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Visualising sound 09
Impulse response diagrams

Level of challenge Intermediate


Welcome to this tutorial on Impulse response diagrams.


An impulse response diagram shows the patterns of reflections or echoes in a room when a short sharp sound is produced. If the room is large enough we may be able to perceive individually distinct reflections which are commonly called echoes.


When the room is small, the reflections or echoes are complex and so close together that we cannot perceive them individually. We call this effect reverberation, or reverb. Even in a large room where we can initially hear individual echoes, the sound will evolve into reverberation as the pattern of reflections becomes increasingly complex.


Therefore , impulse response diagrams show us the mix and timings of echoes and reverb in a space.


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The impulse response digram has two axis, amplitude and time. Within this axis 5 properties are shown ..


© Project Studio Handbook 2013 - present day

Caption - Small room impulse response

In a small room, the pre-delay may be inaudible and the early reflections part of the reverberation. In this case the reverberation is perceived as an extension or part of the sound.


© Project Studio Handbook 2013 - present day


Common uses

The impulse response diagram is commonly used in reverberation plug-ins user interfaces to help us visualise and edit reverb parameters.


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