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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
Let's look at a few other sound tools that are pretty cool. We will look at reverse and we will look at time expansion, or compression. So first, let's start with reverse. I will open that up from the AudioSuite, and as the name implies, it reverses stuff. I don't even need to preview it actually. We will just go ahead and go for it. I will make a copy over here, and we will process it. So what have we got? (drum sounds playing in reverse) Backwards. Very cool.
How about on a voice? I can kind of get some possessed sounds going. (garbled speech) So that's for the possessed podcast, for those of you who want to tune in. So reverse, it's pretty basic, pretty simple. You can use it for some pretty cool things. In music mixes, you can use a reverse cymbal hit as a nice transition into kind of different sections. Obviously, if you are doing sound design, you can use it to make some pretty interesting effects, different kind of shoops out into space and impacts and hits and things like that.
And also, maybe if you are doing a podcast and you wanted to kind of have something kind of lighthearted in there, and say, hey let's rewind that a minute, I don't believe you, you could hit that and kind of hear that backing up and say, okay. (garbled speech) Well, without the drums. (garbled speech) And then roll it again and say, let's hear that! (Female Speaker: This is episode 47) So there is ways you can kind of use it for fun. You can do kind of interesting things with it. The other thing I want to show you is time compression and expansion. This is another thing that is pretty much possible thanks to the digital world.
It wasn't really happening too much and very effectively before we had digital computers and we got to digitize audio. So it's really worth checking out. Again this is a file-level process. You can't use reverse or time expansion/ compression as an insert or a real-time plug-in. Remember earlier where we talked about pitch and we are kind of changing the pitch up and down, and there is a feature in there that allowed you to keep the rate of the performance the same so the time didn't change, just the pitch.
Well this is kind of the opposite. We can change the time without affecting the pitch, and it's very cool. I will go ahead and just show you a few examples of what's possible. Let me go ahead and delete our backwards track there, solo that out, and zoom in on it. And we can move this over here. Let's pick a couple words, just a short phrase, maybe this. (Female Speaker: This is episode 47) We will make it a little bit longer.
(Female Speaker: 2007. This is episode 47.) Let's say I want to make that take place a little bit faster. Well, I highlight it, and in my Plug- in window, I see the Source here on the left, which is the length of what we have got highlighted, and then the Destination, and right now there is no change. So its 4.6 seconds long, and the destination, the output of process, would be 4.6 seconds. I can drag a ratio here and change that and make it longer. So let's give that a shot. We will make it 7 seconds long.
(Female Speaker: 2007. This is episode 47.) So we have made a little bit slower. Now you can hear there is a little bit of artifact there, and that's one thing to keep in mind with most time compression/expansion stuff. You can use it, but only within reason. The greater the effect you ask for, the more chance you are going to get little artifacts, or little digital imperfections. I mean we are kind of asking it to do something pretty amazing. So I am going to undo that, and we will see. I bet we can probably get away with making it, maybe it's 4.5.
We could add another second to that, and it probably would still sound pretty good. (Female Speaker: 2007. This is episode 47.) And one of other thing you can do is go in and highlight each one of these little fellows and process them separately. We can also take this and make it shorter, so it happens faster. Take a second off that.
(Female Speaker: January 19th, 2007. This is episode 47.) (Female Speaker: January 19th, 2007. This is episode 47.) Pretty cool. So we can use this on the voice. We can also use it on instruments or on performances. If you have a little passages in a piece of music--the drummer maybe slowed down for a couple beats-- you can go in and try and apply this and speed them back up a little bit and shift things with it. Or you can use it if there is a couple of notes here and there that kind of get held too long. You can also go in and just individually grab those notes and slide them around.
But it's kind of fun to play with the time expansion/compression plug-in. If you are doing production for things like podcasts or TV commercials, and you know you want to get something to match up and you know that you have to make your production 30 seconds long and that's it, going in and kind of speeding up a few things a little bit here and there to kind of make sure you hit that deadline can help out a little bit. But again, you have to use it judiciously, because if you go too far--all people are pretty good listeners--and if we speed things up too much, people will know. And when people will hear something that seems kind of unnatural, unless it's there for kind of a comical effect, it throws us off a little bit, and it distracts us a little bit.
So if you are trying to create a podcast or something where you want people to be listening to the content of what you are saying, it's better to make sure that you deliver it in a way where the audio and production itself doesn't distract them, where they are sitting there saying, oh! That voice is sped up, as oppose to, wow! That's an amazing Pentium 7 computer Dave is talking about. Also, if you are working on like voiceovers that go with film where you kind of record the things out of sync or away from a film, you can use this to speed up or slow down little clips of the voice to try and make them match the mouth movements. Or if you are working against an animation, you can use this to change the speed the people are talking to kind of match sounds to images a lot better.
So time compression and expansion comes in really handy when you are trying to marry sound to picture. At any rate, regardless of what you are using these tools for, you will find that reverse and time expansion and compression are both really pretty cool tools and can be very helpful when you are working with audio.
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