EARECKON EARE­VOLVE

This imag­i­na­tive mash-up of cho­rus and ro­tary speaker aims to cover stereo mod­u­la­tion and move­ment from all an­gles

Computer Music - - Contents -

De­spite their com­par­a­tively low pro­file on the mu­sic soft­ware land­scape, the au­dio pro­cess­ing cre­ations of Philippe De­cuyper, aka eaReckon, rank among the finest plugin ef­fects money can buy. Join­ing EARe­verb 2 (9/10, 228), Tran­sReckon (9/10, 210), EARe­bound (9/10, 192) and Ana­log 87 Se­ries (9/10, 180), EARe­volve com­bines a dual cho­rus and a ro­tary speaker em­u­la­tion on steroids, im­bu­ing mono and stereo source sig­nals of all kinds with thick­ness, width and/or bin­au­ral mo­tion.

With the Cho­rus and Mixer sec­tions stacked up on the left hand side, the vast ma­jor­ity of the GUI is taken up by the ro­tary speaker’s sep­a­rate Horn and Drum sec­tions, the over­all speaker ro­ta­tion and mi­cro­phone con­trols (see Mi­cro­phones and mo­tion), and a hugely in­for­ma­tive dis­play vi­su­al­is­ing the move­ment and siz­ing of the speaker, the horn and drum within, and the room in which they live. The Cho­rus and Ro­tary Speaker sec­tions are ac­ti­vated/de­ac­ti­vated by click­ing their names, and click­ing the XT but­ton tog­gles be­tween ba­sic and ad­vanced edit­ing modes, the for­mer sim­ply con­ceal­ing the ‘deeper’ con­trol pan­els at the bot­tom of the Cho­rus, Horn and Drum sec­tions. The op­tion is su­per­flu­ous, truth be told – at no point did we feel the need to switch out of XT mode.

The Cho­rus and Ro­tary Speaker are ar­ranged in par­al­lel, each lev­elled in­di­vid­u­ally in the Mixer, where the over­all Dry/Wet mix and In­put/Out­put lev­els are also tweaked. A brick­wall lim­iter is avail­able on the out­put, and +6dB but­tons on the Cho­rus and Speaker chan­nels pro­vide at-aclick boost­ing should the +6dB throw of the faders them­selves not prove enough.

Into the cho­rus

“EARe­volve elab­o­rates on the ro­tary speaker con­cept to cre­ate a play­ground of bin­au­ral spa­tial­is­ing”

The Cho­rus sec­tion com­prises two in­de­pen­dent stereo cho­rus mod­ules. Th­ese share Rate (0.0120Hz), Depth, LFO shape (sine or tri­an­gle) and Rate/Depth Ran­domise con­trols, and are blended with the Mix knob. The XT panel is where the real ac­tion takes place, though, en­abling the mod­u­la­tion speed of the sec­ond cho­rus to be set as a per­cent­age of the Rate (0-200%), and fre­quency-based sep­a­ra­tion of the two us­ing a high-pass fil­ter on Cho­rus 1 and a low-pass on Cho­rus 2. The left and right LFOs

for each cho­rus can each be de­layed by up to 40ms, and both right-side LFOs are phasead­justable. To re­duce au­di­ble stereo move­ment (the gen­er­a­tion of which is what the ro­tary speaker is for, af­ter all), Cho­rus 1’s Cross­mix knob in­creas­ingly mixes its left and right chan­nels into each other for ev­ery­thing above 500Hz – any­thing be­low that won’t be per­cep­ti­bly mov­ing much. This proves very use­ful for cen­tring the cho­rus ef­fect, whether or not the speaker is brought into play along­side it.

Ro­tary club

As the name im­plies, EARe­volve’s Ro­tary Speaker sec­tion is the head­line fea­ture, of­fer­ing a great de­gree of con­trol over the move­ment of its vir­tual horn and drum. For starters, com­plete free­dom is given over ad­just­ment of the fre­quency crossovers be­tween the un­pro­cessed low­est fre­quen­cies, Horn and Drum. Then, as well as set­ting the usual ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ speeds for each of the two com­po­nents (up to 10Hz/600rpm, or synced from 1/16 to 16/1), and their re­spec­tive Ac­cel­er­a­tion and De­cel­er­a­tion times (0-5s) for step­ping be­tween them via eight in­ter­me­di­ate steps, you can also au­to­mate the Park An­gles (the ra­dial po­si­tion in ‘stop’ mode) of both com­po­nents, for to­tally cus­tomis­able non-cycli­cal ro­ta­tions.

The Ro­tary Speaker ‘XT’ con­trols en­able al­ter­ation of the max­i­mum amount of gain re­duc­tion and low-pass fil­ter cut­off mod­u­la­tion de­pen­dent on the Drum/Horn an­gles and mi­cro­phone po­si­tion­ing (see Mi­cro­phones and mo­tion), for tai­lor­ing the in­ten­sity of dropoff and dead­en­ing as the two swing round. With the Drum or Horn point­ing di­rectly at ei­ther mic, no gain re­duc­tion or cut­off mod­u­la­tion is ap­plied; when point­ing di­rectly away from the mic, the full set re­duc­tion/mod­u­la­tion is ap­plied.

Both com­po­nents also in­clude a Sat­u­ra­tion knob for di­alling in sub­tle valve amp dis­tor­tion, and on/off switches for the all-im­por­tant Dop­pler ef­fect – the pitch­bend­ing that oc­curs as the speaker moves to­wards and away from the mic. Ex­clu­sive to the Horn, how­ever, is the Peak Fil­ter, which al­lows boost­ing of a sin­gle fre­quency band by up to 10dB for em­pha­sis.

It all adds up to a pow­er­ful setup for de­tailed and in­de­pen­dent ma­nip­u­la­tion of horn and drum, and one that’s ex­panded ex­po­nen­tially by the abil­ity to mess with the mics and move the en­tire speaker around within the vir­tual room, as dis­cussed in Mi­cro­phones and mo­tion.

Re­volver

EARe­volve elab­o­rates on the ro­tary speaker con­cept to cre­ate a play­ground of bin­au­ral spa­tial­is­ing. From tra­di­tional Les­lie-style ef­fects to far more re­al­ity-de­fy­ing stereo an­i­ma­tions, its lib­er­at­ing toolset and well cal­i­brated con­trols let you get hands-on with a beau­ti­fully mod­elled ro­tary speaker on two lev­els, and the end­less multi-or­bital, multi­band pos­si­bil­i­ties are as fun to ex­plore as they are cre­atively re­ward­ing. And let’s not for­get the sim­i­larly flex­i­ble and won­der­fully ana­logue-sound­ing cho­rus, the silky smooth pitch­ing and rich, lus­cious sound of which bring an­other layer of sonic ac­tiv­ity to the party. It’s a bril­liant com­bi­na­tion and an­other must-have from eaReckon. Web www.eareckon.com

“The end­less mul­ti­or­bital, multi­band pos­si­bil­i­ties are as fun to ex­plore as they are cre­atively re­ward­ing”

Switch­ing to ‘easy’ mode sim­ply re­moves some of the more in-depth con­trols

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