Long before PRISM was tuning in your chats and emails, the US National Security Agency (NSA) had Teufelsberg – the three-domed structure erected on top of a “devil’s mountain” of WWII rubble dumped on top of a half-finished Nazi military school. From this perch high above Berlin, the US government and its allies listened in on the Communists of the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union.
Touring Teufelsberg these days is certainly possible, but it requires some climbing – you’re unlikely to be able to haul a sound system to add reverberation from its magnificent, neo-futuristic geodesic dome spaces. Here’s the next best thing.
The folks at Balance Mastering got into the different domes of the structure to record impulse responses – files that you can add to a range of reverb tools (including some free ones) to make it sound as if your sources are being heard in this environment. (The technique is known as convolution.)
They’ve captured some amazing sounds. You get cavernous reverbs, but with a lot of character – strange reflections and resonances owing to the space – in a number of variations. Logic and Ableton each have reverb plug-ins you can use these files with, and Balance Mastering in the article suggest other solutions, too, including free Mac and Windows plug-ins.
Free Teufelsberg NSA listening tower impulse responses
If you’re curious about the space – which has also been the scene to some Berlin party history (well, and the odd Native Instruments promo video), VICE/Motherboard have been there:
Take a Tour of Teufelsberg, Berlin’s Abandoned NSA Listening Station
Maybe that isn’t your only wish. Curious what your tracks sound like on a big club sound system – and don’t have any friends running sound at Berghain? Solved:
Free Funktion One impulse responses. Hear your mix at London club The Hive Project.