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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 delay-based effects: Chorus/Flanger and Phaser. Now with Chorus/Flanger, you're really getting two effects in one, Chorus and Flanger. Chorus adds some multiple short delays and a little bit of feedback to get kind of a thicker sound. It sounds like maybe more than one person might be talking or singing at once. Flanger is a holdover from the psychedelic 60s, when they had reel-to-reel tape drives. You had to take two reel-to-reel tapes of the same sound, the same piece, play them and record them to another reel-to- reel, and as you were you playing those two reel-to-reel drives at the same time, you would take your finger and touch the flange, Touch the plastic around the reel-to-reel, to slow it down.
And you can do that back and forth on both reels, to kind of give you the sort of wa-wa effect. Thus came the name Flanger. Let's work on the Chorus Effect first. So, we've have got the Chorus/Flanger Effect applied to with this vocalist. We'll open up the Settings, and you'll see that you have a choice: Chorus or Flanger, inside the same dialog box. So, we'll stick with Chorus for now. (Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge.) That's got the Thick Chorus preset going, so it sounds like multiple voices. It will sound like even more voices if I knock the speed down. That kind of intensifies the effect.
(Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge.) There we go. The Width specifies the maximum amount of delay. So, let's just see how that goes. I'll try it at the beginning again. (Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red) And the Intensity controls the ratio of the original to the process, which is very much like the Wet versus Dry, the right-hand side being Wet and the left-hand side being Dry. So, Dry means no effect at all. Wet means the entire effect. We'll start on Wet and go to Dry.
(Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red) So, we can adjust the Intensity of the effect there. Transience something that probably won't have much of an effect because it looks for little bits of sound that are not necessarily directly connected to the vocalist, or to whatever sound you've got going on here. They are called Transients, obviously. It will try to intensify the transient sounds that exist in your audio, but there may not be very many, so it won't be too obvious. But we'll just try that out here. (Woman Singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red) Really hard to hear a difference there.
Let's go over to the Flanger side, and we'll do my Declaration of Independence narration here for that one. Double-click click that. We got Chorus/Flanger hooked up. I'll go to the Settings. We'll switch over to Flanger. Listen to that. (Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one) Hear how the audio kind of shifts surround? That's the touching the real-to- real tape effect going on there. And then I'll adjust some of these settings, just to show you how that changes. (Male Speaker: people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another) (Male Speaker: and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and) And again, Intensity, we'll shift from Wet to Dry.
(Male Speaker: of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind) (Male Speaker: requires that they should declare the causes which) So that's Chorus and Flanger. Let's go over to the Phaser, Phaser, which I think gave the name to Star Trek, but I can't be totally sure about that. But let's assume that it did. Phaser is a different kind of approach. It's like the Flanger, but Flanger has variable delays. It as if someone puts their finger on the flange when they choose to, whereas Phasers sweeps the changes. You can hear them moving continuously up and down as the changes are added.
(Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dis- ) Let's go to the Settings. I'll choose the Default Setting for now. And let's take a look at this. Stages says the number of phase shifting filters. The higher setting produces denser phaser effects. Right now, there is 3, but the maximum can be 6. (Male Speaker: dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another) It doesn't change these too much, but it does make it kind of thicker as you go to more stages. Intensity is the amount of phase shifting applied to the signal. It's not the same as the Wet versus Dry.
That's down here in the Mix. (Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people) Let's apply a different preset to make it a little more dramatic. I'll call Rubber Monster. That sounds pretty strange. (Male Speaker: to dissolve the political bands which have connected them) (Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes) Now the Mod Rate, which stands for Modulation Rate, controls how fast the filters travel to and from the upper frequencies. So let's just adjust that. (Male Speaker: necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have) The Phase Difference is how the phases shift in a stereo signal.
This is not a stereo signal, so that's not active. The Upper Frequency sets the uppermost frequency from which the filters sweep. So, let's just adjust that, and the higher we get, the weirder it's going to be. But usually, you try to find a frequency in the middle of the sound that you're working with to have the most dramatic effect. But you'll see that that really depends on the voice. I'll start over again here. (Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political) (Male Speaker: bands which have connected them with another) And then Feedback feeds a percentage of the Phaser output back to the input, sort of intensifying the effect.
A negative Feedback inverts the phase, so it creates a strange effect on this side, and this thing sort of just amplifies on that side. Let's see how that works. (Male Speaker: When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the (Male Speaker: political bands which have connected them) Then the Mix, again, is the Wet over here and Dry over here, and the Output Gain is the Decibel Level. Let's just try Phaser on one other thing besides me. We'll go over to the voice, to our vocalist, and apply Phaser to her, just to give you a sense of what it's like when someone is singing. We'll take a different default this time.
We'll try it Underwater. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water) You can change the number of Stages again, and all that kind of stuff. (Woman singing: water's edge, a sky of ye-) And obviously, the more the merrier. (Woman singing: Yellow, blue and red) And you can use Phaser and Chorus/ Flanger on instrumentals, but if you do this, you won't necessarily notice, particularly if there is more than one instrument. If you're working with a single instrument, then it's a little more dramatic, but a group of instruments, you can hardly tell that you've applied these things. So, that's basically what I would call the Delay-based effects: Chorus/Flanger and Phaser.
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