Review: Nugen Audio's Paragon
Fernando Richard & Ivan Markovic
Issue: May/June 2021

Review: Nugen Audio's Paragon


COMPANY: Nugen Audio

PRODUCT: Paragon

PRICE: $599


- Supports AAX, VST3, AU and AudioSuite in 64-bit only

Formed in the early, pre-COVID days of 2020, Immersive Audio Solutions (IAS) is a Dolby Atmos-approved studio based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Founded together with our partner/sound designer Francisco Bissone (pictured, center), our company focuses on the three business models that play into our strengths: traditional music mixing, film and TV post production, and music recording, with a focus on Ambisonic, Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 and other immersive sound applications. With decades of experience under our belts, we have always found it vital to utilize the best tools available on the market.

As longtime Nugen Audio users, we first became familiar with the company about 10 years ago, through its MasterCheck mastering software. Since then, we’ve added the Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix plug-ins, which are also great for immersive sound projects. When the opportunity arose to implement the Nugen Audio Paragon 3D-compatible true convolution reverb into our toolkit, we knew it would be the perfect solution for our immersive sound projects. 

Using technology developed alongside the University of York’s Dr. Jez Wells, Nugen Audio’s Paragon reverb was designed with purity of sound at its core. A 3D-compatible convolution reverb, Paragon analyzes, decomposes and re-synthesizes 3D Impulse Responses to create new, authentic spaces. This ensures a small digital footprint for the IR library and makes it possible to configure limitless combinations of spaces with just a few adjustments to the settings. 

Unlike traditional convolution reverb, Paragon does not use static IR, which provides a wider scope to transparently transform the sound of a space. It is well suited for recreating authentic sounds of real spaces and manipulating IRs while still maintaining true convolution characteristics. Operating in up to 7.1.2 channels of audio, Nugen Audio’s Paragon reverb plug-in can be used to create immersive reverb in all mono, stereo and surround formats. 

Fernando Richard: One thing that I learned with Paragon is that you can use it not only as an immersive reverb, but also as a creative tool, and I think that’s very important in our line of work. It’s very obvious that Nugen has put a lot of time and effort into creating plug-ins that benefit the creativity of mixing and mastering engineers, whereas other brands focus more attention on the technical aspects. 

With Paragon, you can pan the dry signal to the left and, with the crosstalk feature, you can let that one sound reverberate in all directions. The IR panel allows you to change the frequency response by EQ-ing the reverb model itself and altering the frequency-dependent decay rate, which transparently transforms the sound of a space. It’s also very good in the way that it lets you expand the sound into all the speakers without using panning. You can run your audio through Paragon and it works inside the mix; that makes the workflow faster and allows you to apply your ideas very quickly. I think that’s key.

Ivan Markovic: When it comes to my immersive sound mixes, I utilize Nugen’s Halo Upmix very frequently. It’s a great tool that complements Paragon very well. With Upmix, you can turn mono or stereo sources into immersive files and, similar to Paragon, it is also great for panning. One of the best things about incorporating Halo Upmix into a film project is the impact it has on ambience or background audio, which usually come in as stereo or mono files. Now, with Halo Upmix and Paragon, you can upmix that to bring it into surround, and then use the Paragon IR library to create this incredibly-wide, immersive sound. 

It’s very important to create an atmosphere in an immersive sound project and Halo Upmix and Paragon allow you to create a feeling of a space all around you. With Paragon’s crosstalk feature, you can also produce surround reverb from those mono or stereo sources, adding a sense of liveliness to the files. The added control over the reverb interactions of each channel makes it additionally beneficial for dialogue intelligibility. 

Fernando Richard: With Nugen, there is a clear benefit to the at-home listener experience. Many times, content is being watched on mobile devices and listened to through headphones. It’s often very difficult for software to recreate the same experience for headphones, but Nugen’s algorithms translate to headphones in a very accurate and real way. That has been an especially useful feature, as we’ve been mixing and creating throughout the pandemic. It has allowed us to work from home and then take the project into the studio, where there are 12 speakers, and still have the same level of accuracy in our surround. I think that is really big. In the end, like all Nugen Audio software, the Paragon reverb is an excellent solution for mixing film-sound projects.  

(L-R) Fernando Richard, Francisco Bissone and Ivan Markovic operate Immersive Audio Solutions ( in Buenos Aires, Argentina.