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This section describes the effect operations of the Audio Editor Interface in detail. These effects can be applied to a specific section of the audio data or the entire audio loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. The effect operations discussed in this section include echo/delay, reverb, chorus, flange, pitch shift, the equalizer and visual levels. Much of the information in this section expects that the user is familiar with the waveform navigating techniques of highlighting audio and using markers. These topics are covered in Section 6: The Audio Editor Interface in Detail.

Topics
  • Overview of the Effect Operations
  • The Echo/Delay Effect
  • The Reverb Effect
  • The Chorus and Flange Effects
  • The Pitch Shift Effect
  • The Equalizer Effect
  • The Visual Level Effect




  • Overview of the Effect Operations

    Multitrack Plus Audio Editor Effects When creating a polished or creative audio production, audio effects are often a must. The Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus comes equipped with a set of the most popular effects used in audio production: echo, reverb, chorus, flange, pitch shift and equalizer. These effects can be accessed via the pull down menu system (visual aid item #1) by selecting "Effects". To the right is a visual aid that shows the "Effects" pull down menu activated and displays the different effects available.





    The Echo/Delay Effect

    Multitrack Plus Echo The "Echo/Delay" effect can be used to apply an echo sound to audio. By selecting this option from the "Effects" pull down menu the "Echo/Delay" dialog box will appear as shown to the right. The user is given the option of selecting where they wish to apply the effect: to a highlighted section of audio, a section of audio selected between markers or the entire amount of audio data that is currently loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. Notice that if a highlighted or marker section does not exist, these options will be disabled.

    After selecting which section of audio you wish to modify there are four other main settings available to create the exact kind of echo effect you desire. The first setting is the "Dry Volume Level" This allows you to change the level of the original audio. A setting of 0.0 decibels will leave the original audio unchanged, a negative setting will decrease the original volume level and a positive value will increase the original volume level. The next setting, the "Wet Volume Level" allows you to set the volume level of the created echoes. The value given in this setting will be the audio level of the first echo and each subsequent echo will deteriorate by the "Decline Percentage" setting. The final setting is the "Delay in Milliseconds". This setting allows for a delay ranging from 1 to 1,000 milliseconds.

    A few other options to note when using the Echo/Delay Effect are the "Audio Units", "Presets" and "Lock Left and Right Channels". The "Audio Units" option allows you to choose between decibel and percentage. When adjusting the audio levels you can do so using whichever unit suits you better. The "Presets" control allows you to use and create predefined values. Simply double click on any of the preset names to apply the preset values. To add a new preset value fill in the edit box located below the select box and click "Add". Checking the "Lock Left and Right Channels" checkbox allows both channels to be set identically no matter which slider value is adjusted. This makes setting identical volume levels for both channels easier as you will only have to modify the value for one channel. If this option is not selected you will notice that each channel's slider and level value moves independently. This is necessary when you wish to adjust only one channel's value.



    The Reverb Effect

    Multitrack Plus Reverb

    The Reverb Effect can be used to apply a reverb sound to audio. Reverb is similar to an echo effect except that instead of one echo returning, reverb can be thought of as multiple reflections of the original audio returning. For example, if an audio source is located in a room with audio reflective walls, the sound will reflect off of the walls. Since the placement of the walls are most likely at different lengths from the audio source some reflections will return sooner than others.

    By selecting the "Reverb" option from the "Effects" pull down menu the Reverb Effect dialog box will appear as shown to the right. The user is given the option of selecting where they wish to apply the effect: to a highlighted section of audio, a section of audio selected between markers or the entire amount of audio data that is currently loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. Notice that if a highlighted or marker section does not exist, these options will be disabled.

    After selecting which section of audio you wish to modify there are five other main settings available to create the exact kind of reverb effect you desire. The first setting is the "Dry Volume Level" This allows you to change the level of the original audio. A setting of 0.0 decibels will leave the original audio unchanged, a negative setting will decrease the original volume level and a positive value will increase the original volume level. The next setting, the "Wet Volume Level" allows you to set the volume level of the created reverberations. The value given in this setting will be the audio level of the peak reflections, the time it takes for reflections to reach their peak levels is controlled by the "Early Reflection Delay" and the "Late Reflection Delay". The delay settings can range from 1 to 1,000 milliseconds. The rate at which reflections deteriorate is controlled by the "Decline Percentage" control.

