Effects question...has this been addressed before?

Adding effects to specific areas


I can’t seem to find any discussion or tutorials on how I can put effects in specific spots of the track. For example, for a vocal track, if want to add a delay/echo on the last syllable to the word or make a specific section “lo-fi”. Does anyone have a concise but complete tutorial on using the aux send and return automation to do this? I think I have a idea, but it seems to cumbersome, I’m hoping there might be some shortcuts.

There’s actually several ways to do this in n-Track.

Off the top of my head I can think of two different approaches.

A) Put the effect you want for a part of the track in an aux channel. Bring up the aux channel automation. Put the aux send (or return, depending on the nature of the effect) to zero for the whole track. Zoom to the part where you want the effect to cut in/out. Draw the envelope to suit the desired effect (This takes time and practice to get right - try it a few times and listen carefully to the result).

B) Clone the track. Put the effect on the cloned track. Using the track volume envelope evolution, crossfade the cloned track at the point where you want tne effect to cut in/out. Beware that this is even harder to do seamlessly (i.e. without drawing the listener’s attention to what is being done) than A.

Again, depending on the nature of the effect, you may select the approach that makes the effect “morph” in/out, or just fade in/out at the desired locations.

Tip: A good practice IMHO is to draw S-shaped envelopes when you fade stuff in and out. It just sounds more natural.

Good luck!

regards, Nils

EDIT I actually remember using the B approach to salvage a track with a synth solo where just one bended note was too flat. I edited a copy of the offending note, pitch-shifted it to suit the song, put it on its own adjacent track (in order to align it properly - it had to be in sync in order to work), and faded it in and out - just that one note. The result was astounding - you couldn’t hear the fadings, but the note wasn’t too flat anymore, but stayed in tune with the rest of the track.

Nils K,

Thanks for the quick response. There’s a detail in my inquiry that I forgot to mention. How can I make it so that the effect is all I hear. For example, I know how I can use the aux send and return to add an effect “on top of” the original sound, such as reverb/delay/etc. But what if I was to send the original sound to a “distortion” effect, but do not want hear the original sound. I found that I can do this by turning the track volume really low but not completely off and send that tiny signal through the aux send. But that track’s volume is now dependent on the aux retun volume control. Is there a better way?

If your distortion VST has automatable parameters, just put hte distortion on the track and then adjust the dyr and wet signals of the distortion plugin so you only hear the distortion when you want and mute it the rest of the time and tehn mute the dry signal when you don’t want to hear it.

Otherwise use method B as suggested by Nils above


I agree with Richum on this one - the Aux send/return channels are primarily for adding effects where you want to keep part of the signal unaffected - Like reverb or echo, where you want to retain some of the original signal.

If you use method B, you could add the effect to the cloned track and fade it in and out where you want it. Method B also applies where you need to apply the particular effect externally, e.g. as a Nyquist plug-in effect in Audacity or some similar program. You may then import the track - with effects - into a fresh channel in n-Track and use it as intended.

regards, Nils

Thanks so much for the tips and the quick response! That pretty much covers my question.