Working with Space Designer’s Global Parameters

Space Designer’s global parameters affect the overall output or behavior of the effect. The global parameters are divided into two sections—those around the main display, and those below the main display.

Space Designer Global Parameters:  Upper Section

These parameters are found around the main display.

Figure. Global parameters (upper section).
Space Designer Global Parameters:  Lower Section

These parameters are found below the main display.

Figure. Picture showing Global parameters (lower section).

Using Space Designer’s Input Slider

The Input slider behaves differently in stereo or surround instances. The slider does not appear in mono or mono to stereo instances.

  • In stereo instances, the Input slider determines how a stereo signal is processed.

  • In surround instances, the Input slider determines how much LFE signal is mixed with the surround channels routed into the reverb.

Figure. Input sliders, shown in stereo and surround modes.
Space Designer Input Slider:  Stereo Mode
  • Stereo setting (top of slider): The signal is processed on both channels, retaining the stereo balance of the original signal.
  • Mono setting (middle of slider): The signal is processed in mono.
  • XStereo setting (bottom of slider): The signal is inverted, with processing for the right channel occurring on the left, and vice versa.
  • In-between positions: A mixture of stereo to mono crossfeed signals is produced.
Space Designer Input Slider:  Surround Mode
  • Surround Max setting (top of slider): The maximum amount of LFE signal is mixed with the other surround channels.
  • Surround 0 setting (bottom of slider): The entire LFE signal is passed through the reverb unprocessed.
  • In-between positions: A mixture of LFE and surround channel information is processed.

Using Space Designer’s Latency Compensation Feature

The complex calculations made by Space Designer take time. This time results in a processing delay, or latency, between the direct input signal and the processed output signal. When activated, the Latency Compensation feature delays the direct signal (in the Output section) to match the processing delay of the effect signal.

Note: This is not related to latency compensation in the host application. This compensation feature occurs entirely within Space Designer.

Figure. Latency compensation button.

Space Designer’s processing latency is 128 samples at the original sample rate, and it doubles at each lower sample rate division. If you set Space Designer’s “sample rate” slider to “/2” the processing latency increases to 256 samples. Processing latency does not increase in surround mode or at sample rates above 44.1 kHz.

Using Space Designer’s Definition Parameter

The Definition parameter emulates the diffusion of natural reverb patterns. When used at values of less than 100% it also reduces CPU processing requirements.

Note: The Definition steppers are visible below the main display only when you have loaded CPU-intensive synthesized IRs.

Figure. Definition parameter.

Natural reverbs contain most of their spatial information in the first few milliseconds. Toward the end of the reverb, the pattern of reflections—signals bouncing off walls and so on—becomes more diffuse. In other words, the reflected signals become quieter and increasingly nondirectional, containing far less spatial information.

To emulate this phenomenon—as well as to conserve CPU power—you can configure Space Designer to use the full IR resolution only at the onset of the reverb, and to use a reduced IR resolution toward the end of the reverb.

The Definition parameter defines the crossover point—where the switch to the reduced IR resolution occurs. It is displayed in both milliseconds, indicating when the crossover occurs, and as a percentage—100% is equal to the length of the full resolution IR.

Using Space Designer’s Rev Vol Compensation

Rev Vol Compensation (Reverb Volume Compensation) attempts to match the perceived (not actual) volume differences between impulse response files.

Figure. Reverb volume compensation button.

It is enabled by default and should generally be left in this mode, although you may find that it isn’t successful with all types of impulse responses. If this is the case, turn it off and adjust input and output levels accordingly.

Using Space Designer’s Output Sliders

The output parameters enable you to adjust the balance between the direct (dry) and processed signals. The parameters that are available are dependent on Space Designer’s input configuration.

If you insert Space Designer as mono, mono to stereo, or stereo effect, Space Designer offers two output sliders—one for the direct signal, and one for the reverb signal.

In surround configurations, Space Designer offers four output sliders that together comprise a small surround output mixer.

Figure. Output parameters, shown for stereo and surround modes.
Space Designer Mono/Stereo Output Configuration Parameters
  • Dry slider: Sets the level of the non-effect (dry) signal.
  • Rev(erb) slider: Adjusts the output level of the effect (wet) signal.
Space Designer Surround Output Configuration Parameters
  • C(enter) slider: Adjusts the output level of the center channel independently of other surround channels.
  • Bal(ance) slider: Sets the level balance between the front (L-C-R) and rear (Ls-Rs) channels.
    • In 7.1 ITU surround, the balance pivots around the Lm-Rm speakers, taking the surround angles into account.

    • With 7.1 SDDS surround, the Lc-Rc speakers are considered front speakers.

  • Rev(erb) slider: Adjusts the output level of the effect (wet) signal.
  • Dry slider: Sets the overall level of the non-effect signal.

Working with Pre-Dly (Predelay) in Space Designer

Predelay is the amount of time that elapses between the original signal and the initial early reflections of the reverberation.

For a room of any given size and shape, predelay determines the distance between the listener and the walls, ceiling, and floor. Space Designer allows you to adjust this parameter separately from predelay, and over a greater range than what would be considered natural for predelay.

In practice, an extremely short predelay tends to make it difficult to pinpoint the position of the signal source. It can also color the sound of the original signal. On the other hand, an excessively long predelay can be perceived as an unnatural echo. It can also divorce the original signal from its early reflections, leaving an audible gap between the original and reverb signals.

The ideal predelay setting for different sounds depends on the properties of—or more accurately, the envelope of—the original signal. Percussive signals generally require shorter predelays than signals where the attack fades in gradually, such as strings. A good rule of thumb is to use the longest predelay possible before undesirable side effects, such as an audible echo, begin materializing.

Obviously, these guidelines are intended to help you design realistic-sounding spaces that are suitable for different signals. If you want to create unnatural sound stages or otherworldly reverbs and echoes, feel free to experiment with the Pre-Dly parameter.

Using Space Designer’s IR Start Parameter

The IR Start parameter enables you to shift the playback start point of the impulse response, which will effectively cut off the beginning of the impulse response.

This can be useful for eliminating level peaks at the beginning of the impulse response sample. Its use also affords a number of creative options, particularly when combined with the Reverse function. See Using Space Designer’s Button Bar.

Note: The IR Start parameter is not available or required in Synthesized IR mode because, by design, the Length parameter provides identical functionality.

Using Space Designer’s Spread Parameters

The Spread and Xover knobs enhance the perceived width of the signal, without losing the directional information of the input signal normally found in the higher frequency range. Low frequencies are spread to the sides, reducing the amount of low frequency content in the center—allowing the reverb to nicely wrap around the mix. The Spread and Xover knobs function only in Synthesized IR mode.

Note: As these parameters adjust stereo or surround processing, they have no impact when using the Space Designer as a mono plug-in.

Figure. Spread parameters.
  • Spread knob and field: Extends the stereo or surround base to frequencies that fall below the frequency determined by the Xover (crossover) parameter.
    • At a Spread value of 0.00, no stereo or surround information is added (although the inherent stereo or surround information of the source signal and reverb are retained).

    • At a value of 1.00, the left and right channel divergence is at its maximum.

  • Xover knob and field: Sets the crossover frequency in Hertz. Any synthesized impulse response frequency that falls below this value will be affected by the Spread parameter (at values over 0).