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In Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack demonstrates how to record, edit, optimize, and enhance audio using the professional tools in Adobe Soundbooth CS5. This course covers basic audio edits, such as trimming, fading, and panning clips, removing unwanted noise, enhancing audio with special effects, and creating stereo blends from multiple tracks. An overview of recording hardware and a detailed explanation of core audio concepts are included as well. Exercise files accompany the course.
In my chapters on audio effects, I explained the types of effects, how to apply them to clips and how to customize them. So, I won't go over that again here. Rather, I'll show you how to move between the multitrack and the edit views and give you a few examples of effects that work well in the studio session that I've been weezing in this chapter. So, let me explain what I've got in front of you right now. I have this multitrack-example- mastering.asnd file, and you've seen this before if you saw the movie on the Mastering Effect. And what I have done here is I've taken a bunch of the studio session clips and put them together into stereo files.
Let me show you what I am talking about. These are the original session clips recorded in that studio in Santa Rosa. There are 14 tracks here, 14 clips, and rather than build a multitrack file with 14 clips in it, which might be a little unwieldy, I tried to cut that down a bit but still use all these tracks. So, I combined the ones I recorded left and right into stereo files left and right, panning the left all the way left and right all the way right, for the vibes and the strings and the keyboard. And then if you worked on the earlier movies in this chapter about how you create multitrack files, you saw that we combined the five percussion tracks into a stereo track that way as well.
So we end up having - when all is said and done here - we have four stereo tracks. And then we apply three solo tracks: the voice, the flute, and the bass. So, we end up with seven tracks, instead of 14. Let me show that here in the multitrack file. We've got the three solos here: voice, bass, flute, and then the four stereo tracks down here: keyboard, percussion, strings, and vibes. Now the thing is you can't really see the full track here as it's currently configured, and if I try to shrink these guys by dragging this up, I can't shrink the tracks any shorter by dragging here.
So, if you want to be able to see a particular track, you can use this Minimize button, just so you know. Click that and that minimizes that track, and now you can get a sense of how many tracks you've got, or, of course, you can scroll around here on this side. Or if you want to see a particular track fullscreen like that, you can just click Maximize track. There you go. And ultimately, if you want to go really fullscreen, you hover your cursor over a track and press the tilde key. That takes you to fullscreen that way. I'll go back by pressing the tilde key again. Okay, so let's go back to restoring the track to its original setting. There we are.
Now what I want to talk about is how you apply an effect to a track inside a multitrack file, and there are three ways to do that. They all take you to the same place. Let me just give you a sense of how that works. The sort of standard way you are going to do it is you are going to take a track, and you want to click on this little button called Edit. That takes you to the Edit View of the multitrack session and notice that it solos this clip. In fact, you're seeing the other tracks down here - they are kind of tucked away - but you are really working only on this track. And it's soloed so you don't hear the other tracks as you are playing with this. (Woman singing: Sun sets on the water's edge.) Right, like so.
When you are done editing, you click Back to go back to the multitrack view. Another way you get there is to select a clip, and then go Clip > Edit Clip, and it takes you to the same place. Click Back this way. And finally, since you are thinking about adding an effect to a track, if you select the track like that, then in the Effects panel, there will be a little button here that says, "If you're going to apply an effect, my friend, you've got to click on me to open up the Edit Clip mode." So three ways to get to the Editing mode and here we are now in Editing mode.
Now I want to think in terms of what kind of effects do I want to apply to individual clips in this multitrack file. And, of course, with the voice, numero uno when you're adding an effect to a voice is always Reverb. So, we are taking a studio session, which is pretty dry, and you want to get a little bit of Reverb. So, the first we want to do here we are going to give this little Convolution Reverb by going down here to FX > Advanced > Convolution Reverb (Advanced). It takes a while to open because Convolution Reverb is the most processor- intensive effect here. We'll go check out the dropdown list here.
Which one do we want to use here? None of them really jump off the page at me. I am going to go to Settings, and then select the whole Medium Size Cave, which will be overkill for sure if I just take it in its default settings. (Woman singing: Sun sets on the water's edge.) Whoa! I don't want to use that, but we can listen to and make some adjustments and set a reverb that I think will sound pretty nice here. So, I take it back to the beginning, and I am adjust the reverb settings as we listen. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red. ) (Woman singing: I think of the things you said, and in the morning light, having held you through the night,) (Woman singing: slowly climbing out of bed, I think of the things you said.) I am pretty satisfied with that.
Increase the Gain a bit, increase the Width a little bit, decrease the Mix so we have more of the original and less of the reverb. And then I adjusted the Damping a bit to make it little brighter, I think I'm pretty happy with that. Now I want to give her voice a little bit more presence too, so I am going to use that Vocal Enhancer, which is a simple thing to do. Just click on this, click the Settings and select Female. That ratchets up her voice to give a little bit more presence. (Woman singing: lying somewhere in the shade.) Very good. Now I want to use the Compressor because the Compressor allows a vocalist's voice to stand out amongst all the instruments.
So, I'll use the Compressor for that. Advanced > Compressor. click the Settings. I could adjust these guys manually but boy oh boy! It's kind of tough to figure this things out. So, I'd much rather use a preset. Let's go there and look at that. We've got Vocal Booster. What Vocal Booster does, again, it increases the overall volume and also it suppresses the dynamic range to kind of give her a little more presence, to make it sound like she's singing out above the other instruments. And this might be too loud. I might have to knock it down a bit. Let's see. I'll go back to Settings and see what happens here.
(Woman singing: I'll stop) Way too loud. See? It goes way over there. So, let's knock her Gain down a bit to something more reasonable. (Woman singing: stop and think of a remark you made.) Okay. Good. So now, we've applied three effects to one track inside this multitrack session. Let's go back to the multitrack file and see how that works. (Music playing.) (Woman singing: water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red) So, that's how she sounds. Let's quickly jump back and see, by turning those guys off, let's see how she sounds without them on. (Music playing.) (Woman singing: and in the morning light -) It kind of disappears in the mix.
Let's turn back on, go back to the mix, and see how that sounds. (Music playing.) (Woman singing: having held you through the night) Very good. Now I want to do one more thing. That's a bass boost. Here is our Bass guitar. And if you do it right, you don't necessarily have to the bass a boost, but I want to give this guy a little boost. So, we are going over here, Advanced, and we'll do EQ Parametric. I am choosing that because I know it has this preset called Bass Booster. I can't go wrong there. If I look at it, you can see that little Bass Booster right here.
That's where it lifts up the bass. Let's see what it sounds like. (Bass playing.) Turn it off. (Bass playing.) Just a little more presence in the bass, and that makes me happy. I want to go back to the multitrack file and listen to these guys all together now. (Music playing.) (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, (Music playing.) (Woman singing: a sky of yellow, blue and red) So, that's basically how you can apply effects to individual clips within a multitrack file.
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