Hi All,

I'm working on a film that the director and I want to do a LOT of worldizing on. Now I've done some, but I thought I'd throw it out to the brain-trust around here. What speakers do YOU use for worldizing (especially in Outside environments) and why?


  • as a side note, this thread would most likely apply to people recording impulse responses both interior and exterior. Looking forward to the answers - Feb 28, 2011 at 18:20

6 Answers 6


It depends what the outcome you want eg worldizing might mean car radio or transistor radio, in which case thats what you would want to replay through... Otherwise studio monitors feed from a car battery with an inverter would like be the go... When worldizing rumbles I found my studio subwoofer was a lot better than my bass guitar amp/bin - I guess in that case it was purity of sub signal that created the most resonance

  • 2
    Thanks Tim! That actually gives me a really great idea for a specific type of sound... worldized ONLY through the Subwoofer to get a specific rumble... See that's why this forum is so great! :) Ideas I wouldn't have thought of!
    – Sonsey
    Feb 28, 2011 at 19:27
  • Putting the car battery tip in the pocket. Thanks.
    – Miles B.
    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:00

Powered studio monitors are the best, because they're pretty self contained. The guys at Audio Ease have theirs wired to a car battery.

I would also look for powerful monitors with a flat frequency response, the less "speaker-y" sounding the better; unless you're going for that sound. I've used Genelecs or cheaper Tannoys for this sort of thing, or if you're lazy a car stereo can also do the trick.

Here's a great article on worldizing.

Good luck.

  • Thanks Justin... I've used Mackie's and Tannoy's in the past as well. Car stereo works well for well, car stereos (used that trick in the last film I did for this director) - but I've never thought of it for just a different sound. Thanks for the suggestion! Basically I want to get a WHACK of different sounds for this, hence the question...
    – Sonsey
    Feb 28, 2011 at 18:01

I would probably use a convolution reverb instead. It's a lot more flexible and it saves a lot of time. But you could make your own IR's. I would use a good and linear active studio monitor as the speaker. If it's over long distances outside, I might try a bigger speaker, like from a PA system.

  • Thanks Morten... got lots of IR's but they don't actually SOUND the same as worldizing a sound - good for space, but not necessarily perspective... If you haven't tried the procedure do. It's a lot of work, but worth the effort.
    – Sonsey
    Feb 28, 2011 at 17:58
  • @Sonsey, if using Altiverb you'll find that certain IRs will allow you to change the depth of field, in an attempt to mimic pulling the speaker further away from (or closer to) the microphone. Of course you're still processing through a single IR so any colorations will remain, but this method simulates perspective and may get you closer to your desired sound. Also try adjusting your early reflection and tail delays. FWIW I wholeheartedly agree with your wanting to effect your sounds with real worldizing, but for folks who aren't able to do that, convolutions can still be very, very useful. Feb 28, 2011 at 18:31
  • @Sonsey Thanks, I think I will try out the procedure the next time I get the chance Feb 28, 2011 at 19:20
  • @Jay Jennings Oh I agree that convolutions are great. I spend a lot of time in TV, and in those time and budgets, IR's are pretty much the ONLY way to go, but in this case, I've got the facilities to actually do for it real! Yay! (Sometimes indie has it's advantage...)
    – Sonsey
    Feb 28, 2011 at 19:29
  • I like IR-reverbs a lot, use then all the time on both dialogue, sound effects and foley, but there are many things they just can't do right now. Mostly, as far as I understands, 'cause there are limitations in swelling, and getting correct phasing due to no bit transarency. Among those sounds that I think often may really sounds awful without real amb is explosions, many hits, low freque sounds, and many other things that need akoustical surroundings to bloom. Especially big things like razing houses tend to sound very two-dimensional without real echos. Sep 15, 2011 at 2:00

Since IR's have come up quite a bit and I'm a big fan of them, here's a few suggestions and my .02 on it.

In the example of needing something played through a car stereo, you could always create an IR of not just the car interior, but the impulse being played through the car stereo, thus getting you a much closer result than just trying to capture the acoustics of the car.

An IR is simply the mathematical measurement of the dynamics of an "environment". Impulses don't just simply capture the reverb, but how a specific sound reacts in any variable of "environments" and the software then creates a convolution algorithm from that IR, whether that IR be from a physical space or the limitations and parameters of a specific signal passing through different stages of a piece of hardware, cables and it's settings. Any recording you ever make is essentially an IR of that source signal going through the various stages of processing you imparted upon it. It's now represented as a waveform in a digital file or on tape or whatever the medium. We call it a recording, but in reality it's actually an archive of an impulse response. We just typically don't view it on that much of a microscopic detailed level.

Example: Focusrite's Liquid Mix is essentially just Impulses being recorded through gear with incremental settings so that they can essentially "clone" the gear by creating a range of IR's that it calculates between. Thus supposedly giving you as close as an accurate representation of what that piece of gear is able to do to a signal. In essence, making it much more complex than the single snapshot style of Waves' Q-Clone or a simple Convolution Reverb with minimal parameters.

All the Convolution IR plug-in is doing is imparting the dynamic characteristics of an "environment" on the input sound based off of the dynamics of the IR that's loaded into it. Which is exactly like what we would be doing by "worldizing" something. We're just doing it in the analog realm as opposed to archiving that analog realm for future use as an IR (which is exactly what AudioEase's Speakerphone is). It's really not too far off from how a vocoder works (in a very loose concept).

Whether the results are realistic and usable depends entirely on the quality of the IR made. The only difference is that the IR may offer more or less dynamic control depending on what the IR is made of. You will have less control with an IR of a piece of gear that has countless setting variations than you would of a impulse being recorded in a simple environment that you can do nothing to change besides mic and source placement when creating your IR.

So, to save you time in the future if you happen to need to worldize sounds coming through a car radio a lot. You could maybe spend a day doing cars with different grade stereo's and cabin sizes to create a worldized IR car stereo library to choose from. You could also do this with cellphones, various TV's, radios and so on (Or you could buy Speakerphone, but that takes the fun and a bit of the originality out of it in my opinion). Personally, when making my own IR's I would use various sorts of Impulse triggers from very short white noise bursts to full test tone sweeps to get some variation.

Hope that wasn't overly complex or wordy and it helps. Mostly, have fun with it.


Sorry only found this now.

From what I know the guys from Audio Ease are using a Klein und Hummel PAS 100 speaker for their recent outdoor IRs. The results are pretty nice IMHO. For interiors they surly use studio monitors.

A note on IRs vs. worldizing: Though I have very little worldizing experience myself, I find that the big difference is that while worldizing you can dynamically change the speaker - mic relation and thus create effects that can not be reproduced with IRs.


I have used the Fostex 6301Bs with very good results for IR recording. They're pretty flat on the EQ side, don't use much power, and are very portable.

Not sure what's "best", but that's what I use. A lot of the responses here are very good.

It's not a bad idea to get a measurement mic and do some testing on your speakers. It can help you EQ your worldizing recording to keep it accurate to the original.

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