Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Modulation effects can be used kind of change the character slightly of the sound, or add a little bit more body, or just make it a little bit more interesting. All modulation effects basically work on the same principle, and they involve messing around with the phase of sounds. They involved taking a sound and taking a copy of it and then shifting it and playing them back at the same time, so that you actually generate different increases and decreases in volume based on their little offset in the phase between the two signals. I know we've talked about phase a few times in this title, and usually when it comes up it's something to be worried about. But it's also true that we can use it to our advantage to come over with some kind of interesting effects.
The three types of modulation effects I'd like to talk about and show you some quick examples of are the Phaser-- pretty aptly named--the Flanger, and then the Chorus effect. In terms of how these apply effects and how they work, let's start by putting a little bit of Phaser on a guitar track. So I've imported a cool guitar track that a pal of mine played. (guitar playing) We'll go ahead and pull out the plug-in here in the modulation.
I know it's called MetaFlanger, but we can actually use it to load a setting that's a Phaser. I'm going to go ahead and bypass it when we first listen to it. I've got a little selection in here and go ahead and roll it. (guitar playing) So there is the clean signal. Now I'm going to turn the Phaser on. (guitar playing) Can you hear that kind of wavering back and forth? (guitar playing) I'll turn it off again.
(guitar playing) There is again. (guitar playing) So there is the phaser.
It adds a nice, subtle, flowing change in the dynamics. And you can hear the pitch has changed a little bit. Because of that little phase offset, different frequencies are getting a little bit more boost than they usually do. But it's a variation in boost, so it kind of gives that ebbing and flowing sound. Now, let's throw a flanger on a bass guitar. We'll go ahead and use that same MetaFlanger plug-in, because it's cool. We'll load up our bass track.
So here's the clean signal. No effect. (bass playing) I'm going to Load up. (bass playing) So now we'll turn on the Flanger. (bass playing) So you can apply the Flanger to get a creeping effect.
A lot of times they'll use it in sort of more psychedelic rock on the drums, and you'll get this long creeping-up and then creeping-down sound, which I might take a second to show you. Let's go for that. (drums playing) Here this shows more the effect I wanted to show. (drums playing) Hear that creeping down? We can speed up how fast that goes back and forth.
And we can change the shape of that. So that's a flanger applied to drums. You can use the flange on a lot of different things. You'll find it fairly often on things like bass, guitar, occasionally on vocals, sometimes on backing vocals actually. It all depends on what kind of mix you're going for and what kind of effects you're working with. Finally, let's take a look at chorus. A chorus is nice because it can really round out of sound, and you'll here it applied to vocal tracks quite a bit and guitar tracks quite a bit because it takes the signal and just makes a sound a little bit bigger and makes it a little bit interesting.
It offsets it and makes a little modulations in the pitch, and it'll take what sounds like a very steady tone and give it a little bit more body, a little bit more depth. We'll starts just applying it to a voiceover to just get a sense of how we can add some depth to a voice with chorus. (Female speaker: Welcome to the lynda.--) So some medium chorus. I'm going to turn the mix down a little bit and we'll take a quick listen here. (Female speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006. Oops. 2000. January 19th, 2007) (Female speaker: This is episode 47. This week, learn to sync poser models to an audio file.) So you can add it to voices probably not in a voiceover, but in vocals, in recordings it's just great.
It can really be round it out make it a little bit girthier. Let's drop it on the guitar track again. That's also a pretty popular application of chorus. We'll do another instance of our MetaFlanger and go ahead and load up--let's call it the--let's go with the light chorus. Jump ahead here. (guitar playing) You can see it adds a little bit more than the Phaser does.
There is a little bit more modulation. (guitar playing) I'll bypass the sound, so there it is, clean or dry. We'll go back and add the effect back. (guitar playing) So that's the way you can add Chorus to guitar, and as you can see, it adds a pretty nice effect.
It can really add a lot of texture to that. So these are kind of the basic modulation effects: Phaser, Flanger, and the Chorus effect. But things can get pretty crazy. You can do a lot of interesting things and far-out things with the modulation. I'm just going to play around a little bit and show you a few different effects that you can get with modulation. I'm going to go ahead and load in a different plug-in here. We'll load up the Enigma, which I'm a fan of. We'll go ahead and use a couple of their presets. I think this one kind of cool.
We will use the voiceover track again. Get a load of this. (music playing) (Female speaker: Essential Training with Larry Mitchell) Those are pretty cool. (Female Speaker: For Friday, January 19th, 2006. Oops. January 19th, 2007.) So as you can see, you can get some pretty extreme effects with modulation.
You can use it in subtle ways to kind of just enhance things a little bit, or you can really blow things wide open and do some pretty crazy stuff. And it all depends on what kind of sound you're going for, or what you're playing with it. If you're doing sound design, modulation can be really great tool to use to make alien voices and things like that. If you're doing music mixing, you can use it to just kind of give different instruments a little bit different quality. Or if you have a like a special interlude section that you want to be the spacey section, you can add it on just a few instruments and make things happen. So anyway, they're good effects to know about, and really a lot of fun in terms of creating kind of different sounds and getting some unique sounds out there.
Now, let's take a look at some plug-ins that aren't quite so crazy, but are very practical. We'll check out some sound tools.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
73 Video lessons · 20518 Viewers
130 Video lessons · 20814 Viewers
110 Video lessons · 12619 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 14475 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.