Reverb and Delay – Blog Post #5

Welcome to the second last blog post of this year’s in-depth project! This week, Anja taught me all about reverb and delay. Both of these are very commonly used effects that you can apply to audio tracks to make them sound a certain way. This lesson was probably my favourite so far because there is no wrong way to use these effects. You can adjust the effect to make a variety of different sounds, meaning I get to have a lot of creative liberty when applying this to my music. To start with, Anja showed me how to adjust reverb. This effect adds an echoey or cave sound to audio. You can change the settings to make it sound like you are in a big or small room, how long the echo carries on for, how long before the reverb starts, cutting high or low frequencies, among many other settings. Many people use at least a little bit of reverb on vocals to add a more ambient sound. Delay is similar but slightly different. Delay adds a repeating sound that fades out, similar to an echo in a cartoon. You can adjust the sync to the beat, the length of the echo, the rate of delay, and the frequencies of the delay. After Anja showed me how to use and adjust these effects on a single audio track, she told me about how there were two different ways I could apply these effects. The simple way would be to just put the reverb and delay directly onto the audio track, but if you increase the volume of the effect, the volume of the original track decreases. To avoid this, the slightly more complicated way of applying the effect is called parallel processing. This is where you make a separate track just for the reverb and delay, and layer it underneath your original track. By the end of this meeting, I was very satisfied with the progress we had made. However, I reminded Anja at the end of the meeting that she had promised to teach me how to export my tracks properly. Apparently, exporting music is very different from exporting movies. The process is called ‘bouncing’, and in order to bounce out all of your music, you need to highlight all of your tracks, make sure the click track is off, choose your file type, and make sure you checkmark ‘offline’ to make the process faster. This process is a lot more complicated than I expected, but pretty straightforward when it actually comes to bouncing out your track.

In future meetings, Anja will continue to teach me how to use different elements of Pro Tools First, and soon we will begin piecing together a complete song for my final presentation!

An image of the reverb plug-in in Pro Tools First

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