Friday, February 26, 2010

Techniques of 408 2

This week, we were taught how to use delay plug-ins to their full potential.
  • Vibrato - Is used to create a rapid to subtle variation in pitch. This is most commonly used when dealing with a 'pitchy' vocalist, and is also almost always relevant with bowed sting instruments. To achieve this effect insert a short delay plug in directly into the channel you want. Set the mix fader to 100% and the delay between 3-8 milliseconds. Put the modulation depth to approximately 25%, more or less depending on the effect you are going for. Adjust the rate to taste and set the feedback to 0%.
  • Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) - Was founded at Abby Road Studios when John Lennon was searching for an effect that sounded as if the vocals had been tracked twice. To utilize this effect, insert a medium delay plugin onto an stereo aux track that has the instrument that you want double tracked, being bussed to it. Set the mix to 100%, with a delay between 2o-50 milliseconds. Set the modulation depth to approximately 40% and the rate somewhere between .1-1 hrz. The feedback should be set to 0%.
  • Chorusing - Is used to create a 'Chorus' effect of a desired instrument. Place a medium delay on the actual track with a mix between 20-70%. The higher the mix, the more chorus effect you will hear. Set the delay time anywhere from 20 to 80 milliseconds. The mod depth should be around 10%. Rate anywhere from .1 to 10 hrz. In addition to just chorusing a single track, you can also bus tracks to a stereo aux track that has a the chorus set up on it to hear multiple instruments chorused.
  • Flanging - Common effect that can be described as being a sweeping sound. On a mono aux track, place a short delay. Buss the instruments you want to be flanged to the aux track. Set the mix to 50% and the delay time between 1 and 20 milliseconds. Set the depth somewhere greater than 25%. Set the rate to the grove of the song so the flange isn't random sounding. Adjust the feedback fader to much do you want to hear the flange?!
Another useful mixing tip that we learned was how to multiply signals using the board's patch bay. From the Pro Tools output on the patch bay take a TT cable and place it into one of the mult TT inputs. From here take another TT cable out of one of the other two or three available slots on the mult section. Now you can place the TT into a channel on the board to mix. You can use this routing scheme in order to have a signal that can be mixed many different ways. For example, you can have two snare sounds that are being mixed slightly differently. One might have a slower attack of compression applied for a snappier sound, while the other track has faster compression for a softer sound. The two tracks can then be adjusted to taste during the mix.

On Wednesday the class learned about generalized equalization guidelines. I learned that boominess usually occurs in the harmonics of an instrument. Also, if you take out bass frequencies, you can create the illusion that something is further away.
  • 50 hrz - Boost this frequency to add fullness to a kick drum. Cut at this frequency to take 'boominess' of electric bass.
  • 100 hrz - Boost at this frequency to achieve a 'harder' kick drum, electric bass, or piano. Boost to add body to snare. Cut to take away 'boominess' on piano.
  • 200 hrz - Boost to add fullness to vocals (depending on singer/key of song). Boost to add body and fullness to snare (snare and crack can get lost during a boost at this frequency). Cut to take out 'gong' sound of cymbals. Cut at this frequency to take out muddiness of vocals (if overpowering the rest of the mix.
  • 400 hrz - Boost at this frequency to add clarity to electric bass (can add a growl and create an aggressive sound). Cut at this frequency to take away ambiance of cymbals (cymbal wash, can create stick sound definition).
  • 800 hrz - Boost at this frequency to add attack to bass (string noise can be increased).
  • 1.5 k - Boost at this frequency to add even more attack to electric bass. Cut at this frequency to out 'cheapness' sound of electric guitars.
More frequencies to come...!

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