Distance simulation

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
KVRian
1432 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never found anything that fits my needs regarding distance simulation. I mean : Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ? Is the bird highly filtered ? I don’t think so. A wolf howling in the distance ? Is it simply muffled ?
From what I can hear, it’s a matter of frequencies delaying, like the sound is slightly blurred, not a simple low pass filter.
Proximity is nice, but the max distance is really not making it for sounds coming from very far, it’s mostly suitable for placing instruments in a room.
You still can play with a reverb and an EQ to simulate very far sounds, but a one slider distance plugin would be sooooo cool so you can make your instruments slowly approach !!!
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

User avatar
KVRian
780 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Mon May 17, 2021 1:18 am

I use Parallax-Audio Virtual Sound Stage 2.

https://www.parallax-audio.com/
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

User avatar
KVRAF
5838 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Mon May 17, 2021 9:38 pm

The best I ever heard was in a concert with a wave field synthesis speaker array...

KVRist
101 posts since 19 Oct, 2008

Post Thu May 20, 2021 1:15 pm

DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ? Is the bird highly filtered ? I don’t think so. A wolf howling in the distance ? Is it simply muffled ?
From what I can hear, it’s a matter of frequencies delaying, like the sound is slightly blurred, not a simple low pass filter.
There IS a degree of natural filtering in the air though. Some frequencies get absorbed into the air, and higher frequencies don't travel as far. I'm not saying that Air is accurate in this sense, but that filtering is essentially what is going on.

I'm with you though in that I've tried sooooooooo many plugins to try and simulate distance. I've literally tried every single one available searching for how to pull it off. No luck so far. Like you said, I'd LOVE to be able to make it go from far away to right in front of your face.

KVRAF
1544 posts since 4 Jul, 2019

Post Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm

DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ?
"Air" is simulating air, not close / far, which is more complex.

User avatar
KVRian
1432 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 pm

fairlyclose wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm
DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ?
"Air" is simulating air, not close / far, which is more complex.
Well... :shrug:
air-distance.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

KVRAF
1544 posts since 4 Jul, 2019

Post Thu May 20, 2021 3:36 pm

DJErmac wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 pm
fairlyclose wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm
DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ?
"Air" is simulating air, not close / far, which is more complex.
Well... :shrug:
air-distance.png
yeah they do over-egg it a bit in the rest of their page as well. At the same time it is easy to see what the plugin does off the interface but the ad-copy is a bit much.

User avatar
KVRian
1432 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Thu May 20, 2021 4:15 pm

In my sound school we've learnt that with distance, high frequencies are slightly delayed and progressively lost (that's why we have to add high frequencies speakers all along a concert place). And btw this is how our ears/brain guess how far the sound is coming from. So no, this is not the "perfect tool to simulate distance", sadly.
Maybe some day...
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

KVRAF
3896 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Thu May 20, 2021 5:04 pm

DJErmac wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 pm
fairlyclose wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm
DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ?
"Air" is simulating air, not close / far, which is more complex.
Well... :shrug:
air-distance.png
You can see in the image it's mostly just lowpassing the highs. Try a mono reverb on something like a drumloop but turn it down and lowpass it heavily before the reverb... now it sounds like it's "down the tunnel". Didn't need a special plugin to do that... just mono, volume, lowpass and reverb. That's as basic as it gets (using lower volume and filtered highs for distance is a tried and true mixing technique). But there's a lot more than that going on in real life with distance and I don't know if 'Air' is dealing with any of it. Well, for start the lows would be rolled off a bit too - and then differences between highs and lows.

Proximity is the only one I know that actually deals with the psychoacoustic effects of sounds at a distance. TDR should do a Gentlemen's version with 3D visualizer. There's also Auburn Sounds Panagement that does a good job.

lfm
KVRAF
5731 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Thu May 20, 2021 6:55 pm

I find good reverbs are enough.

The most common setup is sends to effects bus, which in itself is 50% dry/wet send at 0 dB.

To really get the far distance
- set send to pre fader
- lower track signal as much as needed

In this way you can get to close to 100% wet, or whatever you want.

Then it's up to quality of reverb.

