Audio Effects #

This chapter is broken up into sub sections, check the menu and it should have expanded!

Please Read This, for real

Automation Lanes Are Your Friend #

A lot of audio effects boil down to automating some simple parameter. Some times you may not actually need a dedicated effect and can instead get by with using Automation Lanes (YouTube, once upon a synth) in you Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Talk To Your Doctor About Gear Acquisition Syndrome #

Don’t get to deep into gear envy. Effects are awesome and it’s tempting to either want to collect them and hoard them like a happy dragon on a pile of gold or feel like you can’t make music without that one perfect effect. Unless you’re falling down the rabbit hole of a DAWless setup and have a very limited amount of gear, you can almost certainly find something digital for free that will fill the need, or already have something. Most DAWs come with an impressive amount of built in effects: Use these first! They’re usually lighter on your CPU and still sound really good.

Bearded Dragon photo by Karl JK Hedin, pedal images ripped from Modular Grid, which in turn stole them from around the internet


It’s All About Trying New Ideas Quickly #

Immediately contradicting myself though, don’t undervalue workflow either. In my experience, making music depends on a really quick brain to input device feedback loop. Being able to turn a physical knob and mash physical keys will often lead to better results if only because you’re able to try things faster and try things by physically interacting with something that you may not have thought of otherwise. It’s why guitars, MPE keyboards, and Eurorack are so great: they all give you a crazy amount of control and expression that is literally at your finger tips. The brain to input interface there is just so much better.

Find a happy middle ground. This often means getting some basic effects and gear that doesn’t actually let you do anything new, but instead gives you a faster way of working with it that may open your mind to new possibilities.

With that out of the way, feel free to dive into the list of effects!

What order should my effects be in? #

Neat tricks with effects #

My first WET / DRY / WET Guitar Pedal Rig (YouTube, Mark Johnston)

How to Experiment with your effects pedal signal chain (MusicRadar)

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