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Get in the Mix: Flanger and phaser effects

From: Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation

Video: Get in the Mix: Flanger and phaser effects

Dialing in a very short delay time and modulating it via That ringing, hollow, ear tingling sound that is created by a flanger, The bridge of this tune offers opportunities This time around, all the world may never >> I like how this sounds, but if you were This time around. Take a moment to Bear with me as I get a bit philosophical here.

Get in the Mix: Flanger and phaser effects

Dialing in a very short delay time and modulating it via the three delay modulation controls leads to an effect know as flanging. The only rule is that the delay time needs to be in that range short enough to lead to audible comb filtering. That suggests a starting delay setting of less than about ten milliseconds, though the effect may be more obvious at delay times closer to five milliseconds. This ensures audible comb filtering will occur. Set the delay modulation controls to taste. That ringing, hollow, ear tingling sound that is created by a flanger, comes from the simple comb filter effect enhanced by these modulations controls.

While a fixed, short delay creates a comb filter, a changing short delay creates a sweeping comb filter. As the delay time sweeps, the tone is radically reshaped and that's flanging. The bridge of this tune offers opportunities for some aggressive shifts in the mix. A change of scene of arrangement or of texture. I want to sonically separate this part of the song from the rest of the verse and chorus structure in this tune. Flanging immediately comes to mind. Let's listen to the bridge and for context, we'll start one phrase before the bridge starts and listen onward for one phrase after.

This time around, all the world may never know what happens if we stop dreaming. This time around. These days are changing like never before. This time. This time around. The days are changing like never before.

We start breathing. You've probably heard this tune before elsewhere in this course. If so, you already know that this production is rich with exquisitely layered interwoven vocal arrangements. These intense vocal sections embellish not just this bridge, but also every chorus in the song. We set them off sonically in the bridge, by inserting a dedicated flanging effect. >> I like how this sounds, but if you were mixing and had other ideas, you keep adjusting to taste.

This sort of mix idea invites you to bring your own personal touch. Your own artistic maturity to the mix. Flanging is a strong effect that, if taken too far, might make the bridge too different, too weird. Transporting the bridge of this song to the 1960s with images of purple paisleys and peace signs would be a distraction. The 60s have no real connection to the meaning of this song. There's a fine line between your flanging effect being a nice touch and too much. Listen as I push the delay parameters too far.

This time around. Take a moment to sing for love. This time around. These days are changing. Like never before. Been a while. This time around. Take a moment to sing for love. Bear with me as I get a bit philosophical here. I think it's important for us as recording engineers, to draw comparisons between the sounds we hear and the meaning we invest in them.

It can be fairly abstract, it might not be the least bit obvious to the casual listener who plays the recording later, but having a mental motivation for how the mix supports the song writing, how the engineering supports the performing, is important to the success of your recordings. It reaches attentive listeners directly and casual listeners subliminally. What do you feel when this bridge ends and the next chorus unfolds? In my mind, this bridge makes me think of the following, in growing layers of abstraction. First, I want the mix to support the song form and the arrangement, verses to choruses to bridges, the mix is under no obligation to sound the same.

Most of the time, they don't. Mixes, the faders, pan pots, and mutes, are all changing and so are many of the effects. Introducing the flange effect on these vocals is part of that. I want to sonically distinguish the bridge from the other parts of the tune. Listen, critically and emotionally, to the full context. Let's listen to the full chorus before the bridge, through the entire bridge and into the chorus that follows. >> In addition to contrast I'm also thinking that I want a bit of swirling motion in this bridge.

That lyric, the song title, it's called This Time Around. Makes me want some things in the mix to move around. A modulating delay does exactly that. Lastly, I really want to come out of this bridge into the final choruses with a climactic lift that all listeners can't help but feel. For the bridge, I'm picturing it woven into some sort of cocoon followed by the feeling of a butterfly taking first flight in the chorus. Corny, I know, but that's what's in my head as I set up the sonic contrast from the bridge to the chorus.

Tangled, tight constraint to soaring freedom. I'm sure no listener receives the same image, but it serves as a mental template to keep me focused while mixing. Effects like flanging are so abstract and so subjective, that we benefit from a bit of philosophizing.

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This video is part of

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Foundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation

32 video lessons · 9232 viewers

Alex U. Case
Author

 
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  1. 4m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      50s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      54s
    4. Using the "Get In the Mix" Pro Tools session files
      1m 34s
  2. 25m 46s
    1. What is delay?
      2m 7s
    2. Creating delay effects overview
      1m 41s
    3. Delay time, level, and feedback parameters
      3m 0s
    4. Utilizing a low-pass filter and polarity reverse
      3m 7s
    5. Setting up an effects loop for delay
      1m 6s
    6. Setting up an effects loop in a DAW
      5m 40s
    7. Setting the delay time by tempo
      5m 40s
    8. Setting the delay time by ear
      3m 25s
  3. 31m 29s
    1. Overview of short, medium, and long delays
      3m 49s
    2. Long delays
      3m 17s
    3. Get in the Mix: Using long delay on key lyrics
      7m 2s
    4. Get in the Mix: Establishing groove with long delays
      8m 42s
    5. Get in the Mix: Creating slap-back echo with long delays
      6m 6s
    6. Advanced tape-delay effects
      2m 33s
  4. 49m 48s
    1. LFO
      2m 39s
    2. Get in the Mix: Modulation rate and depth
      7m 32s
    3. Get in the Mix: Modulation shape
      7m 43s
    4. Delay effects examples in various plug-ins
      3m 52s
    5. Medium delays
      3m 52s
    6. Get in the Mix: Chorus
      5m 54s
    7. Get in the Mix: Double tracking
      6m 23s
    8. Get in the Mix: Spreaders and thickeners
      11m 53s
  5. 16m 31s
    1. Constructive and destructive interference
      2m 16s
    2. Short delays
      1m 6s
    3. Get in the Mix: Creating a comb filter and a flange effect
      5m 34s
    4. Get in the Mix: Flanger and phaser effects
      7m 35s
  6. 19m 11s
    1. Using delays in a real-world mix
      16m 59s
    2. Course summary and goodbye
      2m 12s

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