I could not belive my luck recently finding a new Lexicon MX200 rack unit in stock still on a local store.
16 reverbs and 16 other effects to combine in various ways if you want.
It's routing can be chosen, so 2 in series if you like - and then you can really go wild.
- I'd say best €140 I spent the last couple of years

User avatar
KVRian
1432 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Fri May 21, 2021 12:05 am

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 5:04 pm
DJErmac wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 pm
fairlyclose wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm
DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
Air, for example, almost simply filters the sound. Have they ever heard a bird singing close and a bird singing very far ?
"Air" is simulating air, not close / far, which is more complex.
Well... :shrug:
air-distance.png
You can see in the image it's mostly just lowpassing the highs. Try a mono reverb on something like a drumloop but turn it down and lowpass it heavily before the reverb... now it sounds like it's "down the tunnel". Didn't need a special plugin to do that... just mono, volume, lowpass and reverb.
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
DJErmac wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:42 pm
You still can play with a reverb and an EQ to simulate very far sounds, but a one slider distance plugin would be sooooo cool so you can make your instruments slowly approach !!!
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

User avatar
KVRian
1432 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Post Fri May 21, 2021 12:15 am

In other words, I’m not looking for a way to simulate distance, I’m waiting for a plugin that would make it simply and quickly. Tools are made to simplify things. I think there should be a better way that a four plugins automation solution, that’s all. ;)
This post is supposed to be non-agressive. Now please give me a broad smile. :ud:

KVRist
495 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Fri May 21, 2021 2:35 am

Oh, how could I forget about it?

Eareverb 2 can do it.
Last edited by lobanov on Fri May 21, 2021 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRist
177 posts since 9 Oct, 2020

Post Fri May 21, 2021 9:34 am

DJErmac wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 12:15 am
In other words, I’m not looking for a way to simulate distance, I’m waiting for a plugin that would make it simply and quickly. Tools are made to simplify things. I think there should be a better way that a four plugins automation solution, that’s all. ;)
I'm gonna keep this 2005 thread alive baby

Depending on what DAW you're using, something like this can be achieved in FL Patcher, Max4Live, or any other modular plugin host/thing like Reaktor capable of also letting you design your one-slider UI.

If high frequencies are progressively lost and slightly delayed, you can setup either a multiband delay (.....very multiband), or just use an allpass filter (or series of them) and gradually attenuate or exaggerate the delay times, which I think would be the better solution. I think something like MFreeformPhase with a curve that resembles something like a gradual high shelf rotates the phases forward in time, delaying them slightly, and you could dial it in from there and even modulate the intensity of the effect, before you even get to stacking them (and you can even stack them in parallel if you want... multiple sorts of diffusion of this sort happening simultaneously, which may be a better result). Combined with some delay taps if you want to simulate stuff like nearby houses or trees that'll reflect the sound back to you, which you'd have nearly as prominent as the dry signal at higher distances (or even more prominent at extreme distances), and then elongate the predelay on those taps the closer the dry signal got and you'd also then do the distance attenuation EQ + allpassing on the delayed signal instead of the dry signal.

Combined with the suggestion from above about EQ attenuation of highs and lows + a reverb, you then just map that all to a slider with mappings per-parameter that make sense. The mappings would definitely, IMO, be the hard part after figuring out what setup of allpasses worked the best together. I find it easier to dial in the extremes: close, assign that to one extreme end of the slider; far, assign that to the other; and then start working my way towards the middle.

What DAW are you using? I might actually have some fun making this...

User avatar
KVRAF
1717 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Sat May 22, 2021 8:46 am

Between Precedence by 2CAudio and DearVR PRO by Dear Reality, I favour the latter. Sometimes, sound placement is more convincing when in motion - which, of these two, only DearVR PRO can do. It has a built in reverb effect so you can place the sound in various environments. Might be worth checking out as it's on sale this weekend - though I picked it up for much less last year.

Precedence is still useful though as I bought it for imparting natural sounding variation rather than employing it to set a sound stage: Though it will do this well enough, I was convinced to pick up DearVR PRO when I was able to position a sound behind my head without earphones.


EDIT: These auto links are rubbish. Completely incorrect product linked to in second paragraph.

Return to “Effects”