Intro to sound

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BY PHIL MOORE

EQ (Equalisation)

This is the audio effect you are likely to use most of the time, and it is largely invisible to the ear

EQ allows you to adjust the levels (volume) of specific frequency ranges. For example – Bass and treble controls are a basic form of EQ. Within Adobe Audition (and other audio editors) there are several EQs available in the Effects/Filters section. They allow you to fine tune an audio recording in a mix. Or to help reduce unwanted noise.

 

Dynamic Compression

Not to be confused with File compression (ZIP, MP3 etc). Dynamic compression is the second audio effect you will most often use. It basically squashes the sound so the loud peaks a quieter and the soft sounds are louder. – Reducing the dynamic range of quiet to loud. This helps make your audio more consistent and manageable.

 

Compression can easily be overused – squashing dynamic range too much. But used judiciously it is a quick and easy way to tame sounds with a lot of variable dynamics.

 

Normalization

Within Adobe Audition this is the one effects that needs to be applied in Waveform mode – not multitrack mode. And it is a ‘destructive’ effect. Meaning it will change the underlying audio file.

 

Normalize is the process of simply increasing an audio recording’s volume level to as loud as possible before distortion. It looks at the highest peak in the recording and boosts the overall volume to make that peak 0dB (or whatever setting you choose). Remember 0dB, in digital recording, is the maximum level. If your audio hits 0 (or above) you are into distortion.

 

Noise Reduction

There are a number of excellent noise reduction plug-ins available now (such as the Izotope RX filters) but the Noise reduction built into Audition is also pretty good. This is best used to reduce constant noise like air conditioning, a hum or buzz, rain, or some other consistent sound. It can however introduce some undesirable ‘flanging’ in the sound. A weird hollow noise. SO be careful not to apply it too radically.

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One thought on “Intro to sound”

  1. And remember Digital Audio is very unforgiving. If you record above 0db or 100 percent max level, you will clip and distort the audio and you cant undo the damage
    So always record a little lower around 90 percent. it will be clean and un-distorted.
    You can always Normalize it later.
    Brian Newington. Audio Guru

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