Fundamentals of Sound in Post-Production


  • Equalizer: A tool that boosts or cuts the amplitude of specific frequencies
    • High Shelf: When higher frequency has higher amplitude
      • Known as First Order Filter, common type of equalizer
    • Low Shelf: Lower frequency has lower amplitude
    • Pass filter: eliminates all sounds at a certain frequency
      • High pass: all high frequencies pass
      • Low pass: all low frequencies pass
    • Second Order Filter (Peaking Filter, Parametric EQ)
      • 3 settings:
        • Frequency
        • Gain
        • Q or Quality Factor
      • Notch Cut/Band Stop filter: cuts all sound out from a very small range of frequency
  • 3 Uses of equalizers:
    • Fix inadequacies in the recording
    • EQ for mixing audio
    • Make it sound better/different
      • 160 Hz – add power
      • 5,000 Hz – prescence
      • 4,000 – 10,000 Hz – sibilance
  • Dynamic Range: difference between very soft and very loud
    • Compressor: compresses space of range between very soft and very loud
      • Once dynamic range is compresses, the volume can be boosted or cut
      • Compressors help smooth out spikes in the volume
      • Makes the audio sound more powerful and louder than normal
    • Expander: opposite of compressor
  • Fast Fourier Transform (FFT): A complex algorithm that can be used to precisely manipulate frequencies
    • Too much FFT results in “chirping”
    • Can be used to take away any sound
  • Delay Filter: repeats audio by 15 ms or less you get an effect called audio combing
    • Generally avoided in the recording studio, but can be used as an effect
    • Used to create bizarre characters
    • Reverb: Sum of lots of varied echoes
      • Gives audio sense of space

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