Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Favourite Linux Audio Effects

Ubuntu Studio comes with hundreds of pre-loaded effects. Although I haven't gone through all of them, I have come across severval effects I found useful. I have described each effect below and also provided a screenshot in order to get a basic idea of what controls they have.

  • Equalizers

    Equalizers are used to individually vary the gain of several frequencies.

    Multiband EQ (by Steve Harris)

    This EQ has 15 frequencie faders (50 Hz - 20 kHz). Each fader's gain can be increased to 30 dB and decreased to -70 dB. See figure below.


  • TAP Equalizer-BW (by Tom Szilagyi)

    This EQ has 8 floating frequency faders along with gain and bandwidth faders. i.e. You must select the frequency that you want to boost/attenuate and then alter the gain. The bandwidth [usually referred to as quality (Q)] determines how much the surrounding frequencies are affected i.e. width of the notch.
  • Reverbs

    Reverbs essentially simulate a room/hall sound by introducing echoes.

    Gverb (by Juhana Saderharju)

    I found that this reverb was quite easy to use and produced fairly decent results with a bit of tweaking. The faders are pretty self-explanatory.

    Plate Reverb (by Steve Harris)

    This is a very simple reverb for quick and easy use. The damping fader determines how much of your higher frequencies are included.

    TAP Reverberator (by Tom Szilagyi)

    This is by far the most versatile of the three reverbs I've mentioned. The most important thing to remember is to set your reverb type. It defaults to Afterburn which sounds pretty bad. I like the Halls, Rooms and Plates.

  • Compressors

    Compressors allow you to either bring down louder parts or bring up the softer parts. This allows you to get more punch out of your mix. Check out my
    Overview of Compression post for more information.

    SC4 and SC4 mono

    The SC4 compressor is for stereo tracks and the SC4 mono is for... can you guess?...mono tracks. It has all that I require from a compressor as well as a neat Gain Reduction meter which shows you when it is working and how much is being compressed. The faders can be complicated if you haven't used a compressor before so please check out my post:
    Overview of Compression if you are confused.

  • Amplifier Simulators

    These effects aim to simulate how a certain type of amplifier would make an instrument sound.

    TAP TubeWarmth (by Tom Szilagyi)

    This cool effect, recommended by a fellow Brian's Bedroom reader here, basically makes you track sound fat (or phat if you're a gangster). It does this by simulating a tube amplifier which typically have a warmer sound. Drive is the essentially warmth and the Tape-tube Blend is basically a wet/dry mix fader.

Other posts you might find interesting:
Overview of Compression
High There?!
Live Sound, Monitors and Pepper Spray
Speaker Placement
Panning for Gold

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Anonymous said...

Plate Reverb best

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