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VST and Wrapup

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Alrighty guys, happy last week of DS106.

For this week I’ll just be wrapping up the explanation of what I did technically for my final project. In the first weeks of the project, I detailed the physical equipment that I used to record but this week I’ll be looking at the virtual equipment that is useful.

This technology is known as VST plugins, which literally stands for Virtual Studio Technology. This type of plugin replicated the hardware that is found to alter and master sound in real studios. They have become so widespread, advanced, and high quality over the past decades that now many professional studios use them as well. While each big recording program that you (theoretically) buy comes with a plethora of VST that will likely be your main tools, there is a number of free VST all over the web.

This week I’ll show you which common types VSTs I used for this project.

Instead of trying to show you in writing what they do, I think its easier if you hear it yourself.

To explain the concept of Reverb vst, which gives the track a more professional spacious sound rather than a dry and (ironically) more realistic one, here is a comparison of the backing vocals from the chorus with and then without Reverb:

Reverb-f by cliftongibbons

A Compressor takes the audio which you have recorded and tries to even out the high and low volumes to make it more consistently clear. This is a useful took with guitars, vocals, drums, you name it, to make sure the musician can play expressively (rather than just loud) but still be heard. Here’s a sample of the main acoustic guitar with, then without, compression:

Compressor-f by cliftongibbons

Anyone with a good car sound system should be able to assume to function of the next VST type, Equalization. An EQ is used to play with the frequency range of the audio that you have recorded. In a situation like ours where we were limited to recording drums live with one microphone this was helpful in at least somewhat the sound we would have liked. Here’s an example of the Drums with, then without, equalization:

Reverb-f by cliftongibbons

This next and last example is by far the most interesting and entertaining – an example of where I used autopan and autofilter VST effects. On the breakdown there were some sound effects heard that were just made with my voice. The autofilter takes the original sound and automatically tweaks it to a set of specifications that you make. The autopan makes it so that the sound isn’t just stuck in the right, left, or center of the mix, but lets the sound travel around and envelop the listener. The raw audio actually sound really funny… kinda embarrassing to even put it here, but the resulting sound is pretty cool I think. (First the final version, then the silly raw audio):

Auto-f by cliftongibbons

Well that pretty much wraps up my talk about my final project.

I hope those of you who followed my project enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

Goodbye fellow DS106ers.

-Clifton

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