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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.
I want to talk about what I call the Reverb and Echo effects. Basically, both the Analog Delay and Convolution Reverb Effects use echoes. In the Analog Delay, it's a distinct echo that might be repeated a number of times, and in Convolution Reverb, those echoes are combined to create the sound of a room. It could be anywhere from a shower to a cathedral. So let's start with the Analog Delay. I am going to apply Analog Delay to this little speech here, this thing called the U.S. Constitution. (Male Speaker: We the People of the United Sta-) Let's just add that effect.
So, you go to Advanced. We're going to work with Advanced only, in these movies about the specific effects. We'll go to Analog Delay. If I just take the Default setting - (Male Speaker: We the People of the United States) Very distinct echoes. I am going to work only with the Settings in this movie and all other movies about the effects. Let's click open the Settings, and you'll see here the options for Analog Delay. And it has three things in the top that basically are sort of as if they are simulating the equipment that's making the Analog Delay, be it Tape, Tape/Tube, or Analog.
Let's just try this. (Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure -) You'll notice that the Analog side got a little bit richer when you went to that particular setting. So, you just need to try these guys out and see which one works best for you. They are intended to basically duplicate a piece of hardware. Now the Dry Out and Wet Out, I have talked about that elsewhere, but the Dry Out means that you're getting all of the original sound, and the Wet Out means you're getting all of the echo. You can determine how much of the echo you want to hear and how much of the original sound you want to hear by adjusting these guys.
(Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union) There, we're hearing only the echo. (Male Speaker: establish Justice, insure domestic) There, you are hearing only the original. So, you have some kind of mix of the two. We'll just start at the beginning and just adjust that a couple of times. (Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union) (Male Speaker: establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility) So you can see how that works. The delay is in milliseconds, and that's a fairly long time. That's two-tenths of a second there for the delay. If you knock it down to a very short period of time, like about 30 or so, it begins to sound like the Flanger, like you've combined a couple of voices together.
(Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order) That sounds a little more metallic than the Flanger would be. So, if you really want to get that kind of effect, you probably should use the Flanger instead of using Analog Delay. If you knock it down to something like 10 milliseconds, or 15, something, it just sounds a little bit richer. (Male Speaker: We the People of the United States) Like I just got a thicker voice there. If you move up to the higher level - (Male Speaker: in Order to form a more perfect Union) Notice how long the delay is there. So, we'll take it back down to about 100, for this time being. Feedback is an interesting thing. This says what the volume level of the echo will be.
In this case, it will be 20% of the original volume. If you change that to something lower, it won't be quite so dramatic. We'll just start from beginning and play that and make some adjustments here. (Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice) But now, if I move it up to 100%, that means at each echo will be equal to the original sound. And I am going to move the delay over to make it more obvious. I'll move the Wet Out over, as well, to make that more obvious. So, here we'll start low and move up high for the Feedback. (Male Speaker: insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,) As you can see, the audio level kind of builds on itself as you raise this volume.
It can get insane if you take it up to 200%. It will get insane, fast, and get really loud, so I'll just do it for a moment, and then I am going to turn it off, because it will get way loud in a second here. (Male Speaker: We the) As you can see, that just builds and builds on itself, because it's doing 200% of the original sound and adding it to the original sound. Let me knock this guy down. Finally, Trash, in this particular set, sounds bad. But in fact, it kind of makes it warmer. It's kind of a nice thing, actually, to add a little bit of Trash to your Analog Delay. So, let me just take this guy down a bit, take the Feedback down a bit, and make it a little easier on the ears.
(Male Speaker: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union) And that gets a little deeper, a little darker. Trash does that. Now you notice that Spread is not accessible here, because we're working only with a monaural file. Spread is available only if you're working with a Stereo file. So, let me close this down. Open up a Stereo file, like this one here. Apply the Analog Delay to that one. Look at the Settings. Now you can see the Spread is available. Let me see what this one sounds like in the Default setting. (Music playing.) Probably a little bit much.
