Creating Effects in Music Pt 1

Making music is very rewarding when sounds gel together beautifully. To gel those sounds together we need to get the mix right and to get the mix right we sometimes need to use plugins in our DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Some of the Common Plugins are the Compressor and the Equalisers. The Compressor makes the sound louder, it does this by compressing the loudest parts of the sound and then bring the overall volume up. The Equaliser is used to boost or attenuate certain frequencies to give each part of the piece of music space to come through the mix.

The next common plugins are the Reverb and the Delay. Reverb gives the music the sense of space. Delay gives effects of echoing the sounds. A great article on the difference between these two plugins I have linked to below and given a summary on it below

Reverb vs. Delay – What’s the Difference Between Them? (November 8, 2021 by Beginner Guitar HQ Staff)

To the untrained ear, these two effects may sound interchangeable. But they do have some noticeable differences in the ways they create echoes

Another method, invented in the 1950s, is called plate reverb. Instead of a spring, it contains a large metal plate suspended between the transducers. Because the plate is super sensitive, it works best in isolated spaces. You can also play around with differences in tail length by stretching the plate or placing dampening pads near it.

Even today, many effects units try to “echo” the warm vintage sounds of tape loop devices, such as the Maestro Echoplex (“Maestro Echoplex EP-2” by Evan P. Cordes / CC BY 2.0).

When you turn on reverb, you’ll notice that it adds obvious space and depth. It makes your guitar sound bigger, but also further away. Still, it’s a great way to create a specific environment and draw your listeners into this sonic landscape.

You can hear Wall of Sound-style vocal reverb in Spector-produced classics like The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” (“The Ronettes 1966” by Renamed user 995577823Xyn / CC0).

As a beginner, it may be difficult to spot the key differences between reverb vs. delay. But once you understand the production vs. sound qualities between each one, you can start using them to recreate your favourite effects on your guitar (and other instrument) tracks. Not to mention experimenting with your own grooves….

In Part two we will go into to other plugins that can create different effects to help gel your sounds together in your piece of music.

Until next time Stay Safe, Stay Cool and keep producing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.