Splice Tips: Learn to Use Spatial Effects in Sound Design

Here, producer and educator Christopher Petti familiarizes you with common techniques and applications for using spatial effects in your projects. You’ll learn how to bring flat drum sounds to life, transform dull synths in to shimmering rhythmic textures, and create more animated sounds that are filled with warmth and air.

If applied with care, spatial effects are capable of gluing otherwise disparate elements together in to a unified mix, while giving each instrument its own sense of proximity within a singular cohesive space. This is especially useful when producing electronic music, since much of the sound design process occurs synthetically and thus is never recorded in a physical space at all. The creative use of these effects can introduce a convincing sense of depth and life to your tracks by adding character and sheen to the overall mix.

Key Spatial Effects Terms:

  • Size – Determines the overall size of the virtual room in which you can “place” your instruments and tracks.
  • Decay Time – Determines the overall length of the reverberated signal.
  • Pre-delay – Determines the length of time between the original signal and the occurence of early reflections.
  • Shape – Adjusts the shape of the virtual room, affecting reflection patterns and the characteristics of the reverb’s behavior.
  • Spread – Controls the width of the reverb’s image within the stereo field.
  • Damping – Emulates the effect of higher frequencies being absorbed by physical materials.
  • Density – Controls the density of reflections present in the reverb tail.

May 21, 2015