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We have previously shown you how you can produce music on the cheap with the cross platform DAW software Reaper. There are a lot of effects that come with Reaper as well. The presets are few and far between, but how can you create your own cool effects with reverb, echo, pitch etc.?
In this article we show you how to create your own sounds and provide you with a few fun presets to get your started.How to Create Effects
Coming up with new effects is actually quite easy. It’s a process of trial and error and that most important thing in all music production: Listening. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people forget the importance of listening – really listening closely to the output and hearing how subtle adjustments effect the sound. It’s a skill you have to practise.
The best way to listen carefully enough to the output of any music program is through good quality headphones. Closed cup headphones are best but any you have should be fine as long as they are good quality. Sony and Philips are makers of headphones that are both good and cheap.
Obviously knowing how an effect works a little bit before you start tinkering helps. For example, Chorus effects work by playing the original signal off against a slightly out-of-phase copy of the same sound, so listening to Dry and Wet on their own may sound exactly the same. Also, with echo or delay, the Dry and Wet channels sound the same, so the effect is all about mixing them.
But the wet channel of a reverb effect on its own is a good effect and different even though it’s meant to be mixed with the dry. That might be something you can bear in mind and use creatively. Play around and see what you can come up with. Here’s a few to get you started.Ugly Machine
First set the Wet slider to “+0.1” and the Dry slider all the way down to “-Inf.”Start pos: 0ms Length: 206ms Spacing: 22.5ms Error: 4.8ms ErrDst: 0.50 Start Vol: -6.0dB Start pos: 0ms Length: 973ms Volume: 0dB Room Size: 32 Dampening: 11 Stereo Width: 1.00 Drumbox Plodder
Leave the wet and dry sliders where they are, +0.0 wet and -inf dry.Shift (Full range): 0 semitones Shift (cents): 0 cents Shift (semitones): -15 semitones Shift (octaves): 0 octaves Formant Shift (full): 23.38 semitones Formant shift: 2 cents Formant shift: 12 semitones Basic Demon
Leave wet and dry as they are: wet fader up at +0.0 and dry down to -inf.
Adjust the following sliders:Shift (full range): -8.83 semitones
On the 2 tab adjust the following sliders:Shift (full range): 6.14 semitones
Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He's designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.
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