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Ballad of effects

Effects are an integral part of any musical composition. Often whether it will be successful depends on their correct choice. And it doesn’t matter what genre the song belongs to, effects are used everywhere. There are people who claim that “real” music does not need effects. Partly they are really right. After all, with the help of them hides the shortcomings of sound recording, vocals, professionalism of musicians, and the immoderate and frequent use of effects can simply do harm. But think about how monotonous and boring music would be if humanity did not come up with effects.

We will understand when it is appropriate to use them.

The first purpose of the effects is to mask interference and all kinds of technical and executive errors. To clean music from clutter, the Noise Gate effect is often used. It is supported by many modern sound processing programs, including the beloved Sound Forge, guitar processors: ReValver and others. The essence of this effect is to cut out the sound of a certain level, corresponding to the level of all kinds of noise, hissing, electric hum. Dynamic Range Compression Effect – Compressor helps make sound longer in duration. Compressor well conceals vocal imperfections – the sound becomes more even, phrases end with a more complete and rich sound. This effect and its various options can be found in any sound processing applications. Reverberation – reverb, presence effect – simulates the presence of a sound source in a room. Also, to some extent, masking the shortcomings of sound recording. Example: play something on a guitar and compare the original sound with the sound processed by this effect. In the second case, all your mistakes and mistakes as a guitarist are almost invisible. Although this is not the only reverb application.

The second category is technical effects. They are used when it is necessary to change the parameters of the original sound, such as tonality, volume, saturation with certain frequencies, etc. Of course, first of all it is an EQ equalizer. It is already not perceived as an effect, so we are all used to it. For those who do not know yet: an equalizer is needed in order to adjust the volume level of the given frequencies. It is the equalizer that decides whether your music will be full of bass, treble or midrange. There are three types of equalizers in Sound Forge: graphic, paragraph, and parametric. Also in this category can be attributed the effect of Pitch Shift. It allows you to transpose the original signal into a different key without changing its speed. This is useful when you need a lower or, conversely, higher sound.

The third type of effects is artistic, i.e. effects are literally used as decoration. This Wah-wah is a lotion, an essential element of blues. The sound of this effect is similar to its name – wow-wow. Based on a periodic change in the frequency of the original signal. Very good and simple, in my opinion, this effect is implemented in Sound Forge. Delay – delay. The delay effect is realized by mixing the original sound signal with its copies, delayed for a given time. A similar mechanism is implemented in the echo effect Echo. A very interesting, “floating” sound is provided by the Phaser and Flanger effects. Their mechanism of operation is also based on delay. Flanger: the sound is mixed with its copies, which have a meager delay, which is also constantly changing. In Phaser, this delay is so small that the ear perceives it not as a delay itself, but as a phase difference. Tremolo – the effect of cyclically changing the sound volume. Chorus – the effect of the chorus, creates the illusion of playing several instruments simultaneously. The sound processed by him becomes richer and more fluid. This effect is present in all modern sound programs, but I prefer to use the Chorus Cakewalk. Overdrive and Distortion are perhaps the two most popular effects. They create a powerful, heavy, saturated with harmonics sound by cutting the amplitude of the original signal. Overdrive gives a softer and longer sound than Distortion. Very often, these two effects are used simultaneously. In Cakewalk-e and Sound Forge-e Distortion and Overdrive are not implemented very well – a lot of interference. Use ReValver – there everything is done much more thoughtfully.

Now let’s practice combining and using effects:

1) Open Sound Forge, then the File / Open menu. Find any sound file that you would like to process.

2) Now select the Effects tab and click on the Reverb effect. We put the finished installation of Cathedral and click OK.

3) Select the Flange / Wah-Wah / Flanger / Wow-Wah effect and the Wah-wah setting 1.

4) Now get rid of the noise. Click on Noise Gate, then select the installation of Noise gate 2.

5) Listen to what you got.

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