Filteringlow pass filter
high pass filter
band pass filter
band stop filter
comb filter
chorus effect
Table: effect

The effect table shows the sound effects that are covered in the guide.

The chain of effects runs from the top of the table to the bottom. Easily reversible processes are at the top of the chain and processes that are difficult to reverse are at the bottom.

Sound effects fall into five groups:

  1. Dynamics processes amplitude.
  2. Filtering processes frequency.
  3. Phasing processes phase.
  4. Delay is a time-based effect.
  5. Pan is a space-based effect.

A sound effect is the result of processing a sound.

Audio signal processing is the formal term for the process of creating sound effects. Digital signal processing (DSP) is the even fancier term for creating digital sound effects. Most of the effects in this section are digital effects. Analogue sound effects are created by recording with a microphone and Foley is the unusual name for the process of making analogue sound effects specifically for film and video. Another method for creating analogue sound effects is to chain a row of effects pedals between an instrument and an amplifier and to record the output with a mike.

A sound without an added effect is an unprocessed sound, a sound with an added effect is a processed sound. The terms, dry and wet, are widely used to describe unprocessed and processed sound respectively.

A common technique in effects is to mix (add) a wet copy of a sound to the dry original. The wet:dry mix can be varied at will. This process of mixing is sometimes called layering.

A sound effect can be applied to a single sound, a group of sounds, a section of music, or to an entire piece. Conversely, multiple effects can be applied to a single sound.

Effects such as normalisation and envelope should always be applied to music, as they are essentially safety features. The rest of the effects are optional.

A sound effect can be added at any time during the writing process. In practice, they are often applied during the mastering process after a piece has been written to produce the final version.