Chapter 7
Processing and Effects
If you’re new to recording music, you might be surprised by the extent to
which even a natural-sounding vocal on the radio depends on the arsenal of
software and hardware devices known as effects. Whether you’re trying to fix
problems, “sweeten” recorded tracks, or send your listeners on a sonic
roller-coaster ride, you’ll need to master digital audio signal processors. This
type of processing is usually handled by plug-in programs called effects.
W
Essentials
Processing and Effects
In this chapter we’ll discuss:
What signal processors are
How to apply non-realtime signal processors
and route real-time signal processors
Equalization and frequency: filter types and uses
Dynamics processors and amplitude
Time-related effects: delays and reverbs
Specialized processors: distortion, modulation,
and utility
Essential Terms
Signal processor, filter, effect
Non-destructive and destructive editing
Routing: channel strip; insert/send/return/bus;
side-chaining
Equalization (EQ): highpass, lowpass, band-
pass filters, parametric/graphic EQ
Filter parameters: cutoff frequency, center
frequency, bandwidth, Q/resonance, stop-
band, passband
Dynamics: compressor/expander/limiter/
gate/de-esser
Time: delay, echo, reverb
Convolution, impulse, impulse response (IR),
Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), fuzz/overdrive/
distortion
Modulation: tremolo, vibrato, chorus, flanger,
phaser, ring modulation, low frequency oscil-
lator (LFO)
Where to Start
Using your own audio software or one of the DAW/host demos included on the DVD, try out some
effects, especially parametric EQ, dynamics processors, and delay/reverb. See p. 210 for some ideas.

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