Question about Reverb Impulse Response file formats

Question about Reverb Impulse Response file formats

I was wondering if anyone knows or can explain the differences in impulse response file formats, and if it makes much difference in what you use them with or for. I think some are formatted for specific software or hardware, but I’m looking for more general and broad application advice.

The reason I ask is I have a collection of numerous types, and wonder if there is some mismatching. Some are just .wav, some are pairs of ***L.wav and ***R.wav (maybe from my Pro Tools days … or just separate mono files), some are M-to-S which I’m sure is Mono to Stereo, and I think there are specific types for Waves reverbs etc. Of course there are variations of sample and bit rates too.

My main focus is convolution reverbs such as ReaVerb (I use Reaper), but if guitar amp sims (cab loader) use certain formats that would be good info too.

Just looking for a better understanding, and to make my library more consistent if possible.
And if it really matters that much, or if the plugins naturally make anything work correctly.
I may be overthinking it a bit, but I’m approaching it as I may not know as much as I think I know. :wink:


A lot of times you want to have a separate impulse for your L to R, R to R, L to L and L to R. It’s what is called “true stereo.”

I’m not sure there’s any real standard in labeling them, so they may not be consistent, depending on how the impulses were captured and how they are intended to be used.

I find most of the time, summing the sound to mono before sending it to a dual mono reverb is good enough for real sounding reverb, but you can get more immersive reverb with true stereo if realism is what you are going for.

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Thanks Boz, so how do those separate impulses work with reverb plugins? Do you have to have one plugin for each impulse? For what you described, a total of 4 reverb impulses and 4 plugins for one channel? It makes sense, but I guess I’m kind of hazy on how you implement that.