U.K.-based LiquidSonics offers “charityware” versions of their Reverberate convolution reverb and Filtrate linear-phase paragraphic EQ.
What is “charityware?” It is essentially a free download; but instead of the developer asking you to send a suggested donation to them, should you enjoy their product, LiquidSonics asks that you make a donation to Cancer Research UK. The donation is optional and the software fully functional.
Reverberate LE Convolution Reverb
Filtrate LE Equalizer
First up is Reverberate LE, the convolution reverb. For the uninitiated, a convolution reverb works by digitally simulating an actual space. This is done by sampling a sound impulse response captured in a physical space, like a cathedral or a concert hall, and performing a mathematical operation (a convolution) on audio fed into the processor based on that response.
The result is a more natural-sounding reverb, as the effect is based on how the sound would behave in the real environment. What’s more, impulse responses based on actual specific locations can be imported into the plug-in. Want to sound like you’re in Carnegie Hall? There’s an app for that!
Reverberate LE comes with a few preset impulses but can also import additional impulses from commercially available libraries. In addition to the presets, the interface offers controls for creating custom reverbs, including shaping the audio envelope as well as traditional reverb controls like reverb time and pre-delay. Also included is a tab for a five-band paragraphic EQ to alter the tonal quality of the effect.
Speaking of EQ, LiquidSonics’ Filtrate LE is a five-band, linear-phase equalizer. Its sparse interface offers the three basic parameters for each band: frequency, gain and bandwidth. There is also a selector for the type of EQ curve for each band — peak, cut or shelf — and a master gain control for final level. Below the controls, a graphical representation of the selected EQ curve is presented.
I was unable to find any manuals for these plug-ins on the site, but fortunately the interface for each plug-in is intuitive enough. I found the virtual “knobs” a little confusing at first. They are operated by holding the left mouse button and then dragging the mouse in a circular pattern around the outside of the knob. Making finer adjustments is accomplished by moving the pointer farther away from the knob, creating a wider arc. Most other interfaces I’ve come across involve moving the mouse either up and down or left and right. Aside from that, both plug-ins were stable, easy to use and sounded very good.
Both VST plug-ins are Windows 7- and 8-compatible and can be downloaded at www.liquidsonics.com.
Curt Yengst, CSRE, is a frequent contributor.