Alex Harker’s music software research taken up by industry leader Ableton, Berlin

CeReNeM Newsletter, October 2012

Congratulations to Dr Alex Harker whose research on the HISSTools Impulse Response Toolbox, developed at CeReNeM with Dr Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, has found commercial application in the form of a convolution reverb for Berlin-based music software company Ableton’s flagship Live 9 environment. Ableton approached Dr Harker in early 2012 based on his previous work in this area, and the software has recently been announced here:
The convolution reverb, which allows the sound of real spaces or sampled reverb hardware to be applied to any input, comes as part of Max for Live (which allows users to use Cycling 74’s MaxMSP audio programming environment within Live). The HISSTools Impulse Response Toolbox provides the underlying technology for the device, enabling novel features, such as the use of different sampled spaces for the early and late parts of a reverb, as well as realtime control over virtual room position. Samples of a select number of Huddersfield venues, including the Phipps Concert Hall are included in the library of impulse responses that ships with the device.
Ableton’s Live is a popular music production tool with a worldwide community of users, and a particular emphasis on live performance. Artists using Live include recent chart topper Goyte, DJs Richie Hawtin and Coldcut, electronic musicians Monolake, Scanner and Richard Devine, and instrumentalists such as violinist Todd Reynolds and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer.
The HISSTools Impulse Response Toolbox is an open source and freely available set of tools for MaxMSP that deals with  impulse response related tasks such as acoustic measurement and correction, realtime and non-realtime convolution and deconvolution.  For more details see the HISS website: The toolbox has also found its way into Rui Penha’s open source set of spatialisation tools spatium, available at
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