UPDATE: I know the title does say FREE, but some of the websites that are linked below have added a modest charge for some of their impulse responses since this article was published. They will remain listed because the quality of the impulses is so astounding that it is impressive they were even offered free to begin with!
Over the last decade convolution reverb has made its way into the studio as a common method of synthesizing reverberation. While it doesn’t quite emulate algorithmic reverb units that contain modulation like those made by Lexicon, it is very hard to beat for a cost effective way of mimicking specific real acoustic spaces and similar hardware units. At its center, convolution reverb relies on an impulse response – an audio recording done to strict criteria that is used to mathematically process the signal. An impulse response is usually recorded using a starter gun shot, sine sweep or balloon pop to stimulate the sound of an acoustic space. To get you started, here is a list of free and donation based impulse responses available across the internet, made available by many generous convolution reverb aficionados. If you can spare the change, please consider donating a few dollars to the appropriate makers – the gang over at signaltonoize.com in particular spend a lot of time and money hosting their amazing impulses. The quality of the impulses vary due to a number of factors such as the equipment used to record the impulses, methods of deconvolving the audio, bandwidth of the original reverb hardware, etc. So please note – these or suggested for use purely at your own risk.
Hardware – Free Impulse Responses
- Dynacord DRS-78 Digital Reverb Unit (1978)
- Bricasti M7 Digital Reverb Unit (Multi-format Impulses)
- Bricasti M7 Digital Reverb Unit (True Stereo Impulses)
- TC Electronic M5000 Reverb Unit
- TC Electronic 6000 Reverb Unit
- Yamaha SPX-990 Reverb Unit
- Quantec QRS-XL Room Simulations
- Lexicon PCM-70 REV 3 Reverb Unit
- Lexicon PCM-70 REV 2 Reverb Unit
- Lexicon PCM-90 Reverb Unit
- Lexicon M300 Reverb Unit
- Lexicon M200 Reverb Unit
- Lexicon 224XL Reverb Unit – Made right here!
- Sony DPS-V77 Reverb Unit – Made right here!
- Lexicon 480L Reverb Unit
- Eventide H3000 Reverb Impulses
- URSA Majors Space Station & Kurzweil KSP8 (altiverb)
Real spaces & Misc – Free Impulse Responses
- Voxengo Software Impulses
- Acoustic Spaces #1 (Multi-Format)
- Acoustic Spaces #2
- Acoustic Spaces #3
- Hardware Units, Speakers & Real Spaces
- Sony Acoustic Spaces Impulses (.sfi format)
- Concert Hall Impulses
Impulse Response Reverb Plugins