No longer just a buzzword from manufacturers, 3D sound has become more prominent in recent times. Naturally, everyone seems to have their own ideas for 3D audio, including developer NUGEN Audio. It’s created a new reverb plug-in called Paragon, and it is all about surround applications like Dolby Atmos. The plug-in works with impulse responses, applying a re-synthesis algorithm to get you options you normally wouldn’t find in straight algorithmic and convolution reverbs.
NUGEN Audio Paragon
As you may know, convolution reverbs work by sampling the frequency response of real ambiences and hardware effects. These recordings are called impulse responses – IRs – and are, however, static in nature. While the results are often superior to algorithmic reverbs in terms of realism, you don’t get to have as much control over the reverb’s intricacies. This is where Paragon adds IR re-synthesis in such a way as to bring you the best of both worlds within a modern reverb plug-in.
The re-synthesis engine provides control over the decay, room size, and brightness parameters of the virtual spaces. Paragon does not use time stretching of the impulse responses and, therefore, does not generate audible artifacts. In addition, there are features such as spectral analysis and a precise EQ section for really detailed work. The impulse responses are also unusual here. They are all 3D recordings of real rooms, letting you create multi-channel surround sounds (up to 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos). The crosstalk feature ensures proper and musical interaction between the individual channels. You can also use both mono and stereo signals for editing.
Because of these features, Paragon is particularly interesting for film and TV production applications. I’m not into the field, but I can imagine crews are already down for for generating Surround reverbs from any mono and stereo sources. Paragon could simplify a potentially very complex workflow. For example, the plug-in enables possibilities like removing reverb from the center channel, but keeping a sense of surrounding space by adding reverb to the rest of the multi-channel setup. Pretty next-level stuff if you ask me!
Price and availability
Paragon is a highly specialized reverb with some advanced tech that may eventually trickle down to more affordable plug-ins. This is reflected in the steep asking price of USD 599 / EUR 509. So not your next workhorse reverb by any means – thankfully, we have plug-ins like Spacerek for that!
NUGEN Audio Paragon runs as a VST3, AU, AAX and AudioSuite plug-in on macOS (10.9 or newer) and Windows (Vista or newer). However, the plug-in only works in 64-bit mode. You can download the instruction manual in PDF format from the manufacturer’s website. There, you can also request a free demo version. The price certainly warrants an opportunity for a test-drive.