Elliot Kermit Canfield-Dafilou
This work introduces VampireVerb, a parameterized modal reverberator created from acoustics measurements recorded at Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania, popularly called “Dracula's Castle.” With limited evening access to the space, balloon pop sources were recorded using an A-format microphone and handheld recorder in several acoustically interesting rooms, including the armory. Spatial impulse responses were estimated from the balloon pop recordings, and a modal reverberator was designed to simulate the measured acoustics. In the main rooms, reverberation times T30 in the range [0.7 s, 1.2 s] were noted. A long, narrow stairwell and the torture chamber were acoustically dry, and did not produce the sound one would typically associate with Dracula's Castle. To bridge this gap between the actual and imagined acoustics, the mode frequencies and dampings were parametrized so as to interactively vary the size of the space and materials present, transforming the recorded rooms into large, stone spaces with the long reverberation times one would expect in Dracula's Castle. Finally, a nonlinear process was embedded in the reverberator architecture, producing a reverberant noise process modulated according to the evolving input signal spectral envelope, thus making VampireVerb both a traditional reverberator, and an instrument for compositional and performance applications.