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Experimenting with Fun Audio Effects

You may have noticed that the Bandpass and Channel Audio effects have very narrow functions—and they're not all that much fun.

You'll find the fun stuff in the Effect folder along with Multitap Delay in the Reverb & Delay folder.

Give Chorus and Flanger test drives. Their purpose is to give breadth—"depth and character" as the Premiere Help section puts it—to solo voices or instruments. If you have CDs that fit this bill, now's the time to rip a couple tracks. But, it's also fun to use your own singing voice—on pitch or not. Here's how:

  1. In either case, drag a solo instrument/voice audio track to the timeline.

  2. Select it and drag the Chorus Audio effect (it's in the Effect folder) to that clip or to the Effect Controls palette.

  3. Click Setup. That pops up the Chorus Settings dialog box, as in Figure 10.10.

Figure 10.10 The Chorus Settings dialog box.

In the Chorus Settings dialog box, you'll encounter yet another example of Premiere's arcane and sometimes confusing taxonomy. There's the now familiar Mix with its Dry (original audio) and Effect (altered audio) settings. But what's Depth? It's actually Delay. And then there's Regeneration? That's another word for Echo. At least, Rate is self-explanatory. Here's the skinny:

Chorus—Lets you create another "voice" that's of a slightly different pitch than the original voice. Try different settings and see how it helps your music—or if it helps. It's frequently not an improvement.

Flanger—Remove Chorus from the Effect Controls palette and replace it with Flanger. This alters the phase of the audio at its center frequency and sounds like the Chorus effect but can be a bit "wavy." It has three of Chorus's four controls. It does not have Regeneration (Echo).

Multi-Effect—This is an enhanced Chorus effect. As highlighted in Figure 10.11, it allows you to create a second, delayed voice and to modulate (change) its pitch using either a smooth, regularly changing sine wave or a random pattern. Once again, confounding terminology makes deciphering this more difficult than it should be. In this case, Feedback (how much of the delayed audio is added back to the original audio) is very similar to Mix, and Delay Time is self-explanatory (same as Depth in the Chorus effect).

Figure 10.11 Multi-Effect works like an enhanced Chorus effect.

Multitap Delay—This is a fun way to alter music that has a persistent beat—especially electronic dance music. You can switch on up to four, delayed audio "taps." Each tap offers Delay, Highpass/Lowpass, Feedback, Channel controls (Left, Right, Both) and Cross (bounces echoes between channels). Its Musical Time Calculator, highlighted in Figure 10.12, lets you synchronize the effects to the beat.

Figure 10.12 Multitap Delay is the most complex of Premiere's standard set of audio effects.

Task: Experiment with Multitap Delay

This is the trickiest effect from the standard Premiere palette. Here are a few steps you can follow to see how it works:

  1. Apply Multitap Delay to a music clip (if you have one; otherwise, any audio clip will do).

  2. Select each of the four taps, one at a time, and give each one a delay (up to 681 milliseconds).

  3. Click a filter icon to create a Lowpass or Highpass effect.

  4. Adjust the feedback to set how much delayed audio you add to the original audio.

  5. Choose the channel(s) to receive the delayed effect.

  6. Use Cross to bounce echoes between channels.

  7. Use Mix to set the relative amount of the original clip with the output of all the taps.

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