Assignment 5: Within a musical context demonstrate the effective usage of two of the three types of modulated short delay effects (flanger, phaser, chorus).

Hey all,

Gary here.  For this assignment I chose to demonstrate the (hopefully) effective usage of Flanger and Chorus on a piece of music I made while messing around in logic.

I have never really understood how effects like flange and chorus worked.  I only realised they were forms of modulated short delay when I saw it described in this course.  So I will attempt to show you how I decided to use Chorus and Flanger.

I will discuss this under the following headings

  • Well then, just what is Chorus.
  • Ok, I get you but can you tell me what a flanger is?
  • How I used these lovely effects.

Letsa go!!

Well then, just what is Chorus.

Chorus in the sense of a plugin for music is not all too different from the idea expressed by the (kind of creepy) picture to the left.

It is often used to make an instrument sound like there is more than one person playing.  Chorus works by using multiple detuned delays to create this effect.

In a choir (or chorus) not everyone will be perfectly in tune or keep exactly the same time throughout a piece.  It is those discrepancies that create the wide and full sound that we associate with large groups of singers.

The chorus effect takes the input signal, makes lots of copies of it and varies the delay time in each copy.  Different delay times translates into a slightly different pitch for each thus creating the thick detuned sound we associate with chorus.  It will sometimes push the signal out wider in the mix, giving the affected instrument a fuller sound.

I get you but can you tell me what a flanger is?

When trying to look up an interesting picture for this paragraph all I got when I googled flanger was pictures of boring foot pedals.  I then tried to use another word, one that reminded me of the word flanger.  That word was “squidgyboo” and that brought me to this cat.

A flanger works by taking a comb filter (a signal coupled with a slightly delayed version of itself) and putting it into motion.  It will create notches (or spikes) at regular intervals along the signal (giving the appearance of a comb) and moves them.

It will often create subtle differences in how the signal moves in the left and right speaker, this gives the back and forth swirly motion that we associate with a flanger.

How I used these lovely effects.

I first made the piece of music in logic.  Here is the untouched version.

https://soundcloud.com/gazztastic/assignment-5-dry

When listening to this piece I felt that the rhythm and lead guitar are fighting for dominance in the piece.  I felt that the rhythm was too far forward in the mix so I thought I would try to push it out to the side.  

To do this I decided I would use a chorus.  In logic the three parameters you can control are Intensity, Rate and Mix.  I used the following settings:

  • Intensity: 45%
  • Rate: .500Hz
  • Mix: 55%

I found that these settings created a subtle but still noticeable effect.  I also found that the  rhythm guitar moved out of the way, as it were, of the lead guitar allowing it to stand out a little more.  I hope you agree.

https://soundcloud.com/gazztastic/assignment-5-chorus

After the Chorus was added I still felt there was something missing from the piece.  I felt the lead guitar was too dry.  For me the lead guitar sounded too rough cut and I wanted it to sound fuller and slightly more interesting.  For this I used a flanger.  In Logic the parameters you can control are: Feedback, Intensity, Speed and Mix.  These are the settings I used:

  • Feedback: 67%
  • Intensity: 50%
  • Speed: 0.133Hz
  • Mix: 50%

I found that this effect beefed up the guitar a little and made if far more interesting to listen to.  I liked the feedback it added to the lead guitar, it made the blend more with the final mix.  Again I hope you agree.

https://soundcloud.com/gazztastic/assignment-5-flanger

That is all from me this time around.  I hope I demonstrated the use of these effects well. I hope you enjoyed this assignment.  I still feel I have a lot to learn about modulated short delays and I think they can be a lot of fun to play around with.  See you all for Assignment 6.

Gary.

About gazztastic

This blog is another attempt at self motivation to do these four things in a year: (In order of supposed difficulty) 1). Achieve at a 75% or higher in the JLTP 二級 test. 2). Write and record a song every two months 3). Learn all the modes in guitar, learn to play at least 3 classical pieces and learn to sweep pick. 4).......lose 10 kilos Should be doable if I can make myself get up and do them!!!!
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