So, let's take the Delay down to a more reasonable level. Take the Wet Out a little bit down so we'll hear it again. (Music playing.) Now supposedly, as you adjust the Spread, it will sound like it's a wider signal. If you're listening to this with your speakers on your computer, you may not notice this, but if you were to record this and put it on a CD and run it through your home stereo, you might be able to sense that the stereo is spread out farther as I spread this out a little bit. (Music playing.) What it does is it puts a little delay on each channel to kind of make it sound like they are little bit farther apart.
So, that's basically how you use Analog Delay. I want to switch over now to talk about Reverb. So, I am going to take this guy and select it, click on the Trash button, or press the Delete key. Get rid of that. Now I am going to apply Reverb to this. Click fx > Advanced > Convolution Reverb. It takes a little longer to load up Convolution Reverb, because it actually is the most processor-intensive effect that comes with Soundbooth. Let me click on Settings. You'll notice that something unusual happens here with just this effect. Convolution Reverb has its own set of presets in the Advanced Setting dialog box.
And if you go over here, it has a different set of presets. If I click on a preset and say, let's click on A Cold House and see what shows up in the Advanced Settings, it says Lecture Hall. So, there is some confusion here between this preset and that preset, but what happens inside Convolution Reverb is that each Reverb is attached to what's called an Impulse file. And about 20 files, these guys here, ship with Soundbooth. And what I noticed, right off the bat, is there is really nothing here for, let's say, a Large Cathedral, which I like to use when I am recording the choir that I sing with, this community choir.
If you're doing a studio recording, there is no reverb at all inside the studio, so you need to apply Reverb when you want to make it sound like you are in a very large space. And so I like we got to find some kind of a cathedral space to work with, when I change it from the dry recording in a studio to the wet recording inside a large space. So, there is nothing that says cathedral. So, I went around looking on the Internet to see if anybody out there had made Impulse files and made them available on the Internet. And lo and behold, you can find a whole bunch of Impulse files, if you just search around the Internet looking for Convolution Reverb Impulse.
And I found one set of them. Let me just load up the one that I liked, this one here called the St. Nicolaes Church. All you need to do is just click on that little Load button and track down that file, and now we've got this Custom setting. (Music playing.) You begin to get a sense of what that large space is like, as you adjust these settings. And I downloaded this from the site that we're going to put up here now is Voxengo, I think, is how you pronounce that site.
I just suggest you go there. There are four sets of the Impulse files that are all zipped up into four separate files. You can just get those, unzip them, and you can load them anywhere in your hard drive. They don't have to be in your Soundbooth folder, for that matter. And just go and click on Load and track them down and add them. Let's talk a little bit about these things. Room Size, obviously, is how large the room is, relatively speaking. When you dampen the low- frequency and the high-frequency, you can make it a little bit warmer, or a little less sharp, by using these particular settings. The Pre-Delay says how long it takes before you get the maximum amplitude of the Reverb.
The Width gives you basically the sort of stereo sense, and then the Gain usually is less for a lot of Reverb, when you first open it, but you can adjust the Gain back to full gain, which is 0, in this case, to get back to the original sound level when you apply the effect, like this. (Music playing.) Reverb is something you definitely want to use whenever you use voice that's been recorded in the studio, because you always want to add a little bit of Reverb to the voice. So, let's just do that, and we'll wrap up this particular thing on these two effects by adding Convolution Reverb to our vocalist.
(Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge) Click this, and now let's just adjust the Size and Mix and that kind of stuff. (Woman Singing: Blue and - I think of the things you -) Instead of a Classroom, let's take something like a Hall. (Woman Singing) And there you go. So, whenever you're working with vocals, you always want to add some kind of Reverb. So, that's what I would call the Reverb and Echo effects, Analog Delay and Convolution Reverb.
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