How Convology XT Was Born — 3,000 World-Class Vintage Effects for Pro Tools

By in Music Creation, Pro Mixing

We’ve been asked numerous times, how Convology XT was born and here’s the short answer.  Convology XT, a vintage convolution plugin with 2,965 vintage gear impulse response files, from 126 different pieces of vintage studio gear, was a collaboration between Impulse Record and Wave Arts.

Initially, the sampling of gear, started with what most consider as the crown jewel, the German 140 plate.  While it’s true the 140 sounds incredible, they can all be a little different, depending on modifications, tube, transistors and tuning of the plate– and that’s true for all plates and manufacturers.  But after obtaining (8) 140s and (2) German 240s (Gold Foil Plates), Impulse Record reached out to studios globally and decided that they would grab every known plate manufacturer, with the plates library ending up with 17 different physical plates – one of those manufacturers only producing 250 units in total.

After completing the Plates Library, spring reverbs were sampled next and a total of (39) spring reverb units were sampled and are available from Boingy, Bright and Warm sounding.  Spring reverbs are by nature, very interesting and a growing number of producers are using spring reverbs in ways that go beyond traditional uses.

Next came the early German DSPs with the 245, 246, 248 and the 250 being recorded.  A number of these units contain files from several studios.  Early on, Impulse Record set out to partner with studios who not only had the gear, but worked with Grammy artists and most importantly, who could deliver the quality of impulse response capture, that was required for this project.

An interesting side note – some of the files were up sampled to stay consistent with the 96/24 format, simply because with A/D converters being a work in progress back in the day, we had to work with each studio and piece of gear, to accommodate the unit, the path to the unit, to avoid unnecessary aliasing when running sweep tones.  Many early DSP units weren’t going much above 7,500 Hz and using a 96/24 sweep tone, had undesired results like aliasing, so we had to be cognoscente of which sweep tone to be used with each piece of gear.

A total of (36) 80s & 90s DSP units were recorded and we leaned on experienced engineers and producers, to give us the “sweet spots” of each piece and with so many presets each unit represented, made it challenging.  The 80s & 90s are divided into three categories – Basic, Classic and Pro.

The Echo Space library is unique, with different tape delays, oil can delay and some of the early Space Station units.  With the ability of the plugin to not only add or adjust chorus, reverse, amplitude and EQ, the envelope stretch, decay time scaling, and frequency-dependent decay time scaling, are very helpful when working with tape delays and delays in general, to dial in a specific delay BPM.

The Convology XT Vintage Amp collection, contains 17 different amps, including tone control variables, spring reverb settings, etc.  Vibrato and Tremolo are generally handled through developer software emulations.  There are a number of rare pieces in this collection thanks to our friend Brent, who wishes to stay anonymous.

Impulse Record is now working on a collection of True Stereo impulse response files, with libraries being released fall of 2019. As a side note, users can import their own True Stereo files in the current Convology XT plugin, along with their own AIF or WAV files.

For more info visit impulserecord.com/convology-xt and to download Convology XT visit impulserecord.com/cvxt-download.

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Tom Gauger - Founder of Impulse Record and Convology XT. Widely recognized industry leader, working many of the major recording software companies and library content providers.