    A few other options to note when using the Reverb Effect are the "Audio Units", "Presets" and "Lock Left and Right Channels". The "Audio Units" option allows you to choose between decibel and percentage. When adjusting the audio levels you can do so using whichever unit suits you better. The "Presets" control allows you to use and create predefined values. Simply double click on any of the preset names to apply the preset values. To add a new preset value fill in the edit box located below the select box and click "Add". Checking the "Lock Left and Right Channels" checkbox allows both channels to be set identically no matter which slider value is adjusted. This makes setting identical volume levels for both channels easier as you will only have to modify the value for one channel. If this option is not selected you will notice that each channel's slider and level value moves independently. This is necessary when you wish to adjust only one channel's value.



    The Chorus and Flange Effects

    Multitrack Plus Chorus The Chorus and Flange Effects can be used to apply a chorus or flange sound to audio. Both chorus and flange are phasing effects. A phasing effect creates a single echo with an initial delay value and a variable delay. The only difference between the two effects is that the chorus effect allows for a larger amount of delay between the added voice that creates the actual chorus effect. By selecting the corresponding option from the "Effects" pull down menu the Chorus or Flange Effect dialog box will appear as shown to the right. The user is given the option of selecting where they wish to apply the effect: to a highlighted section of audio, a section of audio selected between markers or the entire amount of audio data that is currently loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. Notice that if a highlighted or marker section does not exist, these options will be disabled.

    After selecting which section of audio you wish to modify there are six other main settings available to create the exact kind of chorus or flange effect you desire. The first setting is the "Dry Volume Level" This allows you to change the volume level of the original audio. A setting of 0.0 decibels will leave the original audio unchanged, a negative setting will decrease the original volume level and a positive value will increase the original volume level. The next setting, the "Wet Volume Level" allows you to set the volume level of the delayed version of the audio. The base, constant delay value for the delayed version of the audio is labeled as "Delay in Milliseconds" and can range to different sizes for both effects. The variable delay is set as "LFO Delay in Milliseconds" and cannot exceed the base delay value. The variable delay is determined by a LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator). The "LFO Frequency" is used to set the frequency of change for the variable delay. The phase of the LFO can also be set using the "LFO Phase" setting. Adjusting LFO settings is useful when attempting to create very unique sounds.

    A few other options to note when using the Chorus/Flange Effect are the "Audio Units", "Presets" and "Lock Left and Right Channels". The "Audio Units" option allows you to choose between decibel and percentage. When adjusting the audio levels you can do so using whichever unit suits you better. The "Presets" control allows you to use and create predefined values. Simply double click on any of the preset names to apply the preset values. To add a new preset value fill in the edit box located below the select box and click "Add". Checking the "Lock Left and Right Channels" checkbox allows both channels to be set identically no matter which slider value is adjusted. This makes setting identical volume levels for both channels easier as you will only have to modify the value for one channel. If this option is not selected you will notice that each channel's slider and level value moves independently. This is necessary when you wish to adjust only one channel's value.



    The Pitch Shift Effect

    Multitrack Plus Pitch Shift The Pitch Shift Effect can be used to apply a change in the pitch of the audio. By selecting the "Pitch Shift" option from the "Effects" pull down menu the Pitch Shift dialog box will appear as shown to the right. The user is given the option of selecting where they wish to apply the effect: to a highlighted section of audio, a section of audio selected between markers or the entire amount of audio data that is currently loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. Notice that if a highlighted or marker section does not exist, these options will be disabled.

    The pitch shift effect contains two main settings: the Initial Pitch and the Final Pitch. These settings allow the user to change the pitch of the selected audio by a constant amount or a variable amount. Also, the "Units" setting allows the user to select between two different pitch units: semitones and a ratio. When using semitones to change the pitch a positive amount will increase the pitch, a negative amount will decrease the pitch and an amount of 0.0 will leave the pitch unchanged. When changing the pitch using ratio units a ratio of 1.0 will leave the pitch unchanged, a ratio less than 1.0 will decrease the pitch and a ratio greater than 1.0 will increase the pitch.

