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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.
To use the effects we talk about in this course, we need to know how to set it all up. We get delays into our mix by setting up an effects loop. The effects loop is the path our audio takes as it goes from the source track into the delay processor and back to the mix. We've got to hook this up right, or none of our mix ideas can be realized. Beginning with the track we want to process, we need a way to tap into the signal and send it to our delay. In order to hear that delay, we feed its output to the mix too. Typically, an auxiliary send and return structure is employed using bus outputs and so-called aux returns to get our signal into the delay processor and then back into our mix.
While simply inserting a delay directly on the track might work, we commonly set up a type of delay effect that we want to use on more than one track. Using the aux send and return approach means that when we dial up a delay-based effect we like on the guitar, we can also apply it to the piano or any other instrument by raising the appropriate additional aux sends feeding the exact same instance of the effect. In the next couple of movies, we'll take a look at how to set up an effects loop in some common digital audio workstations.
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