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.
Beautiful piece, and amazing IR. That is quite impressive, I thought you recorded that in the mausoleum, as I skipped ahead and listened to your recording. I was taken aback by the twist at the end! Such a rich and absolutely gorgeous sound. I will be dropping that IR into Altiverb 7 soon, thank you very much for producing it. I found this post while searching specifically for an IR of this space to use in Altiverb on my musical (mostly symphonic) recordings. I’ve found a lot of crummy IR’s of desirable spaces over the years but your proof-of-concept piece is highly inspiring. Appreciate the effort!
I was really keen to download the IR for a project relating to Hamilton, but the link no-longer works… Is there someway I can get it from you?
hey thanks for pointing that out! I’ve fixed the link in the post, you can get the IRs here. Let me know how your project turns out!
Thanks for that! I’m actually using this IR as a live (loooooong) snare reverb for a band I work with and we’re all from Hamilton. Just taking a little bit of home with us wherever my mixing desk can go. Was meant to use it this year, but COVID…
ha! that’s awesome. I’d love to hear it if you get a chance to send it along.