Position: USPs in Detail > Room Simulation

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Room Simulation - reverb with a substantial distinction

Unlike a reverberator with its ray-tracing perspective (»reflections«), a QUANTEC room simulator approaches room acoustics from the air as a carrier medium (»resonances«).

Translating "room" to a wind instrument, the competition would concentrate on the solid interior boundaries of the wooden or brass instrument body. QUANTEC, in contrast, concentrates its simulation resources on the elastic, vibrating air column within the instrument.

What makes QUANTEC Room Simulation second-to-none?

Like any real room, QUANTEC extracts all room-acoustic phenomena from a single room model structure; and not from segregated partial algorithm sections like our competitors do. With QUANTEC, the entire bunch of room effects is always in sync; as any inconsistent settings, which would conflict with a real room, or with fundamental physical constraints like the law of conservation of energy, would conflict with our room model too. For example, both attack (»initial reflections«) and decay (»reverb tail«) slope lines are linked with sort of an imaginary hinge-joint (see Fig. 1 below), which in turn depends mainly on room size and RT60.

Our room model is an all-in-one solution for concurrently emulating a multitude of real-room acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena:

  • unobtrusive initial reflections
  • gradual build-up
  • strictly adheres to the law of conservation of energy - regardless of settings
  • reverb tail - dense, but with absolutely no discoloration anyway
  • physical feeling of pressure with extremely small rooms
  • the inherent subsonic tremble of huge rooms *)
  • history-based random interferences - no random generators *)
  • capturing of acoustic sequences (e.g. trills) along extended propagation paths *)
  • hundreds of positional room mode spectra (»IRs«) across the sound field *)
  • cocktail party effect *)
  • Hallelujah effect *)

*) = unique to Quantec; initially released on the current 249x series, or largely improved, compared to our previous devices.

Our room simulation algo is strictly in its natural state; in particular with no Leslie added (aka. »modulation«). So it can be used without restrictions, even for classical piano music.

Hallelujah effect

Hallelujah effect is an absolute USP for QUANTEC. For the first time published here as a commented chart in Jan 2010 (and in part in our operations guides Feb 2010), our discovery is still so new, that there are no scientific records obtainable (as of Feb 2012). Information on the Hallelujah effect is currently available only here on this website.

The most striking feature of the Hallelujah effect is its ability to massively intervene in the chronological order of a musical sequence. Along with various other acoustic phenomena, the diagram below (Fig. 1) visualizes in red how Room Simulation, analoguous to a real room, may rearrange the syllables (and hence also the notes) here. Based on the original »Hal-le-lu-jah«, the room responds with »le-lu-jah-Hal« in our example. Such a permutation within musical phrases, far too complex for human hearing, is one more reason why true room simulation sounds so stunningly alive.

As seen in the lower diagram (Fig. 2), there is no indication of a Hallelujah effect when examining reverberators from the competition. Apart from a slight compression in its timing, the basic »Hal-le-lu-jah« sequence is being transferred unaltered. Moreover, Fig. 2 visualizes several undesirable side effects, that inevitably occur in the concepts of our competitors.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

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What about those problems lurking behind competitors' units?

There are quite a few "less than perfect solutions" in their concepts. A simple roping up of independent partial algorithm components means that, under certain constraints, ugly side-effects may show up without warning.

To minimize such risks, an experienced mix-down engineer is trained to follow that maybe wrong-headed strategy of "one reverb for drums", "one reverb for voice", and "one reverb for piano".

To ultimately put all those contradictory reverb situations back into one room, our deplorable sound engineer needs to work his fingers to the bone while fine-tuning for quite some time. We're talking about hours, over and over again, not just minutes; while an impatient producer is peeking over his shoulder.

Regardless of instruments, regardless of settings - Quantec rooms always sound real.

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QUANTEC - the favorite reverb of any reverb naysayer

The Yardstick 249x series of room simulators are high-quality, digital sound processing devices based on the original 1982 QRS Room Simulation algorithm. Due to its unobtrusive, natural character, and its superb room simulation, the original QRS has become a lot more than just a well-know production tool for pop music.

In all fields of classical music production, as well as in movie post-production, the QRS is considered to be the yardstick for all competing products.

In other words, whenever an unobtrusive, natural sounding ambience is desired, and any kind of artificial reverberation is not, the QRS algorithm has been repeatedly praised by countless renowned sound professionals.

Due to the sophisticated characteristics of the QRS algorithm, any QUANTEC Room Simulator stands out favorably among the competition. But there are quite a few situations where its sonic qualities really shine:

  • In the final mix, where it is unobtrusively transparent with virtually no tendency to blur – even with a full dose over the entire set of tracks
  • In a multitude of productions in classical music, where any reverberation with an artificial smack is undesirable – for stylistic reasons alone
  • In the production of movies and radio dramas, where its virtually tangible room illusions simulate real rooms, which – in cramped environments – may actually create a physically unpleasant feeling of pressure
  • In movie productions, using its outstanding ambience in spacious effects
  • In sound reinforcement and P.A., where those pronounced resonance lines and gaps in the acoustic spectrum of a hall not suited for musical performances can be averaged and smoothed out. As a result, the sound of a general-purpose municipal hall becomes more suitable for music, and the risk of feedback is reduced
  • During the musical-improvisatory play with the reverberation onset – or the effervescence of the room

Since the sound characteristic of the QRS algorithm – and thus that of Yardstick as well – is quite a bit different when compared to the competition, it inevitably will have a significant influence on the number and types of the parameters available.

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My first Room Simulator

If you already own one or more prior QUANTEC units, which one was first?