 0.1 (very narrow) to 10 (very wide).
To graphically edit an EQ curve in Space Designer
  1. Enable the EQ and one or more bands with the EQ On/Off and EQ band buttons in the top row of the parameter bar.

  2. Drag the cursor horizontally over the main display. When the cursor is in the access area of a band, the corresponding curve and parameter area is automatically highlighted and a pivot point is displayed.

    Figure. EQ curve, being graphically edited in the main display.
  3. Drag horizontally to adjust the frequency of the band.

  4. Drag vertically to increase or decrease the Gain of the band.

  5. Vertically drag the (illuminated) pivot point of a parametric EQ band to raise or lower the Q value.