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In this installment of Foundations of Audio, author Alex U. Case explains the fundamentals of delay and modulation effects and how to apply these effects, technically and creatively, to improve the sound of a mix. The course covers adjusting individual parameters such as delay time, level, and feedback; working with long delays to create echoes, enhance groove, and add support; using delay modulation for chorus and doubling effects; and dialing-in spectral effects from delay, such as flanging. This course also includes Get in the Mix (GITM) sessions for both Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro. Exercise files are also included with the course.
Delayed audio signals can be created in a number of ways. So far we've talked about making them with an analog tape machine. However, you'll most likely be using digital delay effects inside a digital audio workstation, your DAW. DAWs are particularly adept at handling delay effects. And unlike their analog counterparts, DAWs can be programmed to create any sort of delayed audio signal exactly as we require. You'll find a variety of plug-ins that can create delay-based effects in your DAW.
To better appreciate what's going on in a delay, let's take a closer look at our audio. A waveform can be shown as a simple plot of amplitude versus time. That's it. Amplitude, how much signal, and time, when did it happen. Your music, your art, is entirely represented by just two dimensions, amplitude and time. When we introduce delay effects, we're simply grabbing that time dimension and bending it to our will. What happens when we hear an echo? It's a straightforward concept.
Audio goes in, it waits however long you specify, audio goes out. We see here how a single snare hit becomes multiple, repeating, and decaying snare hits. We'll dial in effects like this later in the course. Simple on the surface, this process of temporarily storing a sound for some defined amount of time and repeating it an instant later becomes the building block for a vast range of effects. It's an essential, I'd even say required processor in all recording studio environments.
Your mastery of delay is therefore critical to your studio success. So let's learn more about it in the next movie.
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