    The pitch shift effect also allows for setting a different initial and final ratio. Setting different initial and final ratios will result in a change in pitch over the course of the effected audio. For example, if an initial pitch ratio of 0.75 is given and a final ratio of 1.25 is given the initial pitch of the effected region of audio will begin at a lower pitch and then gradually increase to a higher pitch.

    A couple other options to note when using the Pitch Shift Effect are the "Presets" and "Lock Left and Right Channels". The "Presets" control allows you to use and create predefined values. Simply double click on any of the preset names to apply the preset values. To add a new preset value fill in the edit box located below the select box and click "Add". Checking the "Lock Initial and Final" checkbox allows both channels to be set identically no matter which slider value is adjusted. This should be used if you want a constant change in pitch to be applied to the audio. If a variable pitch change is desired uncheck this option and you will be able to adjust each slider independently.



    The Equalizer Effect

    Multitrack Plus Equalizer The Equalizer Effect can be used to change the tone of the audio. By selecting the "Equalizer" option from the "Effects" pull down menu the Equalizer dialog box will appear as shown to the right. The user is given the option of selecting where they wish to apply the effect: to a highlighted section of audio, a section of audio selected between markers or the entire amount of audio data that is currently loaded into the Audio Editor Interface. Notice that if a highlighted or marker section does not exist, these options will be disabled.

    The equalizer effect works very similarly to a graphic equalizer of a typical home stereo. As you can see in the image to the right, there are 10 bands to the equalizer. Each band controls a frequency range of the audio. Simply increase or decrease the level of each scroll control associated with a band to increase or decrease the corresponding frequency range. As you adjust the scroll control you will see the corresponding value change in the "Equalizer Values" section. These values can also be entered in manually. Also, by having the "Lock Left and Right Channels" checkbox option selected you can control the equalizer levels of each channel simultaneously. If you would rather have separate equalized levels simply uncheck this option and then select the "Left Channel" or "Right Channel" option to control the channel you wish.

    A few other options to note when using the Equalizer Effect are the "Audio Units", "Slope Type" and "Presets" controls. The "Audio Units" control allows you to select between using decibel values or percentages when making changes to each frequency band. The "Slope Type" controls the type of slope used between frequency bands when two adjacent bands differ in audio levels. The "Presets" control allows you to use and create predefined values. Simply double click on any of the preset names to apply the preset values. To add a new preset value fill in the edit box located below the select box and click "Add".



    The Visual Level Effect

    Multitrack Plus Independent Channels The Visual Level Effect is only accessible from the Realtime Audio Effect dialog control. For more information on Realtime Audio Effects please see Section 4: Applying Realtime Audio Effects. The Visual Level Effect is used to control the level of audio output at various time points via a graphical display. When first selecting the Visual Level Effect the dialog box to the right will be displayed. This dialog box asks if you would like to have levels be channel independent. If the levels are channel independent you will be able to adjust the levels differently for each channel. If you choose to not have the levels channel independent, the levels for both channels will be adjusted identically.

    Multitrack Plus Levels After making the independent channel selection the Visual Level Effect dialog control shown on the left will appear. The level placement area (grid area with points and lines) is where you will be able to place level points. To place a new level point, click the right mouse button at the position where you would like to add a new point. A small popup menu will appear allowing you to select "Insert New Point". To remove a point, right click on the point and select "Delete Point". To change the level of a point left click on a point, hold the left button down and move the mouse up or down. As you move the mouse, the point's position will change. Whenever the mouse is inside the level placement area the time position and level of the current position are displayed in the edit box below the area.

    If you selected channels to be independent, the drop down select box on the far left can be used to select which channel you are currently editing. If you look at the bottom portion of the level placement area you'll notice time markers. This is the current portion of time for the audio track that you can apply level settings to. Use the horizontal scroll bar and the zoom in, zoom out and view all buttons to change the current view. Note that time units can be switched between the standard minute, seconds and milliseconds display and the tempo display which shows measures, quarter notes and sixteenth notes using the "Time Units" drop down select box.

    Whenever the mouse moves over an existing audio level point, the information pertaining to the point appears in the "View / Edit Point" controls. The audio level for the point can be manually adjusted using the "Level" edit box. Also, audio units can be toggled between decibels and percentages using the "Audio Units" drop down select box.