Chorus Effect

Another key effect that is used in many different types of music is chorus. Chorus takes the main signal and changes the pitch up or down to create a fuller, shimmery sound, kind of like playing a single note versus a whole chord. You could create multiple tracks with different pitches, but chorus effects are built to properly mix the sounds so nothing sounds off key.

Chances are that any of those shimmery guitar songs you have heard had some chorus in there. This effect tied with some reverb and a flanger produces that classic guitar vibe.

Here are two little bits of guitar I recorded. I added plate reverb to both, but the first has no chorus. Try to see if you can tell the difference.

Guitar Snippet With No Chorus

Here is the same track with reverb, only some chorus was added to make it complete.

Guitar Snippet With Chorus

Reverb Plugin

Reverb is undoubtedly one of the key basic plugins for music production, but there are some key things to know about it before you go slapping it on every track. There are multiple types of reverb plugins that emulate different types of rooms or represent different ways to artificially add reverb to a track.

Here is a little guitar snippet that I recorded so we can see the differences in each reverb type. This signal was passed through the same effect pedal but the reverb level was set to 0% meaning there was no reverb added.

Guitar Snippet Dry

Here is the Behringer digital reverb pedal that I used to get all these different reverb samples. Of course there are VST, AU, and LADSPA reverb plugins, but this was an easy all in one for me.

Behringer Reverb Pedal

The first one I’ll talk about it hall reverb. As the name suggests, it is meant to emulate the sound of a concert hall or theater. Hall reverb often makes the sound go on for a lot longer (long decay time). Hall reverb is often added to strings or pads to add a higher level of richness to them.

This is what that guitar snippet sounds like with a hall reverb at 50% reverb level. (All the rest of the reverb samples have the same reverb level.)

Guitar Snippet w/ Hall Reverb

The second key type is a spring reverb. This reverb isn’t meant to emulate a real life place, but it is artificial by design. Spring reverb is often used in guitar amplifiers, making it great for, you guessed it, guitars. This one is characterized by a warm, richness.

This is what that guitar snippet sounds like with a spring reverb.

Guitar Snippet w/ Spring Reverb

Another artificial reverb type is a plate reverb. The sounds produced are often bright and clean. This can help cut through the mix more than some of the other types of reverb making it good for vocals and some drum tracks.

This is what that guitar snippet sounds like with a plate reverb.

Guitar Snippet w/ Plate Reverb

And last but certainly not least is the room reverb. This type tries to emulate the sound of a smaller room, such as a studio, and produces a more realistic sounding reverb effect. This reverb is great for any track, and is really useful for more up close in your face sounds.

This is what that guitar snippet sounds like with a room reverb.

Guitar Snippet w/ Room Reverb

Have fun experimenting with different types of reverb on your tracks, and don’t feel confined to only using one type of reverb on certain tracks. The key thing to remember with reverb is not to over do it.

Tuner?

I know that tuners seem really basic, but if you ever have to try tuning something like a piano or 12-string guitar, you might consider downloading a dedicated application.

Lingot
Lingot

I needed something different when I discovered that my guitar tuner wouldn’t properly identify the range of notes I needed to tune my piano. Two tuners that I tried were FMIT and lingot. I found lingot to be very plug and play oriented. I just had to plug my microphone in, and it immediately recognized it. I got FMIT working, and it seemed more configurable, but I think that I liked lingot better

FMIT
FMIT

Peavy Vypyr Edit

I have owned a Peavy Vypyr III for a couple of years now, and have found it to be a great modeling amp. It came with a CD including a manual and some software to download, but to my immediate dismay, it wouldn’t work with Linux!

Peavy Vypyr III

The software I am referring to is the Peavy Vypyr Edit software. Going to their website reveals no options for running it on Linux.

Of course I could use the amp as an interface in my DAW, but the ability to change what amp it was modeling or any of the settings was exclusive to manually changing it!!! I have read of people selling their amp because they run Linux. You don’t have to choose between your OS and amp!

I have been increasingly impressed by WINE’s ability to open Windows applications and just work. I did have to mess around with what order I turned the amp on and when I opened the software, but apparently that isn’t specific to running it on Linux. Here is what it looks like in Linux!

Peavy Vypyr Edit

An Ocarina?

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite video games, or video game series rather, is The Legend of Zelda. There are different instruments that the main character in the game carries, especially in Links Awakening where there are multiple. To me though, the most prominent is his Ocarina. I mean, there’s a whole game called The Ocarina of Time.

Twelve Hole Ocarina GIF

Here is what the fingering chart on the back of the box looks like. The whole box had nice Zelda artwork on it.

Twelve Hole Ocarina Fingerings

Other than my attachment to it because of Zelda, it is really quite comparable to a flute or recorder, but it has a different tonal quality. It doesn’t posses that voice crack sound of the recorder, and doesn’t have the breathy, wind sound of the flute. It really is a unique instrument to be reckoned with.