In 2013, as a project for The New Radiophonic Workshop, I was able to visit the Hamilton Mausoleum in South Lanarkshire to record the incredibly long and beautiful reverb in that building. At 15 seconds long it is quite possibly the longest man-made reverb in the world. Just listen to the sound of the door slamming shut…
So I travelled to Hamilton in May with a great little team made up of Lauren Sarah Hayes, Tobias Feltus, and Varun Nair. One of our main aims was to record an impulse response of the legendary 15-second reverb – this would then allow us to apply that reverb to whatever sound we like, after the fact. For more information about recording impulse responses, read Varun’s great article on Designing Sound.
If you are interested in the impulse responses we recorded, and have the requisite software (Logic, Altiverb, etc), you can now download the IRs in a number of different formats here. I think they sound pretty amazing, and definitely capture the feeling of being in the Mausoleum, which is very strange indeed.
I’ve used this reverb to make a short piece, dedicated to my wife, called “Living in the Recent Past”. Have a listen.
If you are running Chrome, or possibly another Web Audio enabled browser, you can also try listening to the reverb yourself. Go to this website and allow it access to your microphone – be sure to wear headphones! It should, theoretically, let you hear the reverb for yourself. I’m listening to it right now as I type, and every keystroke is a thunderous 15 second echo. Your mileage may vary, as Web Audio implementation is still quite spotty.
Many thanks to Visit Lanarkshire for helping with our visit.